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Video Systems for the Waste Industry: Three Ways They Can Benefit Your Organization

Greg Buckner on July 13, 2021

With trade show season back in full swing, professionals in the waste/refuse field recently got the chance to see the latest and greatest industry products at Waste Expo 2021.

There are plenty of new innovations and advances each year, but one piece of technology you often find at these shows are video systems for waste trucks. But what exactly are the benefits of utilizing this technology?

Let’s take a look at some of the key benefits these systems can provide you and your organization.

Safety First

The first big benefit comes down to improved safety – which is especially important given how dangerous driving big waste trucks can be.

According to the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), 52 municipal solid waste workers were killed in the United States and Canada in 2020 and 70 percent of those occurred during collection. The SWANA report stated most of the fatal events were single-vehicle accidents with only the waste vehicle involved, followed by being struck by a waste vehicle as the second most frequent fatalities.

Based on those findings, it’s vital for workers to have an increased awareness of what’s happening around the vehicle to avoid such dangerous situations – something you can accomplish by installing a video system on your trucks.

For example, depending on the type of system you go with, many systems give you the ability to pair an in-cab monitor with multiple cameras, such as side blind-spot cameras and in or near the hopper. Those systems typically allow you to configure automatic triggers that pull certain views onto the monitor – like the rear when backing up or blind spots when turning – to give operators improved situational awareness.

In an industry where you have people hanging on the back of huge trucks that stop every few seconds on crowded streets, those views can be the crucial difference that stop an accident from happening in the first place.

Liability & Training

In addition to helping you protect your workers and the public while on the job, installing video systems on your waste trucks can help with reducing liability through a variety of methods. Having a video system that not only provides the operational views you need, but also records to a DVR for a video record of activity in and around your trucks, can provide the info needed to protect your company.

Shown Above: A six camera Pro-Vision system captured views of the exterior and interior of a commercial truck.

For example, let’s say one of your trucks is involved in an accident and the other party is threatening to sue due to negligence and injuries sustained. But if you have video footage from the system that shows the other vehicle ran a red light and caused the accident, you could share that video with law enforcement or insurance companies to show them your driver was not at fault.

And with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reporting that the average cost of a large truck crash is $91,000, almost $200,000 for a crash with injuries and nearly $3.6 million for a crash involving a fatality, it’s clear to see how any sort of lawsuit could be devastating to your company.

In the same vein of liability protection, these systems can be used for training your drivers on safe driving habits.

With many of these systems, the triggers mentioned in the section above can also be configured to automatically record driving events like speeding and hard braking. Those events can then be reviewed by a fleet manager and if action is needed, steps can be taken to train drivers on safer driving habits to help avoid accidents and limit your organization liability.

Unique Documentation Cases

While video systems help with safety and liability issues unique to the industry, they can also be used to solve other unique problems.

One such unique use case comes from Waste Management. The company has been using onboard video systems for years to improve safety, but now it’s using cameras to document incidents of overfilled and contaminated bins.

Above: An overfilled container captured on video.

If a bin is found to be in violation, the company will first notify and warn the customer before later fining them for repeat violations. In a statement to the Monterey Herald, Waste Management Communications Specialist Paul Rosynsky said, “The goal here is for people to do it right…We don’t want to surcharge anyone. We really want to help educate people.”

This is especially important went it comes to making sure recycling is not mixed in with garbage, which can make sorting through all of that a headache for the service provider. On top of that, overfilled bins can result in trash blowing out of the container and into the street.

Video systems can be used in a variety of ways for safety and liability coverage, but this example goes to show how these systems can be used to solve some unique issues facing the waste/refuse industry.

Let Pro-Vision Help You Protect Your Fleet

Looking to improve safety, reduce liability and improve efficiency across your fleet of waste/refuse trucks? Contact us today to see how you can solve those problems with a Pro-Vision Hybrid HD DVR Video System that provides unmatched 360° coverage to capture crystal-clear video in high definition.


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