Communications

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.plowsite.com target=_blank ?>Sn' started by DaveO, Nov 22, 2000.

  1. DaveO

    DaveO LawnSite Member
    Posts: 238

    One of the threads I was reading touched on this subject. Keeping in contact with each other/home is important to us.

    Cell phones are great, sometimes costly. Many contractors in my area have the "nextel" phones. They have an instant 2way feature like a radio that is very handy. An unlimited amount of 2 way "talk time" can be had, for a price.

    The city's truck's and subs all use CB's on a designated channel. Works OK for them, some trucks have better radios/antennas than others.

    Myself I have my pager in the truck, and cell phone. I also install a CB for truck to truck communications in large parking lots. If I was a larger biz, maybe would install 2 way FM radio's in the trucks.

    What works for you guys??

    Dave
     
  2. iowastorm

    iowastorm LawnSite Senior Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 370

    I just purchased Nextel phones for myself and my 2 main guys. The 2 way feature is nice, but the main drawbacks are that the phones are $100+/per unit and the monthly fees that include the unlimited 2 way feature costs between $80 to $180, depending upon which service plan you buy for each phone.

    Our plan is that as we grow, I will keep the Nextel phones for my main guys so we can communicate privately and then add Motorola VHF 2 way radios later on. Here is Des Moines, you can rent each radio for $25/month and an extra $11/month for the repeater space. I believe that cost to purchase each radio new is around $400, depending upon the unit, but you still need to rent the repeater space. Rental would be our mode of choice at this time, because there are months where we don't need them, so we can return them in the slow months.

    The reason I lean to the radios is that cell phones can be a negative temptation for employees, as they tend to waste alot of company airtime and money on private and B.S. phone calls. Furthermore, w/ the 2 ways, you (or your field supervisors) can monitor all of the transmissions.
     
  3. GeoffDiamond

    GeoffDiamond LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,651

    I was useing a Radio system which I bought used from a Local Fire department.

    However This year we did a major communications upgrade, because the FD radio system range was so short. I have gone to the Kenworth biz band radios, which work very very well. Some

    Geoff
     
  4. Deere John

    Deere John LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 327

    We have two ways with a base - works OK until we get out of range.

    Last Saturday, we hooked up our bag phones to a new plan from Bell Mobility (in Ontario). It seems great to me - 15 free calls to/from home per phone per month, and unlimited free calls BETWEEN phones. Let it snow, let it snow....

    John (Ya, I'm back from logging)
     
  5. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,446

    Nextel unlimited 2-way for all our guys.

    Service starts at $55.00/mo. for unlimited 2-way. (Includes 150 phone minutes.)

    Most of our guys have $80.00/mo. (600 minutes phone) My company pays 1/2 and employee pays 1/2 and it's their personal cell phone, too.
     
  6. jimsmowin

    jimsmowin LawnSite Member
    Posts: 79

    I HAVE TRIED THEM ALL PHONES,CB'S,ETC. NOTHING BEATS A GOOD RADIO SYS. ON REPEATER. WE HAVE TWO MOBILES, TWO PORTABLES, ONE BASE WITH BATTERY BACK-UP. SYSTEM WORKS REALLY WELL
     
  7. John Allin

    John Allin LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,489

    Two way radios on trunk system for our trucks and area supervisors. Nextel phones for our guys and lots of our subs have them too. CB's mandatory for all trucks, loaders, etc.
     
  8. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 849

    Around here, 2 way radios are not the best choice, since the area is too saturated. You might be able to get a frequency, but you WILL have to share it. Nothing like waiting for someone who has nothing to do with your business to shut up, so you can communicate! Also, they get to hear all you say on the radio. I know that can be done with scanners too, but someone with a scanner wants to hear what you are saying.

    ~Chuck
     
  9. Lazer

    Lazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,446

    I wouldn't ever use a system like that Chuck.

    Communicating like that would be like plowing with a Meyers! ;)

    (Sorry)

    There's 3 legit (MHO) for 2-way radios:
    1. Your own repeater exclusively for your fleet.
    2. A "trunked" 2-way: your service provider will have multiple channels on standby and when you "key-up" it searches for an open channel and brings all your units on line to that frequency. You can possibly hear by scanner, but your fleet may be on any one of 15 (or as many as they have) different frequencies.
    3. NEXTEL
     
  10. GeoffDiamond

    GeoffDiamond LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 1,651

    Ok,

    I have the Kenworth Radios
    Trucks, loaders,backhoes, and anything for snow gets a radio installed.

    I have a base station at the shop, and some portables.

    I have my own frequency that is used only by my company. This isn't cheap, however sometimes important information for jobs is said over the radio. If the information gets misunderstood because someone else is on our frequency, and the job is done wrong, it could cost us thousands of dollars (this is for utility work, not snow). I guess the company has repeaters and transmitters in many parts of the state, which allows me to have a very large coverage area.

    BTW the new radio system is much better than the old fire department radios, which had a coverage area big enough for snow opperations only.

    Geoff
     

Share This Page