LED bulbs draw much less current so battery would last longer
the batterys age makes a big difference too.
my 3 year old van battery died recently after the radio played for 2 to 3 hours.
i was cleaning and reorganizing my van.
I have a boost charger so it was no big deal, but it told me its time to replace the battery....
mine shouldnt of died so quickly, since i do the clean up the work van several times a year
Modern car radios can take a surprising amount of juice. My vehicles
don't even have an "accessory" ignition position. There is no way to
play the radio with the engine off, once the door opens. But, yes, if
it killed your battery in 2 or 3 hours, the battery was past due for
Of course it would depend on the condition of the battery (or batteries,
some construction equipment and heavy trucks have more than one) but
any automotive or heavy equipment battery in good condition could easily
run typical hazard lights for 6 hours. I've known of instances where
they ran 14-15 hours, and certainly even periods are possible.
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation
with the average voter. (Winston Churchill)
Any chance they had left the flashers on deliberately to alert motorists to
their presence in the roadway? Playing Advil's devocate here . . . (-:
I've seen that done before - leaving hazard lights flashing - when the
equipment takes up a lot of road space and is being left overnight.
I much more impressed that you have the crew chief's cell phone number.
You're a "total immersion" sort of guy. <g> Now the important question is
whether you call him during the day to find out whether you were a hero or
not. You've made me curious. I always vote for hero but I even wonder
whether you legally had a right to touch that equipment, even as a good
It's a tough call. I am not sure I would have done it but I would agree
there's a presumption it was accidental because both weren't flashing and
any flashing lights would have to have been turned on during daylight,
perhaps accidentally, and might not be noticed by a crew departing at
There's always more than one possible explanation. The driver might have
been trying to get his boss to buy a new battery so he was deliberately
killing this one before the real cold sets in and it could be a big hassle
(that's for Clare - now I *am* grasping at straws, but for comedic effect).
So we have several questions for you to ask the crew chief:
Were they on by design/law/insurance requirement or on by accident?
Were they LED lights (you should be able to answer, flashing LEDs are very
stroboscopic - not so with incandescent hazard lights. I would bet they are
LEDs nowadays because they're on hazardous equipment and the extended run
time - thus avoiding a dead battery if they're lit for too long - is a
Third question is how long those batteries last in such situations?
Fourth question - should you have entered the cab (his perspective)?
A topic for another thread might be whether replacing the tungsten bulbs in
my old van with LEDs would preserve a significant amount of battery life in
an emergency. I am not even sure that LEDs are legal substitutes for hazard
bulbs or worse that they interact badly with the flasher electronics in this
rather elderly (over 10 years) car and cause them to fail.
It might be better and smarter to retrofit a completely secondard LED based
hazard light system, placing LED's inside the van's copious head and tail
light lenses and wiring them back to a 12V gel cell and flash controller.
I recently saw a car with an amber turn signal LED on the outboard edge of
the passenger side mirror. What a great idea. I might want that retrofit,
too. The turn signals embedded inside the aforementioned lenses aren't
anywhere near as visible as the tiny little outboard amber LED on the
mirror. See what you've started wandering around in the dark, Derby? (-:
Speaking of calling you Derby I have to protest that I'm seeing TV news
shows put up statements from totally made up names during "here's the buzz
on the internet" segments they seem to be doing more often. Probably
letting callers rant is about the cheapest form of programming available and
station owners just love it. Just lamenting the state of modern journalism.
When I watch the news and it tells me "ChickenMan23" said X about Y I wonder
if end is nigh.
More straws. The driver is at this moment making a phony insurance claim
for something he says was stolen from the Cat last night and the police are
dusting for your fingerprints on the cab door right now. Your neighbor has
already told police he saw you climbing on the equipment in the dark with
two accomplices standing by.
(Sorry, I couldn't resist after the thread's beginning where it was posited
that these men were out to rob you!)
Are you sure they didn't leave radio-controlled canisters of fentanyl sleep
gas so that they could invade your home, knock you out by remote control and
steal all your worldly possesions even if you were armed? Better start
sleeping with a gas mask, just so S feels safe about your reckless decision
to let them in your house. Dangerous Derby Dad, always living on the edge.
The machines have been parked in the exact same location every night for
close to 3 weeks now. They are off the road on a flat section of land along
side the wooded hill that overlooks the bay. This was the first time they
flashers were on.
It's interesting how they park the vehicles. They have been using 3 pieces
of equipment for the gas main project. A small Cat excavator, a larger Cat
with a dozer bucket and excavator bucket and some kind of a compressor
device that they tow around. Each night they position the trailer tightly
between the 2 Cats so it can't be moved back or forth. They place the
excavator bucket of the smaller cat on the street side of the compressor so
it can't be swung towards the street. There's no sense in swinging it away
from the street because it's too close to the wooded hill so you could
never get it out that way. Finally, they put the excavator bucket from the
He gave me his number so that I could set the appointment to have them hook
up my service. It seems like they have no real plan for the individual
services part of the project. Last Friday they were working down the block
when I came out to go to work. They waved me down and asked when they could
hook up my house. "It'll only take a couple of hours, we could do it
today." I told them I had to check my schedule at work. He gave me his
number so I could call and set it up a time. I called and and asked for a
Monday morning appt and they said fine. Seems like they have no pattern,
they're just hooking up services whenever the homeowner is available. Maybe
as the project winds down they'll have to be more organized, but as long as
they can do 2 or 3 houses a day, I guess it doesn't matter which house they
I left him my number when I called about the lights. He didn't call me back
the next day and I don't plan to call him.
Oh, I'm sure I had no legal right to be in the vehicle. I'm pretty sure
that if I had done something wrong, like started it up and crushed the
compressor or drove the Cat over the hill, my phone would have been ringing
real early that morning.
Now that's a stretch!
None of which will be asked. :-)
I could have stolen the boatload of empty water and sports drink bottles
that were piled up inside the cab. Turned them all in for the nickel
deposit. My wife will deny the accomplices claim.
We've been fine since Monday. They may be waiting until they finish all the
houses and then get us all on the same day.
That pretty much destroys my contention they were deliberately left on. )-:
Yes, those are typical anti-theft precautions. Around here (near D.C.) you
will often see a small compressor or generator unit left hanging in the air
from a crane to keep them from "sleepwalking" if you know what I mean. (-:
An interesting perspective - they take the targets of opportunity first,
which makes sense when you consider all the variables in dealing with
homeowners during the workday.
Well, I think you've already answered the important question and proved that
you really did do a mitzvah by turning off the flashers. Mazel Tov!
When I was a kid we lived next to a fuel oil company and one of their trucks
was left out on the street without any brakes on. The slope of the street
was small but noticeable (it took much more effort to pedal up the block
than down. Imperceptibly, the truck started to roll and within a short time
was moving at a very good clip. One of the neighbor teens managed to climb
up into the cab and stop the truck before it did considerable damage. He
became a neighborhood hero.
From what I've seen of the problems they often have starting heavy equipment
up, I can't imagine anything accidental you might have done that would have
resulted in a runaway Cat. IOW, I don't see any *real* downside to turning
off the flashers other than you might have fallen off while climbing down.
I suppose there could have been a "deadfall" set up to injure potential
thieves, but that would have been unlikely even though heavy equipment
thefts are on the rise:
<<"These high-dollar thieves like to strike during the holidays, when heavy
equipment may be more accessible because it is being used during bad
weather, or left unattended on vacated construction sites," said Glynda Chu,
spokeswoman for the Edmond Police Department.>>
Where do you sell a huge highway grader or bulldozer? Craig's list? (-;
Well, considering we've been entertained by the possibility they rented out
all this heavy equipment and performed actual maintenance work just to get
to burglarize your house, it's not a BIG stretch. (-:
Well, maybe we can answer them without his input based on the additional
information you've supplied.
Accident. This was the only time they were on.
You could probably answer this too with a little "hard recollection" - fast,
sharp blips with no dimming or slowly pulsating? Can you visualize the
blinking? I just read a fascinating article about people with Highly
Superior Autobiographical Memory:
Apparently even people with superb memories have trouble remembering things
they haven't concentrated on. Just another nail in the coffin of the
reliability of eye-witness testimony.
Not if they offer her immunity!
Yeah, I am sure that's the ticket.
I've read some scary stories about how bad the gas infrastructure is in the
US and how many major gas pipelines are showing signs of failure from
corrosion, ground movement and accidental punctures from earthmoving
<<An August 1, 2013 report prepared for Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts
illuminates the fact that gas companies have little incentive to replace
leaky aging pipes because they are able to pass along the cost of lost gas
to consumers. As a consequence, American consumers pay about a billion
dollars a year for natural gas that never reaches their homes . . . "Gas
distribution companies in 2011 reported releasing 69 billion cubic feet of
natural gas to the atmosphere, almost enough to meet the state of Maine's
gas need for a year.">>
That's a recipe for trouble if there ever was one . . .
Depends on too many variables. How old the battery, how big, how many
haz lights, what kinda bulbs, etc. My '91 toyota p/u's fairly new
battery will go stone dead with haz lights flashing, overnight. All
my bulbs are incandescents.
Anyone know if there are approved LEDs that can be substituted.
Just recently I came across backup/reversing light replacements that have
built in beepers. With just a simple bulb changeout my van now has backup
I'd consider replacing the flasher bulbs with LEDs if they met DOT specs
because they *have* to last longer in emergencies. I'd be a little
concerned that they might negatively impact the flasher module because of
their different electrical profile.
If the Cat was parked in the street, it maybe a law in your state to
have the hazard lights on overnight.
If the battery died during the night and someone ran into the Cat, it
would be their fault. If you turned off the lights, it would be your fault.
Both Cats have been parked in the same off-the-road spot for 3 weeks. That
night was the only night the flashers were on. They haven't been on for the
last 2 nights.
I guess someone could run into the machines since they are right near the
road, but drivers could also fall into ditches protected only by that
orange hazard fence or run into one of the many dirt or gravel piles that
are only marked by cones.
Heck for that matter, drivers could just drive off the road and roll down
the hill into the bay. There's no protection from that.
On Thu, 21 Nov 2013 01:17:25 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03
That really depends on the lights and the battery. Generally a cat
will have a pretty heavy battery, and the cat will generally have only
2 lamps flashing. 35 watt flashersX2, with a 30% duty cycle would be
21 watts - if the cat is 12 volt, that is less than 2 amps - and a
deisel starting battery is usually WELL OVER 200 amp hours - which
would run that flasher for 100 hours.
My guess is the average cat crawler would still start in temperate
weather after 10 hours with the flashers on if the battery was in
decent shape - and quite possibly after 24 hours or more.
On Mon, 25 Nov 2013 12:06:01 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03
OK - at max, 35 watts for each of the outside 4, and 3 watts for the
inside flasher - do the math. What does it have for batteries???
Likey a minimum of 2 large batteries of 400 plus amp hours each.
Now that we know WHAT cat you are talking about it gets easier. It
uses a group31 880cca starting battery. Approxemately 150 AH capacity.
The inside indicators will be led if it is a recent unit, so you can
pretty well count those out of the equasion, and 1157 bulbs are 26
watts each. 104 watts X 33% is 34 watts average draw - aprox 3 amps.
Half of 150 ah would be 75 ah, or 25 hours of flasher duty to half
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