The best driving lights for trucks are ones that are legal and compliant with federal and provincial/state regulations while at the same time providing maximum lighting capability. Most provinces and states allow the use of 2 additional auxiliary headlamps that can be mounted on the front of the vehicle. Commercial trucks are vehicles that are driven for extended periods of time, even during weather conditions which restrict visibility. Therefore, it is highly beneficial for commercial truck-trailers to be equipped with the best driving lights for trucks that are legal because it ultimately increases road safety for everyone.
Regulations pertaining to driving lights for trucks are concerned with the selection, installation, and operation of auxiliary lamps. The primary standard that outlines the requirements for driving lights is
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment
The terms used to describe add-on driving lights is “auxiliary” and primary lights are referred to as “identification”.
S188.8.131.52 describes the mounting requirements for auxiliary lamps.
Society of Automotive Engineers
The Society of Automotive Engineers is a U.S. based global association that sets standards for the design, construction, and characteristics of motor vehicles. SAE standards are held in high regards by federal and provincial governments. Furthermore, it is the SAE compliance certification that you must look for to ensure you are buying legal lamps that are SAE compliant driving lights. If a lamp is SAE complaint it is also a DOT complaint auxiliary light. Note: manufacturers are not permitted to market products as DOT approved auxiliary lights because the Department of Transportation does not endorse specific products. The following section of Standard 108 signifies the importance of SAE compliance:
S5.1 Each required lamp, reflective device, and item of associated equipment must be designed to conform to the requirements of applicable SAE publications as referenced and sub referenced in this standard.
Driving Light Brands
Rigid Industries DOT/SAE Lights
Rigid Industries are considered a more premium option for driving lights. A single light can cost a couple hundred dollars.
Jetco Driving Lights
These lights have the SAEY-05 marking which indicates that it is a driving lamp. They are an affordable option on the market within the $60-$70 range and are supplied to most heavy truck parts distributors.
Truck-Lite Driving Lights
Truck-Lite are a dedicated producer of heavy truck lights and have many options available for auxiliary driving lights. They are also SAE compliant, but you should check with the individual product your planning on purchasing to ensure it has the correct marking.
CVSA Light Inspections
This section of the article will discuss the inspection procedures carried out through commercial vehicle safety alliance governed jurisdictions.
Firstly, driving lights are required to be wired so that they operate only when the upper beam of a multiple beam headlamp is illuminated. A relay switch is not allowed for auxiliary driving lights. In fact, only fog lights allow the use of a separate designated switch.
CVSA officers are trained to recognize the beam of a light and can determine if it is a fog light or an auxiliary driving light. Driving lights produce a symmetrical beam.
Auxiliary driving lights have a SAE “Y” marking while fog lamps have F and F2 symbols.