1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Anyone Using Private-Channel UHF or VHF Radios?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by MikeRi24, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. MikeRi24

    MikeRi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    I need a good way for the trucks to communicate, that isn't going back and forth non-stop on cell phones. I have had experience with CB radios before, have one in my truck now actually. When I had my Jeep and was into all the off-roading expeditions, they worked grate to communicate on the trail. They also seem to work great for a few miles up and down the highway. Going across town through un-even terrain and unpredictable weather....not so great. I was in my local mom-and-pop radio shop the other day and they suggested using a private-channel UHF or VHF setup. After doing some research, it seems like this will get the distance we need, reliably and consistently. As far as equipment goes, to have both trucks setup with the stuff, its not going to be terribly expensive. For what the pricing is, as long as it works and does what I need it to do, I don't mind spending the money. So I was just wondering if anyone had any experiences using a setup like this and what your thoughts on it were?
  2. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    haven't used them in over 25 years but they worked good then
  3. Troybaseball21

    Troybaseball21 Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 89

    Boost Mobile Pay as you go, and Direct Connect. $1.00 a day for unlimited Direct Connect that day, only when you use it! Guess it just depends on how much you would use it if it was worth it...
  4. erkoehler

    erkoehler PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,279

    This is what i do, works great!
  5. born2farm

    born2farm 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,310

    We use them on our farm. Bought a private channel about ten years ago, and have used them ever since. We have them in about twenty pieces of equipment and I use the channel in the winter for snow plowing. I also use them on the fire department around here. I have no real complaints on them. They work great for farming and we cover a distance of about 40 miles at times. We have had some issues with the ones on the fire department, but that is not the radio's issue. It is how the whole dispatching system is set up. I assume you will not be dealing with 500+ radios. Other the that MAKE SURE THE ONES YOU BUY ARE NARROWBAND COMPATABLE. I think most of the new ones are but check before you buy. In 2013 everything is switching to narrowband and the old radios (more then about 6 years old) will no longer work then. We just spent a good chunk of money switching ALL of our radios over. Hoped this helped a little.
  6. GMCHD plower

    GMCHD plower PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,831

    Question about the radios and buying a channel, so you buy your own channel, but then can anyone tune into it? Like if you have a radio in your own trucks, then have a sub or buddy with a different truck/radio, can they tune into it?
  7. cole22

    cole22 Senior Member
    Messages: 101

    No, not unless you give authorization to add them but they would have to bring in your radio and have your channel added to your radio. I farm plow etc. I have 6 different channels. 5 of them are different farmers and then we all use the 6th channel for plowing snow.

  8. MikeRi24

    MikeRi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    Problem with that is talking on the cell phone while behind the wheel is illegal in NY and cops just LOVE to write tickets for that. and when you're the only one on the road at 3 in the morning, it sounds like a good excuse for Barney to light 'em up!
  9. Troybaseball21

    Troybaseball21 Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 89

    Technically you are using the "walkie-talkie" portion, not the cell phone... as long as you are not holding it up to your ear... just saying :)
  10. shaunnshelly

    shaunnshelly Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    We are on 800mhz with a mini repeater. Distance is OK but not the greatest. All radios are on the same Freq. so everyone can hear what is going on. I tried the cell phone deal and the problem was that employees would forget them, they would loose charge, couldn't hear. We also tried CB's and guys would change channels and you would have to scan threw 40 channels to get a hold of someone. This year we are switching over to new radios on a repeater with approx 50 kmi distance as we picked up a couple large commercial lots.

    RCSLINC Junior Member
    Messages: 27

    I use 60 radios for my plowing vhf, would not use anything else.
  12. cole22

    cole22 Senior Member
    Messages: 101

    Also with the 800mhz they aren't the loudest if anyone has a problem with that just put a external speaker on and works great if you like to be out of the truck with the radio on.
  13. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,931

    We have the small motorolas, i guess thats an FRS version... we use them in all the machines, employees on a site have one on them and each truck we we don't have to make 5 calls when a driver gets on site or a machine needs something or a guy walks 1300 feet to the back of a building with a shovel and it breaks or he needs gas for a snow blower, can usually call on them and someone will be there sooner than making a hundred calls or not knowing even who to call b/c someone doesnt know each guy on that site.
  14. MikeRi24

    MikeRi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    You can't text while behind the wheel either in NY. Basically you can;t have the phone in your hand. I have an iPhone, which also doubles as my iPod for music. I have it hooked into the radio in my truck. One day I was sitting at a traffic light and was changing the song, cop saw me and I got pulled over. Mind you at the time the iPhone/iPod was still hooked up to the radio and I explained what I was doing. Didn't matter. Heres your ticket, have a nice day....
  15. fordtruck661

    fordtruck661 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 404

    You are going to need to setup a repeater system to use the radios. Two way radios will not go all that far with out one. A CB radio would work better than a two way radio with out a repeater. But if you do get a good repeater then it could go for several towns away. I would look and see if there are any local repeaters that you can rent because to buy one is big payuppayup
  16. citywide

    citywide Junior Member
    Messages: 28

    Not sure if I am allowed to advertise it sense I am not a sponsor, but I own a two-way radio shop in MA. If you have any questions feel free to PM and I will do my best to help you out.

    As it was already stated what most companies do to avoid the cost of buying a repeater and licensing a channel is rent air time from a radio shop. Most radio shops have some form of community repeater or trunked radio system on the air for this sort of operation.

    We have repeaters in MA & NH so if anyone in my neck of the woods needs service let me now.


    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  17. MikeRi24

    MikeRi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    PMed you with just some general questions. Thanks!
  18. MikeRi24

    MikeRi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    well, I ended up going with a local company for everything. They go me into a set of used Kenwood radios (with a 2-year warranty!) and then leased me a repeater channel which costs under $100 for the whole winter. It's my own private channel so no one else can talk on it except my trucks. I did the installation of the radios myself, which probably saved a few bucks, but it was VERY easy. We have not plowed snow yet, but the furthest test-distance we did on them was about 10 miles and they are clear as day! Buying the radio equipment was a little bit of an investment, but for what it actually costs to lease the repeater channel through the company, I can't see a better way to communicate between trucks while plowing.
  19. Joe D

    Joe D Senior Member
    Messages: 605

    §1225-c. Use of mobile telephones.

    1. For purposes of this section, the following terms shall mean:

    (a) "Mobile telephone" shall mean the device used by subscribers and other users of wireless telephone service to access such service.
    (b) "Wireless telephone service" shall mean two-way real time voice telecommunications service that is interconnected to a public switched telephone network and is provided by a commercial mobile radio service, as such term is defined by 47 C.F.R. S 20.3.
    (c) "Using" shall mean holding a mobile telephone to, or in the immediate proximity of, the user's ear.
    (d) "Hand-held mobile telephone" shall mean a mobile telephone with which a user engages in a call using at least one hand.
    (e) "Hands-free mobile telephone" shall mean a mobile telephone that has an internal feature or function, or that is equipped with an attachment or addition, whether or not permanently part of such mobile telephone, by which a user engages in a call without the use of either hand, whether or not the use of either hand is necessary to activate, deactivate or initiate a function of such telephone.
    (f) "Engage in a call" shall mean talking into or listening on a hand-held mobile telephone, but shall not include holding a mobile telephone to activate, deactivate or initiate a function of such telephone.
    (g) "Immediate proximity" shall mean that distance as permits the operator of a mobile telephone to hear telecommunications transmitted over such mobile telephone, but shall not require physical contact with such operator's ear.

    2. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person shall operate a motor vehicle upon a public highway while using a mobile telephone to engage in a call while such vehicle is in motion. (b) An operator of a motor vehicle who holds a mobile telephone to, or in the immediate proximity of his or her ear while such vehicle is in motion is presumed to be engaging in a call within the meaning of this section. The presumption established by this subdivision is rebuttable by evidence tending to show that the operator was not engaged in a call. (c) The provisions of this section shall not be construed as authorizing the seizure or forfeiture of a mobile telephone, unless otherwise provided by law.

    3. Subdivision two of this section shall not apply to (a) the use of a mobile telephone for the sole purpose of communicating with any of the following regarding an emergency situation: an emergency response operator; a hospital, physician's office or health clinic; an ambulance company or corps; a fire department, district or company; or a police department, (b) any of the following persons while in the performance of their official duties: a police officer or peace officer; a member of a fire department, district or company; or the operator of an authorized emergency vehicle as defined in section one hundred one of this chapter, or (c) the use of a hands-free mobile telephone.

    4. A violation of subdivision two of this section shall be a traffic infraction and shall be punishable by a fine of up to one hundred dollars.

    It looks like section 3 c allows the use of hands free cell phones.
  20. MikeRi24

    MikeRi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    It does, but the radios are just easier. Per month, it actually ends up being cheaper per unit also.