At Status Transportation we always recommend owner operators taking proper safety measures while out on the road, but sometimes accidents can happen regardless of how careful you are and in these cases, a dash cam can be very helpful to understand the situation. Depending on the situation a dash cam video could make the difference between losing your owner operator job or keeping your owner operator pay so you can keep providing for your family. The safety department at Status Transportation reviews FMCSA rules and regulations before making any suggestions to owner operators. It is important to mention that the FMCSA granted an exception that is about to expire on Nov. 17, 2017, that allows carriers to mount collision mitigation cameras lower on a truck’s windshield than regulations allow.
These days you see countless number of dash cam videos by owner operator truck drivers on YouTube and other sites. Everybody’s talking about dash cams because it’s something owner operator truckers need to protect themselves from distracted four-wheelers or other drivers in case of an accident. The best owner operator trucking companies like Status Transportation recommend their owner operators to invest in a dash cam because they can be a great tool to prove your innocence. In addition, some insurance companies have begun to offer their customers a discount if a dash cam is installed in their trucks.
Out there on the road, there’s a lot more to see than the road and a dash cam or side view cameras can capture the whole story. It’s all about protection and prevention. The protection piece comes early, you install a DVR camera in your truck today and if you have a catastrophic collision tomorrow where you as an owner operator trucker are not at fault that becomes that instant protection piece.
If for example, you are out there on a stretch of highway with very few witnesses around and if a car that was attempting to pass the truck steered and ran into the truck, a forward-facing camera then becomes the neutral eyewitness to what you as an owner operator saw. Video provides the real story of what really happened instead of being one person’s word against another. What do you look for in a dash cam?
Since the main purpose of having a dash cam is to record incidents, the most important features should be:
- Continuous recording or looped recording
- A good wide field of view
- Enough storage or MicroSD storage
- GPS capabilities
We can’t stress enough how important GPS is when choosing the right dash cam. Some dash cams have the ability to start recording an incident with impact sensors. Also, make sure you have the option of powering it via an auxiliary power outlet and backup batteries in case you have to step out the truck. So do your research before spending any money.
Garmin 35 dash cam review
The Garmin 35 dash cam is one of their newer dash cams, really one of the best dash cams for truckers. It comes in a nice box, it’s a small little unit with a front ball mount right next to the lens so you can mount it to the windshield. It also comes with a charging cord, that and some other chords and a really cool manual that is very easy to understand. It’s so simple that anybody can use it and that’s what I liked most about it and that’s what I’m going to tell you about today. When I said it was easy to use I meant it and to get to the menus is very simple, you simply turn it on on the side you can see the buttons, there are only four different buttons and there are no submenus, there is no need to press one twice, or press this one three times you to get what you want to do, it’s just a simple up and down yes and an undo that’s it.
Let’s say you do have an accident and someone hits you and you want to show the officer the dash cam footage, you simply go to the gallery and go to the saved set of videos and you could say officer look I’m innocent they ran into the front of my truck. It has a nice crystal clear display, a day stamp and a GPS built right into it so there’s proof that you were where you say you were and it totally backs up your logs.
Pros and Cons of the Garmin 35 Dash Cam
- It’s easy to use
- It has a built-in GPS
- It doesn’t have a second camera. (You don’t get to protect what’s behind you.)
- It doesn’t have a suction cup, you have to use sticky tape and stick it up on your windshield and that’s where it’s going to stay permanently. So you make sure once you put it on your windshield that that’s where you want it.
KDLINKS X1 dash cam review
The KDLINKS X1 records at 1080p so you get full HD high-quality video, it records at 30fps so you get a nice smooth playback. It can automatically start and stop with your truck completely hands-free like any dedicated dashcam would do, unlike GoPros which require you to turn them on and start and stop them. This one is totally automatic it does everything for you.
The KDLINKS X1 also does come with a GPS connector so you can add in GPS capabilities. It can tell you your speed, it can record where you’ve been, which I find really helpful. Image quality looks really good in the daytime and in the nighttime. As far as the price, you can find it online for less than $200 on amazon.
This dash cam has over 3,000 Amazon reviews and the average rating is like about 4.4 stars, so very good reviews.
The camera itself is quite a small dash cam and also really thin as well. It has some buttons on the side that let you do things like start and stop recording you’ve got a button which will let you mute the audio or protect and mark a certain piece of footage that you wanted on to go back and look at later.
You can go in and zoom in and zoom out of your footage as well, so you got a little bit of control there on the camera itself. In terms of the video quality, the video quality is actually quite good it’s pretty easy to read license plates when you’re up close. In terms of the bootup time, the boot of time is actually pretty quick that’s one of those things where as soon as it starts up it only takes a couple seconds and it’s up and running really quick which is nice so that soon as you start your truck it’s recording almost immediately.
They also have AG sensor built into the camera in case there’s an accident or a bump, automatically marks whenever there’s some sort of event. You can actually adjust the threshold how sensitive the sensor is. This one does have a GPS antenna and unlike the Garmin, it includes two different mounts. The GPS antenna lets you know how fast you’re driving and the location of where you have been.
The software is pretty good, there is a lot of useful information like your maximum speed in that clip, overlay on a map where you are and your entire route for that particular video clip. It is compatible both with windows and macs. Sometimes it does take a second or two to load in each individual clips so the software can feel a little bit laggy, but otherwise, it works pretty nicely. You don’t actually configure the camera in the software like you do with some other cameras, you can figure everything in this camera through the camera itself with the LCD screen. The way that records the GPS information the GPS information is actually embedded in the video clip itself which is nice because you don’t have to deal with multiple files.
The LCD definitely helps with framing to make sure the camera is pointed and oriented the way you want considering the fact that you can move and spin the camera so lets you go back afterward and make sure that it’s pointed correctly. With the LCD screen, you can go in and change all of the different settings directly on the camera.
It would be nice if the GPS module was integrated into the camera, but that’s one of the reasons why the camera smaller because the GPS is actually external. It seems like it’s a pretty good dash cam. The LCD it’s pretty handy and it turns itself off when you no longer need it.
Pros and Cons of the KDLINKS X1 Dash Cam
- GPS Capability
- Includes suction cup mount
- Adjustable accident sensors
- Location included in clip
- GPS separate module
- Does not warn if SDCard is not present
- Sometimes it stops recording on stop-and-go traffic when motion detection is activated
So there you go, these are the Status Transportation reviews on two excellent dash cam options so you can protect your owner operator jobs from distracted drivers. Please don’t forget to leave your reviews, suggestions or comments.