In May 2018, federal law required that all vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds to be equipped with rearview monitoring technology.
If you don't already have a backup camera, then it's definitely time to get one. 10,000 pounds or heavier, the benefits of having a rearview camera are uniform and equal across the board.
However, what's out there on the market that's specialized for trucks or other big vehicles? Keep on reading for a full breakdown on the benefits of backup cameras, and how to pick the best backup camera for truck drivers.
The Benefits of Backup Cameras
Out of the best ways to increase backup safety, having a solid backup camera can make a huge difference.
Here are some of its main benefits.
Eliminate the Blind Zone
Even though backup cameras can't completely eliminate the blind zone, it decreases it by an average of 90 percent.
Backup cameras give drivers the ability to see clearly behind them. Basically, it provides a taller and wider-angle view than a traditional rearview mirror can give them.
In addition, as long as drivers are alert and actively monitoring their surroundings, the inherent risk that comes with having a "blind zone" plummets.
Reduce Traffic Stress
There is nothing more draining than being in an extended state of stress on a highway.
Whether a truck driver is pulling out of a shoulder or changing lanes, there is this moment of sheer panic due to the nonexistent vision in that split of a second.
One of the great benefits of backup cameras is giving truck drivers the peace of mind, especially as they drive for long periods of time and need to be on high alert for those same periods.
By using backup cameras to safely gauge where other vehicles are, drivers can prevent collisions (for the most part).
How to Select the Best Backup Camera for Truck Drivers
Now that you're more aware of how essential it is to get a backup camera, it's time to take a deep dive into how to select the right one for you.
1. Assess Your Truck's Dashboard
A backup camera is great to have, but it's nothing but a useless gadget if you don't have a screen to plug it into. In short, you'll need to check out what's already available on your dash.
If you already have a touchscreen receiver with a rearview video input capability, then all you need to do is make sure that the backup camera is compatible.
Furthermore, if you're on the lookout for a whole system, then check out combined systems or a sonar system with audible alerts. They're all integrated and can provide a comprehensive system that presents you with both audio and video capabilities.
2. Backup Camera Features
Not all backup cameras are built alike. That's why there are multiple features that you'll need to keep in mind when you're on the lookout for the best backup camera.
Usually, you'll find that the majority of the cameras on the market either have CCD or CMOS sensors.
These sensors work by collecting light. However, their main difference comes through in the way of converting the light into signals.
For CCD, it's an analog system, while the CMOS is digital.
Each type has its positives and negatives. A CMOS sensor will consume less power, and tends to be more sensitive to 'image.' On the other hand, a CCD sensor will handle fluctuating lighting scenarios than a CMOS sensor can.
One of the great features of backup cameras is providing onscreen guidelines. These guidelines are a fantastic aid, especially when you're backing out (or squeezing into) tight spots.
In addition, they can also help you correctly gauge the distance between your truck and other objects.
However, you might consider these parking lines as more of a distraction than a boon. If that's you, you can opt-in or out of getting parking lines by going for a camera with "selectable" parking lines feature.
As it were, during the camera monitor installation process, you might be given the opportunity to remove parking lines as your default setting.
This feature is basically what it sounds like. It's having the perks of a view in your monitor that's reversed to mimic that of the rearview mirror.
Traditionally, having a mirror image is a selectable feature. It can be quite handy if you're planning on using the camera as a dual-purpose back view and front view camera.
Overall, backup cameras are known for the spacious horizontal viewing angle they can provide. You can find backup cameras that can give you an expansive 190-degrees view.
Of course, the wider you can go, the more you'll be able to view behind you at a glance.
As with any type of camera, there is a minimum amount of light required for it to be able to pick up on an image.
This rating for backup cameras is known as the minimum Lux rating. It tells you the least amount of light needed so that it can provide an acceptable picture.
You might be wondering what the ranges of Lux ratings mean. Here's a quick breakdown.
For a night with a full moon, you'll find that it'll be rated approximately 0.1 Lux. On the other hand, a bright sunny day would get a rating of around 10,000 Lux.
Moreover, there are cameras that will enhance their low light capabilities by having an additional LED or infrared light that turns on when you're in reverse. This boosts its image quality, even with a low light rating that isn't that great.
Ready to Boost Your Backup Safety?
There are so many different backup cameras and systems on the market that it can overwhelm even the most hardened vehicle safety pro.
That's why a good breakdown of what makes the best backup camera for truck drivers can cut to the chase, and help illuminate the most important features for you to keep in mind.
We hope that our guide was helpful in cutting down the white noise and nailing down what features matter the most to you.