The backup camera situation?

Discussion in 'Trucking Electronics, Gadgets and Software Forum' started by NewHaul2018, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. NewHaul2018

    NewHaul2018 Bobtail Member

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    We’re pretty close to 2020. We should be living lives of leasure from our comfortable vantage point onboard orbiting space stations by now. So why is it that nobody seems to make a 360 degree view backup camera system for Commercial tractor trailer combos? It’s not the tech, cars have had this tech for more than a decade. It can’t possibly be the cost, those cameras are cheap, and even new entry level compacts have backup cameras with 360 view installed from the factory. Why oh why hasn’t the trucking industry caught on to what the personal vehicle industry figured out 10 years ago? A 360 view system if it only prevented one backing accident in it’s lifetime, would easily pay for itself ten times over, even more so if the accident involved personal injury. This seems like a no brainer, so why hasn’t this happened yet? Large fleets should be all over this and I guess in a way they kind of are. They have cameras, but they decided to point them at the drivers, a move that seems to be more about fleet owners having someone to point the finger at when an accident occurs rather than providing a useful tool to a driver to help prevent a possible accident. Am I ranting yet? I feel like I’m ranting. My plea to any tech folks out there is this, a 360 view backup system is a good idea, it’s inexpensive to develop and could have a huge positive benefit. We have refrigerators that tell you when you are low on milk and put a reminder on your calendar to get more, all I want is to see what my mirrors aren’t showing me when I’m backing up. Can we do this? Please?
     
    Matt43324 Thanks this.
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  3. againstthewind

    againstthewind Road Train Member

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    how would werner and schneider keep drivers if their drivers didnt hit anything and could get a better paying job that requires a clean record. it wouldnt pay for itself with the megas, they rely on drivers having an incident or 2 so they arent able to get a better job. better to run them endiess miles untill their exhausted and they tear a fender off at the truckstop, dont worry they pay for that fender out of the pay they dont give their drivers, so really the driver is paying for the fender, it all works out
     
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  4. ast26909

    ast26909 Medium Load Member

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    NewHaul2018 Thanks this.
  5. shogun

    shogun Road Train Member

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    We go to so many old docks that bend our rain channels that a backup camera wouldn’t work up top. Some places we almost have to rub the trailer beside us on the dock so it wouldn’t work on the sides either.
     
    Dan.S and NewHaul2018 Thank this.
  6. darinmac38

    darinmac38 Light Load Member

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    Backing in is the most terrifying part of trucking from my research thus far. I would love to find myself in an open yard someplace, with a variety of obstacles I could set up, like trailers to park between etc and literally practice for days until perfected. Why don't companies allow drivers to do this? Just give them a truck, trailer and a yard place to practice until perfected. The life of that trucker would be forever easier and less stressful. Knowing he had confidently back into anyplace takes so much pressure off.

    I watch videos of new truckers struggling every day, or unable to make a back in, or worse, tearing something up. Then they lose their job. If I was a trainer, as soon as my driver learned the basics, I'd hand him the keys, send him into an open yard with some placed obstacles and tell him to report back when he perfected backing in.
     
  7. NewHaul2018

    NewHaul2018 Bobtail Member

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    Thanks for the link, I’m not sure this is quite what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the 360 view where it gives you a composite arial view of the vehicle so you can see where your tractor and trailer are in relation to it’s imediate surroundings. Having the ability to see the path your trailer is tracking would be very useful as well. The backup cam is a good start though. Thanks for the tip.
     
  8. IH Truck Guy

    IH Truck Guy Road Train Member

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    The steering wheel holders can't avoid hitting stuff with a real time view looking out the windshield.


    So looking at a little computer screen isn't going to help most of them.
     
  9. NewHaul2018

    NewHaul2018 Bobtail Member

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    I take your point, but I think there are practical engineering solutions to the problems you mentioned. Unless you are using roll up doors on your trailer, side clearance shouldn’t be an issue since the swing out doors most 53’ vans have, protrude at least 2”-3” on each side. Even if that’s still prohibitive, you could flush mount each camera with a solenoid actuator that could retract upon contact. The tech for that sort of thing exists and is pretty cheap. Sounds like you work in some pretty tight spaces though, it probably would be nice with such tight tolerances on your sides, to be able to see if a dock worker or pedestrian snuck into the alley benind you while you were backing. The national safety council says that 500 people die in the US from backing related accidents each year. If a $20 camera could prevent even one of those deaths, I’d be willing to replace as many as I needed to. Even if you weren’t concerned with the moral imperative to protect human life, you should be concerned with financial imperative of protecting your human bank account. Even one wrongful death claim could put a small fleet out of business. The legal fees alone would make a $700 camera system seem like a real bargain.
     
  10. ZVar

    ZVar Road Train Member

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    As per the Smith System training video on backing, when cameras are put on trucks, backing incidents go up. People get tunnel vision and only watch the camera. They loose situational awareness and hit stuff they would have seen by looking around.
     
  11. NewHaul2018

    NewHaul2018 Bobtail Member

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    That’s an interesting claim. I went on the smith system website to see where that research derived from, but came up blank. Do you happen to know what study they are quoting when they make that claim? If so, could you post a link to it? Thanks!
     
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