Using a Camera Adds Safety to Big Rig Driving

Something that truckers are finding very convenient for their big rigs are back-up cameras. Once a complicated arrangement that was not very practical, there is now a wide range of types that work very well. The advantage of this addition to the truck is that it is easy to see what is directly behind you when on the highway or when backing into a loading/unloading space.

Listed from $99 to $250 these cameras vary in how they are installed and how they perform. This addition has many advantages, especially for new truckers. Following is a brief review of some of the models available; more information is available on the Internet.

There are a number of ways to mount a rear-view camera. It can be in a frame or placed directly on the bumper. One type , Alpine KTX-C10LP, is a rigid, cast metal frame license plate mounting kit. This particular kit not only has a place for mounting the camera but has built-in LEDs for license plate illumination as well. This is designed to go with an Alpine HCE-C115 or HCE-C117D Alpine Camera.

The Alpine HCE-C104 rear-view camera is advertised as being small but with a wide angled lens. The images shown are reversed so it is the same as what you would see with a rearview mirror. It has a 132-degree horizontal viewing angle and a 105-degree vertical viewing angle. This particular camera comes with its own weatherproof mounting bracket and can be angled up or down.

The Jensen JCAM 1 rear-view camera provides a 130-degree horizontal view and connects to almost all video receivers that have a rear-view camera input. There is a cable that goes from the camera to the video screen in the cab. It also has a power/ground cable.

A Rosen Backup Sensor Kit (DP-1030) features a hideaway sensor module, a 24 5' connector cable, and 4 exterior sensors. A hideaway sensor module it mounted inside the truck. Four exterior sensors are then plugged into this module and mounted on the rear bumpers. This then sends an audible warning when the vehicle is too close to an object.

The Audiovox ACA240 Wireless Rear Observation System includes not only a camera, which mounts on the rear license place, but a dash-mounted 2.5" LCD Monitor as well. Operating on a 2.4 GHz wireless transmission system images from the camera to the monitor. A 12 volt power supply is needed. It automatically adjusts for color, brightness, and daytime or nighttime viewing. The monitor is easily attached to the dash with type and can be powered by a cigarette lighter adapter or hardwired to the vehicle.

Many drivers prefer the Boyo VTL402C Ultra Slim Bar-type License Plate Camera. It features 1/4" DSP color CMOS image sensor with over 300,000 pixels that show excellent picture quality. Its wide-angle lens have a 150 degree vertical and horizontal viewing angle.

Other cameras available are the Magellan Wireless Back-up Camera System, which works with a GPS, various Kenwood, Alpine, and Rosen models. There are also Boyo, JVC, Pioneer, and Sony. Each has attractive features.

At all times, safety and careful driving are the concern of truckers who drive big rigs on the highway. It seems to make sense that investing a few dollars and having a clear view of what is going on at the rear of the truck is well worth the money.

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