So, You Think You Can Drive a Big Rig.
They say driving a pick-up truck is like driving a boat; and those traveling the streets with an F-250 can attest to this. However, driving a big rig is a whole different story. Most of the time, driving a heavy-duty vehicle is a pleasant experience – cruising the open road – and, then you need to switch lanes; or worse, reverse.
While mirrors are helpful in seeing what is around trucks, there are camera systems on the market that can assist drivers in backing-up and seeing what vehicles are side-to-side thus improving the safety of drivers, passengers, and everyone else on the road. Considering installing a camera system on commercial vehicles is a smart move for truckers whether you are driving a cement truck, semi-truck, bus, or 18-wheeler. Here’s what you should know about camera systems.
Going Backwards in a Semi
Chances are you’ve never been to this drop-off/pick-up site before; and once you spot the loading dock, the warehouse team will want you to do what you dread most: reversing. It doesn’t matter if it’s at a chain grocery store or large retail outlet, backing-up at the loading dock is nerve-wrecking (especially if you have another big rig beside you unpacking merchandise). This is where a back-up camera comes handy. Back-up cameras are affordable (compared to the cost of property damage) and will make any trucker’s job less stressful – particularly at nighttime. These types of camera systems typically come with a black-and-white-or color monitor for inside the cab and a camera that mounts in a few ways (T-slot, bolts, brackets, etc.). Mounted on the back of the truck, they come in several sizes; are waterproof; run on 12DVC of power; and may include integrated heating features to tackle cold weather operations – such as camera systems from Velvac, for example).
Back-up cameras make locating hidden blind spots a breeze.
Side and Rearview Cameras
Rear cameras can be mounted on the roof of trailers to help truckers monitor their clearance underneath awnings – a worry for some commercial vehicle drivers – and can be helpful in pulling up to weigh stations. Side cameras can also be used to watch the progress of cargo being unloaded or placed onto the truck. When driving at higher speeds, side and rear cameras can keep drivers safe by watching the movements from other drivers on the road.
Best Truck Camera Systems
- There are several cameras on the market; but the best features to look out for include:
- Dual assist capabilities.
- 12DVC compared to battery-operated cameras.
- Water-proof housing.
- Heating elements to combat winter.
Driving a small truck is not the same as driving a fifth wheeler; and it requires a level of concentration and awareness that most people don’t want to take part of; but for those brave individuals that choose this profession, it is recommended to consider installing camera systems on semi-trucks and other commercial vehicles to improve driver safety and make backing-up and seeing from side-to-side easier than ever.
Recommended brand for camera systems: Velvac – a company that has been in business since 1934 and continues to impress customers with their affordable prices and reliable truck cameras.