One of the many questions fleet operators ask us here at ProVision is where cameras can be placed on their flatbed trucks. There are many options, which are based on 4 key considerations: Recording of journey footage, driver safety, public safety and vehicle security.
So, let’s look at these options in turn:
When an incident occurs, you will want to have the footage to help you defend claims. This is the main reason that fleet operators fit cameras to their vehicles. The best configuration to meet this need for flatbed vans is a forward-facing camera (fitted just at the top of the windscreen, just behind the rear-view mirror), and a rear camera, fitted to the rear protector bar.
For larger flatbed trucks, we would add two side cameras, in addition to the forward and rear. These would be fitted on the near-side and off-side of the cab facing backwards along the body of the truck. A monitor in the cab will allow the side camera and rear camera views to be shown automatically when turning at junctions or reversing the vehicle.
Many fleet managers think that a single forward ‘dashcam’ type camera will suffice for a flatbed, but there are many reasons why this just isn’t the case. Have a read of these two articles and you’ll understand why:
Throw Your Dashcam Away Article
Why You Need A Connected Plan Article
In summary, if your primary purpose for fitting camera to your truck is protecting your fleet and managing risk, then you need at least front, two sides and rear cameras.
Flatbeds are real workhorse vehicles. As such their flat load space can carry many and varied items of all shapes and sizes – often together in one load. This can mean slippage and movement. Worst case items can even drop off the vehicle causing damage to other road users.
To ensure the load remains secured and safe, the addition of a camera on top of the cab facing back over the bed means that the driver can see the load at all times on the monitor in the cab while driving.
Flatbed truck drivers often drive in and around cities and urban areas where they can be subject to abuse, road rage and physical attacks. In this case, all the cameras around the vehicle will not help if the driver is attacked in the cab.
If this is a concern for you, a dome camera installed inside the cab can capture the space and record anything untoward that happens.
A by-product of this is that, in the event of an accident, the driver will have evidence to show that they were paying attention to the road and were not on the phone or distracted in some other way.
Of course, the very presence of in-cab cameras has been shown to have a marked reduction in incidences of accidents caused by distraction and mobile use. So, this is a win-win for fleet managers.
Larger flatbed trucks can have two main blind spots, the near side of the truck and the rear. In cities and congested areas these can cause difficulties for drivers. The use of side-scan technologies and turn alerts can help the driver to know that cyclists and other road users are in the blind-spot, as well as letting those road users know that the vehicle is going to turn. But frankly, nothing can beat actually seeing the area for yourself.
In this case, the rear camera with the addition of a blind-spot camera (placed on the near side, just at the top of the cab, facing down), along with an in-cab monitor (that automatically switches to the required view when reversing or indicating), will instantly give the driver peace-of-mind that the area is clear and they can complete the manoeuvre with confidence.