If you’re considering extra fleet safety and security, you’re probably asking yourself how much is a dashcam for commercial vehicles. The price varies by manufacturer and features, but the average is $80 to $500 per camera. Learn more about this tool, and whether adding dashcams to your fleet vehicles might be beneficial.
Are commercial and consumer dashcams the same?
A consumer dashcam varies significantly from a commercial dashcam based on features and functionality. Some key features consumer dashcams generally lack include:
- Advanced camera sensors
- Automatic updates
- Dual and wide-angle lenses (160-170 degrees vs. 120 on standard models)
- Ease of managing more than one device from a single dashboard
- GPS tracking
- Incident recording
- Interactive map view recordings
- Live views
- Long-term HD video clip cloud storage
- LTE connectivity
- Manual recording buttons to capture events
- Tamper-proof engineering
- Reporting features designed for fleet managers
- Wi-Fi hotspots
The main difference is in the information remotely available to managers, like reports and incident footage.
What is the average cost of commercial dashcams?
Professional-grade dashcams cost $80 to $500 based on the model and features selected. And while that sounds pricey when you need to outfit an entire fleet, the investment is generally well worth it. While evaluating a dashcam price, consider potential benefits and cost savings, like lower litigation fees and insurance premiums.
Dashcams can also keep drivers accountable and facilitate safety coaching from trainers and managers. You might also find that it improves driver retention by rewarding safe drivers. Additionally, dashcams can lower insurance rates and reduce the likelihood of vandalism or theft.
5 factors that affect the cost of commercial dashcams
As you search for the best technology to outfit your fleet, consider these factors.
High-definition footage will make it easier to prove what happened during an incident. Some cameras now record in 4K for detailed, crisp footage that you can zoom in on. Being able to leverage high-quality images for insurance claims or litigation can make all the difference.
Most fleet managers find that 1080p resolution is high enough quality to see details within the footage, such as license plates and road signs. Balancing price with video quality is important, and generally 1080p hits the sweet spot.
Some dashcams sync with electronic logging devices (ELDs) or provide GPS tracking that combines with video to provide more perspective into incidents. While including GPS functionality makes dashcams more expensive, it can more than pay for itself.
Front-facing vs. dual-facing
As the name implies, most cameras are dash-mounted and thus record footage of what’s happening in front of the vehicle. However, some systems come with a dual-facing camera, which has a lens on either side so that it films both the road ahead and inside the cab. If you need to prove a driver’s attentiveness to the road, the dual-facing option can be invaluable. Keep in mind that the additional lens does increase the price, but it’s a popular feature for commercial dashcams.
Don’t confuse dual-facing with front and rear cameras. Front and rear cameras come with two devices: one mounted near the dash and another at the rear pointed backwards. The goal is to get as close to a 360-degree view of what’s happening on the road as possible. Given that this setup requires two units, it is the costliest option on the market.
Most units are easy to install yourself using the provided mounts, suction cups or adhesive pads. Some cameras connect to your vehicle via the OBD-II or an auxiliary power outlet. However, other systems are more complex, requiring manual wiring behind the vehicle’s panel.
The cost to install a dashcam professionally is generally not more than $50 per installation. Some companies selling these tools will even include installation in the purchase price. Just be sure the camera’s mounted in a location that’s compliant with FMCSA regulations. It must be out of the driver’s sightline to the road and street signs. It also must be no more than 8.5 inches below and 7 inches above the upper edge of where windshield wipers swipe.
Today’s cameras are feature-rich, offering deep insights into what’s happening in and around the vehicle at all times. Some features you should consider include the following.
- Night vision: Fleet vehicles are often on the road day and night to ensure deliveries arrive on time. Night vision lenses offer a clear view of what’s happening, even in low lighting.
- Motion sensors: This feature notifies you whenever the sensor is triggered for extra security. It can be set to automatically begin recording, even when the vehicle is parked.
- Collision detection auto-recording: Save video clips when the sensors shake for any reason, which generally signals a vehicle collision.
- Parking mode: Set the camera to parking mode and capture footage of attempted thefts, vandalism or tampering.
- Time lapse auto-recording: Cameras can snap photos periodically to create a timelapse video of what’s happening around the vehicle at all times.
- Artificial intelligence: This camera feature offers insights into how safely drivers operate their vehicles and whether they wear seatbelts.
- In-cab coaching: While costly, in-cab coaching can give alerts and suggestions to drivers that help them identify unsafe behaviors and remain alert.
Investing in fleet safety and security
While dashcams cost more up front, they offer added safety and security features to protect drivers, profits and freight. Weigh the benefits of each feature to balance the expense with potential cost savings and peace of mind.
Fleet dashcam systems record video footage of what’s happening on the roadway while in operation. Some cameras also capture driver footage, which can help detect unsafe practices, such as texting and driving.
Commercial vehicle managers find that dashcams help reduce insurance costs, promote safer driving behaviors and reduce distractions from the road.
Yes, some dashcams come with GPS tracking or integrate with ELD devices that offer location tracking.
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