A well-equipped portable office that enables you to work from the jobsite instead of waiting until you return to your office building can increase efficiency and allow timely workflow. In the past, this wasn’t always possible.
We’ve all seen the trucks with plans and work orders wedged between the windshield and dash. Valuable time was often lost trying to locate critical documents — if they could be located. Then there was the issue of connectivity. Without a reliable Internet connection, communications proved difficult.
But modern technology allows your truck to truly become an office on wheels. Storage systems, work stations, electrical power adapters and connectivity software can make your truck as productive as your brick-and-mortar office, and maybe even more so.
Integrated Communications Solutions
Communications with the home office and outside world are critical for any mobile office. The major truck manufacturers now offer connectivity solutions — either voice activated or operated via touch screen — that enable mobile devices to communicate via Bluetooth technology or a USB connection.
Most 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups feature MyLink with a 4.2- or 8-in. color touch screen radio. The 4.2-in. radio, standard on 2WT and LT models, includes Bluetooth for phone streaming, two USB ports, an SD card slot and natural voice recognition. LTZ and High Country models have an 8-in. high-definition touch screen that enables users to scroll or drag through menus.
MyLink provides connectivity for the jobsite with natural voice recognition. It allows you to place calls, enter destinations, browse media and control other functions simply by telling the vehicle what to do. There are no key phrases to remember and no need to look at a screen.
Ford offers SYNC technology, which is designed to keep you connected while keeping your eyes on the road. It lets you make calls or get turn-by-turn directions through voice activation. MyFord Touch provides access to the connection technology via an 8-in. dash-mounted touch screen.
The 2014 F-Series is available with a truck-specific version of the voice-controlled connectivity SYNC system with MyFord Touch. The truck-friendly version offers tactile button controls and large rotating knobs to accommodate work gloves.
Vehicles are even becoming Internet hot spots, with Ford and Ram Trucks all offering Wi-Fi solutions.
Ram Trucks offers the latest generation Uconnect system. By registering for the Uconnect Access premium paid features, you get Wi-Fi, remote mobile commands, Yelp and emergency assistance. The Wi-Fi enables all of passengers to be simultaneously connected to the web. Any Wi-Fi-enabled device, such as a laptop or compatible mobile device, can connect over your private network. No cell cards or software is required. The high-speed, secured connection lets anyone on your private network access the web from up to 150 ft. away.
Voice recognition technology, steering wheel controls, touch screen displays and traditional controls provide Ram customers with a variety of ways to interact with their mobile phones, music, navigation system and applications. Users can remotely lock or unlock doors or start their vehicles from any distance via the web or a smartphone application.
Uconnect features one-step voice command of navigation, the ability to check real-time fuel prices and listen and respond to text messages. The system announces receipt of a text message, audibly identifies the sender and reads the message.
When a compatible Bluetooth mobile phone is initially connected to the system, the phone book within a mobile phone is automatically downloaded, synchronizing as many as 1,000 phone book entries, which can then be selected by simply saying a contact name.
Ram Trucks has also taken steps to ensure your Uconnect system doesn’t rapidly become obsolete. Owners will be able to upgrade to the latest features and services. Applications are updated wirelessly and downloaded directly to the Uconnect Media Center, so features remain current.