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CB/2 Way Radios?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Burkartsplow, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,248

    I am looking for some feedback on some cb radio/2 way radios that I can put in the 2 trucks to help with communication. After a couple of storms myself and my other driver are tired of trying to call each other on the phone every time we need to say something to each other. I am looking to spend around $150 per radio for each truck. If any one has any suggestions I would appreciate it. I was looking at the uniden bearcat 880 cb radio as it seemed compact and got some good reviews. Thanks for the help.
  2. Bigfoot Brent

    Bigfoot Brent Senior Member
    Messages: 202

    Keep in mind the CB will only give you a range of a few miles, compared to 50+ for a two way.
  3. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,248

    Do you have any suggestions on a 2 way. I was reading up on them and they seem to lose there signal even if they say 30 mile range and it really is only 5 miles. Or I may be wrong in my readings. Thanks for any help.
  4. H&HPropertyMait

    H&HPropertyMait Senior Member
    Messages: 558

    ive thought a ton about this too. ive seen some 16 mile 2 way radios for 30 or 40 bucks and they are cobra which are nice pieces. almost ready to buy a set. they would be handy on lots that need 2 trucks.
  5. Bigfoot Brent

    Bigfoot Brent Senior Member
    Messages: 202

    When I said two ways I mean a UHF Motorola radio mounted in a truck like a fire/ambulance vehicle would have, not the little crappy hand helds from Radio Shack. The two way radios are usually bought or rented from a local communications provider who you "rent" a frequency from. If you look on the roof of office towers or apartment buildings you will often see antennaes for these types of radios.
  6. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    I just ordered 5 sets of CB's to try in some of our trucks. The trucks all work within a few blocks of one another or completely different city's so I do not expect them to work between the different cities.

    Radio Shack, 70 bucks per truck for a cb and aerial. Figure its not much to loose if it does not work out for me.
  7. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    I've always used Motorola's, had them board mounted so they could be moved from truck to truck. They have a magnetic wired antenna w/ lighter plug. I haven't used them in a few years, but if you go that route you'll need to subscribe to someones repeater w/ tower. Then you usually pay a monthly usage charge, which gives you 2 options...a shared channel w/ other users or a private (your own) but more $$. Mine always worked fine from Downtown Cleveland - Downtown Akron. The only time it's ever an issue is if your too low (like in a valley) or too close to the tower...the signal goes over your head.

    If your working together in close proximity, an inexpensive set of CB walkie talkies will generally do fine.

    BOSS LAWN Senior Member
    Messages: 495

    I just recently installed two CB Radios in my 2 plow trucks. They work well for lots that need more than one truck and for highway driving. Haven't got more than 10 miles in signal in the citys, around 20 in the suburbs though. Spent $59.99 on each raido and about $30.00 for each antenna. :mechanic:

    Handheld Walkies and radios are a hassle when trying to operate and drive.:mad:
  9. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    CB radios are illegal for commercial use. To get good range on a two way, you will need a repeater.
  10. SharpBlades

    SharpBlades Senior Member
    Messages: 366

    All my trucks have cobra 29 cb's. They work great for about 4-5 miles.

    The only annoying thing is all the ratchetjaws that have nothing better to do than to sit around on their base stations and annoy people
  11. SD40T2

    SD40T2 Member
    Messages: 47


    The only annoying thing is all the ratchetjaws that have nothing better to do than to sit around on their base stations and annoy people[/QUOTE]

    I am gonna guess you are around Syracuse. I turn mine off when I go through there
  12. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    I've looked into many different radio's and to be honest, I've found the little 2-ways work just fine. CB's can be expensive and really only benefit you if you have multiple trucks in a close proximity (within a few miles). The larger 2-way radio's are very expensive and usually need a trunk (repeater system) to make them effective, sometimes you can find a set on e-bay but usually they're junk and in need of repair plus a monthly fee for the system. I guess it would depend on how far away you guys are and how important is communicating, if it's a few times a night then why bother with anything other than the cell, but it does get to be a pita when your trying to tell someone something simple several times a night. We have a couple sets of Cobra something or other and I think they say 24 mile range....yeah right,lol but they do go a few miles if it's fairly flat and no too many obstacles and have charged batteries. I think we paid around 80 bucks for a pair with chargers and battery, these even have a couple NOAA weather bands on it and hands free/voice activated talking.
  13. Burkartsplow

    Burkartsplow PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,248

    Thanks for all your guys help. I think i am just going to go with a pair of handhelds as if we are to far away I can call, but when we are in the same lots I think these will work perfect. Thanks again.
  14. coldcoffee

    coldcoffee Senior Member
    Messages: 776

    I paid a lot of money for my units, which I bought new. Problems were very minimal. I think you have a lot more options now. Independence Excavating was my carrier & to the best of my knowledge, still remains the go to place. Looks like they've grown & expanded a bit over the years, and now apparently have leasing/rental options on a broader range of equipment.

  15. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    We tried the little 2 ways, range of 15 or 20 miles. Problem is that they do not work around some of the buildings that we are plowing at. Simple, rectangular building, distribution center with 60 truck doors, drivable on all 4 sides. Driver plowing at the front cannot talk to the driver plowing at the back.

    Cheap yes, effective - sometimes. Get lost or slide accross the seat - yes.
  16. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,382

    We've used them around an entire mall with no issues. As far as getting lost...how lost can they get in a truck? Just take care of them....
  17. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    nextel push to talk. nationwide coverage.
  18. cwby_ram

    cwby_ram Senior Member
    Messages: 907

    That's what we use when we need to.
  19. RAZOR

    RAZOR Senior Member
    Messages: 342

    Look into the new Ontario hands free cell phone law. There is something in there about phasing out the use of CB radios over the next while. I guess if you used them on private parking lots you would be fine thou.
  20. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    Range issue

    If you want City wide coverage that you can count on and talk to your trucks when you need to, get two-ways radio that are on a repeater. No issues. When you want to reach a truck you can.

    They are not a cheap fix, but they certainly are a permanent fix to communications. If you are only running a couple trucks and you are working together two-ways would not be your best bet choice. If you are running multiple trucks in several areas, consider the option.

    Good luck