Dash cams aren’t only for typical daily drivers or commuters. Those who spend significant time in trucks know how crazy it is on the road. For some reason, it seems like trucks attract the unwanted attention of all other drivers whether it be cutting off the truck, speeding past or not obeying the truck’s turn radius. Funny enough, truck drivers often see all of this from an elevated position and need to have pay attention to the road and have a quicker reaction time than others. After all, a truck takes longer to stop and is more devastating in an accident.
If your livelihood depends on your truck than you need a dash cam. From legal to personal reasons, you need to protect yourself from things out of your control. Here are a few reasons why truck dash cams are essential.
Do truck drivers have dash cameras?
Yes, truck drivers are more likely to have a dash cam setup because they are on the road for long periods of time and need to be able to provide video footage if an incident occurs. Beyond a front facing dash cam, they often have multiple cameras around the vehicle to show different angles. For those who need to back up often, a rear camera is useful to reference when navigating tight spaces. Side angles can help with understanding proximity and security monitoring.
Truckers aren’t required by law to have dash cams, but usage is driven primarily by personal preference or required by the company owner.
What truck drivers should look for in a dash cam
Being able to capture night time footage is important for truck drivers. Those driving long periods of time often drive at night because traffic is down and the roads are clear.
Dash cams should be able to handle low light and produce decent image quality when the sun goes down. Many accidents happen at night and not being able to decipher night time footage is unacceptable.
Look for cameras that incorporate front facing infrared lights. This will illuminate the road using infrared light which the camera can capture. Additionally, look for cameras that have a large aperture, or a low F-Stop. This, like an eye, widens when there is low light to try to capture as much as possible. Camera’s that have the ability to open the widest have the best chance to capture night footage. Look for F/1.4 or F/1.6 cameras for optimal night vision.
The primary reason why truck drivers are on the road is to deliver goods from one place to another. That means your cargo is expensive and brings a lot of value to someone. Parking Mode is perfect for times where you need to step away from your truck, but still want security to monitor it.
Parking Mode is a feature where your dash cam will monitor and detect motion or vibration to your vehicle and immediately begin recording. This motion detection can be someone walking by or a swinging tree branch. A vibration could be a car hitting your vehicle or someone opening or closing the truck door. Either way, it will record and set aside the footage for future review.
If you need to go to the restroom, or sleep at a hotel or otherwise be away from your vehicle, ensure your dash cam has this feature.
A truck dash cam has to be of durable build quality. The camera has to cope with some rough driving conditions. The most important aspect is ensuring the mount is secure and won’t fall off from bumps, weather or otherwise.
A dash cam that comes with a suction cup is the safest best for truckers. While we sometimes like 3M tape, since truck’s windshields are so vertical instead of angled, a quality suction cup with a flexible ball joint will allow you to properly position the dash cam. Some 3M mounts allow the camera to be angled vertically, so that might an option too.
As far as rear view mounts, you’ll probably want to install the dash cam near the top brake light. This gives the most vantage and you can tap into the available power there or wire the dash cam cable through the truck’s roof.
If you drive in extreme weather, a truck dash cam must be durable enough to keep recording in high or low temperatures.
Your camera must be able to store the footage it records. Most cameras come with a slot for an external memory card. You should buy the biggest memory card supported by the dash cam, especially if your camera takes high-quality videos. Most cameras come with a loop recording function that allows it to keep storing new footage while replacing old footage. You might think, if there’s loop recording, why do I need a large SD card? The answer is while you are correct that you won’t run into any memory card size errors, a small sized SD card will overwrite footage you want to see before you have the chance.
Recording video takes up a lot of space and if your card can only hold 6 hours of footage and you want to review tape from a few days ago because you saw some paint damage, chances are, your footage is gone.
Most modern dash cams will hold up to 256GB of storage which should last most people several days.
Wide Angle Lens
Truck dash cams usually are fitted with wider angle lenses compared to standard dash cams. Why? Because truck’s windshields are often larger than a normal sedan and a wide angle is able to capture a wider field of view. A standard dash cam will have a lens capturing around 120 to 130 degrees of footage. Great dash cams have a field of view that comes closer to 180 degrees.
The best thing you can do is to try to view some footage of your desired cam. Often times these lens have mild distortion around the edges of the footage. While it may not bother you, it is something to look out for in terms of video recording quality.
Resolution and Image Quality
You shouldn’t accept any truck dash cam with less than Full HD or 1080p resolution. We actually never want to say never, unless there’s another feature that you must have. Many newer cameras are incorporating 1440p and 2160p options. Generally, the more pixels the higher the image quality because you capture more pixels which will help you read license plates at longer distances. But pixels aren’t the panacea, the image quality really depends on what lens the cam uses. We trust a lot of Sony sensors because they are reliable in the image quality tests we’ve done.
The best thing you can do before buying a dash cam is to look at example footage online. You’ll need to look out for a few items when reviewing image quality. One is to try to monitor how the camera does with light changes. If the dash cam goes under shade, does it the exposure go crazy for a few seconds?
Try to read license plates; don’t expect to be reading license plates from 60 feet away, but 20 feet away should be doable. And finally, look at night time footage. Try to be a fair judge, if there’s absolutely no light then you should have lower expectations, but what I find is that you should have higher standards when the dash cam is front facing, with the headlights on.
These are a few things you can do to increase your chances for getting the best dash cam.
What is the best dash cam for truck drivers?
The best dash cams for truck drivers are dash cams that incorporate a combination of necessary features such as Night Vision, High Resolution, Loop Recording and Parking Mode.
FHD 1080P Digital Wireless 2 Backup Camera
One of our recommendations is from the manufacturer called Yakry. They have some of the best dash cams on the market. They’ve developed a wireless system which includes two waterproof, full HD, infrared cameras that can be mounted inside or outside the cabin. Now, when I say wireless, I mean that it still needs to be powered, so you’ll need tap into your car’s wires, but the signal is wirelessly transmitted to the main unit. Here’s a nice segway into the main unit, which is a 7 inch monitor.
This is definitely the biggest dash cam screen! Well, it sort of is a mix between a rear view back up camera and dash cam setup. The most important dash cam feature is that it has loop recording so you won’t have to tinker with anything when driving. And with the cameras being wireless, you can mount them anywhere you’d like, so get creative.
Unfortunately, it does not come with Parking Mode or a crash detection system. If you spend time sleeping in your truck, you may not need this feature, or if you want you could tap into the constantly “hot” wires for a constantly running setup.
Haloview MC7108 Wireless Backup Observation Camera System
The Haloview is lesser than the Yakry setup in many ways, but we like this one because of the customer support. Any questions we had were immediately responded to politely and technically. We would like to see some additional features, but the ones they do mention are done with quality in mind.
This comes with a single infrared, weatherproof camera and this system can support up to 4 total cameras. It only records in 720p, so not Full HD, but is still HD video and the instructions and the setup guide was easy to go through. Through the 7 inch LCD screen, you can see footage in real-time or playback old video.
Rove R2-4K Dash Cam
The Rove R2-4k Dash Cam is the gold standard and considered one of the best dash cams when it comes to typical sedans and SUVs and works just as well in trucks. This setup is great for a simple, plug and play installation that doesn’t have a lot of the bells and whistles, but does its primary job exceptionally. It doesn’t have a rear unit, nor is it waterproof.
It is a single, front facing dash cam with a suction cup mount, great for angling the camera. It has built-in WiFi so you can easily review footage within seconds instead of removing the microSD card and viewing it on the computer.
This setup goes above and beyond when it comes to storage capacity, it can handle microSD cards up to 512 GB. Wow! You’ll have to run it continuously for at least a few days before the old footage gets deleted. This does come with a 150′ degree viewing angle, pretty much right in the middle of the pack. Night vision quality is great as the Rove comes with a large aperture at F/1.8.
It also comes with built in GPS which is great at this price point. This allows you to refer to the location data if ever asked as it maps your entire routes.
Garmin Dezl 785 LMT-S
If you don’t already have a navigation system, you might want to consider killing two birds with one stone. Garmin, a leading navigation company has a 2-in-1 combination of a dash cam and a navigator. The navigator offers a lot more features that are useful to truck drivers than commuters. Features like traffic and weather are important to understand what’s upcoming. It will also determine the best route for your truck size and load and alert you to any oncoming tricky road conditions like steep grades or sharp curves.
All of this is viewable on its large 7 inch monitor. On the dash cam side it has built-in safety features like lane departure or forward collision detection. If you are trying to harness the power of Garmin’s map expertise and don’t want to have multiple screens, then the Garmin dash cam is your answer.
WheelWitness HD PRO
This camera is designed with a high-quality 6-layer lens that provides clear pictures during the day and the night. It has a camera resolution of 2306 x 1296. This is the best resolution that you can get for a truck dash cam.
The dash camera has a 170-degree recording angle with impressive range. It starts recording once you plug into the power source. It comes with a free 16 GB SD card to store recordings. Given the high quality of the recordings, this SD card will fill up pretty fast. You should make sure that you transfer the files to a computer before it the SD card becomes full. If the SD card fills up the camera will begin loop recording, and this will lead to loss of data. Alternatively, you can buy an SD card with more space to go with your camera. The best part about this camera is that it is fitted with built in GPS. In addition to the time and date stamp, this camera also records the location where a particular recording was taken.
Rexing V1 Car Dash Cam
This dash cam presents incredible value for money. It is effortless to install, and it begins recording once you plug it into the power source. The picture quality for this camera is incredible. It has a resolution of 1080p or Full HD which should provide clear images. Its 170-degree camera recording angle ensures that it covers a wide area and range. Also, this camera has a night-vision function that allows for quality recording during the night. You are required to buy an SD card to go with the camera. It is recommended that you purchase an SD card with a lot of space to prevent loss of recordings when overwritten. This truck dash cam is small and compact meaning that it won’t take up too much space in your cockpit. Most people won’t even notice that you’ve installed a camera in your cockpit. It is an excellent tool for capturing events in a private mode.
Dash Cam Front and Rear CHORTAU Dual Dash Cam
This truck dash cam features futuristic technology which includes a 6-glass lens which records in crystal clear 1920 x 1080 resolution which is Full HD. This lens will provide clear recordings of everything within the camera’s range. The camera’s range is provided for by a quality wide-angle lens. Also, this is a dual channel camera. It provides for both front and rear recording. This doesn’t have built in GPS or WiFi. The rear dash cam is waterproof and can be mounted outside, if need be. With its high reviews, some say its the best dash cam on a budget.
Advantages of A Truck Dash Cam
A truck dash camera has a lot of benefits. Some of them include: It allows you to monitor the driver and the route he or she takes. With a dash camera, you will see how practical and cautious your driver is. A dash camera can help you a lot in determining the cause of an accident. I’m sure you don’t need to lose time waiting for police to understand how the crash happened. A good camera will most likely have a clear recording of events, and you can solve the accident quickly. Trucks are regularly vandalized when they are parked at truck stops. A truck dash camera will ensure that any potential thief is caught on camera. If your goods are stolen, the camera footage can assist in the investigations and recovery of your products. Truck dash cameras can help when it comes to settling insurance claims. It will most probably provide clear evidence as to how the situation that requires insurance came up.
Why is a Truck Dash Cam Important ?
Driving trucks can be more dangerous than one would think. You are driving around this huge vehicle and one little mistake can turn a situation deadly. Both drivers and commercial companies recognize this and want to protect their driver’s and themselves from legal liability. If you get into an accident, how can you show exactly what happened? Vandalism or theft can be problematic with insurances but dash cam footage can help with the headaches.
Insurance fraud is something that insurers are always wary. Dash cam footage can help provide evidence to show that you are not trying to scam your insurers. Truck dash cams can also help you monitor your driver and how he or she drives. Also, dash cams have been known to record some extraordinary footage. Your truck dash cam can be the next one to record an unforgettable event.
Otherwise, it’s important to maintain your own job security. The last thing you want is your boss accusing you of breaking policy or worse, doing something illegal on the job. It is your word versus theirs and video footage can help meditate between the two parties. If there is no evidence, it is harder to defend yourself.goes here!
Hardwiring your truck
Hardwiring your dash cam in your truck is great if you are looking to utilize the camera for overnight protection or if you don’t want to it to take up an existing power slot. Many trucks have cabin fuse boxes you can tap into the car’s power. Location wise, it really depends on the make and model of your truck. A quick google search should help you but common places are under your steering wheel to the left of the brake, near the glove box or right on top of your dash.
You will need a hardwiring kit that matches your dash cam’s power input and either use an unused fuse, or tap into one that’s being used and add onto it.
Whether you are hard wiring the camera or not, you’ll want to be mindful of all the wires it comes with. You don’t need any more distractions of wires hanging in your way and it is actually dangerous to have those dangling. Starting from the dash cam, the easiest way is to guide the wires through the top headliner. You should be able to do this with your finger nails or a panel remover tool. Lead the cable to the side of the cab where the power is. Make sure way down to the A-pillar. Here you can either remove the side panels to hide the wire, or hide them in the door’s weather stripping.
As you keep going lower, remove any panels necessary. From here, you should have reached the fuse box or might need to go through another panel to reach your desired power source.