Wi-Fi capability is also available with SYNC with MyFord Touch on the 2013 Ford F-150 and Super Duty pickups. It does require a USB modem. “Default security is set to Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2), requiring users to enter a randomly chosen password to connect to the Internet,” explains Ford’s Ron Hall. “When SYNC sees a new Wi-Fi device for the first time, the driver has to specifically allow that device to connect, preventing unauthorized users from ‘piggybacking’ on the SYNC-provided signal.”
Power your workstation
The next critical function for any office is the ability to power computers, printers and other mobile devices. This can be done through 12-volt power outlets or power inverters that supply 110-volt power to the vehicle cabin.
Power inverters are available to covert the vehicle’s DC power into AC power like you have in the office. There are currently two types of inverters: Modified Sine Wave (MSW) and Sine Wave (SW).
MSW inverters can initially cost less to purchase. For simple loads, they efficiently convert DC power to AC. But they don’t produce a true sine wave and may not be the best choice for sensitive electronics. SW inverters produce the same clean quality power that the utility delivers to your home. This helps eliminate incompatibility and performance loss issues.
Many pickups come with pre-installed 12-volt and 110-volt outlets, minimizing the need for an additional power inverter. In addition, they are now typically fitted with a USB port.
Consider storage space
Having the latest communications technology and the power to run office equipment is only half the challenge. You must also have the necessary storage to keep everything organized and secure. The latest generation of pickups offers large center consoles with molded-in file hangers and under-seat storage.
For example, the new center console on the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra — available on vehicles with front bucket seats — offers nearly 1 cu. ft. of combined storage space. That’s about 25% more room than a typical paper grocery bag, with the depth and width to conceal a laptop computer.
The locking console accommodates hanging files for owners who use their truck as a rolling office, as well as controls for overhead ambient lighting, map pockets along the side, movable cup holders and reconfigurable compartments. There’s even a location on the console designed specifically for cell phone storage. LT models with the standard 40/20/40-split bench seat include a lockable under-seat storage compartment.
Ford offers two different consoles on its F-Series trucks. “The more common ‘flow-through’ console is on the Lariat and above, and there is no functional difference between trim levels,” says Hall. “There are folder hangers molded in and one could fit a medium to small laptop. The ‘stand-alone’ console is offered on the XLT and lower series. It does not have the folder hangers, but it does offer decent storage space.”
Ram Trucks offers numerous storage features to help you keep your business organized, including available under-seat rear storage with lids to serve as load floor; available upper and lower glove boxes; and an available armrest business center console that provides all the storage you need along with AUX/USB and optional SD slot.
Use aftermarket to customize
Of course, to make the best use of any office, you need to customize it to fit the way you work. Many aftermarket companies offer accessories that can truly convert your truck’s interior to a customized workspace.
Two examples are Mobile Desk and mobileDUZ LLP. Their accessories allow you to efficiently work with laptop computers, file critical documents and keep office tools and plans organized.
The TruckOffice and ConsoleOffice from mobileDUZ are designed for paperwork management. Compartments are perfectly sized to accommodate hanging files, tech manuals and portable files.
The TruckOffice replaces the back seat of your truck. A custom base serves as an adapter to exactly fit the floor of your pickup. It fastens to the floor using the same attach points used by the rear seat, which offers security and safety advantages.
The TruckOffice provides three compartments sized to manage portable files, hanging files and tech manuals. A locking top compartment keeps your laptop safe. There is also a locking long drawer for storing expensive site plans or other long items. Smaller drawers allow you to organize small office items such as pens, a stapler and business cards.