Professional business fleets and truck drivers were some of the early adopters of dash cams in North America. Because these trucks spend so much time on the road they are very interested in protecting themselves with a car camera. They are at a greater risk for getting into accidents and near misses due to the mileage, time, and braking distances involved with large commercial vehicles.
The number of results that come up with a simple YouTube search for “semi truck crash” shows just how common incidents are. These incidents are not only a safety issue but can affect insurance premiums and even put a driver’s CDL (commercial driver’s license) at risk. In those cases, having video footage is going to help a lot with proving whether a driver is or isn’t at fault. According to fleet managers and drivers that we’ve spoken to, dash cams also promote safer driving as the driver is aware that their actions are being filmed.
What to Look for in a Dash Cam
Here are a few things we always look for when recommending a dash cam to truckers
- Large Micro SD card support: With higher video quality a small 8GB or 16GB card is not going to be enough to hold a day’s worth of driving footage.
- Adhesive Tape Mounts: Suction cups tend to fall off under vibration or in high heat. This can be a safety risk for drivers and can also hurt video quality.
- Manual Event Button: An event button helps drivers save vital clips to review later on. An example might be a clip where the truck is cut off by a careless driver in a smaller vehicle.
- GPS Included or Optional: The GPS function on a dash cam can log the speed and location of the vehicle. This may be needed to dispute any false claims against the driver. Note that this usually does not provide any navi function.
- Capacitor Based Power Supply: As these cameras sit in the sun and run all day, they will get quite hot to the touch. It is crucial to use a capacitor to avoid any safety issues with leaking or swelling batteries.
Top 5 Dash Cams for Fleets and Trucks
These dash cams meet our standards for features, video quality, and reliability that we like to see in a truck dash cam.
1. VIOFO A119S V2:
This dash cam offers amazing video even at night thanks to a Sony sensor and high end chipset. The GPS mount is very secure when paired with the supplied EVA foam and the unit looks very discreet. It runs well in high heat and has a very simple user interface. Speed and location can be displayed in the timestamp of the video.
2. Thinkware F50:
This is one of the most reliable dash cams we have tested. It can be hardwired in both 12 volt and 24 volt vehicles for parking mode recording. This can be helpful to protect the truck when the driver has stepped away. It is very small and does not have a screen which helps it stay concealed within a vehicle. A tamper-proof case is also available to protect the micro sd card from theft.
3. VicoVation OPIA2:
This camera blew us away in tests for video quality and high heat operation. It is compact and has a swivel ball mount which is useful if the driver needs to record an interaction at the sides of the truck. Most other dash cams can only point forward. A small screen and event button make it a very handy device
This dash cam is a great choice for drivers and fleet managers who want video of both the inside and the outside. This may be helpful for promoting good employee practices and the safety of the driver. The GPS feature also adds alerts like red light or speed camera alerts. This device is also parking mode ready and can be hardwired to 12 volt and 24 volt vehicles.
This compact dash cam is perfect for mounting on very upright windshields. It has a small and discreet body and records Full HD video. A lockable tab on the memory card flap can prevent the card from being removed making the DR450-1CH a popular choice among fleets. This device is parking mode ready and can take cards up to 128 GB.