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Body Cam Preferance?


Chucky Towster
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I'm less than a year into the industry and loving it and have caught myself getting into drones and photography.  Having said that, I've decided I want to equip myself with a body cam to record my recoveries to refer back to, learn from, post on here, etc. Does anybody else already do this and which body cam do you utilize and what do you love about it? Do you prefer a shirt mounted cam or a head mount that follows your eyesight? I'm leaning towards the head mounted version but am very open to others insights.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I happened upon your post and saw that nobody else had responded yet, so here goes....

 

We do indeed use BodyCams on all of our drivers in the field and we have found that it has helped tremendously with multiple things, from liability to faud and reported damage complaints. In this day and age of people looking for a quick buck with a fake damage claim to a claim of inappropriate behavior, we have found that using a high quality bodycam has been as extremely positive tool for us! 

 

Although there are CHEAP and low/poor quality options out there, we went with the Hytera brand of Body Cameras, because they have many built-in features and are high quality, not only with the physical construction (built rugged) but the high quality video and audio that also has an auto-switching Night Vision with IR lighting. Plus, they have bluetooth pairing and a swivel head that allows for many carry options. 

 

We have the nylon cases with either a metal sprung steel clip or a nylon belt loop option for our drivers. The cases we use are Raine/Uncle Mikes brand that fit the body cameras. 

 

For the actual models, we use both the Hytera VM680 and the VM780. The VM780 also has the ability to use a cellular SIM card with the PTT option for communication and streaming the video live, whereas the VM680 is more of a standalone option. 

 

We get ours from BodyCameraUSA (www.BodyCameraUSA.com) via their online store, but the actual tech specs for the VM680 and VM780 are also available on their website and on the Hytera manufacture website. 

 

Like I said, there are cheaper options that are NOT built to a high quality design that could live up to the rugged use and beatings that a tow operator typically subjects the equipment to... We tried other cheaper options and were highly disappointed, either due to not being rugged enough and having broken or to extremely poor video/audio or no Night Vision option. 

 

For us, the Hytera VM680 and VM780 have been the way to go. We've been using them for just over a year not are they have saved us from multiple fake damage claims, fake customer complaints against our staff and also by using the audio only recording option, have come in handy for our tow operators being able to record their telephone calls. 

 

On another note, we have had truck mounted cameras, but we've found that the body cameras actually allow us far better coverage, by following the actions being down by the tow op on scene, whereas a stationary truck mounted camera can't capture the live footage while working in a ditch that's over a hillside. This has allowed us to be able to fully document live footage of working wrecks, recovery work and the regular daily tows. Plus be added a dash mount clip to allow the tow op to clip their body cam to the dash and can record either the forward facing (road view) or inside the cabin, which is handy when a male tow op is transporting a passenger (such as a pretty young girl) that allows us the ability to document the interaction and prevent exposure to a claim of inappropriate talk or touch... We use them to take still photos for documentation of scenes and vehicle conditions, as well as the live video recordings. Being able to record audio only is handy to capture telephone calls if you use your phone on speakerphone.

 

We can plug the cameras into the USB cord and upload the video and audio clips to our office computer for long term storage. Plus the cameras are tamper proof, meaning that the video and audio recordings can NOT be deleted by any user of the device and can ONLY be deleted via an Admin user of the management software. This has also allowed us the ability to make sure we get all the photos and videos of a scene, instead of having our employees using their personal phones and having them email/text the photos/videos to our manager, so this process is much more streamlined by just using these body cameras as an All-in-One device.

 

If you're also looking for an option that will allow you to use them like a two-way radio (such as the Nextel) then the VM780 with a cellular SIM card can allow these to be an All-in-One solution.

 

The $$$ spent on the body cameras has saved us far much more $$$$$$$$ on fake claims and internal (employee problems). I'd recommend to check their website (www.BodyCameraUSA.com) and offerings and go from there, but again, remember the saying, "You get what you pay for" and know that the Hytera body cameras are high quality rugged built devices that can stand up to the harsh work environment and weather conditions of our towing & recovery industry.  

Edited by DodgeTowGuy134

 

 

~ I'm not an attorney, nor do I represent to be one. I provide my personal opinion and that on behalf of myself, my company and our operations.

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