By Gary Manske
Construction Safety Week (May) and National Safety Month (June) have many companies thinking about how to improve safety on the jobsite. While these are good reminders, it’s important to continually think about how to maintain safe working conditions, especially around large equipment.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace injuries in the construction industry continue to remain high with transportation incidents accounting for the largest share of fatalities. Why the trend? The CDC and NIOSH share one of the biggest factors is poor visibility around vehicles. Construction vehicles keep getting bigger and bigger. While that’s great for efficiency, it’s not so great for blind spots. The larger the blind spot areas the more opportunity for accidents. But this is 2021; don’t most construction vehicles come with cameras to aid visibility? Some, but it’s not standard. There is a fix, though, and it’s in aftermarket camera systems.
TURIN INSTALLS CAMERA
Dave Turin, star of the hit Discovery TV series Gold Rush: Dave Turin’s Lost Mine, partnered with Dakota Micro to install rearview EnduraCam cameras on his service truck.
While some trucks come equipped with rearview camera systems, Dave’s truck—as with many other service vehicles—did not. The problem was his rearview mirror view was completely obstructed and his side mirrors couldn’t see directly behind him, leaving him prone to collision. That’s a problem.
Turin sums the main benefit of safety with the Dakota Micro camera system by saying: “So we work around a lot of camera folks, and they’ve never been around big equipment, and they get used to a backup horn. They don’t even hear them anymore … So, for me to have this camera really is about safety. Cause right here [behind service truck], with my mirrors, I probably couldn’t see somebody,” says Turin.
TOP TWO BENEFITS
The two primary benefits of installing a rear-view camera system are to:
- Improve safety: Reduce number of accidents on the jobsite from blind spots.
- Enhance efficiency: No more need for a spotter or getting in and out of your vehicle/equipment to see progress; see activity in real time.
Workers wear so many hats nowadays and are commonly short-staffed, especially in this industry, so they can use all the help they can get. Dakota Micro cameras fill the void. They cut down on radio chatter because the operator can see obstacles for himself in real time.
Nate Clark, mechanic for Dave Turin, also installed Dakota Micro cameras on his service truck and speaks to this factor. “Man, I tell you what, it’s nice. You know, especially with these big trucks with a big bumper on them, you can’t really tell exactly how close you are … now with this, you back right up to it. It’s a helpful tool,” says Clark.
What makes Dakota Micro EnduraCam cameras different?
Our lenses are built to operate in the harshest environments. They feature:
- Triple-hardened glass: Resist scratching and scuffing and static buildup (which attracts dust), meaning a better view in harsher environments.
- Auto-focusing: Focus past debris for an unobstructed view.
- Auto-darkening: Infrared lights that turn on automatically in low-light conditions to work longer into the night or earlier in the morning hours.
- Photogray: Like transitions lenses on eyeglasses, these photogray lenses darken in bright light conditions so you don’t just see a white-out on your screen.
Dakota Micro EnduraCam cameras are carved from a solid billet of anodized aluminum. What does this mean? It means they’re super durable. Cast or molded metals are prone to breakage, especially in cold conditions. And plastic camera bodies are weakened in heat, cold, and sunlight. Steel cameras—while hardy—are expensive and rust when scratched. In contrast, we use anodized aluminum, so it won’t rust when scratched or corrode when exposed to harsh elements or to caustic environments.
Dakota Micro offers silicone-blend cables. The benefits? They remain flexible in heat and cold conditions. Many manufacturers use PVC-jacketed cables, but they become rigid in the cold and degrade in the heat. This can cause small breaks in the jacket which allow water and particulates to penetrate and compromise the cables. And if cables aren’t your style, then Dakota Micro has wireless solutions, plus adapter cables to retrofit in to existing third-party monitors. This is a great solution to save space and money by plugging in to your existing monitor.
Cameras on heavy equipment need to be able to take a beating. That’s why the IP (ingress protection) and IK (impact protection) ratings matter. Our EnduraCam cameras have the highest IP69 and IK10 ratings. IP69 cameras are the best suited for outdoor applications because it’s completely dustproof and waterproof (plus can be submerged indefinitely) and holds up to high pressure power washes. IK10 (highest rating) withstands the highest impacts without which your camera risks breaking from everyday heavy equipment use.
REPAIRABLE, NOT CONSUMABLE
If your camera does break, it’s nice to work with a camera company that offers repairs. This is unique in the industry. Often cameras are considered consumable. If you break it, you buy a new camera. But Dakota Micro offers repairable components that could save you lots of money over the lifetime of your product.
Not all camera systems are equal. Dakota Micro engineers the hardiest backup camera on the market. Most importantly, these cameras answer the call of visibility needed in blind spots around large equipment and even serve to increase efficiency on the jobsite.
Working on a heavy-duty jobsite requires a heavy-duty camera. Check out Dave Turin’s testimonial for more.
About The Author
Gary Manske is sales and marketing director for Dakota Micro, Inc. a “Made in America∫ camera manufacturer specializing in highly rugged commercial camera systems in North Dakota. For more, visit www.dakotamicro.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, June 2021
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