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How many use the back up safety beeper?


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Topic Originally Created by twinbulls on Tow411 in October of 2003:


I have been looking at alot of trucks and a few had the back up safety beeper on them.
Seemed to be very loud and I asked it it had a switch to turn it on and off salesman said no was hooked to back up lights..
I don't like em but might use it if it had a on/ off switch.

Just wondering">


Auto Rescue said:

My two Petes and the forklift have them without shut off switches, in the case of the big trucks they are for other peoples protection in case I might not see them when backing up. John R.


Rod VT said:

Both trucks got em. Rollback has a switch on the ground so I can keep from disturbing my neighbors at night. It's a project for the wrecker next.


Freelance66 said:

Law here, that is probably why dealer cannot/will not deal with a possible lawsuit.


ibuytoys said:

We have them on all of our trucks. The louder the better!!


Forgivenone said:

We have them on our trucks. Connected to the back up light circuit I think. Feel naked without it when it loosens, tighten up the ground connection and works like a charm again. I'd hate to drive a truck without one.


Gale25yrs said:

Got em on the big rigs. They're standard on the Jerr-Dan heavies.


towscorpio said:

Our entire fleet has backup beepers installed on them!C'ya In The Ditch!
Kevin Stead
WM#030058 6/7


santiam01 said:

The Oregon D.O.T. requires all their vehicles & the vehicles of anybody doing work for them to have beepers. So the City of Portland requires beepers for all the tow contractors. Jerr-Dan has been selling all the factory built units with beepers. We have been doing an interupt switch for the guys doing repos & impounds.


Towtrk1 said:

I agree with having them installed with a cut-out switch. But as I understand it, it was DOT law that every commercial vehicle had to be equipped with one. Maybe not so, but makes good sense. I'd like to see alot of the medium and heavy wreckers start coming mandatory with back-up cameras too. Little kids dont always know where the sound is coming from, or just plain dont pay attention. Neither do adults for that matter.


Don 29 Yrs aka THTDON said:

All nine of my trucks have back-up alarms. None are equipped with toggle switches. I can see installing a momentary push switch, so you can hold it in and stop the beeping while you are backing up into your own driveway. Other than that, let it beep.


Timco said:

I only had one on my wrecker untill recently. I bought a box of 4 on ebay for 5 bucks!! All new & in the box..what a deal!


dnh towing said:

our insurance company requires them on our trucks.besides they can't hurt only help,unless your doing repo's then you need a switch.


Interstate Towing said:

We have them on all of our trucks from light to heavy, the new one has a 117 db alarm.

Since it's the on call truck it has a switch so we don't disturb the neighbors when we leave or come home late at night.


Towmaster B said:

Our trucks have them but we disabled them. I don't want the city trying to tell me I can't park a truck in my yard because the neighbors might complain. A switch sounds like a good idea. I would rather have them for safety, but the cops like the quick response times because we take a truck home. Our trucks were just D.O.T. inspected in August and nothing was said about the back up alarms not working. I forgot to hook them back up for the inspection.


Melville said:

Have them on all of our trucks, everyone knows what that beep-beep means and keeps them away from the truck. I understand the hindrance that they will cause in repo's but for all other situations they are a valuable safety device that should not be altered. By installing a switch you put the burden of activating it on the driver and we all know that drivers never forget to turn off the beacons, or install safety chains, or put on towlights. I think that it should be left as intended and the annoyance is worth the effect.


oklatom said:

They cost a little more, of course, but the newest beepers listen to the background noise and set themselves to be "X" many dbs above the background noise. At the edge of the busy highway they will be LOUD. Your driveway at night they will be more quiet. Worth looking into.


twinbulls said:

On my future truck I will have a switch that can turn them on or off as with the back up lights.
I like to switch everything.

redwolf1357 said:

It is something some people may not like but in Chicago its like herding cattle the beeper helps. the louder the better. After all you need to be louder then the walkman.
The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking of those who created them........


Divor said:

my new truck is being built as we speak and i have requested that the beeper not be put on for my neighbors sake
deloro towing


Freelance66 said:

Is someone showing their age????


CBdancer said:

wouldnt be without one!!!!!!
saved me several times and i would be afraid of forgetting to turn it back on




A Big Toe said:

Yep, we got em too
Any one else have an african grey? Every time I walk out the front door...BEEP...BEEP...BEEP. It was funny at first...Any one want to buy a bird?



Started Feb. 2004:


smoffrd said:

yep trucks got 2 one in the rear and 1in the grill for thouse that like to walk around the front while i'm trying to back a car up (ran over a guys foot as he walked in to my fender) @ the track and yes i have a 3 way switch its eather on even if truck isn;t in reverse off no matter what or on normal


towinguy said:

I think some insurance companies require them. I think every truck should have them. As for the neighbors, are they going to pay your bills if you run over someone?Gregg


wm97891 said:

from what i understand OSHA also requires these,


MO Tow said:

For those that are concerned for their neighbors convience, safety always wins. There was a local tow truck operator the backed over a kid several years ago. A back up alarm would have saved a life.Adam
Cardinal All-Hour Towing
St. Charles, MO


KingDragenWagon said:

On all of our fourteen trucks they have back up-beepers

On our city police contract it is a must, and highway patrol frowns if you don't have it.

Was working a truck wreck with another company, and had the head of DOT there and has he backed up.

There was no warning of him moving back wards and this official said, he would not be on our scene again.

And yes we do have switches to turn them off when they are at their houses.


Rod Midkiff said:

I've done an install a few times..

a (on) (off) (momentary on) switch

if you turn it on..   it turns the back up alarm on.. (full time)..  and the alarm I installed had a third wire for a different (full volume) beep  that was different then the back up beep beep..  (if when in this mode you also put the truck into back up the normal beep beep sounds (again full volume)  (this was VERY handy for moving the truck with people around it..  they turn and look at the sound..

if you turn it off.  the back up alarm sounds with the auto volume control

if you turn it to momentary on if you put it in reverse first.  the beep will sound until you push the button..
if you hold it to momentary on before putting the tow truck in reverse no sound it made at all..  and you do not have to hold the button... so you can still freely move and watch in both mirrors.. having to hold the switch strikes Me as unsafe..)..

the momentary on on is a simple latching relay setup..


 black box is a back up beeper.. (thought it was in the drawing but must have forgot to save)

drew this up from memory.. you can build this with almost any relay..  top and bottom terminals are to the coil that turn's the relay on when power is put to it.

the three though the middle.. with the coil turned off.. the back up light wire is connected to the beeper.  and you hear the beep beep beep..

touch the momentary switch..  and how. the power from the back up light is now "latching" the relay on).  and disconecting the beeper..

and you can back up in silence..  shift into neutral (or turn the key off).  and turn off the back up lights....  then put the truck back into reverse.  again.. you get the beep..  no need to remember to turn it back on..  as it will only be silent each time you press the momentery switch..

last install of this I did..  was in a KW..  and I had a spair marker light switch that worked perfect for this (on) (off) (momentary on) switch

stay safe


school of hard knocks #10151968

WreckMaster #081557


capptow said:

had to fix mine today. finally woarmed up enough to do something. i was in a gated com. and too many people didnt move when i backed up. 102 decibal. $55 @ NAPA


wrekman0920 said:

i have them on all the trucks and actually it bothers me when i dont hear other commercial vehicles with out them.


tobtow said:

all of our trucks have them in Maine you have to have them on any com truck.



MTA415 said:

on a repo truck I would disable it!!! Fo Sho Bro!!!



Tobtow said:

We have them on all the trucks. It seems like the FD guys like to get close to the action. When we put one in reverse they move!!!!


bytown tow said:

It's the law here in Ontario and we have them on all our trucks and they are installed on every unit we build and sell !



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Yeah, I have an African Grey. There's no sneaking into my driveway. That stupid bird mimics the backup alarm every time he hears tires on the gravel. Then the Macaw says hello when I open the door to come into the house.

  • Haha 1

Light duty towing & recovery in Whitehall MT since 1980.

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I have mine wired onto a switch, mainly because I live in a residential area and I back down my long driveway. Sometimes I am in and out 4 or 5 times over the course of a night. It keeps my neighbors off my back. I probably should have it turned on more than I do, but Nobody has given me grief about it. I have gone through a few d.o.t. inspections forgetting to turn it on and they never say a word about it.


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