Dashcam Vs Multi-Cam – what’s best for your fleet?
When searching for a camera solution for your fleet more often than not you will come across a dashcam product. Dashcams provide great quality video at a more cost-effective price and are quicker to install so what’s not to like?
In reality, there are limitations to dashcams when used in the real-world environments that modern vehicles operate within.
Problem 1 – Limited views
Most dashcams are limited to a max of 2 cameras typically consisting of a forward and then either driver or rear-facing. Vehicles working close proximity areas such as city centre or residential areas are more susceptible to knocks & bumps to the sides or rear of the vehicle. A forward-facing dashcam won’t capture these events to allow you to dispute insurance claims.
A multi-channel DVR will allow you to add 5 or more cameras fitted anywhere around the vehicle so you can capture evidence footage.
Problem 2 – Small memory capacity
Dashcams are limited to around 256MB maximum memory capacity. The more cameras you add to a dashcam will further reduce the recording time, so you only end up with 2 days’ worth of footage stored.
A multi-channel DVR has a much larger 1TB hard drive providing weeks rather than days’ worth of footage. This is particularly useful for incidents that aren’t reported immediately such as claims about damages or dangerous driving. SD card dashcams may have overwritten the evidence which makes it difficult to prove your vehicle wasn’t at fault.
Problem 3 – Future Proof
Both your business and regulations will constantly evolve and having a camera system that can be easily upgraded will often work out more cost effective in the long run.
As discussed above if your business evolves the need to add more cameras, store footage for longer or add additional equipment like monitors a dashcam won’t be able to upgrade. Instead, you will have to remove the dashcams and install a multi-channel DVR. This means you have purchased two lots of hardware which has cost more than having bought the multi-channel DVR to begin with.
When searching for a camera system take the time to consider the type of incidents you are trying to avoid and what you might want to upgrade to in the future.
- Do you have a lot of rear or side collisions?
- Do you receive complaints about incidents that happened more than 3-4 days ago?
- Do you want to gain accreditations in the future that will require additional cameras e.g. FORS or CLOCS
Investing in a multi-cam system will cost more upfront but if you consider an investment over 3-5yrs with the ability to easily upgrade and the increased number of incidents you will capture they often work out to be much better value for money.