Truck computer

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by dhardin53, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. Southern Lawn Care  LLC

    Southern Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 314

    You can do research on the type printers that law in forcemeat officers have in their cars. I'm a reserve officer and in our cars we have a printer for printing tickets when wrote in the car on the spot. Cuts down paper work drastically. With that said. The police cars run more than they are stopped so their is no real issues with anything happening to the ink or internals. Also these units are bolted down. I've not paid much attention to how I just use them. Here in Alabama the weather isn't that bad either though.
  2. Falcon50EX

    Falcon50EX LawnSite Senior Member
    from GA
    Messages: 994

    I have had a computer in the truck for 4 years, its the cheapest one I could find at the time and works great. I am transitioning over to Apple and would like to secure the computer down like the cop cars have. Has anyone done this or do you just leave it sitting in the seat next to you.
  3. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,478

    I use an hp j110 i got from wally world. Its been on the passenger side floor board all season. No issues. It was 30 bucks.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. Stars & Stripes Landscaping

    Stars & Stripes Landscaping LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 246

    Get an iPad, call it a day - remove it everyday. They make locks you can tether it to the seat bolt when you get out to go somewhere, sure it'll be easy to cut the line but it will at least deter some & slow others.
  5. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    Yeah, Don't make your vehicle a target for a break in. If there is a computer visible, even if it's locked in, bolted down or whatever, your looking at a real chance for a broken window.
  6. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,478

    I like my little acer netbook. Its the perfect size. I can keep it out of sight when i'm not using it and no need to have a laptop mount in truck to use it because it fits on my armrest when i type and slides under it easy when i'm done. Tinted windows dark enough so you can't really see in. I used to have a jotto desk and larger laptop, that setup took up way to much space in the truck.

    I'm hoping to get away from using the computer in the field, i switched to service autopilot, so on the accounts i bill at the time of service i'll have pre-printed invoices or they will be e-mailed later. Using a computer during the day got to be a hassle at every stop.
  7. mwalz

    mwalz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,179

    Well personally i wouldn't bu an ipad or a tablet device. A computer can do way more than either of those can. I'm sure there is a way to mount a laptop in a car and make it easily removable. Once you find a platform to put in on, you could put some heavy duty Velcro on the bottom of the laptop. As long as you have enough of it that would be secure.
  8. dhardin53

    dhardin53 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    This Toughbook CF-30 with w7 and all the updates it is made to be tossed around. I have several docking stations that keeps it charged and has a external antenna so I can get the latest weather up-dates (even in dead zones). The accounts and the daily schedule and paid and unpaid at my finger tips. The docking station is lockable and totally secured to the truck. The docking station is easy and quick disconnect so it goings inside with me most of the time. This dose not mean it can not be stolen, but it will take a lot of time and make a lot of noise to get it out. We don't have quit the issue like the big city out here in the sticks..

    I have tried the small PDAs, tablet's and smart phones. But there is a greater chance of it being stolen and or going belly up (Like mine did), or low on power just when you need it then your screwed. The smart phones are great but they are also with you when you go out to eat out on the town and the chances for it to be a missing link when you go back to work are something I don't trust. It's just more of a chance than I want to take again. Its a bad day when you loose your phone, but ten times worse when you also lost ALL your account records to. This system I have I can update the days work while still parked in the driveway to the office computer through the wifi, or transferred to a thumb drive so I have a back up or snap it out and take it inside.

    The printer is yet to come and it will be bolted down as well. For the answer to some ones question is NO I don't have that many accounts that need a receipts on the spot, but then I do I would like it to 1 or 2 clicks way.

    The simple things that make the day go easier is what I am looking for. IF there is a problem with this system I would be the first to change or discontinue it. But I have had several accounting issues all do to poor record keeping, One just gets in a hurry. But when you spend this much time and money to have it right at your finger tips there is no excuse.

    Yes this system is just like what the cops have used.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013

    CHARLES CUE LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,464

    I started out with a laptop and a cheap house printer and it worked ok but had a few issues with the printer. Now I went with a HP mobile printer and my smart phone the printer is battery operated and blue tooth less wires to deal with. just charge the battery every couple nights. the smart phone just clips on your side.

    Charles Cue
  10. peeklandscaping

    peeklandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 306

    Get the Panasonic Toughbook CF-19. it has a swivel screen so you can use like a tablet, as well as a digitizing pen. I use it every day in my truck. The other toughbooks have bigger screens (CF-52, CF-29, CF-30) but can't swivel, or digitize for using a pen.
    I can jot notes using the digitizing pen/ screen on site, then save it to client folders in the computer or USB card. Every note for every property can be saved this way. I use Anytime organizer ($30) for daily scheduling, address book, to-do lists. I use Open Office spreadsheets for estimates. I have the ability to give estimates on the spot, then get signatures using the digitizing pen. The only thing I need is a portable printer. Right now I email or mail once I get home, but having the ability to estimate/ sign contract/ print/ give to client right there impresses a lot of people. Plus it's efficient.
    You can get laptop stands from places like if you want high end, or cheap from ebay. Printer-wise, I think Panasonic actually makes a 'Toughbook printer', not sure though. Any portable printer should work.
    Since I started using the Toughbook (or any computer probably) my whole setup has become much more organized and streamlined. Highly recommended.

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