Best Trucking Dash Cams: See More Behind The Wheel Of Your Truck
The best dash cams for trucking to help increase driver awareness and safety
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Just like any other vehicle on the road, trucks are susceptible to an unexpected accident or incident. Trucking, however, can invite a false sense of security given a typical rig's larger size and presence. To prevent worst-case scenarios or to capture them if the inevitable occurs, a good truck dashboard camera can come in handy. Whether you're an individual truck driver or a fleet manager, check out our guide on the best dash cam for truckers to meet your needs and to increase safety and capture events on the road.
APEMAN Dual Dash Cam C550
This dash cam has both a front and a rear camera with three-lane coverage. It comes with a 32GB SD card and locks video when you're in a collision.
- Features several modes, including loop recording, voice recording, and parking monitor
- Easy to install
- Menus are easy to navigate
- Reliable and compact
- Cord may not be long enough to mount the rear camera on a truck near the bumper
- Rear camera footage quality is not that great, especially in low light conditions
Old Shark 3-Inch Dash Cam
A wide-angle car dash cam with several high-end features good for trucking and that are rare on most budget models.
- Wide range of operating temperatures keeps the camera running in hot or cold weather conditions
- Comes with an automatic on and off feature and automated recording with a G-sensor
- Runs hot in summer temperatures or when recording for long periods of time
- Suction cup mount doesn't stick to glass well in hot outside temperatures or in direct sunlight
TOGUARD Dual Dash Cam
A unique dual-lens dash cam that can provide fleet managers and truck owners a view of the road and the cabin at the same time.
- Both lenses have a 170-degree recording angle and can rotate 360 degrees front to back
- Comes with a 24-hour parking monitor feature
- Confusing menu system and instruction manual
- Screen turns off after three minutes by default
- Screensaver doesn't completely turn the screen off
Why Buy a Trucking Dash Cam
- Capture events. Dash cams offer a lot of value when unfortunate accidents happen. With many triggered by impacts using a G-sensor, dash cams can capture details those involved in an accident either won't notice or remember when it occurs. Therefore, the camera's video recording can serve as a record of events in the aftermath of an accident. Some even work in low-light conditions with night vision or infrared technology. You can also capture smaller details like license plates.
- Increase driver awareness. Extra help while driving never hurts. When driving a truck, this is especially true since the larger vehicle presents greater challenges in terms of blind spots. A dash cam can act as a second pair of eyes and may even offer advanced features like blindspot monitoring and alerts.
- Add some parking security. Trucks can present an inviting target to thieves when parked overnight on the road. Dual-lens dash cams, however, can give you a degree of comfort as it records events while a truck is parked. It might not prevent a thief from breaking in, but the camera can provide a record for police later on.
Types of Trucking Dash Cams
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The most basic type of dashboard camera recorder is the single-lens model. Using one wide-angle lens for a large field of view, the dash cam captures anything in front of the lens. While this limits coverage and possibly the details it can record, the single-lens setup is more friendly on the wallet and can be good enough in most cases with a truck.
Adding more than one camera into the mix can help increase the recording coverage and the driver's real-time view. Dual-lens dash cams are the most common type of multi-lens device. Typically, most come with both lenses built right into the body to cover the front and interior. Some dash cams come as multi-lens kits with extra cameras you can place around the vehicle as well.
Top Brands of Trucking Dash Cams
While the company has a long list of sports and action equipment, Garmin also has a long history making automotive products for daily drivers and working professionals alike. In addition to many high-quality GPS navigators, the company's lineup of dash cams works well for trucking use, offering a number of advanced safety features that can help record driving events and prevent accidents. For a good starter choice, check out the Dash Cam 65.
Trucking Dash Cam Pricing
- $100 and under: Budget dash cams tend to offer a set of lean features centered around basic on-road recording. Recording resolutions are a standard HD (1080P) quality in most cases.
- $100-$200: Midrange dash cams begin to introduce more advanced features like automatic on and off, G-sensor recording, and high resolutions. On average, the recording quality hovers around standard HD and 2K.
- $200 and above: Beyond $200, you are likely to find a number of general and truck-specific dash cams with advanced safety features. Some even include 4K resolution and multiple lenses to capture more details on the road or in the cabin.
The most important part of any dash cam is the camera itself if you want clear images and clear videos from the device. In order to get the most in terms of recording quality, the built-in camera needs to have a clean glass lens, good recording resolution, and a wide recording angle. Typically, full high-definition recording is standard for most truck and general-use dash cams. Higher resolutions like 2K and 4K are also common in the upper price ranges. Any of these resolutions are good for superior video quality. For truck use, a recording angle of around 170 degrees is best.
To actually see the recorded footage or what the camera sees in real time, you'll need a built-in display. In general, bigger displays are better for real-time use. LCD screens around 3 inches or more in size also make it easier to use advanced safety features like blind spot monitoring. A resolution of at least 1080p (full HD video) is the best for spotting details. Larger screens also make menus and settings more user-friendly.
Most dash cams don't record and save everything they see. This is why memory is important. To save space, some actually only turn on when an accident is detected or when set to manual by the user. Since memory is limited, most dash cams only use loop recording that captures footage a few minutes in length that will get deleted as new footage is recorded. You'll be stuck with the built-in memory of some camera options, but many come with expandable SD memory card slots to swap out new memory.
- Number of Cameras: It goes without saying that trucks are massive. A complete rig won't work with just a single dash camera if you are wanting to cover most of the blind spots around the vehicle. This is why it's important to consider the number of cameras you actually need.
- Extra Safety Features: A dash cam can help enhance driver awareness and reaction times with advanced safety features. The most common features include things like blindspot and parking mode systems, lane change assist, red light detection, nighttime recording, accident detection, continuous recording, continuous loop recording, and other automated detection systems.
Best Trucking Dash Cams Reviews & Recommendations 2021
The APEMAN Dual Dash Cam C550 features a 170-degree angle 1080P front camera and a 720P HD rear camera. You get three-lane coverage without blind spots. The camera automatically locks video if you're involved in an impact or collision, so it won't accidentally be erased. It comes with a 32GB SD card, and it has several modes, including loop recording, motion detection, parking monitor, and voice recording.
You can install an optional GPS antenna to receive and record information such as speed and location. The camera is easy to install and doesn't require professional assistance. It provides a clear video that enables you to read road signs and license plates. The front camera has a large and clear screen, so it's simple to navigate the menus. Overall, it's a reliable, inexpensive, and compact dash camera that does what it advertises.
One downside is that the rear camera cord may not be long enough to reach the back of a truck to attach it near the bumper. You may have to install it in the window instead. The quality of the rear camera footage could also be a little better, particularly at night.
Old Shark's 3-Inch Dash Cam offers design perks that a good number of other budget models simply lack. A 170-degree recording angle and 1080P resolution put it on par with most other dash cams, although the recording angle is perfect for use in trucks to cover the entire front view of the vehicle.
With an operating temperature between -15 and 160 degrees Fahrenheit, the dash cam does a good job of remaining operational even when left exposed to the harsh conditions of direct sunlight. The camera also does a good job of preserving battery life by turning on and off automatically with the engine. Finally, the automatic G-sensor kicks on when an impact is detected to save the recording into long-term memory.
While it can survive working in high temps, the camera tends to run hot in these conditions. The body can feel like it's on the verge of cooking, even though actual damage is unlikely. Heat buildup also occurs if the camera runs for a long period of time. Other cons here include a less-than-ideal battery life when not plugged in and a suction cup that can fail to stay mounted in heat.
A camera that's designed for use with taxis, Uber, Lyft, and other personal transportation services has a lot to offer to fleet managers who want to keep an eye on drivers as well as the road. TOGUARD's Dual Dash Cam fits into this category, providing two separate cameras that can each rotate 360-degrees between the front and back and a few handy safety features that are perfect for truck use.
The unique perk with this camera is that both cameras each have a 170-degree recording angle that is large enough to capture almost the entire view of the front and the cabin of the truck. The near-360-degree angle range works well with the general on-road recording, but the real advantage of this setup comes with the camera's 24-hour parking monitor and motion detection system. If you plan on leaving a truck sitting around, this dash cam can stay on to capture events.
The only major quirks with this dash cam come courtesy of the built-in screen. The screen has a habit of turning off after three minutes by default, and it's difficult to find the right instructions and menu settings to change this if you want to keep the screen on at all times. The included instruction manual is confusing in other areas, as well, such as how to set up the camera before the initial use.
Best GPS/Dash Cam ComboGarmin dezlCam 785 LMT-S, GPS Truck Navigator with Built-in Dash CamCheck Latest Price
If you're in need of a navigator as well as a dash cam, consider the Garmin dezlCam 785 LMT-S. This truck navigator is a bit on the pricey side, but it provides a lot of bang for the buck. It has a built-in dash cam, which automatically records trips and saves video of any incidents that may occur. It includes forward collision and lane departure warnings for safety.
The device has custom truck routing based on the size, load, and weight of your vehicle and issues alerts for upcoming bridge heights, steep grades, etc. The compatible app provides traffic and weather, and the device uses Bluetooth hands-free calling. The unit also has built-in Wi-Fi, and you can purchase the Garmin eLog compliant ELD for Hours of Service (HOS) recording.
This is a great navigator/dash cam combo, but if you don't need GPS, then this item is probably overkill. Also, some users have complained that the mount is not very good, which can affect the dash cam recordings.
The Rove R2-4K Dash Cam features 4K Ultra HD recording with 2160p resolution. It provides good footage and images in low light conditions due to its super night vision technology. The device has built-in GPS to record location, speed, and route, which you can view on Google Maps.
The camera has built-in Wi-Fi, and you can manage your recordings on your electronic devices using an app. You can also easily share this footage on social media websites. Other features include f1.8 apertures, parking mode, motion detection, loop cycle recording, emergency video lock, time-lapse video, and slow-mo video. The Chicago-based company also provides a one-year warranty. Users report that it's easy to use, the picture quality is good, and it works well at night.
However, the memory card is not included in the purchase. Also, it only has a 150-degree view angle, and there have been some complaints that the suction cup mount is not very good.
- For covering the blind spots of a truck, multiple cameras will be needed. If you want good coverage but can live without the recording capabilities, truck-specific backup camera kits are also a good option.
- Mount the dash cam as close to the center of the windshield as possible. This position offers the best view for covering the entire road.
- If you have a dash cam that doesn't want to stay mounted to the windshield, place it on the dashboard instead. This will help it work with gravity instead of against it.
- Play around with the recording and resolution settings if battery life is an issue. Higher resolutions and longer recording times tend to drain the battery more quickly.
- Cameras with a wide dynamic range capture better details and are less prone to grainy or low-quality videos at night.
Q. Will a trucking dash cam cover my blind spots?
A. Not without extra cameras. The front mounting position of most dash cams doesn't have the view to cover blind spots or the rear view. Extra cameras will expand this view so blind spots are monitored and recorded.
Q. Can a dash cam drain my battery?
A. Many trucks and other vehicles have an automatic shut off with the 12-volt cigarette lighter plug if the battery is used too long without the engine running. Some dash cams also have an automatic shut off to prevent damage to the battery or power plug.
Q. Do dash cameras record audio?
A. Some dash cams can record audio from the interior compartment. For truck use, these dash cams are perfect if you want to keep an eye on drivers from within the inside of the cabin.
Our top overall pick, the APEMAN Dual Dash Cam C550, is a good general dash cam that provides coverage on both the front and rear of your vehicle.
For a budget-friendly option that doesn't sacrifice too much in recording quality, check out the Old Shark 3-Inch LCD Dash Cam instead.
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