Discover the Best Dash Cam for Truckers: Top Picks for Safety and Quality

Video surveillance is everywhere and 18-wheelers are no exception. In this article we will delve into the topic of dash cams for truckers.

The popularity of car dash cams, also known as digital video recorders (DVRs), has surged in recent years. Despite their numerous advantages for drivers, not everyone is quick to adopt this technology. A modern video recorder typically features one or several cameras, a microphone, and a display. Dash cam for truck drivers are used to record the surroundings of a vehicle during driving or parking and often for storing and playing back photo, audio, and video materials. If you're still unsure about needing this gadget or haven't decided which dashcam to choose, this article aims to clear up any doubts.


Contents:

  1. How Do Dashcams Work?
  2. Why Do Truckers Need Dashcams?
  3. Advantages of Using Dash Cams for Truckers
  4. How to Choose the Best Dash Cam for Truckers?
  5. The Best Dash Cams for Truckers
  6. Conclusion

How Do Dashcams Work?

A dashcam is a straightforward device – a miniature video camera, similar to an action camera, but tailored for motorists and truckers. They come with holders for mounting on the windshield, usually near the rearview mirror, to capture the road ahead without obstructing the driver's view. The dashcam automatically turns on with the vehicle's ignition and starts recording, so there's no need to press a record button each time. Footage is stored on a micro SD card, which is typically bought separately. Ensure the memory card meets the dashcam's requirements for write and read speed and choose the maximum supported memory capacity.

Dash cams typically record footage onto a memory card on a loop basis, meaning the storage never gets full as the device automatically deletes the oldest files to save new ones. However, the capacity for storing footage in terms of hours and minutes is limited; you shouldn't expect to find footage from a week ago. Dash cams for truck drivers feature a rewrite protection function; pressing a dedicated button can save specific footage from being overwritten or erased. Equipped with G-sensors, these devices can automatically save and protect footage during harsh driving events like harsh braking, accelerating, or collisions. Further advanced features of dashcams will be discussed in the text.

Why Do Truckers Need Dash Cams

Why Do Truckers Need Dashcams?

Truckers spend multiple hours on the roads and a dashcam can become their best companions. As we found out, dashcams tirelessly record everything they see. So, how can you use the footage saved in the storage?

  • You can establish your innocence in a contentious accident. If you get into an accident, you can often encounter a situation where the person responsible for the accident may try to shift responsibility onto you. However, recorded footage of an incident will surely reveal what happened and whose actions led to the collision or any other kind of adverse event. Mount a dash cam in your tractor trailer – and you will have evidence that will confirm your innocence and save you from any liability under the law. Bear in mind that your dashcam will also capture your oversights, and footage from its storage may be used as evidence of your guilt.
  • You can share recorded video footage with other drivers involved in an accident. If you witnessed an accident and your dash cam recorded what happened, you can come to the rescue of other road users and provide the recording to a suffered party or to law enforcement. The video files filmed by your dash cam can help identify the real course of events and the parties responsible.
  • If accused, you can demonstrate to the police that you were not at fault. Video is the best evidence in any interaction with law enforcement. If an officer claims you committed an offense, but you are surely not guilty, recorded footage can prove your innocence at any stage of the investigation or trial.
  • You have the means to hold a reckless driver accountable under the law. If you witnessed a misdemeanor or reckless driving and the violator is trying to escape, recorded footage may become evidence of his guilt or dangerous behavior on the road. You can show the footage to law enforcement to report dangerous driving, and it can help pin down and bring any reckless driver to justice.
  • You can record and cherish memorable moments on the road. With a dashcam, you will definitely not miss a moment on the road that you would like to capture as a memory. You don’t have to be distracted and reach for your phone to shoot video of something special you see on the road. Just make sure to use the feature that protects the video file from being erased, ensuring that any memorable event or landscape is preserved in the storage for you to download.

Car Accident Caught on Dashcam

Advantages of Using Dash Cams for Truckers

There are even more benefits to using cameras for truck drivers: recorded videos saved on the device can be utilized for various purposes. Let's explore these additional advantages.

  • Reduces insurance premiums. Having a dash cam might snag you a discount on your insurance. A lot of insurers give a thumbs up for taking steps to protect your vehicle, like installing a dash cam.
  • Help in the fight against insurance fraud. Insurance fraud is a big problem these days, hitting insurance companies hard and bumping up everyone's premiums. It's also tough on innocent drivers. There are scammers out there who intentionally cause car accidents to get money, often going after folks with fancy cars or commercial vehicles. A trucking camera systems can be crucial in getting you out of these unjust situations.
  • Prevent parking accidents. Top dash cams for truckers and fleets come with handy parking assist features. This makes parking your car a breeze, as the system alerts you when you're nearing a potential collision. A dash cam mounted on the windshield of an 18-wheeler can also act as a deterrent against potential offenders, serving a security purpose.
  • Monitor a stationary car. Advanced vehicle dash cams come with an intelligent standby mode. In this mode, a dashcam activates and records any incident, be it a collision, vandalism, attempted theft, and much more.

How to Choose the Best Dash Cam for Truckers?

Dash cams continue to evolve, gaining advanced features for enhanced utility. The objective is to capture sharp, detailed footage both day and night, while also facilitating easy storage, sharing, and transfer to other devices or users. Let's explore these features in detail.

Display Size

Surprisingly, a display is not a critical component of a modern dash cam. The most sophisticated models may lack a built-in display, instead operating in conjunction with a smartphone app. This app allows you to adjust settings and view live video streams from the dash cam's camera. This setup is particularly useful for managing multichannel dash cam systems, as each camera can stream video directly to your phone. Apps also simplify the process of transferring, saving, and sharing recorded videos.

Dashcam Display

Camera resolution

Many dash cams now record in 4K resolution, which means the video footage has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. This high resolution captures fine details, making elements like license plates clearly visible. While 4K is the maximum resolution, lower settings can be chosen to reduce file size. However, keep in mind that higher resolutions result in larger video files, thereby reducing the overall length of footage that can be stored.

Dash Cam Resolution

Recording Angle

Most dash cams offer ultra-wide angle of view: 155° field of view is standard, while 180° is less common. Wide angle ensures that everything in front of your truck is captured perfectly.

Night Vision

Night Vision feature is not an option as modern dashcams use very capable video sensors that capture a lot of details in low light conditions.

But if a dashcam is equipped with a second lens facing inside the cab, it may be accompanied with infrared LED lights. It is invisible to human eyes, but highlights any dark cab perfectly, so a video sensor can capture much more details.

Best Dash Cams Have Night Vision

Storage Support

Every dashcam supports micro SD as necessary storage for recorded files. At the same time most of the advanced dash cams provide dedicated cloud services. The dash cam uses Wi-Fi hot spot from your phone to transfer recorded footage on a cloud. You can later download video clips from the cloud, save, share and even edit – cut to the necessary length.

Truckers Dash Cam App

Internet connectivity

Most of the dashcams for truckers have a built-in Wi-Fi to connect to a hot spot and gain access to the internet. In most cases this connection is used to transfer video clips to a cloud storage.

Some dash cams may use independent internet connection via optional LTE-modem. You just have to use a separate SIM-card to provide access to the cellular network.

Power Options

Dash cams are typically powered by a built-in Li-Ion battery or a supercapacitor. Supercapacitors are more reliable and perform well in extreme temperatures, offering better longevity. However, dash cams are not designed to operate for extended periods on these power sources alone. They usually shut down when the ignition is turned off. For prolonged operation in parking mode, consider optional hardwiring to your vehicle's battery via the fuse box.

Dash Cam Hardwiring

Smart Features

Advanced dash cams provide driver assistance with alerts for lane departure and potential forward collisions. Some models can use a built-in GPS not only to track your speed and route, but also to share your location or send emergency messages in case of an incident.

The modern truckers GPS with dash cam offers unparalleled recording capabilities and route tracking, enhancing safety and efficiency on the road.

Truck security camera

Additional features for truckers' dash cams include motion and impact detection while in parking mode, complete with push notifications. It's important to ensure a hardwiring connection for your dash cam, so it can function like a surveillance camera, recording events occurring in the observed area in front of your truck. Essentially, any dash cam can act as a truck security camera when it's supplied with constant power.

Mounting options

Common mounting options are suction cups or sticker mounts. Suction mounts, typically found in budget-friendly devices, may not be reliable in extreme temperatures but are reusable. Sticker mounts are more reliable and suited for windshields or flat dashboard surfaces. Most manufacturers include several adhesive tapes for easy transfer between vehicles. Ensure the mounting area on the windshield is clean and degreased before installation.

Truck Drivers Dash Cam Mount

The Best Dash Cams for Truckers

Let's explore the best-selling dash cams for truckers with high feedback rankings.

Rove R2-4K Pro

Price: $89.99

Rove R2-4K Pro

The Rove R2 is an affordable yet capable dashcam. It boasts a classic body design, featuring a 4K lens at the front and a 2.4” IPS screen at the back. Navigation is easy with hard buttons and voice control functionality. It comes with a comprehensive set of features, including a built-in GPS that tracks speed and location, with data stamped directly onto the video.

Users appreciate the high video quality delivered by the 6-glass lens and Sony Starvis IMX335 sensor. While not the best sensor on the market, it captures crisp footage in bright sunlight and at night. The Rove R2 supports micro SD cards up to 512 GB and allows iOS or Android connectivity for video viewing, downloading, and sharing. Settings can also be adjusted via the app. Powered by a supercapacitor, it offers optional hard-wiring.

The Rove R2 comes with both suction and sticky mounts, and even includes cleaning wipes for windshields or dashboards. It's feature-rich but also user-friendly, functioning well right out of the box.

Garmin Dash Cam 67W, 1440p

Price: $172.48

Garmin Dash Cam 67W, 1440p

Garmin offers a pocket-sized dash cam featuring an extra-wide 180-degree lens that shows more of the environment, including cross traffic. This dashcam is not capable of 4K recording. Its maximum performance is 1440p footage. Users note that this device captures quite clear and sharp footage in all light conditions.

The Garmin Dash Cam 67W supports voice control and understands spoken commands to start recording, save video, and take still pictures.

A quite unique feature in this price category is the cloud video vault, where saved video clips are uploaded automatically. You can view saved files there, as well as download and share them.

This dashcam is powered by a Li-Ion battery and features a Parking Guard capability to monitor activity in front of your semi-truck while parked. However, don't expect too long a recording time without an additional power source.

VIOFO A139 Pro 4K HDR Dash Cam

Price: $249.99

VIOFO A139 Pro 4K HDR

The VIOFO A139 is an advanced dashcam powered by the mighty Sony Starvis 2 IMX678 sensor, which delivers real 4K resolution. Users note that it perfectly captures license plate readings both day and night, even in motion.

This dashcam isn't equipped with a display, so all major communication with it relies on a dedicated app. There are a few buttons on its body to access frequently used functions. Voice commands are also supported. Moreover, the VIOFO A139 records sound as well and talks back to notify you of any errors and setting changes.

The dashcam is powered by a Li-Ion battery and can automatically detect events in parking mode. It automatically saves 15 seconds of video before and 30 seconds after an event. Parking events are stored in a 24-hour buffer. An optional hardwire kit is available to ensure long and reliable operation in Parking mode.

A GPS logger stamps data, location, and time readings on every video. A GPS module (included as standard) is to be mounted on the windshield separately. A CPL filter is also included in the box.

The only drawback of this device is its bulky body: it is 4.42 inches long. You can mount the VIOFO A139 on your windshield using sticky mounts.

Thinkware U1000 4K UHD Single-Channel Dash Cam

Price: $279.99

Thinkware U1000 4K UHD

The Thinkware U1000 is one of the best dash cams according to user votes. It records video with a powerful 8-megapixel Sony Starvis 2 IMX678 sensor. You can rely on its high-definition 4K footage; it will be sharp and detailed in any lighting conditions. Its lens features a standard 150° viewing angle.

The Thinkware U1000 stores recorded footage on a 32GB memory card (included in the box) and transfers them to a dedicated cloud, supported by a smartphone app. All the dash cam settings and operations with saved files are performed with an app.

This dash cam provides driver assistance systems like lane departure and potential forward collision warnings. The other GPS-based functions warn you of speed traps and red lights.

Nextbase 622GW Dash Cam Full 4K

Price: $319.95

Nextbase 622GW Full 4K

The Nextbase 622GW Dash Cam is one of the market leaders, offering even more tech and features. Its 4K lens boasts image stabilization, which reduces vibrations and improves the clarity of the video. The angle of view is quite narrow – 140°, but the details it captures are closer and sharper; edges of the footage are not distorted. Its sensor performs very well in low light and doesn’t get blinded by the sun.

Connectivity features include dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth. The app offers a seamless connection to your phone. Some iPhone users point out that their experience with the dedicated app is sometimes glitchy.

Voice control of the Nextbase 622GW Dash Cam features built-in Alexa, offering almost unlimited commands and skills.

This dashcam boasts an Emergency SOS response and the what3words service to share your location even if you’re offline. The parking mode relies on intelligent features. Power is supplied by 1 rechargeable battery of AAA size.

The Nextbase 622GW is an award-winning dashcam with incredible functions and reliable footage quality. Yet, the price is quite hefty.

BlackVue DR970X-1CH 64GB Single-Channel 4K UHD Cloud Dashcam

Price: $359.99

BlackVue DR970X-1CH

The BlackVue DR970X offers even more features, but let's start with its video sensor. It features an 8MP top-shelf Sony Starvis 2 IMX 678 sensor with an ultra-wide lens and a 162° viewing angle. This ensures that recorded footage will be crystal-clear and highly detailed in any lighting conditions. However, stabilization is not available for this dash cam.

The BlackVue DR970X stores recorded footage on an in-house cloud service. You can access, view, and share video files at any time via a dedicated app. Wi-Fi connectivity features seamless pairing for easy setup of your dash cam and file transfer. All the GPS features come as standard. 

For the best cloud experience, including remote live view, push notifications, and even a hotspot feature, BlackVue offers an optional LTE module.

This dashcam is also focused on monitoring activities while parked. For this purpose, a hardwiring kit comes as standard. The parking mode is what’s called 'native': it is activated automatically when the ignition is turned off. The dashcam monitors the voltage of the battery and shuts off if it is low. BlackVue offers a special power bank to extend the parking mode experience. Motion sensing allows for recording and storing events.

Conclusion

Don't be overwhelmed by the multitude of brands and features offered by dash cams. Start by selecting a few devices that meet your user experience needs—whether you prefer a display or are comfortable using an app—and fit within your budget. Next, evaluate the sensor quality and image resolution of your pre-selected dash cams. Many advanced features, such as cloud storage and driver assistance systems, might already be included. Remember, dash cams are generally not designed to operate with the ignition off. They are typically powered through a standard automotive 12-volt socket. If you require your dash cam to record while parked, consider purchasing an optional hardwire kit and have it installed by a trained professional. Also, keep in mind that not all dash cams record audio. If you desire audio to accompany your recorded clips, choose a dash cam with a built-in microphone and audio recording capabilities.

Overall, dash cam manufacturers strive to provide the best user experience. Essentially, any dash cam should be ready to record straight out of the box.

Got a CDL and looking for a great trucking job? Come join us at HMD Trucking! We're like a family here, and we make sure to treat every driver that way. You'll enjoy great pay, top-notch trucks in tip-top shape, and the freedom to drive as much as you like. Ready to start? Just fill out the form below, and one of our friendly recruitment specialists will get in touch with you soon. Join a team that truly appreciates you!

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