How much do owner operators make per year?

All comes down to money, right? If you are planning to buy your own rig to be an owner operator or maybe you already are one, you want to know how much do owner operators make per year.  You probably have seen some marketing claiming they can make you earn $100K or more a year, and while it is a true possibility, it could be misleading especially if you are new in business with no or less than 5 years’ experience. The real number depends on many variables, but mainly on the contractual agreements you manage to negotiate and how much you run. You can either get paid by percent of the load or the most common by the mileage, but some companies also include some perks.

Every experienced truck driver will tell you that, your income will depend totally on the strategy you have for your business because the gross income matters most. Since you are no longer a steady-paycheck truck driver, but a business owner, and like any other business owner you need to come out with your own plan and tactics that will allow you to have the consistency of income you need to keep going, and not only to get the highest paid jobs.

In order for you to better understand how much do owner operators make per year, we are going to list for you the variables on which your earnings will depend. Then you can decide how much realistic income you want to make.

Hours of Service

It is well known that HOS equals miles and miles equals earnings in truck driving. And now with the ELD federal mandate that makes us comply with the HOS rules that require driving no more than 11 hours per day, within a normal 14-hour workday and then stay Off Duty for 10 uninterrupted hours, where will be better to spend your HOS? Loading and unloading? Remember that the clock does not stop ticking once you change the status to On Duty. Now let’s analyze how much do owner operators make per year if they run at 60 mph, 8 real driving hrs a day, 6 days a week; you get 2,880 miles per week. And you get loads with an average per mile of $1.5, you earn $4,320 for that week, and let’s say you average 10 months like this week, you earn $172,800 a year.

Region of Operation

You might think that your location has nothing to do with how much do owner operators make per year and it does not have to affect the pay, and maybe it really doesn’t vary that much, but be aware that where you live can affect the possibility of you getting hired, because some companies will not hire you if they see that it would be difficult to get you home. But another important reason is that despite the season, there are some regions where they normally have loads the entire year, not only on peak season, like for example; most o the east side of the US and they are also known to have the highest paying trucking jobs. That is something to consider if you want a consistent income. Check the 10 recommended states.

Seasons

In this business, you need to be aware of the season’s behavior avoiding becoming your worst enemy by not considering the worst of times throughout the year. There are at least 4 critical seasons for truck drivers to consider that are critical to answer how much do owner operators make per year; The 1st is from January-March, which it becomes very slow; The 2nd April-July is the High Normal Season, The 3rd is Peak Season on August-October and you need to be prepared to work all you can, here is where the lucky weeks appear, and the sky is the limit. But make sure you are considering saving some money for the beginning of the next year. The last one is from November -Thanksgiving.  Here is where you have to be smart and balance your income throughout the season.

Type of truck and freight

The kind of jobs and contracts opportunities will depend on the type of vehicle you have or the endorsement you license has. Smart Owner Operators make sure their license hold all the endorsement possible; H, N, T, K. Yes they required more ability but increases your chance of getting more jobs. For example, Hazardous Materials, livestock or hauling motor vehicles sometimes get the highest paying rate per mile. Depending on the route and loads like this ones, you can get paid from $1 to $3 bucks per mile, this always impacts how much do owner operators make per year. But if you want to take no risk, flatbed trailers and Dry Vans are regularly the higher steady paying freight jobs. Specially flatbeds, shippers are willing to add extra pay, because they want to ensure more care and safe delivery. Take this information into consideration if you want to specialize in any type of freight.

Experience

As in any other job out there, having more experience is imperative on how much do owner operators make per year. If you have verifiable experience, good reputation with your customer service and a clean record it means you can guarantee the customer will get their load on time. And obviously you will be offered or you can easily negotiate to get paid more. Successful Owner Operators usually decide to take 3 to 5 years as a company driver before taking the plunge to independent driver business, and truck drivers who have been in the business for more than 5 years earn around 30% more than beginners. Also, experience helps you handle better your cash flow. Never forget that having experience means you know what you are doing, and your employer knows you do it well, this could be the contrast between success and failure for your career.

Companies Perks

Companies that have extra benefits help you with your income since you don’t have to get money out of your pocket to pay for them. Companies usually bestow this perks to retain experienced drivers and other just because they really like to improve quality of life for their drivers and improve how much do owner operators make per year. This perks could include; fleet insurance rate, assurance plans for you and your family, fuel programs, tolls reimbursement, permits cost, and more. Get used to this benefits and ask the companies you work for if they have them. The less you used your own cash the better.

We hope that you now you have a better idea of how much do owner operators make per year, and hopefully you now understand that it depends on how savvy you get at running your owner operator business and that you do not need to compare to yourself with statistics or with your fellow truckers, because now you know you can earn what you want.

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Winter, Owner Operators Companies Best Season, Are You Prepared?

owner operator companies Status Transportation

The holiday season is upon us and with that comes the highest rate season of the year for owner operator companies. This is one of the greatest paying times of the year, it’s incredible the number of owner operators companies that get caught so ill-prepared for Winter season. These simple to follow winter season suggestions will assist you to take advantage of the Winter and get those high paying rates that come along with it.

Organize A Winter Pack

We must begin by getting a good winter season pack organized. Many owner operators don’t put every single item in a bag, and is not a requirement, but is good to know exactly where you keep each of the following items during an emergency.  Your winter kit can go in the truck in the fall and you can take it out in the spring and it consists of the following:

  • A set of insulated coveralls
  • Winter season boots
  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Headscarf
  • A blanket
  • Flashlight
  • Mineral water
  • Energy bars
  • Sweet nut raisins
  • A pack of condensed soup cubes
  • A bag of cat litter
  • A shovel

There’s numerous accidents in the wintertime where owner operators are just not prepared for spending any time in the cold. You could find yourself at a road closure and you really have to prepare for being on our your for at least 24 hours at the bare minimum. So make sure to have warm clothes, blankets and a rechargeable flashlight.

You’re also going to need a source of food, something you can survive on like energy bars and bottled water in plastic jugs that you know will survive a freeze. Candy, nuts, raisins, a package of condensed  soup like bouillon cubes. We’re not going to make a steady diet of this but if it’s going to keep us alive that’s what we need. Also. Throw in a bag of kitty litter which is great for traction in case you get stuck. Kitty litter could come in handy for when you back into a loading dock and you can’t get out.

Some owner operators companies have had the misfortune of ending up stuck on the side of the road for multiple days waiting for the highway to open back up.  That goes back to where our survival bag comes in handy. Make sure that you’re in a position to take care of yourself for at least 24 hours.

Learn To Install Tire Chains

owner operator trucking in winterNow is a good time if you’re going to run in the areas where you have to chain up to figure out how to put on a set of tire chains. Every year there’s a few accidents where drivers get hit while putting on tire chains. So this is a skill we just don’t want to learn at night on the side of a highway in snowy deplorable conditions because of the time you spend down on those drive axles. That’s what law enforcement officers refer to as the kill zone. Most owner operator trucking near death experiences happen on the side of the highway. We all know how the four wheelers drive and we’ve all seen the pictures of the trucks on Facebook, so be prepared. You gotta be prepared! So if you’ve never chained up before, get a hold of a fellow owner operator or if you’ve got a mentor, get together and practice putting on a set of chains so you do it correctly and you know how to do it in case you need it.

Possibly you’ll need to chain up just two times in Twenty Years of driving due to the fact that the majority of the times you just choose not to, regardless this is among the abilities you have to have so you can be prepared to be successful at an owner operator trucking job. If it’s bad enough that even with tire chains on you still do not feel safe, find a great safe location and wait it out. You’re the captain of your ship, keep in mind that when things go south you’re going to go down with your ship.  

Know Your Limitations

We’re talking about driving under bad winter weather conditions here, but to put this into perspective, the safety team at Status Transportation is always looking out for owner operators during hurricane season.  So if you run into some bad weather you gotta have guts to know your limitations.  Your safety is a priority.

As young a new driver in the owner operator trucking industry don’t get caught when older drivers are on the radio and say it’s not that bad. If you really don’t feel comfortable then you know you probably shouldn’t be out there, wait for things to improve. Get on the phone, communicate with dispatch and have the courage to say I don’t feel comfortable, I don’t feel safe and I’m parking until things improve. We can’t stress this enough, communication is key.  

Dispatchers at Status Transportation not only keep a finger on the pulse of the industry for the best rates in order to provide the highest paying owner operator jobs, but also to help you be safe out there.

So a highway to an experienced driver may not seem that bad but to an owner operator trucking rookie it’s just absolutely horrible. No one should get into trouble because someone coerced them into driving when they shouldn’t have been driving or driving beyond their limits. Slow down take a big deep cleansing breaths and stay off of that brake pedal when you start to feel anxious. Take a big breath, relax, ease off the throttle, and slow down. Don’t worry about other drivers trying to bully you into doing things that exceed your comfort level and your skill level.

It’s so much easier to phone a customer and to tell them it’s going to be late than it is to phone the customer and tell them the load it’s upside down and we’re not sure how much we can salvage. And the last thing anybody wants is to be in an accident so know your limits. Communication is the key. And when you make a decision to park for the weather live by your decision and stand by it because nobody can tell you how to drive other than you.

Get A Flu Shot

Owner operator trucking jobs require drivers to be prepared and watch for signs of exhaustion and sickness. The flu shot is a real good idea take the opportunity to make sure that your health is up to speed and you’re in good health. And if you wind up feeling sick or you got a cold. Be very careful what cold medication you take because the last thing you want to do is take an over-the-counter medication that makes you drowsy. It’s darker short daylight hours and you don’t want to be taking a medication that wants to put you to sleep. You have no business being on the road so get lots of sleep. Stay healthy, stay warm and be prepared.

High Visibility Coat

There’s nothing better than a high visibility coat in the wintertime.  That should be your only winter jacket. Get yourself a nice safety parka jacket with lots of reflective material on it and be visible.  Safety departments at owner operator companies recommend using it especially at night because you don’t want to blend into the evening.

Avoid Distractions

You should avoid distractions all year round when driving but specially during the winter time.  If you’re talking on the phone on your headset, or bluetooth or any kind of device and the weather starts to deteriorate, just politely let the person you’ll call them back later.  You need to put your full attention to what you do.  Get off the phone and pay attention to your driving, things go south things go south really quick and we have to be prepared for that.

A safe owner operator doesn’t risk having the opportunity to make that hard panic stop. So that’s why we really stress get off the phone, eyes on the road and call back when is safe to do so.

For this and other useful posts on how to succeed in owner operator trucking subscribe to the Status Transportation blog today!

3 Fundamental tips for a successful owner operator trucking business

Operating any type of kind of company calls for very careful planning as well as prep work and being an owner operator is no different. There is money to be made however you should sharpen your administration abilities in order to do well in the owner operator trucking business. There are numerous drivers who have set out to be their own boss, got the highest paying owner operator jobs and also managed to make near to $300,000 a year, yet either handled their funds the wrong way or significantly overestimated the expense of working. The following 3 suggestions are simple yet essential methods to help you succeed and grow as an owner operator trucker.

Communication is key in owner operator trucking

Among the first things, every skilled driver that came to be an owner operator will say to you is that communication is crucial. An excellent relationship and good communication with your dispatcher will certainly go a long way. Be personable. Truckers spend a great deal of time on their own and have the tendency to forget mannerisms, however exercising basic business manners are very important for being successful.

Your truck is your primary tool, take care of it

Maintaining an open mind and also taking advice from skilled truckers will certainly place you ahead of the pack. Prior to investing in a truck study as well as learn from seasoned owner operators. Purchase or lease a truck you could pay for, as well as ensure to establish some cash away for emergency situations as well as unforeseen repair services.

Truck Repair Shop Status Trucks

You need to be prepared if something happens to your rig or you are in need of additional money for gas. As a company driver you could depend on the company to handle truck repair and maintenance, however taking care of your rig is currently your sole responsibility. Owner operator jobs call for you to use several hats as well as being on top of your truck repairs and maintenance schedule is just one of them. Preventative maintenance, tires, oil changes, greasing it weekly, and so on. It’s all you now. Your truck is your tool and also your top expenditure so you may as well take great of it. Keep a repair and maintenance plan, care for the small things on your own so you can save some money and also get a dependable semi truck repair shop for major repair jobs.

Establish clear objectives as well as manage your costs

Be practical and also think like a real business person. An entrepreneurial mindset will certainly make the difference between efficient owner operator trucking companies or drivers that just own a truck.  You can boost your owner operator pay and profits by managing costs. Remember it’s not how much money you make, but the amount of money you keep. It’s good to establish enthusiastic objectives, yet you can’t start spending based on projected revenue, so budget based upon moderate yearly standards, not the very best of times.

Good spending practices and money management skills will certainly result in highly profitable owner operator jobs. Financial planning can be time-consuming and challenging as well as not what you would like to be doing as a trucker, but as the saying goes “failing to plan is planning to fail”. By writing down on paper your forecasted expenses versus earnings, you’ll have a clear idea of your resources as well as get rid of unforeseen surprises.

In conclusion, be patient and also learn the ropes prior to taking the plunge. Exercise good communication, budgeting and also take good care of your rig. Prepare for a rainy day, save money and also do not head out and get a ton of expensive toys. Evaluate your alternatives and decide what is best for you, your loved ones and your company.

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A driver’s approach to succeed in the owner operator trucking business

At Status Transportation we get a chance to chat with owner operator truck drivers all the time.  They share their experiences out on the road and what they have learned from it.  You see, becoming an owner operator requires you to learn all the business jargon. But there is nothing compared to being out on the road day in and day out.  Driving will give you some knowledge you can’t get anywhere else.

A few days back talking to one of our owner operators, and he shared  “The Owner Operator‘s Success Triad”. It’s a very simple but very powerful concept. We want to save you some time, and hopefully having to go through unnecessary situations by sharing this concept with you.

It’s through experience and sometimes going through a couple of owner operator jobs that drivers learn to identify the three basic elements every owner operator needs to succeed.  This triad consists of having a reliable truck, a good dispatcher, and being the best driver.  It’s a very simple concept don’t you think? Well if it’s that simple, then why are some owner operator truckers struggling out there?

1. Having a good truck.

A new truck will probably give you fewer problems and that might be true to a certain degree. You’ll have less with mechanical issues but what about covering your truck payments.  Each driver’s circumstances are unique and that why we can’t say buying new or used is the best option.  You need to evaluate your own financial situation and decide what will be best for you. Some drivers feel more comfortable buying an older truck and taking care of minor maintenance issues themselves to save some money.  Depending on the place you buy it you could also get some kind of warranty, so that’s always a good thing. Owner operators have told me they like to know then can get under the hood and understand what’s going on in there instead of having to rely on a computer for a diagnosis.

Of course, a newer truck is less likely to breakdown and you have the benefit of a dealership warranty.  That way you can spend more time out on the road and keep making money.  I guess the only downside is the higher truck payments or not being close to a dealer in case of a breakdown. Regardless of how old or new your truck might be, as an owner operator truck driver you need to maintain it properly.

2. Having a good dispatcher

owner operator trucking - status transportationTalking about truck dispatchers, owner operators always come to the same conclusion, communication is key.  Setting clear goals and expectations from the very beginning is very important. If you are about to start working with a new owner operator trucking company, then take some time to sit with your dispatcher and lay down a working strategy. That way your dispatcher will know how you like to run, your expectations as far as downtime, and your owner operator payment goals.  There’s nothing like having a work relationship based on trust. You’ll know your dispatcher will always have your best interest at heart.

Everything starts with good communication, clear expectations, being open to suggestions, and having a good attitude towards the job. There might be a couple of bumps in the road, but the important thing is to solve them through clear communication.

3. Be the best owner operator you can be

You can have the best equipment and the world’s best dispatcher, but if as a driver you are not up to the level things will not work out.  On of the traits you need to have as an owner operator is patience.  Being patient and having a good attitude will go a long way. The trucking business is an ever changing environment. The sooner you understand this, the easier it will be for you to handle different situations and have a good attitude about it.

This concept is like a three legged stool, you need all three legs to be well balanced in order for it to work. I would like you to consider this concept, and I hope it will be useful in helping you to succeed as an owner operator truck driver.

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Three ways to become an owner operator truck driver

 

People from all walks of life have tried it and found owner operator trucking to be a very rewarding career.  Owner operator truck drivers do have more responsibility and it’s not for the faint hearted, but even so, the rewards are worth it. Company drivers who go into owner operator trucking also have more control over their future because they can decide how to run their business.

Ways you can become an owner operator

These are the three most common ways to start your owner operator business. Depending on your aversity to risk, you may feel more comfortable with one option than the other.  Also, you will notice that the level of independence from each of the following options is directly correlated to the level of risks and benefits.  These are the ways you can become an owner operator sorted by risk from lowest to highest.

Owner operator business risk levels

  1. Lease-purchase programs. Lease purchase programs are the least popular among truckers. This first option is probably the easiest way to become an owner operator but not necessarily the most rewarding. These programs lower the barriers to entry for owner operators who do not have a good credit score, but that also comes with some trade-offs.  Truck variety is only limited to what the company has to offer and you can’t take it anywhere unless it’s paid off. The success rate of these programs is very low because it can take many years before you can start making real money.  

Pros: Easy way to get a truck. Lower risk involved if the truck is in good condition.

Cons: Signing a lease for a very expensive equipment could take years to pay it off. Can’t take the truck with you to any other company in case they are not giving you good rates. You could be stuck with a clunker and still be liable for payments.

  1.  Lease to a company.  In this option you buy your truck from a third party and lease on to an owner operator trucking company of your preference.  This way you are running under the company’s authority.

Pros: You call the shots as to what equipment to get since you are buying it on your own. Complete independence to decide which carrier you want to lease onto.  Higher owner operator pay.

Cons: Your truck, your responsibility.  You are committed to the truck loan term and can’t walk away from the deal.

  1. Own authority. This last option has the most risk and probably the most reward but with a very low rate of success. Being an motor carrier requires you to drive your truck, look for your own loads and stay on top of all the paperwork involved in running a trucking business. You are also responsible for maintaining a good safety score, file taxes, invoicing customers, being compliant, etc.

Pros: Highest owner operator pay, more independence.

Cons: Requires wearing multiple hats.  Solely responsible legally and financially.

What’s your motivation for wanting to become an owner operator trucker?

Maybe you have a few years and many miles under your belt as a company driver and are ready for the next challenge.  Or maybe you want to become an owner operator because you want a better paying job.  Whatever the reason might be, this is the best time to take action.  Status Transportation is an owner operator trucking company with enough business cycle experience to recognize how the trucking industry behaves.  According to our experience as one of the best owner operator trucking companies, owner operator pay is in an upward trend and is likely to continue that way.  This applies across the board to regional and OTR owner operator truckers hauling dry vans, reefers, and flatbeds.

If you are seriously thinking about becoming an owner operator truck driver, first talk to five or six owner operators who have succeeded in this industry.  Always use your critical thinking skills and make an informed decision.

For useful information on how to succeed as an owner operator trucker please subscribe to the Status Transportation blog today.

Being prepared as an owner operator trucker for the International Roadcheck 2017

As you already know, this year the CVSA’s International Roadcheck will place unique focus on cargo securement. Last year owner operators needed to pay extra attention to brakes and tires, but this year is all about freight securement regulations.  This is how owner operator trucking companies can prepare for the 2017 blitz.

Owner Operator Trucking CompaniesThe 72-hour security blitz begins tomorrow and they will be examining your freight. From June 6th until the 8th, law enforcement officers will be examining commercial motor vehicles at a level 1 inspection.

This thorough inspection will examine the mechanical fitness of the vehicle as well as inspect driver’s records. Ensure all your documentation is in order and run a careful pre-trip evaluation to make sure your rig is in great shape.

Load securement regulations owner operators must know

When it comes to your cargo, load securement will be closely inspected in the CVSA’s roadside evaluation and you have to be prepared. For that reason, you must know what the guidelines state.

  • For prevention of loss of load, the regulations mention that a company and driver must make sure that the cargo does not leak, spill, blow or fall from the motor vehicle.
  • For prevention against moving of load, the cargo should be contained, immobilized or secured to prevent shifting upon or within the vehicle. This is measured by whether or not the vehicle stability or maneuverability is negatively affected.

If you are transporting any of the following freights you must protect it according to these particular guidelines.  

Logs, Dressed Lumber, Metal Coils, Paper Rolls, Concrete Pipeline, Intermodal Containers, Automobiles, Light Trucks, and Vans, Heavy Vehicles, Equipment and Machinery, Flattened or Crushed Vehicles, Roll-on/Roll-Off and Hook-Lift Containers, and Large Stones.

Non-compliance found at a roadside inspection can elevate CSA scores directly impacting your owner operator pay.  How you might ask? Very simple, maintaining a clean driving record is always helpful when in search for highest paying owner operator jobs.  

Securing general cargoes with indirect tie-downs based on length and weight

The working load limit or WLL is the maximum load that may be applied to a component of a cargo securement system throughout normal service. The working load limitation is important due to the fact that it affects the number of tie-downs you need to protect the cargo. To effectively protect cargo we must consider both weight and length of the cargo.

Securing freight based upon weight

You are required to secure half of the cargo weight with tie-downs. To do this you should ensure that the aggregate working load limit or WLL of tie-downs used to protect freight against motion should be at least one-half times the weight of the cargo. Compare the number of tie-downs required for length and weight and use the higher standard.

Tie-down adequacy

We also need to make sure the adequacy of the tie downs. First is the anchor point, a number of flaws from the tie-down flaws table in the out of service criteria book can render the anchor point or the tie-down out of service. We look for the integrity of the anchor points so no fractures appear. Lastly, we should examine all securement points and tie downs for serviceability.

Status Transportation - Pre-Trip Inspection
Status Transportation – Pre Trip Inspection

At Status Transportation we are committed to safety. Run a truck and trailer inspection making sure everything is in order.  If you have any concerns about your equipment please address that immediately.

We hope that by understanding what the FMCSA is searching for you’ll be better prepared for the 2017 CVSA Roadside Inspection.  

The best dash cam for owner operators 2017 review

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

Pros

  1. It’s easy to use
  2. It has a built-in GPS

Cons

  1. It doesn’t have a second camera. (You don’t get to protect what’s behind you.)
  2. 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.

owner-operator-dash-camThey 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

Pros

  • GPS Capability
  • Includes suction cup mount
  • Adjustable accident sensors
  • Location included in clip

Cons

  • 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.