Troubleshoot A Light Tower

Light towers have the ability to illuminate large areas.

Light towers provide invaluable assistance to emergency workers and police at road accident scenes, creating virtual daylight to night. The towers, usually portable, are simple to maneuver and quick to set up. They are able to light up a large area, up to two city blocks in some cases. Some of the problems to look for include damaged wire ropes and pulleys, excessive smoke and blown bulbs. Run through a simple checklist before having your light tower serviced.


1. Ensure that the yoke pin has been fully removed if the boom will not extend to the full operating position.

2. Check that the towers gas tank has adequate fuel if the engine turns over but will not start. Fill the tank with #2 diesel fuel. Examine all the fuel lines for cracks or leaks and replace if necessary. Always stop the engine before refueling.

3. Tighten all the electrical connections and clear the air filter if the engine runs rough.

4. Drain the oil from the crankcase to its correct level if the engine runs but produces a dense smoke. The oil level is too high.

5. Clear out the front and rear air intakes if the engine overheats. Replace the coolant with a fifty percent water and coolant mix. Check to see if the radiator fins have become clogged. Use compressed air to clean the fins if necessary. Take care not to flatten the radiator fins when blowing on them.

6. Inspect the lamp to see if it is loose in its socket if the lamp will not start. Tighten the lamp until it is snug against the fixture. Do not over tighten. Check the lamp base to see if there is arcing at the center contact button. Replace the light fixture if necessary. Replace the lamp if it is flickering or glows for an extended period of time before starting. Check the outer light casing for cracks. Air entering the outer bulb can shorten the life of the light.

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7. Inspect the wire ropes that are used to raise and lower the light tower for any nicks or kinks. Have a qualified technician replace the ropes if necessary.

8. Turn off the power and clean the tower and all of its components with a damp sponge. Dirt build-up can cause the light tower to run hotter than normal and reduce its life.