TRUCK AND TRAILER CAMERA APPLICATIONS
TRUCK AND TRAILER CAMERA APPLICATIONS
By: Don McClatchie
Video cameras are finding their way into the transportation industry in the form of cameras mounted on fleet vehicles for security, traffic and accident recording and the mitigation of lawsuits. One of the obvious and first uses for a video camera on a vehicle was the back up camera to cover those blind spots that all trucks have and to prevent collisions when backing up. However, there are other concerns that prompt the installation of 360 degree camera views of the vehicle and trailer.
As an example, for safety purposes tractor trailers that carry chemicals and hazardous materials can be equipped with 4 or more cameras mounted on the trailer to be able to see all sides of the trailer, to check for leaks or other vehicles or objects two close for safety. Cameras mounted to see the left side, right side, back side and the front side of trucks and trailers are used to verify the actual cause of accidents or injuries that occur within the view of the cameras. Normally the recording device is mounted on the trailer and a four camera (quad picture) single video image is cabled to the tractor cab. Like when loading and unloading the goods from a refrigerated or dry goods truck you will have people climbing in and out of the box and that is when accidents happen. It is always a good idea to have any accident recorded to verify the facts surrounding the event and to mitigate false accident claims. Cameras with recorded video have a way of making people behave more honestly. It is common knowledge that the presence of a video camera reduces the thief of property and goods from the truck, reducing the snatch and run method of theft while the products are being unloaded from the truck.
There have been instances where a previous delivery truck ran into and damaged equipment at a loading site and then the next truck pulls up and is accused of causing the damage having never touched the equipment, that is when recorded video of the visit really pays off.
If the vehicle is involved in an accident, the cameras will show exactly what happened which could be useful in court if confronted with opposing stories about what exactly happened. Since these cameras are mounted on the trailers with the recorder and the monitor is mounted in the drivers cab a video cable connection must be made between the trailer and the cab of the truck whenever a new trailer is hooked up. There is the question of how to ensure that the driver will connect the video cable each time he connects the lights and brake system connections on the trailer to the tractor. A driver could forget to connect the camera feed to the cab reducing the safety factor that the images produce.
One way to encourage and remind the driver to make the connection is to use a Video Loss Relay in the cab to monitor the video connection and either light a warning light with the relay output or use the video loss relay output to turn off the power to the radio when the video camera is not connected. Either way this gentle incentive is normally enough to get the video cable connected every time the trailer is connected.
Probably the most important reason to install video cameras on your trailer fleet is for mitigation of lawsuits. If your truck comes anywhere near a customer’s property and there is pre-existing damage to the facility, the cameras will clear you of exposure to a lawsuit. Averting just one false claim can pay for the video equipment and then some. The video loss relay is called the CG-1 CAMERA GUARD and it works with analog video NTSC, PAL, HD-TVI, HD-CVI and all AHD video cameras.
It is designed with loop through input and output BNC connectors for easy installation and is powered by vehicle 12 VDC power. A green two position screw terminal connector is used for the relay output to power an alarm light or to cut the power from a radio or disable other accessories. If you want to have cameras mounted onto your truck, trailer or fleet of vehicles you can contact: Howard Minors with VEHICLE INSTALLS LLC located in WINTER GARDEN, FL. 407-900-8588. He is a leader in this kind of vehicle camera installation work.