Computer for the truck?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by 021462, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. 021462

    021462 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 97

    I did a search on this but, didn't find my answer so here goes....I want a computer for the truck that is mounted like in the cop cars so I can print estimates and invoices while on site. I want to be able to keep up with my accounts with EXCEL and other programs. Tons of other things I want to be able to do while in my office (Truck)! Anyone currently running this kind of application in your truck? What kind of cost am I looking at? ECT.
     
  2. greywynd

    greywynd LawnSite Member
    Posts: 132

    I would think the easiest way to do this would be to get a laptop and compact printer, and then wire an inverter into your truck so that you have a power supply for it. You could get a bracket made for mounting everything, and then at the end of the day pack it up and take it in the house/office. Maybe there's something different available out there, don't know. I think the cop ones are more like terminals to a mainframe....everything gets sent back through to the 'office' computers for processing.
     
  3. MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC

    MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    One thing to consider is the heat that will be generated inside your truck in summer. Im not positive, but your probably going to have to find a way to cool the computer.
     
  4. kipcom

    kipcom LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 352

    We have laptops in all of our trucks. We custom made all of the mounting hardware and installed the dc/ac adapters for power. It also is a great tool if you plow snow and have internet access you can track the local weather like we do.
     
  5. 021462

    021462 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 97

    Kipcom, tell me more! What brand and what price range are we talking? Do you have a printer in yours?
     
  6. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    You can buy mounts on ebay, i believe i've seen them for 30 bucks.

    I'm going to be buying a cheapie 200 dollar used laptop and a mini printer to do this also, i have bad handwriting so this would be a good thing for me. I figured a cheap laptop would be able to support the few programs I'd have on it only, and for theft reasons, would hate to have a nice 800 dollar laptop stolen, it would be tempting for people if they saw it sitting there.
     
  7. evergreenco

    evergreenco LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 11

    Best thing I ever did! Got the idea from a HVAC guy who gave me an estimate. He left me went to the truck and returned with a computer printed quotation. I was so impressed I went out immediately and bought a laptop, HP battery powered printer, and stand. No longer do I have to return to the office to prepare quotes. I can hand them my quotation on the spot and answer any questions. Well worth the investment!!!!
     
  8. srk1378

    srk1378 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    Most laptops do surprisingly well even in the heat of summer. Just leave the windows down a little. I don't think I could survive without it. You can get a mount already made for your truck at Galls.com. I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Just in case the mount isn't on the website, I know it is in the catalog. Just ask for one. Good luck.
     
  9. KERRTURF

    KERRTURF LawnSite Member
    Posts: 129

    I use a windows based pocket pc. It handles all of my excell spreadsheets, and pretty much anything I ask it to do. If you really need to print from the truck, you could also print to a blue tooth enabled printer.
    One thing about the laptops in trucks.....
    Be very careful when looking at mounts for in the cab. Make sure that however you mount it does not interfere with the deployment of an air bag. The force of an airbag shoving a laptop into your face would simply have to hurt.
     
  10. StealthDT

    StealthDT LawnSite Member
    Posts: 97

    I'd recommend not storing any personal info on your truck laptop like bank accounts, credit card numbers, Social Security #'s, birthdays, names, photo's, addresses, phone numbers and especially passwords. Same goes for your cell phone/PDA. Any customer data that is on the PC should be encrypted and backed up somewhere else should the laptop hard drive die or get stolen.
     

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