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In Cab cameras on the driver

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G-Town's Comment
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Garry A introduces himself:

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Hello all new here but this caught my attention. I have been a police officer for 15 years and am currently ending my career as an officer on January 9, 2016 and going back over the road. Now I have had these cameras installed on many of the patrol cars that I drive and at first I absolutely hated them but now quite frankly I want more cameras on me at all times just in case I get accused of something that I did not do. But basically the way the cameras work is they do not record and save the data all the time. It has a limited hard drive for storing space in the camera that constantly gets written over unless there is a triggering event. For police cars it is generally when we turn the blue lights on, for trucks it is probably tied into a airbag module control unit which in the case of an accident records your speed, change in delta v (velocity of truck basically) if your seatbelt was in use, etc., basically everything that is needed so they can investigate the accident to determine wrongdoing. These cameras do not store the data all the time, they cant, not enough space generally, they also can not be turned on to "monitor" you like a live feed, they are not blue tooth or wifi enabled generally. The cost is too prohibitive to do that and no company or government agency is going to do that. These cameras will only record a certain time frame, between 10 seconds to a couple of minutes before and after a triggering event. They will only give the company enough information to allow them to determine what happened in the event of a triggering event, was you asleep, tired, on the phone, etc. Nothing to really worry about it in the case of personal privacy, although I understand those concerns. In this lawsuit happy world I personally want anything to show that I was doing my job right, no matter what that job is, just in case something happens.

Thanks and welcome to the site.

Similar technology, "truck" version might be more sophisticated, "digitally". The camera is tied into the on-board computer system (ex: Qualcom computer captures speed, location, etc.). Upload is only activated when a critical event occurs, but not necessarily and usually not caused by impact. Hard braking, swerving, deeply rutted roads, popping a curb hard, pitch and yaw will cause it to activate when one of the sensors is tripped. In the newest versions it will also be tripped and event uploaded if excessive amounts of lane drifting occurs.

Go back a few pages in this thread and you will see a two page explanation that includes basic operation.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob S.'s Comment
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I have two concerns with the driver facing camera:

How do I prevent the company from using it against me in an arbitrary situation? For example, let's say the camera shows me doing s/thing that is neither unsafe or illegal, but they still decide to fire me just because. The only way to defend myself is thru a lawsuit which is neither free nor guaranteed in its outcome.

And the second thing I don't like is why they would need to have it turned on even if the truck is not moving? I know some people have mentioned that they are only on if the truck is moving, which is fine. But if it is on when the truck is parked, that to me is going too far.

As per the original poster, she said that the company was not at all upfront about disclosing the driver facing camera. Seems to me like they are doing their best to alienate drivers. Life is a two way street, if you want honest and trustworthy employees, the company needs to be upfront about how it monitors their employees.

If there is an accident, I would much rather have all the evidence in my favor and thus I see the necessity of driver facing cameras. I will just have to "pet my dog" elsewhere.

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
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Well, as I said companies that implement this, especially if it's mandatory, should have some sort of written policy about its use. I would ask to see what is outlined as unacceptable behavior, worthy of termination.

As for being fired for "arbitrary reasons", I would venture that if you're being fired it's not for something arbitrary. I doubt they call you back to headquarters then demand your keys without saying why or giving you an opportunity to state your case. The only time I can see someone being dismissed without notice or cause is if the company's jurisdiction is in a right to work state. Then it doesn't matter if there's anything incriminating or not on the video. Right to work state laws would apply and they don't need to give a reason or advance notice of your termination.

Basically, if you're not doing anything illegal or against stated company policy, they're not going to "arbitrarily" fire you.

G-Town's Comment
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Rob S. inquires:

How do I prevent the company from using it against me in an arbitrary situation? For example, let's say the camera shows me doing s/thing that is neither unsafe or illegal, but they still decide to fire me just because. The only way to defend myself is thru a lawsuit which is neither free nor guaranteed in its outcome.

If you are not doing anything wrong or unsafe it's a non-issue, the camera only "uploads" data if there is a critical event. Doing nothing wrong is not a reason for termination. Not sure if I understand the question. Petting your dog for a few seconds isn't going to get you fired. Rolling your truck because you were texting will get you fired.

And the second thing I don't like is why they would need to have it turned on even if the truck is not moving? I know some people have mentioned that they are only on if the truck is moving, which is fine. But if it is on when the truck is parked, that to me is going too far.

Not true, it's not. It's powered off, disabling it when the ignition is off (engine is not running) and/or if the truck is stationary. It will automatically power up when the engine is started and/or you move the truck. Most of the cameras have a "kill" switch which will shut it off when the truck is not moving. It's not there to watch you change your clothes or down your sandwich while sitting on your bunk.

As per the original poster, she said that the company was not at all upfront about disclosing the driver facing camera. Seems to me like they are doing their best to alienate drivers. Life is a two way street, if you want honest and trustworthy employees, the company needs to be upfront about how it monitors their employees.

That is what she said, and although I agree with you, it's their $200k truck. I can assure you that the large carriers will not only inform you they will provide you with a basic understanding of how it works.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

Rob S.'s Comment
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Thanks for your reply Miss Miyoshi, perhaps I've become too jaded to believe in the benevolence of management.

G-Town's Comment
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Thanks for your reply Miss Miyoshi, perhaps I've become too jaded to believe in the benevolence of management.

Rob, Trucking companies have a huge problem; they do not have enough qualified drivers. Please believe me when I say this, they will not fire you for doing your job to the best of your ability, which includes safe operation of your CMV. The line management you reference in many, many cases are former drivers so they usually understand the issues faced by a new driver and in most cases will make a reasonable effort to help you through the rough spots. They are not going to fire you for no reason. That is counterintuitive and counter productive to their livelihood and job performance.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards
G-Town's Comment
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Miss Myoshi wrote: Well, as I said companies that implement this, especially if it's mandatory, should have some sort of written policy about its use. I would ask to see what is outlined as unacceptable behavior, worthy of termination.

With Swift this is documented in the drivers employee handbook. Likely the same way with all of the larger carriers.

Rob S.'s Comment
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Thanks G-Town for the re-assuring words. I was referring more to my old corporate office jobs where they wanted you to be a lemming without a pulse. This is one of the more important reasons I'm getting into trucking. I need to feel directly responsible in how I am being paid for my performance. I just want to do my job honestly, safely and competently. Kissing and sucking up to management is very distasteful to me. And by this I don't mean that I am some rude unsociable donkey, but I just want to do my job without all that extra politiking.

RebelliousVamp 's Comment
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So some of you say that the camera stays on at all times, parked or rolling. Some of you say it's turned off when truck is not running. Which one is it? Different camera systems or...?

G-Town's Comment
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Thanks G-Town for the re-assuring words. I was referring more to my old corporate office jobs where they wanted you to be a lemming without a pulse. This is one of the more important reasons I'm getting into trucking. I need to feel directly responsible in how I am being paid for my performance. I just want to do my job honestly, safely and competently. Kissing and sucking up to management is very distasteful to me. And by this I don't mean that I am some rude unsociable donkey, but I just want to do my job without all that extra politiking.

Rob...I get it Man.

I am a 30+ year "veteran" of business BS and politics. So "done" with it. Your primary reason for "getting into trucking" is not only relevant to me (and others here), but a really great one for motivation. Significant burn-out, repeated mergers, laying-off talented people, and out-sourcing moved me in this direction. Every night, unless the weather was really bad I now sleep like a baby, stress-free. I have lost weight, get more "quality" rest, off the BP meds, and smile a "whole heck-of-a lot more". I have a fraction of the worries I used to carry around with me and best of all I get paid for doing something I love. At the end of the day when I safely return with either my trailer empty or a back-hauled load, I know I have done my job and everyone is happy!

If you can learn how to drive one of these beasts, get your CDL and succeed through your road-training, you will never again feel like a "lemming". No promises but if you apply yourself and focus, you will likely succeed.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
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