The right gadget, in the right place, at the right time can make a huge difference to the outcome of any situation. The best dash cam for truckers is one of those gadgets.
Whether you own an expensive truck, or you are looking after a fleet of trucks; you need to know what is happening, whether for security or to make insurance claims easier. It can also be a real benefit when investigating any situation; giving you the actual facts concerning an event.
Don’t forget that the best dash cam for truckers will have night vision and will monitor the front and the rear of your vehicle; perhaps even the sides. That’s why it is so important to take a look at this guide to the best dash cam for truckers before you choose your camera.
How To Choose The Best Dash Cam For Truckers
There are several things you need to consider before selecting a dash cam;
The price of the best dash cam for truckers can vary widely depending on the manufacturer you choose, the features you need, and the quality of the image.
That’s why it is essential to consider what budget you have available for this purchase. Knowing what you have available to spend will help you to narrow your search.
It is essential that you verify the reputation of your dash cam manufacturer. Choosing one of the most well known will make it easier to talk to them if you have an issue.
It is a good idea to take a look at what is being said on social media sites. Most comments should be positive. However, there will always be some negative thoughts that have been shared. You should read these in context. It is impossible for any business to keep every single customer happy; you need to know what the issue was and how the business dealt with it.
This will tell you a lot about their real customer service.
It is important to consider when you’ll be using the camera and which features will be essential to you. For instance, if you drive a lot at night you should invest in a dash cam that has night vision. Equally, if you regularly carry expensive loads you may want to install a camera in your cargo bay.
In order to utilize the images on your dash cam, it needs to have enough storage space to retain the images and allow you to use them to prove your case when you need to. This means it is important to check the memory size on your dash cam.
Alternatively, you can choose a camera that automatically downloads the data to the cloud or another device.
The best dash cams for truckers will have an instant save option; this can be activated in an emergency to ensure the necessary footage is saved. You’ll find this very useful if you’re involved in an accident or some other altercation.
It is important that you be able to mount the camera in the best position to get the view you want. Some dash cams are fitted to your dashboard. But, the better ones are usually windscreen mounted as this gives you a large amount of flexibility to get the positioning right.
If you simply link the dash cam into your vehicle power supply you’ll have one of two issues:
- Flat Battery
Assuming you connect the dash cam directly to your battery it will continue to work while you’re parked and sleeping. However, you may find that your truck doesn’t want to start in the morning as the battery has been flattened by the dash cam recording all night.
- No Video
If you link it to your ignition it will turn off as soon as the engine is shut down; meaning that it won’t record anything when you really need it to.
That’s why you need to consider adding in an extra battery which can be charged by your engine but gives the dash cam all the power it needs.
Finally, it is essential that you consider the resolution of your camera. If you want to be able to rely on the images for insurance purposes, police reports, or simply to identify your staff; you need to get the best possible quality images.
How To Install A Dash Cam
Another thing to consider is how you install your dash cam. The process should be straightforward, even if you’re doing it yourself. Most dash cams will come with a mounting kit that allows you to stick them to your windscreen in whatever position you prefer.
The really important step when fitting a dash cam is to make sure the wires are well hidden. This is important as you don’t want anyone to damage these and ruin your attempt to record them!
- You will need to choose the location of your dash cam and stick it into position. Make sure it is not going to block your view of the road ahead.
- The next step is to decide the route your cable will take. It should be from the dash cam to the fuse box and be hidden for as much of the route as possible. Carefully tuck the cable behind the headliner and any other trim to conceal it.
- Identify a fuse. There are several options here. You can find one that is only live when the engine is running. This will ensure the camera turns on and off with the engine. However, this won’t give you security when you’re not driving the truck.
You can choose a fuse that is live all the time, but you will run the risk of having a flat battery unless you have a motion sensor camera.
The best option is more complicated. You need to fit a second ‘leisure’ battery to your vehicle with a dual charger that will allow it to charge from the alternator; in the same way, as your main battery does. You can then add a new fuse to the fuse box, connected to this leisure battery. This can then become a permanent power source for your dash cam; without fear of flattening your battery.
- You’ll need to ground the dash cam; you should be able to see a grounding point near the fusebox.
- You’re now ready to test your dash cam; particularly the storage and playback function.
5 Best Dash Cams For Truckers 2019
Check out the best dash cam for truckers:
This is a smart looking bit of kit and arguably the best dash cam for anyone needing video images, location and speed. It’s perfect for fleet managers who need to know where their vehicles are and what they were doing.
It’s also the right solution for an independent trucker looking to prove an accident wasn’t their fault.
You’ll find this dash cam is very easy to fit and works as a plug and play, no real set-up is required.
The Wheelwitness has a list of impressive features:
- Fantastic resolution of 2306 x 1296, it even offers a 2560 x 1080 HD mode
- Uses HDR technology to ensure good quality video even in low light
- Has 6 lenses and uses the Sony EXMOR CMOS sensor to get the best quality pictures
- Has GPS built in to track your truck and your progress
- The camera offers 170° view, helping you to capture everything that is going on
- Has micro SD slot for storage
It’s not surprising to find a Garmin on the best dash cam for truckers list. They have been producing high-quality GPS trackers and other electronic gadgets for many years.
The Dash 35 is a great example of their technology. The image quality is slightly lower than the Wheelwitness but still an impressive 1080 x 720, with HD. You’ll also find the 3” inch screen is great for monitoring the area around your truck. You can even fit one to the rear to use as a reversing camera.
As soon as it is turned on it will start recording; all you need is an SD card. It can handle up to 64GB and the card can be replaced when full; avoiding the issue of having overwritten the footage you need.
The feature list is quite impressive:
- HD lens to ensure the best possible picture
- Inbuilt ‘G-sensors’; this locks an incident into the memory, preventing it from being overwritten
- Subscribe to the cloud service and you’ll have a red light reading ability
- Collision protection; if you’re too close to another vehicle the dash cam will give you an audible warning
- Night video quality is also excellent
If you’re only interested in recording when driving then this is the camera for you. It’s well designed, discreet, and starts working the moment you turn the ignition on.
As with both the above options, you’ll find a high-quality camera, offering HD quality video and a resolution of 1920 x 1080. It even has a motion detection mode if you don’t want it recording continuously.
The best features of the Falcon Zero F170 are:
- 170° view
- 7” screen to see what it sees
- SD card slot for storing the video footage. It comes with an 8GB card but this can be increased
- Has swivel ball mount, allowing you to turn it to the action; if necessary
- Emergency mode supported by vibration or impact; starts it recording even when the engine is off
- Can provide 12 megapixel still photos of the images it has recorded
- 5-year warranty
- High-quality night vision recording
This offering from Anker is also well suited for truckers that need a camera when driving but are not so worried about when the truck is parked up. Although it does have an impact sensor, it won’t record when the engine is off.
While the impact sensor will trigger the camera to start recording, it won’t capture the information leading up to the impact and could fail to spot the issue, depending on where on your truck the impact is.
This is a great dash cam without a high-end price. Here are the main specs:
- Wide angle lens allowing you to record 4 lanes of traffic at a time
- Excellent night vision
- HD 1080 pixel recording
- Image recording can be downloaded to a mobile device via the ROAV app; allowing you to monitor your truck from anywhere
- Motion/impact sensor for when the video is switched off
- Designed to continue operating whether the temperature is 19°F or 149°F
- Micro-SD slot which can handle a card up to 128GB; ensuring the video you need is captured and stored
It is worth noting that Anker has received a number of great reviews regarding their support levels, whether you’re driving in the US, Europe or even Japan!
This is a high-quality model that has received an array of positive feedback from its customers. Although initially designed as a car dash cam, it lends itself well to trucks. It’s also very easy to install, allowing you to move it between trucks or even add it to your car.
In appearance, it represents a cross between a smartphone and a traditional digital camera. But don’t be fooled by this simplistic look! This is a good bit of kit:
- It has an f1.6 aperture with 1080 pixels and a 170° wide angle lens. It will see everything going on in front of your truck
- Auto accident feature will detect when an impact has occurred and automatically store the video images before and after the impact; giving you all the information you need to persuade your insurers to pay
- Takes an SD card although this is not included in the purchase
- Stable chip feature to ensure the image is smooth and stable, no matter how bad the road
- Made with zinc alloy, giving great protection against the elements; including temperatures as low as -15°F and as high as 160°F
- Emergency Lock button allows you to manually lock an image into the memory if required
The Bottom Line
The best dash cam for truckers is undoubtedly the Wheelwitness HD Pro with GPs. Alongside the fact that it tracks your progress, it has the highest quality image of all the dash cams on offer at present.
That will be important if you ever need to use the footage as evidence of an accident or even an attack.
However, all the dash cams on this list are good quality and the Anker does have the additional benefit of downloading data to a mobile; this makes it a good option for fleet managers who need to see what is happening or even an independent trucker who wants to check on their stationary truck.
On a final note, it is always worth verifying the memory capabilities of your product. Choosing to hard wire the dash cam into a leisure battery will allow you to record the action when your truck is not in use; but you’ll need to make sure the SD card, or other storage option, can handle that much data.
One thing is certain, the best dash cam for truckers will make your life easier. It can be installed and largely forgotten about, but when you need it you’ll have the necessary evidence to deal with any issue.
It really is the black box for trucks, whether you’re an independent trucker, a fleet manager, or even an employee, get one of the above 5 and feel more confident and protected on the road. It’s a tough world out there and the best dash cam for truckers will help you make the most of every journey.