January 25th 2019
�It seems today, you can never be too careful. Because of that, more and more trucking companies and owner operators are turning to the use of dash cameras to help protect themselves in a world where congestion is becoming an ever-increasing issue, the conduct of passenger cars around trucks is becoming more and more dangerous, and trucks are an easy target both to blame for accidents and to go after for big liability lawsuits.
This provides plenty of compelling reasons why trucking companies are resorting to video evidence to protect themselves. Considering the amount of time each truck spends on the road, the weights they operate with, and the braking distances involved in stopping commercial vehicles, the use of dash cams can be cheap insurance in providing undeniable evidence for the almost inevitable near misses that professional drivers contend with in doing their job.
With the myriad of dash cams available on the market, here are some things to consider when looking to implement dash cameras for your fleet, or as an owner operator.
Aside from the myriad of dash cams available on the market to choose from, among them are a wide range of features…some of which we highly recommend as you make your buying decision. As with all electronics these days, there are a wide range of prices. For as low as $80 you can expect to find an entry-level camera with a surprising number of features. There should be no need to pay more than $400 for a full-featured, high quality camera.
While it is possible to “install” dash cams in minutes by using the standard passenger vehicle install of suctioning the camera to the window and running the common cigarette lighter power cable down to the lighter outlet, most companies will want to take a more permanent view to mounting the device.
Some advice here, keep the camera high and to the center of the windshield below the headliner. Ensure the camera view clears under the roof visor, particularly the oversize, aftermarket visors that seem to cover the top ½ of the windshield. Some cameras have increasingly large LCD screens and keeping these far from the line-of-sight to the drivers is important to avoid distraction. It is recommended to use adhesive tape mounts versus suction mounts to help ensure the camera will remain in place, regardless of terrain your truck may encounter.
A lot of current trucks have pre-wiring behind the overhead console for a CB or VHF radio. This makes for a great spot to simply run the wires a short distance from the dash camera, into the overhead console and hard-wire the unit into the pre-wire terminals.
A permanent, clean and professional installation such as is described above should still be achieved in 1 ½ hours or less if pre-wire terminals are available.
As with any change, driver acceptance will be best achieved through information, explanations and discussion – before installation. Drivers can quickly leap to the conclusion that dash cameras are a way to monitor their behavior when, in most cases, progressive fleets use cameras to defend professional drivers and their company reputation from the actions of others.
Include your drivers early in all technology adoption plans – including dash cameras.
Munden Ventures can supply you with the dash cams your company needs to protect your business and drivers. Contact us today to discuss recommendations and get a quote at 250.828.2268.
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