By Chris VanMeerhaeghe
special to Land Line
I'm sure you've seen your fair share of accidents driving across the country for a living, and hopefully have not been in one. If you have, you know you are about to get the third degree from the law enforcement officer. And after you look around for a witness, none are there. It is the same old your word against theirs.
Well, all that has changed. I had the opportunity to test out the new HD 720P Dash Cam recorder/camera. As far as a witness goes, this little baby captures not only video, but audio as well.
It has three repeat cycle data storage options, which will record every two minutes, 10 minutes or 15 minutes and store up to eight hours of data on a 16 gigabyte HD card. Then it will continue to record and clear the first data storage and so on.
So if an event happens, just note the time because everything is recorded by date in real time. The next time you stop for a break, slip the HD card into your computer and download the timed event, and you are covered.
I know a few of you are probably asking, "How is the audio going to help me out if this is mounted in the truck and the DOT tells me to come to the back of my truck?"
Well, these guys have thought of that also. The unit is powered two different ways. The first is a built-in lithium-ion battery, and the second is a car charger that plugs into a cigarette lighter. So if the DOT officer asks you to step out of the truck, just unplug the car charger and bring the dash cam with you. It is no bigger than a pack of smokes and will record for one hour unplugged.
Now you are prepared when he asks you what happened. You can tell him that you will show him.
Downloading the event takes about five minutes, and you are covered, my friend.
One other useful function is that, with a simple push of the mode button, the dash cam video recorder turns into a still camera in case you need to print out still pictures and print them.
This HD 720 Portable DVR will support a MMC card up to 64 gig and recording resolution of 1280 by 720.
This camera has a sharp, clear daytime picture, but the clarity drops off at night. An infrared night camera would be helpful, which is also available from these guys.
After testing this product, I feel good about recommending it to my fellow truckers, friends and family. I will not be without one. It unplugs from the truck and into the car in a matter of seconds. It suction cups to the window, and off you go.LL
Editor's note: Longtime truckers Chris and Christina VanMeerhaeghe are OOIDA members and up until recently drove team running all 48 states. Now Chris drives local and Christina works in dispatch