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Truck air horns make an incredibly loud noise. If you’ve ever heard a semi-truck blaring its horn, that is what an air horn sounds like. These large horns signal warnings to other drivers that something is wrong. Of course, we’re all pretty familiar with the impatience of people and how quickly some might push their horns to signal others to get moving. Here’s some more information about truck air horns you might find interesting.

Do truck air horns require power to operate?

Certainly, you could use a handheld model to signal others, but that will get old really quickly. Air horns used on vehicles require a power source to work. The Drive tells us these models typically connect to a 12V battery using an outlet and wiring harness. Power for these horns comes directly from the truck’s battery, making it easy to wire and achieve the desired connection.

Air horns that are designed for vehicles are made to activate when the steering wheel button is pushed. This makes these horns easy to use. Buses and semi-trucks use electric and pneumatic air horns activated using a switch on the dashboard.

What are some of the benefits of air horns?

A Handheld Air Horn has many uses
Handheld Air Horn | Wikimedia Commons

Although we’re mostly discussing these items for trucks and large vehicles, air horns have many uses. Handheld models are great for scaring away aggressive wildlife when outdoors in the wilderness. They can be used to signal to others when you’re lost and work great as an alert or warning to others of nearby dangers. Some people even take air horns to sporting events as part of their traditional cheering activity.

Do 18-wheelers still have air horns?

Front angle view of blue truck, highlighting radioactive device that fell off truck in Australia
Semi-truck | Zetong Li via Unsplash

Semi-trucks use air horns. These large trucks require large horns that can produce a much louder blare than traditional car horns. The air horns used for semi-trucks typically produce between 110 and 150 decibels. For comparison, this noise is just as loud as fireworks or shooting a pistol or rifle.

Typical car horns reach a maximum of 110 decibels, which is the bottom of the loudness meter for semi-trucks.

Can I put a train horn on my truck?

Air Horns Mounted on Top of a Vintage Truck
Air Horns Mounted on Top of a Vintage Truck | Wikimedia Commons

Air horns are sometimes called train horns. The rules governing the type of horn used on your truck vary from state to state. Air horns for trucks are not commonplace but can be installed as long as it’s not deemed illegal by your state. It’s best to check your state’s laws before making any changes to your vehicle.

Are longer air horns louder?

Basic Air Horn Kit for a Pickup Truck
Basic Air Horn Kit for a Pickup Truck | Amazon

The larger and long an air horn is, the louder and deeper it can be when sounded. Additionally, the higher the pressure used to honk the horn, the louder the overall sound will be. The design of the air horn determines its sound production, but it’s difficult to know what a horn sounds like before installing it.

How much air pressure is required?

Smaller air horns require as little as 100 psi of air pressure to work effectively, while larger models could use as much as 200 psi. The pressure required for an air horn varies from model to model. For the best installation, consult the manufacturer’s guide and use the right compressor.

If you want a loud horn, consider an air horn, once you’ve ensured it’s acceptable in your state to install this device.

Next, check out six interesting things about life as a semi-truck driver, or learn more about some of the best truck air horns in this video below: