That view-doo that you do

By Land Line staff

Night or day, east or west, safe driving relies a lot on how much you can see. Your eyeballs can't do it alone. You and your truck need special equipment and systems that help you handle that blazing sunset in heavy traffic, a narrow dock or a snug parking lot.

You need to arm yourselves and don your best battle gear. The interstates are not going to get less congested nor your rig smaller.

Rave reviews. Blue Tiger's Black Box Dash Camera, priced at less than $170, has a wide-angle lens, motion sensor, high-quality night recording ability, and date/time stamp. Blue Tiger's new dash cam gizmo that is getting props from truckers is the new Dual Black Box Dash Camera. Priced right at $190. It allows you to record two separate video feeds at the same time. Date stamp, still photo mode, night recording and more.

Is that a Dodge Neon attached to your bumper? ASA Electronics in Elkhart, Ind., has been around since 1977. The company recently announced they're offering yet another product in their lineup to give heavy-duty truck drivers all the necessary views you need to drive safer.

The new VOM74WP Voyager is a 7-inch quad-view rear observation monitor that is tougher than woodpecker lips. It's waterproof, too. The company says truck owners who bought this love the multi-camera inputs.

Bird's eye. In your mind, you are a skilled eagle with a 10-foot wingspan, dropping through the gears on a curvy exit ramp - but hold on. There's a rookie four-wheeler on your left drive axle like Velcro. No prob. Brigade Electronics makes a Smarteye 360-degree camera system with four cameras placed around the truck with ultra- wide 187-degree lenses. The idea is to create a panoramic view for the truck driver by stitching the frames of the images together. It's like giving the driver a bird's eye view from above. Those new customers who seem to be impressed with your service will really like this.

Going for the works? You're an owner-operator with one truck, getting close to 3 million safe miles. Your insurance provider loves you. Rear View Safety makes backup cameras and sensors, dash cams and more. Rear View Safety sells a complete tractor-trailer blind spot camera system starting at about $250. The system features digital 7-inch LCD color monitor with mirror image capability, a three-channel multiplexer with automatic system switch, 120-degree CCD side camera (right or left side) with, get this, 30-foot infrared night vision. It comes with all the wires, connectors and mounts you will need.

The system is completely weatherproof with an IP68 rating, strong and reliable, shock resistant, with a 20G vibration rating (Rear View claims this is the highest in the industry), and comes with a full-year warranty.

The strong silent type. Poor wiper blades that scrape, squeak or miss a big spot make drivers want to pull over and rip a flailing arm right off the windshield. Rain-X, made by ITW Global Brands, is a favorite visibility tool. If you liked their water repellent product before, you may want to check out the new Latitude Water Repellency Wiper Blades.

Ron Fausnight, Research and Development Manager for ITW, says the blades apply a water-repelling coating to the windshield, making it easier to see in inclement weather, and has an advanced, beam-style blade technology that delivers a virtually streak-free wipe for optimal visibility. According to Rain-X, the water repellent will last for months.

We found these at truck stops and Target for around $18 each and the cheapest at Wal-Mart for about $12 each.

Bugs be gone. Scrubblades are a beam-style wiper blade that features a rubber-covered frame for optimum performance during ice and snow; a low profile to prevent the wind from whipping it around; and nano graphite coating for quiet operation. These blades also have little triangular scrubbers that deliver a clean wipe of bug carcasses, bird crap and mud. We found them at truck stops and auto parts stores everywhere. The premium model is under $12, and the heavy-duty style starts around $9. LL