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Choosing the Best Dash Cams for Trucks & Truckers

Updated at: Jun 20, 2022

Truckers spend most of their time on the road. They drive slower, heavier, and with more responsibility than 4-wheelers. They drive for hours on end and in all kinds of weather. They stop to refresh and leave their cargo unattended. Accordingly, they are vulnerable in ways that other drivers are not, and therefore require a particular kind of protection. Many individual drivers choose to protect themselves from being blamed for an accident or from theft by buying a dash cam that records the road in front of their vehicle, but because of their unique needs, truckers command more than the standard protection. They need to choose the best dash cam for trucks, one that protects them from the risks that threaten them the most.

A truck dash cam is a dash cam that suits the needs of truckers. The best dash cams for trucks are usually dual-facing, meaning that they have two cameras - one that records the front of the truck and one that records the inside. Just like for any driver, the front-view camera protects truckers (and their owners) from unfair penalties or claims if there is a road incident. The interior camera, sometimes called a cabin camera, serves several purposes. Recording on the inside of the truck means that the camera captures both the driver and any passengers, and if positioned correctly, any cargo that the truck is transporting. Since truckers are responsible for cargo that may be susceptible to spillage or theft, having eyes on the inside means that leaks or spills can be caught on camera and stopped before they get out of hand.

What’s more, is that dash cams that are connected offer the ability to live stream. This means that an owner of a truck or fleet can tap into the dash cam’s live feed and see both in front of the truck and inside the cabin in real-time, forgoing the need to wait to review the footage until the truck returns home. They can coach the driver about safety practices immediately after viewing the drive from their phone or any other device.

How to choose the best dash cam for your truck

Time to get to know different types of truck dash cams!

Best dash cams: At a glance

When choosing the best dash cam for your truck, it is important to understand the different types of dash cams for trucks available and to weigh your unique needs against their various features. There is a large range of options and features, and we’ve selected the ones that we feel are the most important for truckers.


Key features of dash cams for trucks

#1 Parking Mode

Since truckers are often away from their vehicles, either at rest stops or sleeping over at a motel, their trucks are sometimes left unattended. Their cargo is at risk of theft, even if the rig is locked. Many dash cams have a feature called Parking Mode, where sensors in the camera detect movement and impact. Upon detection, the camera is activated and begins recording. Users receive a message when they come back to the truck, and dash cams that are “connected” send users alerts in real-time. For truckers, being alerted in real-time can mean the difference between stopping a theft in the act and only discovering it after the fact. Parking Mode provides built-in security for the truck and its contents.

#2 Wide-angle view

Trucks can be massive vehicles. Having a wide view of what is in front of you, paired with a partial rear-view provided by an interior-facing camera, reduces blind spots. Recording information around the truck provides more context in case of an incident. It shows the location and actions of other vehicles or pedestrians that may be missed by a camera with a smaller range of vision. You want cameras that have the widest view possible so that nothing important is missed.

#3 Night Vision

Truckers are often on the road at night and a camera’s visibility can be hindered by dim lighting. Dash cams that have infrared technology are able to see clearly during even the darkest hours and the dimmest lighting. They are able to capture footage clearly, keeping all evidence clear and unequivocal.


#4 Resolution

Dash cams come with a variety of resolutions, the most common qualities are, 720p, 1080p, 2k, and 4k. The higher the resolution, the clearer the picture.  Higher resolution cameras capture more detail that can be submitted as evidence. Full HD 1080p is standard for HD dash cams. 720p is still considered High Definition but is not as detailed as the higher resolutions. The 2k and 4k resolutions allow for the most detailed footage view, with 4k providing the clearest picture and best contrast and color range. The higher the resolution, the more chance of capturing details that can be used as critical evidence, like license plate numbers or road signage.


#5 Connected

Connected dash cams use a high-speed internet connection to save your drives to a cloud. This allows you to tap into the camera's live feed from wherever you are, so if you want to see what’s going on in and around your rig while eating lunch at a diner, all you have to do is open an app on your phone and you can livestream. For truck and fleet owners, the ability to drive along with the driver in real-time and to see in and around the truck even when it’s parked is an amazing asset that can improve driver performance and save money on insurance expenses.

We’ve selected some of the best dash cams for truckers available (all dual-facing) and have broken them down according to pros and cons...Check it out!

The Nexar One

The Nexar One is our front-runner as the best dash cam for truckers. It is especially powerful and comprehensive, with features tailor-made for the unique needs of truckers. As a connected dash cam, users can livestream video from both the front-facing and interior cameras from anywhere, and receive live alerts if impact is detected when the rig is parked. The Nexar One’s front and interior-facing cameras record in crisp, 4k resolution and in 720p, respectively. The cameras have a super-wide view of 140° outside and 160° inside, capturing the full picture that you need. They also use infrared night vision technology, so that footage taken when it’s dark outside or inside of the vehicle is clear. All Nexar dash cams equip customers with free unlimited cloud storage where footage is automatically backed up. The pricing for this camera is somewhere in the middle at $299 for both cameras plus the +Connectivity add-on.  In order to be able to use the connectivity features like live-streaming and live-alerts, users must pay a $9.99 monthly fee for a Nexar Connect subscription. For truckers, we feel that for the resources it delivers, this is a fee that is well worth it.

Samsara CM32

Samsara has a well-established, trusted name in the business. The CM32 is a great dash cam that while recording in fair, 1080p, has technology that allows fleet owners to preempt dangerous driving in real-time. It features live scene analysis and a built-in speaker for driver coaching. It detects risky driving behaviors, like tailgating, texting, or rolling at a stop sign. Its fleet management system tracks harsh braking and rapid acceleration and will even give an in-cab voice alert warning if necessary. Moreover, the dash cam automatically uploads footage to the Samsara Cloud. On the flip side, the ability to live stream is not available on this dash cam, which means that fleet owners are not able to see what is going on in real-time. The Samsara CM32 is on the high end side, and while Samsara offers a free 30-day trial, the contract is for a minimum of 3-5 years for the software, which is not a small commitment.

The Blackvue DR900S-2CH

We love the Blackvue DR900S-2CH’s 4K resolution, providing a super clear picture that allows you to see what’s there vividly. The range of vision is also very good, granting a 162° front view and 139° rear view. It features an 8MP image sensor and a motion sensor built-in, making this dash cam a great safety accessory. The cameras are equipped with excellent low-light sensitivity so that nothing is missed when it's dark out. A disadvantage of this dash cam is that it isn't made to integrate with fleet management software so users don’t have access to some of the enhanced insights, trends, and tracking information that other dash cams provide. The cost for this pro dash cam is also on the high side, starting in the $400 range.

Conclusion

Truckers are vulnerable on the road in ways that other drivers aren’t. Dash cams can provide protection in the form of video evidence and valuable information about driving performance. Selecting the right dash cam adds an important safety measure and can save precious money on insurance costs for fleet owners.