2001 GMC Sierra Tornado Research Truck with some extra lights for fun

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mixerbd699

Member
May 22, 2010
230
Fort Worth, Tx
Here is my 2001 GMC Sierra Z71 4x4 pick up, its got a lot of flash in it but this all is not use at one time like the video shows, it has the following:


Whelen 9M Edge Lightbar with 4 linear corner strobes, Front: 2 5mm amber led panels and 4 take down lights, Rear: 2 400 series 6 over 6 super LEDs in red, 4 Linear strobe tubes.


The back of the trucks loaded with


2 Whelen Slim-Lighters (one red one amber)


2 Whelen TIR6 Heads (Amber)


1 Whelen TAM85 Traffic Advisor


2 Whelen Vertex LED HAW in red


The front has:


1 Whelen Dominator D4


1 Whelen Spitfire (LIN4 version)


2 Pro-Comp 100 watt fog lights.


I will post pictures and a daytime video tomorrow but here is the one from the night.


NOTE: Not all lights are used at once as seen in the video. This was just a way to show what was on my truck as a whole.


It is pretty much done other than a set of lights for the grille.


let me know what you think!


FOR THE 100th TIME: YES! I know there are more lights than needed I don't dispute that. This video was taken to show what all was on the truck. I DO NOT use them all at the same time. I have a CenCom unit and its set up with a few different layouts. I mainly use the T/A and 4 inner strobes on the bar, I don't see what is so wrong with options nor placing lights on my vehicle for better visibility while on the roadside.


Now that being said.. how bout them lights!
 
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Pimp

Member
May 16, 2010
1,872
Louisiana
Overkill for storm chasing, IMO. The multiple levels of light are going to confuse and perhaps overpower other motorists. Keep it simple. Rotating bar up top (Fed Sig Highlighter, for example) and maybe a traffic type bar in the back for when you are parked.





Just my opinion. . . you did ask for it! :cool:
 

smsales

Member
May 21, 2010
479
West Michigan
i agree with pimp. there is way too much light on the back side of that truck. I am one who says there cant be too much light, but for what you use it for....wow. :eek:
 

MEMS-LT

Member
May 20, 2010
41
NNJ
Im going to hop on the bandwagon here....way to much in the rear of the cab. It just looks like a big amber blob of light. Confusing to say the least.
 

TCO

Member
May 21, 2010
808
Malvern,Pa
fow what you are using the vehicle for there is way too much light. following what pimp said,i basic roof light,arrow stick and maybe strobes/or just the vertex. too much light to the rear is only going to cause other motorists to aim at you due to being blinded
 

mixerbd699

Member
May 22, 2010
230
Fort Worth, Tx
What i've discovered after messing around with it all is that during the day time i can run most the lights and it not be too confusing, and at night I either use the T/A on low power and the lightbar and Vertex leds or i use the lightbar and my lower level LEDs. Some of the TIR6s may be moved from behind my head rests and relocated to my front end since its lacking a bit. I do some VFD work so thats why theres some red in there. Part of the lights are just bc i want to have a christmas tree for fun (not for use on the road)
 

Byte

Member
May 21, 2010
443
N.E.O.
IMHO, If this truck is supposed to be used in tornado research, shouldn't the majority of your money be spent on Research Equipment and not lights??


I absolutely agree with lights for Vollies', but all storm chaser's need is the factory emergency flashers and maybe a strobe / led beacon or mini-bar.
 

Stendec

Member
May 21, 2010
816
"Too many" lights? I personally wouldn't put that many to the front, but your main threat is from aft. Given that weather spotter rides are out in, well, all sorts of bad weather, 4-way flasher are a little weak, particularly given the number of deaths that occur on berms with disabled vehicles or roadway workers. Add in rain, fog or snow, and you could get boned in a heartbeat.


I'd also want a master shut-off, so that everything could be killed at once and not interfere with photography or video. I also don't like lights reflecting off of snow or rain at night, so if the weather is really gross I'll shut off the overheads whenever possible.


There's a underlying hostility to weather spotters with lit rigs, and I don't know why. A fire truck can be lit up like a carnival ride, and left sitting at a scene for hours with everything twinkling, but only the extra moronic aren't going to recognize it for what it is, even with just a guy waving a flashlight out the windshield. But someone shooting weather vids or pics, or spotting for the NWS or NOAA, is odd for taking steps to not get whacked. And a volunteer FF who has a couple miles of country road to run to get to the station? Deer and cattle don't go right for red.
 

mixerbd699

Member
May 22, 2010
230
Fort Worth, Tx
I get my gas/food/hotel covered just not being paid for my time. They're pretty good with paying for things on the truck (ie oil changes and what not)


I've decided to re-locate some the lights and im setting them up based on storm chasing/vfd. storm chasing will have less lighting and the vfd will have more but i suppose it will depend on the situation at hand
 

JohnMarcson

Administrator
May 7, 2010
10,971
Northwest Ohio
Way too done up. A single sentry amber rotator would be my choice.
 

AZEMT

Member
May 21, 2010
143
Phoenix, AZ USA
Full disclosure: I didn't even watch the video...I got the gist of it :D But I've got to say...if you're running full-tilt at a tornado, anyone on the road with you has got bigger problems than lights can help them with :D
 

mixerbd699

Member
May 22, 2010
230
Fort Worth, Tx
I agree with AZEMT, but what i think most are missing is what i said at the beginning. I don't use ALL the lights at the same time. They're all controlled in small groups, i use what ever i think is best at the time and place. If im some where and i need to make sure im seen farther away then i'll use the bar and the rear leds but with out the T/A. Usually when im chasing i use my front leds and my rear one but with the T/A im thinking ill put it on flash and maybe use the bar with it. I agree is a lot of lighting for chasing (hence why i don't use it all at the same time) I only had them all on for the sake of the video. Like i said i do some VFD work and honestly part of it is I like having the loads of lighting just for the hell of it. Some people lift truck some super tune em...i make mine pretty with leds, but i don't run them all at the same time is the point.
 

Stendec

Member
May 21, 2010
816
Klein said:
Well said.

+1


Whatever floats your boat, you don't have to rationalize anything if its what you want to do.....


.....Now, if you put truck nuts on it, that's a different story........
 

ibby

Member
May 28, 2010
143
.
Stendec said:
"Too many" lights? I personally wouldn't put that many to the front, but your main threat is from aft. Given that weather spotter rides are out in, well, all sorts of bad weather, 4-way flasher are a little weak, particularly given the number of deaths that occur on berms with disabled vehicles or roadway workers. Add in rain, fog or snow, and you could get boned in a heartbeat.

There's a underlying hostility to weather spotters with lit rigs, and I don't know why. A fire truck can be lit up like a carnival ride, and left sitting at a scene for hours with everything twinkling, but only the extra moronic aren't going to recognize it for what it is, even with just a guy waving a flashlight out the windshield. But someone shooting weather vids or pics, or spotting for the NWS or NOAA, is odd for taking steps to not get whacked. And a volunteer FF who has a couple miles of country road to run to get to the station? Deer and cattle don't go right for red.


+1
 

Radio Tech

Member
May 27, 2010
39
Vermont
Total overkill, even if your hobby is lighting. For a storm chaser, your need is to be seen. Not to blind other motorists. I don't care how many groups of lights you have, it's still too much.


If you're storm chasing, you should be moving off the road enough so that traffic going both directions can avoid you, or find a new spot where you're safe. You shouldn't need a traffic advisor, etc. You shouldn't be directing traffic if you're out chasing storms....
 

Pursuit

Member
May 23, 2010
72
Pulaski County, AR
Well for starters, you have enough switches to make a jumbo jet pilot jealous. ;)


I am glad you have your truck set up the way you want it, and that is what matters most. However, for storm chasing, I would have chosen slower flashing lights. Any strobe patterns are going to be washed out with the lightening, and heavy rain causing confusion to other motorist.


Additionally, when visibility is limited, I think you would be better off with a couple of large lights rather than a bunch of tiny ones.


Nevertheless, you did a great job with installation, and I am glad that you have put together something that you feel will work well for you. Thank you for sharing. :)
 

mixerbd699

Member
May 22, 2010
230
Fort Worth, Tx
Yes i do have to admit i love my covered switches, they're set up for my Red 6 over 6 leds in the bar and the others are for my fog lights, take down lights and the last one is for my XM Radar receiver unit. I agree that its a bit much on the rear but its a hobby and again they're not all used on the road at the same time. Thanks to those who like the install and my switches! I maybe changing up the lighting in the way for a new truck, but the next "add-on" will be placing my Federal Signal Thunderbolt Siren in the bed...hahah :lol: :D
 

kadetklapp

Member
May 21, 2010
1,568
Indiana
Like everyone above, including the OP says, it's a bit overkill. Now, having been involved in storm chasing in the past, it is absolutely true that legitimate storm spotters/chasers could have a valid use for some lighting. I do not believe they have a valid use for retired squad cars, but that's not what we are talking about here.


In the case of a pick-up truck, a single beacon or mini-bar on the roof or backrack should suffice for upper lighting. I'd say another good level of lighting would be HAWs in the tail lights and turn signals. And a third level of lighting would be a signal master/Arrow Stick of some sort. Everything else is just overkill.
 

Stendec

Member
May 21, 2010
816
I don't know if it's a "valid" reason or not, but a beater ex-cvpi weighs enough to not get tossed around and who cares if it get's hailed or flooded.


At the first sign of bad weather I cover my truck with small children stuffed into plastic bags to soak up the hail and any windborne debris or deadfall. While I think it would be cool to drive into a tornado, not in my ride.
 

mixerbd699

Member
May 22, 2010
230
Fort Worth, Tx
Well with the whole VORTEX 2 thing you go doppler on wheels weather stations on wheels photo teams, media teams, heck theres a car that is basically the weather channel on wheels. So why not a siren on wheels?
 

mixerbd699

Member
May 22, 2010
230
Fort Worth, Tx
I thought I'd update this a bit. The truck no longer has the crap load of amber in the back window. The amber slim-lighter and TIR6 heads have been taken out. I've left the TAM85 and Red slimlighter in the window. I've wired it everything to where i can use only what i feel is needed for a situation. I'll get updated pics/video. I added FLTDLED heads to the front of the bar! and an Avenger to replace the spitfire.
 

Lazzati

Member
May 22, 2010
140
Salem County NJ
I agree there are too many lights to the rear, the video made a good point in one shot theres two fire trucks parked side by side on the road with all the lights going at night. You can't see whats going on because the lights are causing such a glare. You even see it with police cars at night. its a blinding light and sometimes you would find yourself drifting over towards the lights. My two cents keep the edge and T/A but place the surface mount lights on different parts of the truck such as between the cab and bed, and on the bumpers on the corners.
 
May 21, 2010
1,030
LKN, NC
I won't argue the usefulness of amber lights on a storm chase / meteorlogical vehicle (provided that's your profession and you're not some wack-job to start with). But the same with the setup in my fire POV. Quality over quantity.


I thought that "seminar" that was linked on the previous page was a great talk...for any emergency responder and their POVs. Right now I'm comtemplating how crazy I'd be if I did some sort of reflective chevron on my truck.
 

nerdly_dood

Member
Jun 15, 2010
2,312
Georgia
Stendec said:
a beater ex-cvpi weighs enough to not get tossed around

WRONG!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WADnriWzJes


Also, the part of the video above in K9Vic's post sums up why I often say "Less is more" and don't like how many bright lights are on many modern emergency vehicles.
 

HILO

Member
May 20, 2010
2,781
Grand Prairie Texas
Doing some work for a vfd? That does not sound like you are a ff or ems. If you are authorized for the red light in Texas, you are authorized for red, blue, clear lights and a siren. Obviously your not, so the red lights in the back are illegal.
 

tsquale

Lifetime VIP Donor
Oct 12, 2010
10,530
Minnesota, USA
KD8GPM said:
IMHO, If this truck is supposed to be used in tornado research, shouldn't the majority of your money be spent on Research Equipment and not lights??

I absolutely agree with lights for Vollies', but all storm chaser's need is the factory emergency flashers and maybe a strobe / led beacon or mini-bar.

.+1
 
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