We have business band radios in all our equiptment, and the garage, for the phone guy. We also have police & emergancie scanners in my truck & the garage. Along with cell phones. We have helped the fire & medic units a couple time . But if you have police scanners in a vehicle you need a card from the police, etc to do so. At least in Indiana.
Started with CB's, graduated to VHF hi band which was really crowded, cells were not around then. Always had a portable scanner in my truck for both police and fire in my town. A cheap one from Radio shack, also had NOAA weather channel and my VHF frequency on it. The fire dept was on VHF low and the police on VHF Hi. Nobody ever gave me grief about that because I was right around the corner from the fire dep't and they didn't have a plow assigned to them! neither did the cops. How's that for good planning, so I would plow their station drive and walks. and I pulled my share of stuck police cars out, some of those guys would think they could get by in a chevy station wagon with no chains on the rear. Without the scanner you would have no way of knowing that the Knights of the night were stuck. In my small town you helped them because some day it could be your family that they are going to save.
I was in the sherrif dept. for a while, and we needed to have radios in our POV's. That is why i have the police 2 way radio. In security work we talk to the police dept. also. It come in handly when you come upon an accident out in the county side. you can get help a lot faster this way. I also use a scanner too.
As mentioned in a couple other threads, finally got to do some plowing this past few days. Contractor I sub for and myself both have cell phones, I was working on a few lots while he took care of his driveways about 3 miles away. CB's wouldn't have worked too well, and business-band radios are a little too $$$ for me, at least at this stage.
CB's could have been handy when we had the two trucks and a backhoe working as a team to clear out some lots, but we were all within sight of each other and after a quick briefing on "the plan" before we got started, things went smoothly.
The phones worked great for us, I have mine on a home-made bracket right above the plow controls so the phone is literally at my fingertips. Just have to make sure the ringer volume is all the way "UP" so I can hear it over the stereo!
cell phones here. great in the winter with virtually unlimited nights and weekends. cn get kinda pricey in the summer though. may switch from current carrier when contract is up. supposedly, in our area, northcoast PCS(sprint) has deal for unlimited local minutes @ $34.95 a month with purchase of phone
I have the business radio in my truck, a CB to talk to local plowers and truckers for road information, A nextel to talk to the boss, and my cell phone. This year also I will have my pda with email for information on accounts and etc....
We use the Mike Network which I gather is the same as Nextel with phone and 2 way radio in one unit. I can talk on the 2 way to one person or everybody at once. I just finnished setting up my unit for email as well as signing up for e~weather from Environment Canada. Now i will get forcasts sent directly to my phone 3 times a day. It says they will soon be able to send out weather watches an warnings via email as well (no charge). I will be able to set it so when they send me a warning it will alert me on the phone to pick up my Email. Man I love technology. I also just picked up a Palm handheld and am looking forward to going paperless on the route sheets.
Good point about CB/2 way cost compared to a cell phone, however in my case I have the phone anyway solely as the "biz" phone - this way it's completely separate from the home phone bill, making the accounting easier!
Agreed that getting a phone just for truck to truck use is the expensive way to go