Mobile Office Questions??

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by M & MD Lawn, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. M & MD Lawn

    M & MD Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518

    Hey guys,

    I haven't been on here in a while, been on Plowsite lol good to be back! Hows the season treating everyone? I know myself we are staying busy.

    But on to my question, I am going mobile and I am mounting my computer and getting printer in the truck. My question is are their any recommendations on which power inverter to purchase and wattage? I am considering adding a second aux. battery. On my main battery I have the strobes and plow, plus the other misc electronics in the truck radio etc. I feel as if my main battery is loaded up and may call for another...also I might add other things later on..who knows. My truck is a sierra 454.

    Also any other things I should consider going mobile? I was trying to hold off but find that this will save me time and some money especially when giving estimates.

    Thanks in Advance,
    Paul
     
  2. ptjackson

    ptjackson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 211

    I'm huge into the concept of going mobile. are you going to print or email estimates? What are you using to do estimates. If you can figure it out the real future is in iPad and smartphone devices but I know finding apps that will work with that aren't easy, but an iPad battery will last all day.

    Do you have a way to connect to the internet via some kind of datacard?
     
  3. M & MD Lawn

    M & MD Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518

    I primarily email estimates right now as I come back to the office..but I also sometime need to print them if they want to sign on site. I am in the process of having contracts made and will need to probably print sometime. I made my own proposal and invoice forms, I don't have a program, only because I am not sure of which one to get and where to start. I may be getting a IPad, but I don't think it can replace my computer, i do want one more for presentations, not necessarily paper work. And as for the apps, i have noticed that also, even for the phones. I was going to start out using my phone as a wifi hotspot and then if I found I needed more data or faster I would purchase a data card, but as of now I can't justify the cost.
     
  4. M & MD Lawn

    M & MD Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518

    Also does anyone have any recommendations for a printer????
     
  5. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    I have a office set up in my truck. You can get 12volt plugs for most laptops and you can pick up a 12volt printer fairly cheaply. That being said I went the route of an inverter instead. One thing to be careful of is with a printer you don't want to leave it in the truck in the cold, so if you'll be using it in the winter during plowing you'll probably want something small that you can easily bring out to the truck with you and then back in to the house/shop when the truck is cold. I went with the smallest 120v color printer I could find at Staples to make it easier to bring in and out. I have a crew cab with the 40/20/40 front seat so I removed the middle seat cushion and mounted my printer there under the center console/armrest, simply unplug the power wire and bring it in to the shop at night when cold. I invested about $350 or so in my inverter, but I bought one much larger than I needed for just an office. It has plenty of power to run power tools like saws, hammer drills, charge batteries.
     
  6. M & MD Lawn

    M & MD Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518

    I will more than likely only use the inverter for the computer and printer,If I ever go to like a wireless router thing or wifi hotspot thing that has to be charged, it would be on there. I mean I suppose I might need to plug something in but more than likely not...What wattage do you have? I try to get the best of both worlds when buying things I try not to overkill but want a little room for extra.
     
  7. Ticolawnllc

    Ticolawnllc LawnSite Senior Member
    from Wall NJ
    Posts: 411

    My bad wrong thread
     
  8. Ticolawnllc

    Ticolawnllc LawnSite Senior Member
    from Wall NJ
    Posts: 411

    Lets see what the office looks like.
     
  9. ptjackson

    ptjackson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 211

    If you're going to get an iPad anyway you might try going iPad only, for emailing bids it will be cinch. Since your form isn't excel based there are a lot of pdf apps for the iPad like pdf expert that would let you write out the bid. email and even have them sign it.

    To convert paper forms to pdfs there's a pretty cool called scanner pro that uses the camera to convert the paper into pdfs.

    Just a thought.
     
  10. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    Mine provides a constant 6,000 watts, it has a capacitor in it and can provide a boost of 12,000watts for about 10-15 seconds. If you play with the switches you can boost it to about 9,000 watts for I think an hour or so. To get this amount of watts you have to hard wire it to the battery instead of using the 12volt accessory plug. Mine is mounted under the seat. If you do get one, research it first, a lot of them will say something like 2000 watts but when you read closely the advertised wattage is peak (last for 10 sec bursts), and continuous wattage (what you need) is only about half of what the advertised wattage is.

    I'll post some pictures of the "office", it's a bit of a mess, I've been living in it doing proposals
     

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