Employees in a diverse set of industries rely on two way radios to get through their day. For many businesses, reliable communication is essential to the smooth running of day-to-day operations, from coordinating employees to ensuring worker safety.
Who Needs Two Way Radios Anymore?
Although mobile devices such as smartphones have made their mark on the business world, they’re still not up to every challenge. Not only are they relatively fragile, but they’re also time-consuming to use. Initiating a conversation on a mobile phone involves a multi-step process—dialing up a number, waiting for an answer, launching a multi-party call, and possibly even leaving a voicemail. That is over and above the monthly charges that come with cell phone usage.
Many jobs and industries demand more expedient and professional communications technology. For work environments that require instant communication between multiple parties, nothing can replace a two way radio system, which allows users to establish contact at the push of a button. Such speed and efficiency can save time, money, and sometimes even lives.
Below is a list of five industries that consistently rely on two way radios:
Workers in the construction industry are constantly on the move. Between transporting heavy materials and operating dangerous machinery, there’s little room for hassle or error. The need to ensure safety while coordinating a large, mobile workforce of foremen, workers, and sub-contractors demands the use of professional communication equipment designed specifically to withstand rough abuse, hazardous conditions, and extreme weather.
Two way radios used in the construction business should therefore be:
Easy to use
Technical Requirements – For most construction jobs, two watt radios cover more than enough territory. On the other hand, those employed on larger projects might want to upgrade to four watts. Since many supervisors split their workers into separate teams, it’s also important to have enough channels to support each group—four is sufficient for most operations.
There are a number of radios that are up to the challenge. With four channels, two watts of transmit power, and a powerful speaker that can overcome high levels of noise, the Motorola RMU2040 remains one of the most commonly used two way radios in the construction industry.
Another popular choice is the Kenwood NX-340U16P radio, which also features 5 watts, 16 channels, and superior coverage. The Kenwood also offers military-grade toughness and durability, while remaining lightweight enough for easy use.
Motorola and Kenwood radios are some of the toughest, most secure, and most durable on the market—perfect for the rough and tumble world of construction.
Plumbers and Contractors
Plumbers and contractors often work in teams. Dispersed throughout a building or worksite, they face similar challenges to construction workers. They also have the same basic needs, such as coordinating employees and keeping workers safe in potentially hazardous surroundings.
Technical Requirements – Both contractors and plumbers work with heavy equipment in loud environments. Although they might not require the same level of durability and toughness as construction workers, they do need communication technology that is easy to use and capable of withstanding a reasonable amount of abuse.
Typically, plumbers and contractors need gear that has:
An intrinsically safe design
Noise canceling technology
Long battery life
Featuring built-in flashlights and hands-free technology, the Motorola T460 radio and the Motorola T800 radio are ideal for workers who perform manual labor inside buildings. There are also a range of other models that offer the durability, safety, audibility, and functionality needed by such hands-on professionals as contractors and plumbers.
These days, schools often seem like miniature villages or even cities. Teachers, administrators, maintenance staff, and students are scattered throughout a building or spread out over a sprawling campus. That means coordination, efficiency, and safety can suffer unless administrators have enough foresight to invest in professional communications solutions.
Daily Activities – Fortunately, many schools have adopted two way radios as their communication technology of choice. In fact, radios have become part of the day-to-day operations of schools throughout the country. Crossing guards use them to direct traffic. Administrators use them to stay in touch with teachers, maintenance workers, and janitors, while staff members use them to communicate with each other.
Two way radios can prove particularly useful at areas and events such as:
Bus loading zones
Fields and playgrounds
Assemblies and sporting events
Emergency Preparedness – In recent years, radioshave taken on an additional and more urgent task—emergency preparedness. With more and more schools training staff and students to deal with worst-case scenarios, two way radios are becoming a critical component of school safety programs, and for good reason.
There are many scenarios in which a two way radio becomes indispensable. What if an administrator needs to contact the janitorial staff to handle a dangerously icy walkway? What if a natural disaster such as an earthquake, fire, or flash flood demands immediate evacuation? What if an active shooter gains access to the campus? In such situations, instant connection between staff members becomes critical.
Technical Requirements – Since schools use 2 way radios for a variety of tasks, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. While crossing guards may need only a small radio with relatively low wattage, teachers and administrators often require a higher powered model. That’s because many schools are not only geographically dispersed, but also equipped with thick concrete walls that can interfere with the weak signals emitted by low-powered radios.
For administrators who need an easy way to communicate with their entire staff simultaneously, a single-channel radio may suffice. If, on the other hand, the staff is composed of distinct groups of employees that each have separate functions and responsibilities, then multi-channel radios provide the only way for each team to maintain separate communications.
At the very least, radios designed for use in schools should be:
Easy to use
Designed for multi-use purposes
Based on those specifications, there are a range of models that work well in a school environment. Depending on the specific needs of each individual school, anything from a four-channel Kenwood PKT-23K to a simple Motorola CLS1410 can provide an effective solution.
Security professionals have long relied on two way radios to perform their duties, which may involve anything from routine monitoring to apprehending suspects. Not only do they allow personnel to maintain a constant flow of information, but, more importantly, they facilitate the quick mobilization of resources in emergency situations. Whatever contingency may arise—theft, assault, accident, or general disturbance—radios allow guards to swiftly and efficiently alert supervisors, property managers, and owners.
Technical Requirements – Security operations often require durable, high-wattage radios that can withstand daily wear and tear while transmitting communications over a large territory. While two or four watt models usually do the trick, repeater-capable units may be necessary for even more geographically dispersed areas.
The type of radio needed depends upon the kind of security operations and the type of location (e.g., whether personnel patrol a building or a large outdoor area). However, many of the same two way radios that prove ideal for property management and contracting will also work well for security guards and other safety personnel.
Hospitality and Event Workers
Both the hospitality and entertainment industries use two way radios on a regular basis to coordinate all the hidden resources that make first-rate service possible. In fact, many restaurants, hotels, festivals, and even film productions would be unable to operate without the convenience provided by walkie talkies.
Depending on the nature of each industry, radios can serve a variety of functions — ensuring timely service to customers at a restaurant, coordinating parking at an outdoor event, or managing a large workforce of geographically dispersed employees.
Technical Requirements – Motorola designed its CLP series specifically for use in restaurants. Significantly more lightweight than other units, the CLP series is also stylish and unobtrusive, making it perfect for the service industry where unsightly equipment can be distracting or even obnoxious.
Major events also require specialized equipment. With teams of specialized workers spread out over a very large area, powerful radios are needed to keep everyone in touch. Units must also be tough enough to withstand the inclement weather that is often accompanies outdoor gatherings. To meet the challenges, Motorola’s Business Two Way Radio offers a number of features, including a range of up to 300,000 square feet without a repeater.From construction to hospitality, every industry has its own particular communication needs. Whatever the business, whatever the job, Two Way Radio Gear carries the ideal unit. To get expert advice about the advantages and disadvantages of the various two way radios, give us a call at 1-800-984-1534