Are you a trucker who doesn’t have a dash cam in his truck? In 2019?
We can’t say it’s illegal, but it can get you into a lot of trouble when there is an accident or a case of theft.
Finding the best dash cam for truckers can be a laborious task, considering so many prospects are available at your disposal.
We have found three excellent dash cams for your truck at varying price points. There is also an honorable mention that could suit you depending on your needs.
Let’s see why they made this list.
The KDLINKS X1 dash cam is our choice for the best dash cam for truckers.
This model here is a feature-packed one and comes at a price that matches its features perfectly.
One of the most important qualities of a camera is the lens arrangement. We have a 6-element wide-angle lens that is perfect for this purpose.
The F1.6 aperture can let a lot of light in. With this aperture, you can still get excellent footage in dim-lit conditions.
Since this is a wide-angle lens, it comes with an angle coverage of 160 degrees. Most cameras on the market offer only120 degrees, but here we have much better coverage. Even if it’s a four-lane road, you’d have captured it all.
Let’s talk about the screen. We have a 2.7″ full HD screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. With this resolution, you can get clear video footage which can be handy depending on the situation. The video player can show you the music player, maps, and also the live footage as well.
Relevant information like license numbers, people identity, and more can be captured at high-quality, thanks to the lens and the FHD resolution.
Another neat inclusion is the wide dynamic range (WDR) feature. Instead of underexposing and overexposing the subject, the camera will get a picture that is just right. This feature also helps in gettings the details precisely.
The KDLINKS X1 comes with loop recording which means there is no need for your interference in any way. New footage will automatically replace the older ones when there is a lack of space.
Night vision is also impressive. When you’ve parked in a space where there is virtually no light, night vision footage can get you all the details you need.
There is an emergency locking feature that can lock video files from getting removed. The KDLINKS X1 also comes with G-Sensor feature which can detect rash movements like collisions and crashes. Once the G-Sensor detects these movements, it can lock those videos for future use as well.
The dash cam also comes with GPS feature which is neat to have.
There is a 110mAh lithium-polymer battery that powers the KDLINKS X1. Even at harsh weather conditions, the camera can last for up to 6 hours, which is pretty solid.
[Close Second] WheelWitness HD PRO Dash Cam
The WheelWitness HD PRO is a close second is our list. The KDLINKS X1 outclassed this excellent camera only on the basis of the lens arrangement.
The WheelWitness HD PRO even comes with a resolution that is better than our winner’s. We have a quad-HD resolution of 2304 x 1296 pixels. The video footage is in excellent quality, thanks to all the pixels.
Another thing that makes the picture quality stand out is the WDR feature. This is similar to the HDR function we have on our smartphones. This WDR feature combines low and high exposure to get optimum video output.
As a result, you get footage that is viewable even when taken in dark scenarios.
The 3″ display is good enough to have a peek now and then. You can also browse through other features using the display as well.
The dash cam can record with a viewing angle of 170 degrees which is impressive. You can cover a lot of area with this cam, and that means nothing will escape your eyes (or your camera).
The WheelWitness HD PRO is a dash cam that needs minimum intervention from the user. Thanks to the loop recording feature, the camera can delete the old videos and make space for the new ones.
Other features like overlocking and G-Sensor can also be found here. If there is a scenario where you’ve gone through an accident, you don’t want that footage to be deleted. These features can ensure that it stays on the SD card.
Installing the WheelWitness HD PRO is also a simple process. You can mount it using the adhesive tape or the suction cup that come in the package. Once you plug the power cable in, the dash cam will be up and running.
The camera comes with a 16GB micro SD card which should be enough for most users. If you’d like to have more footage in hand, then you should upgrade the memory accordingly.
[Best Budget Dash Cam] AUKEY Dash Cam
When we budget, we’re not going to give you the cheapest dash cam out there. A budget camera for us is having a decent price point with all the key features.
At a price that is less than half the price of the WheelWitness HD pro, AUKEY Dash Cam is our best budget dash cam for truckers.
In terms of features, you’ll find all the critical elements you saw in the big boys.
The AUKEY Dash Cam can record videos at 1080p resolution with a viewing angle of 170 degrees. This resolution is perfect for any vehicle and that viewing angle can cover the biggest of roads.
Even though this is a budget cam, the Sony Exmor sensor makes the difference and captures excellent quality footage that can even be presented as evidence in case of any collision.
As a trucker, you don’t have to worry about maintaining this dash cam. All you have to do is to plug the camera into the car charger, and the AUKEY Dash Cam will start recording.
With the help of the loop recording feature, you can be sure that you’ll always have the latest footage with you at all times.
There is a supercapacitor present to make sure the dash cam withstands the harsh weather conditions.
Though you may not find night vision here, the F1.8 camera allows a lot of light to pass through the lens and as a result, you can get clear footage even in low light conditions.
The dash cam can make non-removable clips when there is a sudden collision or accident, thanks to the emergency locking feature.
If you can compare the difference in features between this model and the first two dash cams, you’ll see that it’s not much. In fact, for the price, you get more value with this dash cam.
[Honorable Mention] ROAV DashCam C1 by Anker
For some reason, we couldn’t ignore the ROAV DashCam C1 model. It comes with an impressive set of features at a price that is marginally higher than our budget recommendation.
The ROAV DashCam C1 records videos at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels with the help of the Sony Exmor IMX323 sensor. The image quality is impressive with a wide angle that can fit in 4 lanes without any issues.
This model is the only one in this list to have built-in WiFi, and that’s not just a fancy feature but a useful one.
The ROAV app can be downloaded in your phones and used to view the contents of the SD card. You can download, manage, and also view the recording directly on your phone with the help of the app, which we think is pretty handy.
The ROAV DashCam C1 can operate well within 19 and 149 degrees Fahrenheit.
The model can support a maximum of 128GB of storage. Sadly, we don’t get an SD card with the package. Before use, you should format the SD card in the camera itself.
Overall, the ROAV DashCam C1 is a pocket dynamite that can get things done at a fraction of the price.
Why Do You Need Dash Cams in Trucks?
Knowledge of what has happened around your truck in your absence can be a crucial thing at times.
There are scenarios where you’ll need help from a third eye, and that third eye will be under your control if you install a dash cam for your truck.
Here are some reasons why you’ll need them.
Proof of Incidents
If there is an accident, the bigger vehicle should always be responsible, right?
That’s not true, but people won’t take your word for it.
In this case, footage from your dash cam can clear your name in no time. This gets even better when the police are involved.
Dash cam recordings can also be handy when you’re making insurance claims.
Insurance people usually put the truck drivers at fault. But with the video footage in hand, they’ll have no other option than to process the claim.
Having Your Own Black Box
Apart from serving as proof of incidents, installing a dash cam is like having your own black box.
Accidents usually don’t escape our attention. But that’s not the only thing that can happen to us.
You may have to park your truck overnight at some place you’re not used to.
How do you know what happens to your truck at night?
That’s when the dash cam is useful. If any weird people are hanging around your truck at night, you can easily know who that it. If your vehicle is being meddled with, you can now see for yourself and find who’s responsible.
Prevents Thefts and Vandalism
Having footage and knowing who has done you wrong is one thing. But what’s the use. The damage is already done.
But that’s not how it’ll go every time.
When the dash cam is running, there is a visible light coming from the camera.
If the thief of vandal sees the light, he might not proceed with this act and leave the place in order to not get caught.
Thus the dash cam proactively helps in preventing unnecessary thefts and
damages to your truck.
There are times you’ll be going through some splendid landscapes.
While you’re in total awe, it is not possible for you to get down at every place and take a photo or video of that beautiful location.
Having a dash cam will do this for you automatically.
You can go back and relive the landscapes and even take the footages and store them as memories.
We agree that this reason is not as important as the ones we mentioned above, but a man can still love nature, right?
Stop Reckless Driving
Sometimes you’re not the driver but the owner.
You’ve been getting complaints about how your driver is recklessly driving your truck.
Since there is no evidence to prove what he is doing, you’re helpless in this case.
But with a dash cam installed, you can monitor your driver’s driving any time. If he’s not sticking to your rules, then you can bid a goodbye if that’s what you want.
In most cases, if the driver is aware of the dash cam, he’ll avoid driving recklessly which makes everyone happy.
When Do You Need Dash Cams in Your Truck?
Simply put, installing a dash cam in your truck is a great idea.
But to strengthen what we’re saying, let’s go through a scenario.
Let’s say you’re a happy trucker with a multi-year contract where you transport ‘x’ for your client throughout the year.
If this ‘x’ is something that wouldn’t grab that attention of thieves and vandals, then you’re good. You probably won’t have any problems in your route.
But if this ‘x’ is an attractive cargo like tires, rims, or other premium stuff, then your route is going to be bumpy. There are going to be attempts of thievery, and you need a dash cam to capture those events even if you manage it all by yourself.
A dash cam is also essential when you’re going to locations you’ve never been to before.
Even when you’re not carrying precious cargo, a dash cam can be handy if there’s an accident.
What to Consider When Shopping for the Best Dash Cam for Trucks?
Before you get a dash cam for your truck, make sure you have considered these things. Some are super important while others are good to have but not paramount.
What’s the point in having a camera that records at potato resolution?
You should at least be able to see letters and numbers clearly.
We recommend getting a camera that comes with an HD resolution of 720p. If your budget allows and if you’re willing to get a little extra quality, go for a camera with 1080p resolution.
WIth both these resolutions, the camera should be able to record things at 30 frames per seconds. This is the right fps as anything less than that could make the footage choppy and useless.
The display size varies from 1.5 to 8 inches.
What size display you need is entirely dependent on the driver.
If you have the budget, go for the best size you can. But we’d recommend taking the mid-route and getting a decent-sized display which isn’t too small.
Also, note the range of the camera. How far can the camera record? A reasonable distance to shoot would be 20m. But if you’re in a budget, then less is fine too.
Storage is one of the most important elements in a dash cam.
If you’re a driver who takes long trips, then you need a lot of storage space. Having a camera with a storage of a minimum of 32GB would be better in this case.
If you take short trips, then you should be fine with 8 gigs of storage.
There are cameras that come with storages in upwards of 100GB, but it won’t be necessary, in our opinion. You can, however, choose to get one if your budget permits.
Another thing to keep in mind is that better resolution will take up more space. If you have a 720p camera, then your storage will last longer when compared with a 1080p camera.
If you own a 1080p dash cam, see if there is an option to change the resolution to 720p. This feature can come in handy when the storage you have is limited.
You can also look for a camera that comes with the option to add expandable memory. This means you can add SD cards to increase the memory of the device.
Majority of the accidents happen when the sun is down.
If there is a lack of good lighting, the dash cam won’t be able to get any meaningful footage. That’s why we prefer a cam with night vision.
Having night vision will also capture footage of people’s activity around your truck when it is parked for the night in a dark lit place.
Most dash cams are powered by the truck’s ignition. This means when you turn the engine off, the dash cam also goes black.
This isn’t a preferred situation.
Even when you’re gone, then dash cam should continue to record the surroundings. This is possible when there is an offline power source for the camera.
Look for cameras that come with in-built batteries and make a note of how long they’ll last.
Having this setup is handy when you park your truck in motels or in new areas overnight.
The chances are that you already have GPS installed in your truck.
But the GPS in the dash cam serves a whole different purpose.
When you’re driving for a long time, it is hard to recollect every place. With GPS, you have the option of using coordinates on google map. This can give you a clear picture of what happened with the location included.
If you’re searching for the best dash cam for your truck, then durability is something you can’t compromise on.
There are cameras that work well for a few months, and then break down for no reason. This can be annoying as you have to replace the camera, and also won’t have a dash cam till it gets replaced.
To avoid this situation, it is essential to go for good cameras from reputed manufacturers who offer support even after sales.
Also, see if there is a refund or a replacement guarantee in the case you receive a defective model.
Ease of Use
Make sure that the installation and operation of the camera are easy.
You should be able to handle the controls on the camera without scratching your head too much.
You might also want a manual (at least in soft copy) to know the controls better. A manual can even come in handy during the installation process.
Another good thing to note is if the manufacturer has after sale support. If you encounter any problem, you’ll want to take it to them and get it sorted. Without proper support, this isn’t possible.
Knowing what is happening in both the front and back of your vehicle can give some truckers a peace of mind.
If your truck has valuable cargo and needs an extra eye, then going for these types of dash cams is the smart thing to do.
This feature can be very beneficial in a variety of scenarios.
If the route you’re taking is full of bad drivers, then accidents can happen more frequently. Having this feature can help you minimize the damage if not prevent it altogether.
Accident detection can also be useful when you are driving in rough terrains. It could warn you in advance if you were to hit an object which is neat.
Types of Dash Cameras for Truckers
The Traditional Type
The traditional dash cam is the most common type of dash cam you’ll see.
It is installed on the windshield along the dashboard.
The camera can record all the events happening to the front of the truck. If you want, you can also install one facing inwards to record the driver’s activities, but most people don’t do it.
Usually, the power source for this type of dash cams is the truck’s ignition system. When you turn on the engine, the cam is on, and when you turn off the ignition, you can see the dash cam going off as well.
The storage is with SD cards, and most models come with expandable memory which is handy.
Dual Lens Dash Cam
A dual lens dash cam can record both the front and back side of your truck.
If this is something you want, then this type is the only right fit.
There are many options when it comes to dual lens dash cams.
One thing to note is that since there are two cameras recording, it is going to be more maintenance. You need more storage for all the footage as well.
You can also opt for cameras that rotate which means you have a 360-degree dash cam that can record at any angle. It’s fantastic for capturing some stunning visuals.
Rear View Mirror Dash Cam
A rear view mirror dash cam looks like a rear view mirror but brings a lot more features to the table.
You can either clip one above the existing mirror or just replace it with your dash cam.
Depending on the dash cam model, you can get features like front view switch (if you have a front camera installed), navigation, parking help, and more.
Professional Dash Cam
The difference lies in the name itself. It is a professional model, and so it comes with all the bells and whistles that an average trucker may not need.
Any of the above-mentioned models can be a professional one with the right set of features. Some features you should expect in a professional dash cam are high resolution, loop recording, wide angle lens, and extreme durability.
The footage from this camera is of high-quality and can be used for insurance claims and evidence.
An action-style dash cam is just like a GoPro.
You can mount it on the outside of the truck without any issues. Most cameras are durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions.
These cameras are powered by batteries and are not dependent on the truck’s ignition system. To be honest, we prefer it this way as the camera can continue to record even when the engine is off.
Core Features of a Dash Cam for Trucks
Following are some of the core features you should see in a dash cam.
Loop recording is one feature every dash cam must have. Without loop recording, there is a lot of manual interference that can make the whole user experience difficult.
What is loop recording in dash cams?
Every dash cam comes with a limited amount of storage. When the storage is full, there is no space for the footage that is being recorded.
So the camera deletes the oldest footage in storage and replaces it with the latest footage available. As time passes by, you’ll have all the newest footage you need.
This kind of housekeeping is vital as it keeps the most relevant information for the investigation.
Trucks are huge vehicles and not like cars and other automobiles.
Parking assistance in a truck can sometimes be a godsend. This is true when the parking area is already full, and you’re trying to fit into a not-so-spacious parking lot.
When there is a significant movement like a collision or heavy braking, you want that to be recorded in your camera.
The G-Shock sensor does exactly that.
When there is a sudden movement like in a crash or a collision, the G-Shock sensor automatically locks that footage, and it will not be deleted even when the dash cam runs out of space.
When accidents happen, you want to retain those footages. A camera that deletes these footages to clear space is not a well-designed one.
While videos are great, sometimes you have to go through hours of videos to find that one registration number.
Photo mode allows you to take a quick photo of the camera contents which can then be easily retrieved from the SD card.
In some cases, photos are just better, and this feature lets you do just that.
Speed Camera Alert
You might be a little late in delivering the goods, and as a result, you can be a little above the speed limit. We’ve all done that.
Modern dash cams come with an audible warning when it spots red light cameras and speed traps. This is a very useful feature in these circumstances.
Having a timestamp on the video might look like an old feature straight from the 80s, but it is an important one.
In case of accidents and other issues, having a video with timestamp can speed up the process of investigation.
If vandals are meddling with your trucks every day, you can see exactly what time they come and catch them in the act.
An emergency lock is another feature you need to have on your dash cam.
Dash cams with this feature come with a button that can perform emergency locking. When you hit that button, the footage that gets locked won’t be deleted by the camera.
Usually, dash cams with loop recording will delete older footage to make way to the new ones. With emergency locking, you can preserve older footages.
The software that comes with your dash cam is very important.
It can either make your dash cam superior in all aspects or handicap it.
Modern cameras come with software that can help you navigate the file system, give you the map of the place where an incident took place, provide other information like the speed of the truck, date and also the time of the incident.
You should also be able to delete files using the user interface on the camera.
There are also apps you can install on your PC or Mac that allows you to look at the recording from the comfort of your home or office.
Advantages of Using a Dash Cam for Trucks
There are many advantages to using a dash camera.
Truckers have been using dash cams in a variety of ways that have improved both safety and vigilance.
Let’s discuss some of the advantages.
Insurance Claims Made Easy
Insurance companies can be a big headache when you are making claims for compensation.
If there is any chance that they can prove it was the trucker’s negligence, not a single penny will be paid as compensation.
Your dash cam’s footage can be useful in making your rightful claim. With the footage, you can prove your side of the story. Video evidence is much stronger than your words.
Usually, when an accident happens in a place where there are no people, the driver will run off without paying any compensation.
Even if it is just a minor scrape, you still need to spend money out of your pocket to help your truck look gorgeous.
Having a dash cam can make all these easier. When you make an insurance claim, they can see the video evidence and pay the compensation. If the video has the registration number of the vehicle that caused the accident, the insurance company can even hold them accountable.
In some cases, even when the insurance company has agreed to pay the compensation, they can drag the process for a long time. Having video footage can help speed this process.
Prevents Reckless and Careless Driving
If you’re the owner of the truck but not the driver, this point is an important one.
One of the main reasons for overheads is the driver’s behavior.
If the driver is making too many stops or making a lot of wrong turns, you can now find that out with the help of your dash cam.
You also will know if the driver is maintaining a good distance with the front vehicle to avoid accidents.
Installing a camera will also prevent the driver from driving recklessly as he or she knows that they are being monitored at all times. This also means no more overspeeding as well.
There is a rise in the number of incidents which are now being called, ‘crash-for-cash’ incidents.
This is when the driver of the vehicle in front suddenly applies brake causing the vehicle behind them to hit them. The driver will later demand compensation for repairs.
If you have the footage from the dash cam, you can deny the offender any money. Even if he calls for the police, your video evidence will do all the talking.
Training New Drivers
Your truck just got a new trainee driver? Awesome.
A dash cam can be very valuable for training new drivers.
Once their trip is done, they can come back and show their footage to experienced truckers. They can give worthy information on how to avoid any difficulties they had.
Footages from experienced drivers can also be used for the same purpose.
Whether you are a trainee or a veteran trucker, having a dash cam in your truck will give you a lot of good stuff to learn from.
Installing Your Dash Cam (Step-by-Step Guide)
Okay, you’ve bought the right dash cam for your truck and are itching to get it installed.
Here is a simple and easy to follow guide that’ll touch upon the basics of a dash cam installation.
Step 1: Check the Storage
You don’t want to travel a few miles and then find that there are no recordings in your dash cam because you had no SD card in there in the first place.
Take a look at what kind of storage your camera supports. Some can make use of SD cards while others will only take in micro SD cards.
We recommend buying an SD card with the maximum storage allowed. This can help you save as much storage as possible.
Step 2: Mounting
You should have received the mount when you bought the dash cam.
You’ll either have adhesive pads or suction cup mounts.
We recommend using suction cup mounts because they are less messy when compared with adhesive tapes. You can also detach the dash cam if you want to without having to deal with adhesives on your dashboard.
Choose a good location for mounting your camera. Make sure that the camera can cover as much relevant information as possible.
One handy tip is to make the camera visible. Any thieves or vandals will see the camera and back off without making an effort.
Step 3: Installation
It’s time to power up your dash cam.
For most dash cams, the power source is your truck’s power output. Take the wire from the camera and connect it to your ignition system. Be sure not to obstruct the driver’s view.
You can either do this by yourself or get it done at the local garage.
You can eliminate this step if you get a dash cam that is battery-powered.
Step 4: Final Check
Before you start using the camera, make sure all the settings are in the right place.
Check all the features your camera offers and make sure everything you need is appropriately customized.
This proactive check will prevent you from changing the settings later. Even if you have to change them, don’t do it while driving as it is unsafe and can lead to accidents.
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.s)
Why do I need dash cams?
Dash cams can be useful for multiple reasons.
You can use the video footage from your camera for insurance claims. You can catch thieves and vandals before or after they do their thing. Protection of private trucks is one of the main reasons people install a dash cam.
You can also capture some amazing sceneries when you’re driving on a beautiful route.
How to use dash cams? I’m not very technical.
You don’t have to be technical to use a dash cam.
Installing a dash cam is easy if you can follow the instructions on the manual.
Once you finish setting up your camera, it is usually a hands-off process. There is no need to tinker with the camera unless you come across a collision or crash.
We do recommend you learn all the basic functionalities so that you can get the full use out of your dash cam.
Is it legal to use dash cams?
The simple answer to this question is yes.
You can record public roads by putting the camera inside your vehicle. There is no problem with that.
But recording on private roads is a no as you need permission to do that. You’re also not allowed to put your dash cam in others’ card and record.
If you’re concerned about the laws in your state, you can do a little reading to find what’s okay in your region.
Who else uses dash cams?
Apart from truckers, anyone who wants to record their vehicles’ front view can use a dash cam.
Professionally, it makes sense for people like taxi drivers, police, ambulance, and fire truckers to use dash cams as the footage they get can be useful.
Nowadays, even regular car owners install a dash cam to see what’s happening when they are not around. Also, you get a funny video that can be the next viral hit.
Do I need batteries for my dash cams?
Some models are battery-powered.
In that case, you’ll need batteries. You’ll have to change them once they run out of juice.
If you think that this is a lot of work, you can go with models that take power from the truck output. All you have to do is to connect the truck output to your camera, and you’re good to go.
No need to deal with batteries.
I have a lot of footage. What do I do with them?
This is a common question we get.
Take a quick look at your footage and see if there is anything interesting in it.
If there is an accident recorded, you can take it to the police if you want to help.
Do you have anything funny recorded in your dash cam? Then make a nice video of it and upload it online on YouTube. Funny dash cam videos get a lot of attention online.
It’s up to you now. Driving without a dash cam is a risk that’ll cost you dearly.
We hope this post explained to you the importance of dash cams and gave you a simple course about everything you need to know about them.
If you have any doubts, please don’t hesitate to contact us using the comment section below.