Best Truck Scanners in 2020

A truck scanner is an essential diagnostic tool for all mechanics and heavy duty vehicle owners. There are loads of scanners out there, which will claim to be able to assist with repairs, and help diagnose problems from across a range of vehicle systems. However, the sheer amount of choice can sometimes become quite overwhelming.

In this article, we’ll highlight some of our favourite truck scanners and hopefully simplify everything into 3 great options. At the end, we’ll let you know what we think is the best heavy duty truck scanner of the bunch.

Autel ML529HD

Our first option is the ML529HD by Autel. This is an extremely versatile scan tool, that is compatible with a large range of heavy duty vehicle protocols. The tool has a number of great features that will undoubtedly improve your vehicle servicing experiences.

The first is being able to read live data. Live data reports on your vehicle health in real time, allowing mechanics to get to root cause of any problems that may have developed. Live data is a super useful feature that all mechanics look out for when buying a new diagnostic scanner.

The ML529HD can also run an emissions readiness test, more commonly known as a smog check. The emissions readiness test scans a truck’s emissions systems, and lets the user know how likely it is that the truck will pass an external emissions examination. This function can save a mechanic tons of time and money, since they won’t be sending vehicles for unnecessary emissions examinations.

This scan tool is also very well designed and is constructed to a very high build standard. This makes the device durable and resilient to all the drops and accidents that it might experience in a busy workshop. The device has a large, HD screen, that is bright and easy to read in any lighting conditions.

Launch X431 V+

Our next recommendation is the Launch X431 V+ (Full YouTube review here). This big truck scanner tool is pretty similar to the Autel ML529HD, and has the same wide ranging coverage over a variety of vehicle protocols and makes.

This device has auto VIN technology built in, which reads your truck’s make, model and year of manufacture as soon as it is connected to the diagnostic port. This is a great tool for mechanics who want to know this information, but also for fleet managers who are regularly buying new trucks, and want to check that the vehicle information is consistent with the claims of the seller.

The X431 V+ also has the option for Bluetooth connectivity. Once the scanner is plugged in, you can connect to an Android or Windows device and operate it from the smartphone. This is great for the mechanic who loves to be able to walk around the vehicle whilst using their diagnostic tool. The truck scanner software runs efficiently on both the smartphone app and the scan tool itself. Being able to choose between the two simply makes the Launch X431 V+ extra versatile.

This scan tool can be configured into 8 different languages. This changes the menu systems and function pages to match the required language. This feature is particularly useful if you work with a team that speaks a few different languages, and you want everyone to be able to use the scanner to its full potential.

NEXAS NL102 Plus

The final scan tool that we would recommend to all professional truck mechanics is the NEXAS NL102 Plus. This scanner has all the useful features that you’d expect from a great OBD2 scanner, such as being able to read and clear error codes, turn off the check engine light, and oil reset functions.

It also has some more advanced features, such as its Battery Power Monitor function. This function scans your vehicle’s battery, and lets you know if the voltage is fluctuating at a level that is too low. Specifically, the device will notify the mechanic when the voltage dips below 11.8V.

This scan tool is probably the most easy to use in this list. This is thanks to its simple but effective design, and its efficient and effective software. Having said that, it still offers enough great functions to satisfy a professional mechanic.

Our Pick

Overall, we thought that the best is the Launch X431 V+ truck scanner from obdstation. Not only can this scanner effectively read and clear codes, use live data, and turn off the check engine light, but it also has some advanced features that set it apart from the competition. The fact that it is compatible with Bluetooth devices just makes it an even more versatile pick. You can’t go wrong with any of the scan tools in the list, but if we had to choose one, we’d go with the Launch.

Alicia Baker
Alicia is a Canadian writer whose enthusiasm for cultural and automotive are combined in her writing. Her background includes links to insurance, finance, and automotive safety.