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Guide to Dashcam Installation

Installing dashcams throughout your trucking fleet can create improved safety for drivers while generating helpful data about how the driver operates the truck. 

Even though some drivers may have concerns about privacy with a dashcam installation, this technology is commonly used throughout the trucking industry. Dashcams also play an important role in protecting drivers against false liability claims in accidents. 

If you are wondering about how to install a dashcam, read on. 

Dashcam Rules: The Basics

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sets certain regulations for the placement of a dash camera. 

  • Upper limit: You can mount the dash camera on the inside of the cab up to 4 inches below the highest location where the windshield wiper sweeps on the outside of the windshield.
  • Lower limit: Or you can mount the dashcam on the inside up to 8 inches above the lowest location where the windshield wiper sweeps on the outside of the windshield.

Additionally, FMCSA regulations require that you do not mount the camera in any location where it could block the driver’s view of the road ahead or of traffic signs.

A few dash camera manufacturers have requested and received exemptions for placement on the windshield a few inches outside the FMCSA’s upper and lower zones. If you have one of these models, the instructions should inform you about your non-standard installation options.

3 Steps to Dashcam Installation 

When it’s time for your dashcam installation, you will need to follow the specific instructions with your model. However, we can give you some general ideas and tips for performing this install. Hopefully, these tips will help you determine whether you can take on this challenge yourself.

1. Determine the type of power 

You have a few options for generating electrical power for your dashcam. The most difficult installation will require you to connect the camera to the truck’s internal wiring. Other options are easier, including plugging an adapter into the 12V socket or into the truck’s OBD port. Some cameras run from battery packs, further simplifying installation.

2. Mount the camera

To accommodate the dashcam’s wide-angle lens, try to mount the camera in the center of the windshield horizontally while following the FMCSA regulations for the vertical location of the camera. Some dashcam mounts use a suction cup to adhere to the windshield, whereas others use adhesive tape. Both should be easy to use. 

3. Store video data

Some dash cameras store recorded video in the cloud. This means the camera makes a cellular network connection to upload its video wirelessly to an offsite storage area. Other cameras store the video to a memory card installed inside the camera. 

The memory card option is more budget-friendly, as you’ll have to purchase a cellular subscription to use the cloud storage option. Installation is a little trickier when you have to set up a cellular connection versus using a memory card.

Bottom Line

As you can see, a dashcam installation does require following a few specific steps. However, the majority of dash camera installs will go smoothly for people who have at least a little bit of experience working on their trucks.

Installation for most models will go smoothly enough that you should focus on finding a dash camera that meets the needs of your fleet, rather than looking for a camera that has an easy install process.

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