An "S" made of lights on the front of a truck means?
November 15, 2011 1:13 AM   Subscribe

Once in a while I'll see a truck behind me with a series of around 10 small light bulbs creating an S on the front grille. What does this mean?

Yesterday I saw the S on a tow truck. I'm not sure what the other trucks have been but I know I've seen them multiple times. Any idea what this signifies?
If it helps: I live in the US. Illinois specifically.

I'm not sure if this is relevant but when I try to picture the grille in my head I'm looking at the S in my rear view mirror--which would mean the S is actually formed backwards on the actual truck. However, my memory might just be inaccurate.
I'm also wondering if I'm actually just seeing the same truck over and over, but that seems unlikely. And it still leaves the question of what it means.
posted by simplethings to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Superman/Supertruck meme?
posted by iamkimiam at 1:46 AM on November 15, 2011

Automatic toll system? Google is inconclusive.
posted by FrereKhan at 2:56 AM on November 15, 2011

I have been seeing this since I was a kid. I always assumed it was the initial of the last name of the owner/driver but then I realized I've only seen the letter S. It seems like I haven't seen this for a long time now.
posted by jmsta at 3:21 AM on November 15, 2011

How big are we talking here? Ten dense LEDs making an "S" two inches high, or a loose collection making an "S" that covers the whole grille?

I ask because you often see this sort of thing inside the cabs on English trucks, and I wonder if it could be something similar with another "S" initial truck company in the states...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 3:26 AM on November 15, 2011

Does the name of the towing company start with S?
posted by gjc at 5:02 AM on November 15, 2011

I don't know what it means, but flexible grill lights seem to be a thing.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:08 AM on November 15, 2011

What I have seen in the past were not LED's but rectangular running lights mounted on the grill to make a rather large S about as big as the grill itself.
posted by jmsta at 12:09 PM on November 15, 2011

Response by poster: what jmsta said.
The S is pretty big and not made of those flexible lights.
You can easily see each separate bulb.

I didn't catch the name of the towing company but I'll make sure to keep an eye out next time.
posted by simplethings at 6:25 PM on November 15, 2011

Usually I've seen this as either the initial of the operator or initial for the company. See for example Handsome John Pruitt's truck in Adventures in Babysitting.
posted by Mitheral at 8:11 PM on November 15, 2011

Mitheral.. Yes the letter designed out of lights exactly like that except orange and with the letter "S". I had always assumed it was and initial of the diver or operator etc.. but as I think back I have only seen the letter "S" I cant recall seeing any other letter. The truck i have seen them on appear to be owner/operate type rigs, older, possibly decorated in other ways that you wouldn't see on a "company" truck. Perhaps there is some sort of independent trucking organization and the S is a way to identify membership?
posted by jmsta at 6:33 AM on November 16, 2011

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