Best Trucking Dash Cams: Keep and Extra Eye on the Road
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, big rig trucks and semis are susceptible to accidents and on-road incidents. To prevent worst-case scenarios or to capture them if the inevitable occurs, a good truck dash cam 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 increase safety while capturing events on the road.
Rove R2-4K Dash Cam
- 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
- No rear camera
Old Shark 3-Inch Dash Cam
- 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
Nexar Beam GPS Dash Cam
- Lens has 135 degrees of recording angle
- Internal G sensor
- Smaller than average
- Only comes with a 32gb memory card as standard
Here at The Drive, we strive to tell it like it is, both in our news coverage and our product recommendations. That's a site tenent. With that in mind, we ran through the various dash cams available, separating the chaff from the wheat, to bring you the best semi and big rig truck dash cams we could find. Luckily, there's not much difference between a normal dash cam and one designed for a truck, so many of our recommendations for your car also work for your rig.
And if you want to know more about our product review guidelines, click here.
Best Trucking Dash Cams Reviews & Recommendations
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.
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.
Honorable MentionCheck Latest Price
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.
Our top overall pick, the Rove R2-4K dash cam, 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 Dash Cam instead.
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.
Trucking Dash Cam Pricing
You'll spend between $100 and $300 for a good-quality dash cam for your semi truck or big rig. You don't need to spend any more than that.
You've got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q. Will a trucking dash cam cover my blind spots?
A. No, they won't. They're not blind spot monitoring systems.
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.