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Best Heavy Duty Truck Scanner In 2021 (Our Reviews & Comparison)

Heavy duty truck error codes suck. There, we said it for you. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with a vehicle. With so many parts, it can be difficult to diagnose problems. 

If you’ve ever had a light turn on amongst your vehicle’s dashboard monitors for the first time, you might have turned to the manual. 

However, the lights and their meanings are often ambiguous, so you need a special tool to figure out what’s wrong. You could go to an auto parts store or mechanic, but if you drive for a living, you need a way to diagnose issues on the road by yourself. The solution is a quality truck scanner.

This article will talk about the best heavy duty truck scanner for your situation. We will discuss each product’s pros and cons and award a top pick.

People trust our reviews because we tell it like it is. Our massive reader base has come to trust our unbiased opinion to help with their buying decisions and we truly appreciate them. Let’s get started on the reviews.

Comparison Chart

IMAGEPRODUCT
EDITOR'S CHOICEHeavy Duty Truck Scan Tool NL102 Plus Auto Scanner with DPF/Sensor Calibration/Oil Reset + Check Engine for Cars; Truck & Car 2 in 1 Code Reader (Upgrade Version) 1. Nexas NL102 Plus
  • Can scan a vast amount of vehicles
  • Able to save a lot of cash over time versus bringing your vehicle to a mechanic each time
  • DPF regeneration works as advertised
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LAUNCH CReader HD Plus Heavy Duty Truck Obd2 Diagnostic Reader OBDII Scan Tool CRHD Truck Code Scanner With OBD-II Communication Modes 1-10 and J1587, J1708 and J1939 protocols 2. LAUNCH CReader HD
  • Excellent 4 inch display
  • Can diagnose many vehicles from around the world
  • Very nice and extra long connection cable
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Autel ML529HD OBD2 Scan Tool Upgraded ML519 with Enhanced Mode 6/One-Key Ready Test for Heavy-Duty J1939 & J1708 with AutoVIN/Internet Updatable/Print Data 3. Autel ML529HD
  • Can read and diagnose both gasoline and diesel engines
  • Free lifetime software updates
  • Very good display
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KZYEE KC601 Heavy Duty Scan Tool, HD Truck Diagnostic Scanner Transmission DPF Code Reader and Eraser with Live Data/ECU Info for J1587/J1708 J1939 Diesel Trucks 4. Kzyee KC601
  • Clear display, easy to read
  • The included cables are nice and heavy duty
  • Tech support responds quickly
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LAUNCH X431 HD Heavy Duty Truck Diagnostic Module X431 V+, X431 Pro3 V2.0 5. LAUNCH X431 V+
  • Comes with 13 different connectors plus fuses and more
  • Supports 34 brands and over 68 models of truck from USA, Europe, Asia
  • Customer service is quick and knowledgeable
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Our Recommendations for Heavy Duty Truck Scanner

1. Nexas NL102 Plus

Heavy Duty Truck Scan Tool NL102 Plus Auto Scanner with DPF/Sensor Calibration/Oil Reset + Check Engine for Cars; Truck & Car 2 in 1 Code Reader (Upgrade Version)

This is one really great tool for diagnosing truck problems. Nexas has recently updated its Nexas NL102 Plus Heavy Duty Truck Scan Tool. 

The NL102 Plus has been used successfully by fleets and truckers to scan trucks for security and other purposes since 2006. 

The scanner has received updated interfaces over the years that makes it easier to use. The unit can support an impressive number of heavy duty trucks as well as just about all US and Asian model cars.

Supporting a vast amount of vehicles means the NL 102 also has a massive DTC database that it can draw from in order to diagnose your vehicle. There seems to be nothing that this device cannot clear.

This scanner can help with a quick and easy inspection. Naturally, data can be viewed in live mode.

  • Pros/cons overview

PROS

  • Can scan a vast amount of vehicles
  • Able to save a lot of cash over time versus bringing your vehicle to a mechanic each time
  • DPF regeneration works as advertised
  • Tells you in plain english what the problem is 

CONS

  • Some customers have reported DPF regen issues, but we had no problems with several types of vehicles.
  • Customer service can be hit or miss

2. LAUNCH CReader HD

LAUNCH CReader HD Plus Heavy Duty Truck Obd2 Diagnostic Reader OBDII Scan Tool CRHD Truck Code Scanner With OBD-II Communication Modes 1-10 and J1587, J1708 and J1939 protocols

The LAUNCH CReader HD Plus Heavy Duty Truck Scan Tool is known for its heavy duty technology and the ability to read live and stored codes from almost any truck. This tool is known for being both an OBD-II and a heavy duty scan tool. 

The ability to read live and stored codes from almost any truck is a huge benefit to those who work on heavy equipment and need to know what is going on with their truck as they are working on it. 

The Scanner has a 4″ LCD display that tells you a ton of information. These functions include but are not limited to OBD-II, 4 signal-strength, flashers, oil pressure and temperature.

Bizarrely, software updates can only be performed if you happen to be running Windows XP and Windows 7. It can function somewhat using Windows 8 but not with Windows 10.

It will even print out a list of problems for you to review, and even outline where you can take your truck to get it fixed. The onboard test gauges offer water, oil, temperature, and engine fire temperature. 

  • Pros/cons overview

PROS

  • Excellent 4 inch display
  • Can diagnose many vehicles from around the world
  • Very nice and extra long connection cable

CONS

  • Software update works with Windows XP/7 only but may work with Windows 8
  • We recommend the you REALLY get with the manufacturer before purchasing as the scanner might not actually work with your vehicle

3. Autel ML529HD

Autel ML529HD OBD2 Scan Tool Upgraded ML519 with Enhanced Mode 6/One-Key Ready Test for Heavy-Duty J1939 & J1708 with AutoVIN/Internet Updatable/Print Data

The Autel ML529HD is a heavy duty truck scanner that can read the data from most of the latest cabs and chassis. By “latest”, we do not mean 2020 model years on up. This scanner cannot handle that yet, but will be able to with future upgrades according to the manufacturer.

It offers a huge feature set and can read not only the standard ECM, but also the OBD-II, which is the most common format for truck trucking. 

The device has a clear and easy to use interface that offers a wide variety of data that can be built into reports. The unit is compatible with a wide variety of operating systems and browsers.

On the front of the device is a 1.8″ LCD display that shows information about the vehicle including tire pressure and vehicle speed. 

Surprisingly, the unit doesn’t seem to be able to read transmission codes, though it claims to be a 10-mode diagnostic device. It also cannot handle DPF regeneration while it’s competitors can.

  • Pros/cons overview

PROS

  • Can read and diagnose both gasoline and diesel engines
  • Free lifetime software updates
  • Very good display

CONS

  • Cannot read transmission codes
  • Cannot currently scan newer vehicles such as 2020 models on up
  • Cannot perform DPF regeneration

4. Kzyee KC601

KZYEE KC601 Heavy Duty Scan Tool, HD Truck Diagnostic Scanner Transmission DPF Code Reader and Eraser with Live Data/ECU Info for J1587/J1708 J1939 Diesel Trucks

The Kyzee KC601 is a wireless unit that you mount to the top of your truck. It can be used with your tablet or a PC. 

You hook up to it with a USB cable. This heavy duty truck scanner is compact. It measures around 4” x 6” x 2.5” and is 3.7 pounds. 

It has a metal body, so it’s weather resistant. It has a battery that can be replaced with a USB lead. You can use it on a windshield mount, but for easier use you can mount it on a handle or a tripod. 

There’s a metal lid that you lift off with one hand. You can tilt it for different angles. You can also use the display to show you exactly what your truck needs. It can monitor hydraulic fluid level, oil level and even has a cool thermal imaging feature. This is a wireless unit.

For the Kzyee to work properly, you need to mount it on your local truck's truck frame. The included bracket has a cable that you can plug into the truck's computer port, which you then plug into the Kzyee. An adapter is included for the truck's computer's serial port. The Kzyee requires a computer and the popular Windows operating system. It will work with MAC OS X, but you must use a Windows software emulator

  • Pros/cons overview

PROS

  • Clear display, easy to read
  • The included cables are nice and heavy duty
  • Tech support responds quickly

CONS

  • Some customers could not get the device to scan their vehicles although the device lists that it can.
  • Many customers have reported that the Kyzee cannot read or clear certain errors dealing with the ECM module

5. LAUNCH X431 V+

LAUNCH X431 HD Heavy Duty Truck Diagnostic Module X431 V+, X431 Pro3 V2.0

The LAUNCH X431 V+ OBD2 Scanner is a heavy duty truck diagnostic scanner that has been designed specifically for the heavy duty trucking industry. It is developed to be precise and fast, while bringing all the features of the launch X431 V+ automotive OBDII+ scanner at a lower price point. This scanner is designed to be used by fleet owners, fleet operators, maintenance companies, fleet techs, and used in heavy duty truck shops. This scanner connects to a broad range of vehicles, including most diesel powered trucks. The LAUNCH X431 V+ OBD2 Scanner is the same scanner as the launch X431 V+ automotive OBDII+ scanner, but with additional heavy duty truck specific features.

This heavy duty scanner from Launch is top notch. It’s one of the best heavy duty truck scanners. It’s unique scanner design combines an easily readable 16″ LCD and 7.2″ touchscreen display. 

A smartphone app adds an extra layer of convenience with onboard GPS and can log over 250 vehicle systems. It’s also lightweight, and can be used on any vehicle that has a 16×9 or 13×8 display (2013-2017 GM Trucks). 

And if that’s not enough, it has WiFi for remote monitoring and self-diagnosis features.

  • Pros/cons overview

PROS

  • Comes with 13 different connectors plus fuses and more
  • Supports 34 brands and over 68 models of truck from USA, Europe, Asia
  • Customer service is quick and knowledgeable

CONS

  • Can be a bit clunky when connecting to a Windows computer
  • No native Mac OS X software, must use emulator
  • Limited vehicle compatibility

Conclusion

We’ve reached the end of our review. We really hope you enjoyed our article on the best heavy duty truck scanner. 

Our top pick is going to be the Nexas NL102 Plus Heavy Duty Truck Scan Tool. It has the tools and the database to take care of your vehicle error codes and lets you know what to do about them.