A Heavy Duty Truck Scanner, as called, is a scanning tool designed to support some or all of the models of trucks today. The scanners are specifically built to work with protocols of heavy trucks but most of them can diagnose cars, SUVs, and light trucks, too.
We’ve based on our experiences and researches on scanners for heavy duty trucks available on the market and a checklist of products’ quality, compatibility (model/protocol), functionality, accuracy, price, updates, after-sale supports, and ease of use to shortlist the best ones before writing this review.
What is the Best Truck Scanner?
Best Overall: NEXAS NL102 Plus
Runner Up: Kzyee KC601
Best Budget Buy: Launch CReader HD Plus
The comparison chart below will give you more information to get the right one for your truck.
|Editor's Pick||Best Affordable||Also Great|
NEXAS NL102 Plus
Launch Creader HD Plus
Kzyee KC601 HOBD
3.3 / 5
3.7 / 5
3.9 / 5
|Product Dimensions||10.1" x 7.2" x 2.7"||10.2" x 7.2" x 2.5"||10.5" x 7.5" x 3.4"|
|Supported Protocols||J1939, J1708, and J1587||J1939, J1708, and J1587||J1939, J1708, and J1587|
|Class||4 to 8||4 to 8||8|
|Supported Vehicles||HDOBD, OBDII: Heavy Duty Truck, Light Trucks (12v), Mini vans, Cars||HDOBD, OBDII: Heavy Duty Truck, Light Trucks (12v), Cars||HDOBD: Heavy Duty Trucks|
|Read or Rlear Engine Codes||✔||✔||✔|
|Fuel System Diagnostics||✔||✔||✔|
|ESP, EPS, SAS||✔||--||--|
|Battery Power Monitor||✔||--||--|
|Cab Climate and Particulate Control Unit||--||✔||--|
|The Bottom Line||This NEXAS NL102 heavy-duty truck scan tool is easy to use and works perfectly for any truck drivers.||The Launch Creader HD Plus is suitable for use by truck drivers.||Kzyee KC601 is ideal for DIYers and mechanics who want to see detailed information.|
Table of Contents
- 1 What is the Best Truck Scanner?
- 2 Our Top 3 Recommendations Comparison
- 3 Best Heavy Duty Truck Scanner
- 3.1 1. NEXAS NL102 Plus Truck Scan Tool – Editor’s Pick for DIYs
- 3.2 2. LAUNCH CReader HD Plus Truck Scanner – for DIYs
- 3.3 3. Kzyee KC601 HOBD Heavy Duty Scan Tool – for DIYs
- 3.4 4. Autel ML529HD Heavy Truck Scan Tool – for DIYs
- 3.5 5. Launch X431 V plus HD Diesel Diagnostic Scanner – for Pros
- 3.6 6. Autel MS908CV with J-2534 ECU Programming – for Pros
- 3.7 7. JPRO Professional Heavy Duty Truck Diagnostic Tool
- 4 The Bottom Line
Best Heavy Duty Truck Scanner
1. NEXAS NL102 Plus Truck Scan Tool – Editor’s Pick for DIYs
NEXAS NL102 is designed to work with great efficiency and it comes with some of the best features that you can find in a diesel scan tool. How is the health status of your battery? You wouldn’t have to worry anymore as this scanner checks carefully and lets you know its performance status.
This scanning tool can read and clear codes and offer you their solutions, along with engine check, read and display your vehicle identification codes. You can also view live data in a text or graphics format for trucks. Moreover, it comes with truck systems including Engine,ABS, ESP, EPS,Transmission. Thanks to color screen design, its interface makes it user-friendly and gives you the better view of engine problem areas.
Don’t get charged to obtain a software update. Apart from coming with a 2-year warranty, updating its software online is totally free. Never worry about customer service because the company provides 24 hours of support. In terms of vehicle compatibility, the scanner supports heavy duty trucks in compliance with standard protocols (including J1587，J1939 and J1708) and light-duty mini vehicles from 1996.
- Easy to use interface.
- Free software update.
- Superior quality.
- Works with many languages.
- Has a battery health check feature.
- It only supports heavy-duty trucks in compliance with J1939, J1708 and J1587 protocols.
If you are looking for a heavy-duty scan tool with superior quality, look no further than Nexas NL102 Plus.Check Price at Amazon
2. LAUNCH CReader HD Plus Truck Scanner – for DIYs
If you are looking for an entry-level OBD2 heavy duty truck diagnostic tool, Launch CReader HD Plus is what you need. This code scanner allows you to identify faults on your truck and switch the check engine light off among other functionalities. Designed with 4.7 x 0.8 x 3 inches in measurement and a weight of 7 ounces, this device is quite portable, which means carrying it around not an issue and which enables you to diagnose engine problems whenever you need.
Launch Creader HD Plus is perfect for heavy-duty trucks. It not only works on J1939, J1708 and J1587 but also with class 4 and class 8 heavy duty trucks. This diesel engine diagnostic tool reads and clears errors fast with great accuracy, so you will not have to wait due to slow engine connection. In addition, the live data streaming and monitoring can help to enable real-time detection of errors. Keep in mind that it also comes with lifetime internet updates that are free and support various languages including Deutsch, English, French, and Spanish.
- Live data streaming.
- Lifetime free updates.
- Easy to use.
- Supports various languages.
- The scanner might work quite slowly and does not give accurate description of codes.
The Launch Creader HD Plus is suitable for beginners. It is easy to understand and it is built with the most basic functionalities that any truck diagnostic scanner should have.Check Price at Amazon
A short video about Launch CReader HD Plus Diesel Scan Tool:
3. Kzyee KC601 HOBD Heavy Duty Scan Tool – for DIYs
If you are looking for a top-notch heavy duty scanner tool that offers plenty of features, then Kzyee KC601 can be a good choice. This tool is capable of diagnosing the engine, body, chassis, transmission, and ABS. You can see detailed vehicle information using it and figure out the problem easily. Apart from that, it has good vehicle coverage as well.
Read/Clear Engine Codes: The scanner can read and clear engine codes with the tap of a button. You will have no problem in understanding the problem as it has a detailed DTC library that shows code explanations in plain English. Beside reading and clearing codes, truck owners can also see live data making it easier to solve problems.
Transmission: Poor acceleration, gear issues may be related to transmission. This scanner can identify problems in the transmission system by reading the ECU information.
ABS: Brake problems can be deadly. They might be due to a variety of reasons including a broken sensor, poor wiring, or a malfunctioned ABS system.
Kzyee KC601 can read ABS light and ABS codes and help point out the problem. You can use it to solve the issue and ensure safety.
EGR System: With this feature, you can improve the efficiency of combustion by reading codes from the EGR system and air-injection.
DPF: The presence of soot in the exhaust can affect performance and cause emission-related issues. This scanner can help you remove soot from the exhaust.
Cruise Control: The tool can help you control the vehicle’s throttle system allowing you to stay in control. It’s important for your safety.
Vehicle Coverage: Kzyee KC601 is a popular heavy-duty truck scan tool that covers many truck brands including Caterpillar, Detroit, Cummins, Mercedes Benz, Peterbilt, John Deere, VOLVO, Freightliner, Sterling, Kenworth, International, Mack, and many other class 8 diesel trucks.
Note: It only supports J1587, J1708, and J1939 protocols.
- Shows fuel used, engine revolutions, idle hours and other useful information.
- Comes with both 6 and 9 pin cables.
- 2-year warranty.
- Reads and clears instrument cluster codes.
- Can be updated through the internet.
- It doesn’t read engine codes.
If you are a DIYer or technician who wants to see detailed information and use advanced features such as DPF, ABS, transmission, and chassis, Kzyee KC601 HOBD is ideal for you.Check Price at Amazon
4. Autel ML529HD Heavy Truck Scan Tool – for DIYs
Autel ML529HD makes it possible to find and solve a variety of issues. It offers 10 OBD II modes and enhanced mode 6 as well. Plus, you also get to enjoy most of the basic features including freeze frame, I/M readiness, CEL, etc.
Live Data: This scanner can diagnose the truck’s performance while it’s running and displays data on the screen right there and then. You can view the PID values of your vehicle’s module to gauge performance.
Freeze Frame: This feature helps solve the problem by keeping a screenshot of the error in the system.
MIL/CEL Codes: With this scanner, you can find out why the engine light is on. It will read the code and offer a simple DTC explanation.
I/M Readiness: This feature helps you check the emission system of your truck and determine if your vehicle is emission ready or not.
Enhanced Mode 6: This mode is available for a few brands only including GM, Chrysler, and Ford.
It lets you read the onboard diagnostic monitor ID and enhanced reading codes.
Vehicle Coverage: The scanner supports both diesel and gas vehicles (J1939 and J1708) that are OBD2 supported.
It covers heavy-duty trucks, light trucks, and commercial vehicles built in 1996 or later.
- Shows data in a graphical form.
- 1-year warranty.
- You can print data by connecting it to a computer.
- Can be updated through the internet (free lifetime software updates).
- Supports auto-VIN.
- Reads enhanced codes in the powertrain system for a few brands.
- Doesn’t support ABS/SRS.
- Only supports J1939 and J1708 protocols.
If you are a DIY-er and you need a code reader for your truck that can perform basic functions, Autel ML529HD is excellent for you
5. Launch X431 V plus HD Diesel Diagnostic Scanner – for Pros
If you are looking for a heavy-duty truck scan tool that brings a great degree of convenience, then having Launch X431 V plus HD might just be the beginning of happy days with your truck.
Why do I say so?
The truck code reader is not only powerful, but it also performs quick autoscanning, has a touchscreen interface and performs various vehicle diagnosis. Using it is also quite simple, which is largely due to its user-friendly android 5.1 interface. This unit is also built with one key update. As a result, you only need to click one key update to download the latest software version. The scan tool comes with a Bluetooth OBD2 connector module, which enables it to communicate through a wireless connection with your vehicle. When it comes to the design, Launch X431 V+ has a shockproof case which makes it suitable for use in any industrial environment.
- Wireless Bluetooth diagnostic system.
- Wide vehicle coverage.
- Industrial shockproof.
- Full comprehensive diagnosis.
- However, it might not have the best quality control.
Packed with lots of features, Launch X431 V+ HD is the perfect pick for professional technicians. Beginners might find it hard using even half of its features.Check Price at Amazon
6. Autel MS908CV with J-2534 ECU Programming – for Pros
This scan tool for truck is a reliable device that works efficiently in diagnosing exceeding 60 light duty, medium duty and also heavy-duty trucks. Its performance is enhanced by its high-end features which makes it among the best truck diagnostic tools to have. Autel MS908CV comes with a one year warranty plus a year of free software updates. The updates are constant and they provide you with the additions to their vehicle coverage.
In terms of powerful diagnosis and analysis, the scanning tool is able to work on large diesel vehicles since it contains a pack of heavy-duty vehicle connectors. Advanced programming systems enable good performance and provision of outstanding services such as Bluetooth communication between the MS908CV tablet and the vehicle. The product offers complete repairs including adaptations, maintenance resets, and injector quality adjustment among others.
Autel MS908CV is definitely used by professional technicians who want to do everything on heavy-duty trucks including Key coding, Key Programming, and even J-2534 ECU programming. If you have never used a truck diagnostic scan tool before, then the chances of experiencing difficulties while using this product are high. About the compatibility, this professional automotive diagnostic tool works well with a good number of diesel vehicles ranging from Asian, European to more than 80 made in US vehicles.
- Wide vehicle coverage.
- Advanced programming.
- Powerful diagnosis system.
- Special features.
- Easy to use.
- Does not support iOS. Hence, people with iPhones and iPad are left out.
If you are a big shop owner or a professional technician, you need to buy it right away!Check Price at Amazon
7. JPRO Professional Heavy Duty Truck Diagnostic Tool
If you are looking for a cutting-edge heavy-duty truck diagnostic tool that works perfectly across all makes and models, then you definitely need to have the JPRO professional Diagnostic device. This bidirectional scan tool comes with a set of useful accessories which include USB cable, HB OBD 2 cable, 6-pin heavy duty cable and 9-pin heavy duty cable which allows you to connect with most ports on various devices. Additionally, this diesel scanner shows over 44,000 error codes for both medium duty and heavy duty with detailed description which makes handling them quite easy.
Regarding to the compatibility, working with all models and all makes means that it will always work regardless of your type of vehicle. It is designed to scan the whole vehicle in a single pass and display on one screen as well as shows fault codes exceeding 44, 000 together with detailed descriptions which makes tackling the problem simply.
- It is powerful.
- Bi-directional functionality.
- Easy to use.
- Wide vehicle coverage.
- It does not have a wireless connection feature.
JPRO is another awesome option for professional truck technicians. Buy it if you are!Check Price at Amazon
The Bottom Line
Despite how hard it could be choosing the best Heavy Duty Truck Scan Tool, you are in a better position equipped with this information. If you take into consideration every detail when buying a diesel scan tool, you would probably have the best scanner to help you solve issues with your vehicle.