Back-up cameras aren’t a new idea. In fact, they’re standard on most new passenger vehicles sold in the United States. They’re not a new idea in the trucking industry, either. Trailers with back-up cameras are becoming less expensive and more common as technology advances. What is new about back-up cameras is the ability to move one easily from one surface to another, and have a truly wireless system that requires less than two minutes of installation time.
Luke Haen knew there were back-up cameras available, but he also knew unless a professional driver owned a trailer or used the same one every day, having a back up camera system that required installation would be useless. While finishing up his CDL driving school backing requirements, Luke realized that no matter how good someone was at backing a trailer, there would always be times when the angle was just impossible, or the line of vision was blocked in some way that would impede a safe back-up. So he set about designing a truly portable back up camera system, and Bakkab was born.
Besides the fact the product is assembled from components acquired only from vendors within the USA, and headquartered right in little ol’ Kaukauna, Wis., there are a lot of things to love about it.
First, it’s designed by a trucker. Haen, a 12-year Army veteran, got into the trucking industry a little less than five years ago, and began development of his project almost immediately. He admits he wasn’t a “natural” at backing, and really had to work at it. While he fully understood the importance of learning the skill without a camera, he also thought there had to be a better way to do it safely, once he was working professionally.
The true portability of the system is definitely a selling point. The camera can be attached via magnet or a strapping system to any strategic point on any ICC bumper, and it communicates via a patented wireless system with your smartphone, tablet or laptop. The backing system includes a wide-angle view with a depth-of-field indicator and an LED lighting system that can produce thousands of lumens of brightness, and is fully adjustable. It’s also water-proof.
Bakkab is a family business, with Luke, his wife Yvonne, and dad Jerry as chief operating officers. As would be expected with such a versatile product, there is distinct interest from the leisure vehicle industry, as well as the trucking industry. Luke and family hope to have the product available to the public by late fall 2017, and are currently accepting pre-orders on their website.
Until then, Luke still does 70 hour driving weeks, and wants people to know his design came from a depth of personal experience. “I know what it’s like to be dead tired and have to hit a black hole from an impossible angle, it’s one of the hardest things professional drivers do, and I want to make it easier.”