Truck lights dim when moving plow - Snow Plow Forum - Let's Talk Snow Discussion Forums

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Old 11-10-2005, 09:05 PM
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Truck lights dim when moving plow

I just got a new plow on my truck and noticed that when the truck lights are on and I move the plow in any direction all of the truck lights go dim. Is that normal? Headlights and dash lights. Also the alternator gage moves a lot while operating the plow.
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Old 11-11-2005, 01:54 AM
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That's normal.

Sometimes when plowing, I need to stop and let the battery recharge for a minute or so. Plowing in lo helps alot, as it keeps the revs up for charging.
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Old 11-11-2005, 09:48 AM
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Truck lights dim when moving plow

Thanks for letting me know. I wasn't sure if something was wrong with it or what.
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Old 11-11-2005, 10:53 AM
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Moving the plow is a high current affair, so it may rob the available power from other accessories. On my last truck, I added dual optima yellow tops and some 0ga welding cable between the batts and to the plow solenoid. After that mod, it didn't dim the lights at all. It seemed to move the plow faster, too.

While dimming lights may not be indicative of a problem, you can probably improve the performance of the system. In my 350, the (aftermarket) voltmeter pulls from upper 13s to around 12 when the plow is running. I haven't noticed dimming lights yet. The diesel trucks run some pretty serious batteries.
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Old 11-11-2005, 11:09 AM
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Davevoyna

Welcome to LTS
The pump running draws a lot of amps from the battery that the alternator alone couldn’t supply. In doing so it draws the voltage down for the few seconds the pump is running. The lower voltage dims the lights. The trouble is during these few seconds everything else sees the lower voltage also. with lower voltage comes higher current to do the same work.
Some questions would be how old is your battery? And is it the largest size that will easily fit. Largest also as in cranking amps also. is your alternator original? And did your truck come with a snow plow package? One of the things that provides is a higher amp alternator. Wire size (undersize) and poor grounds can also add to this as they increase resistance to the pump.
If you need more battery now is the time to find out before the snow flies. The colder weather will lower the usefulness of the battery and also thicken the fluid in the pump and make things work harder.

There have been a lot of other posts about up sizing batteries and alternators even ways to run two batteries to help with power consumption. Do a few searches and report back.
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