Small Business Trends Radio

Ford & Dewalt Contractor Control Centers: Smart Trucks

Ford Work Solutions

If you’re a contractor or skilled tradesman, chances are that an employee, or yourself, has left a job site and left expensive tools behind. Or maybe you’ve left for the job site and have left behind tools needed that day.

Well, Ford Motor Company and DeWALT have some good news for you. They are bringing new meaning to the term “remote office” by recently announcing a set of high-tech features for 2009 Ford F series trucks and E series vans called Ford Work Solutions, including an onboard computer and tool tracking.

Our featured guest in this Episode of The Small Business Trends Radio is Bill Frykman, Product Manager at Ford Work Solutions and Chris Allen, Vice President of Security Products Group at DeWALT. And they are here to discuss the many features that they’ve developed to assist small business owners.

JumpUpTopics include:

  • Who can make use of this technology? — Skilled tradesman such as contractors, painters, landscapers, plumbers, lawn care providers and many more running similar small businesses.
  • How does it work? — Safety first. For starters, once you hit the road moving, the in-dash computer functions are disabled so that drivers cannot be distracted while driving. In order to use the technology, the vehicle must be at a stand still. Features include hands free phone functionality, Internet access, GPS technology, remote fleet/vehicle monitoring and performance monitoring just to name a few.
  • How do the tools work? — Track tools included in your truck hrough radio Dewaltfrequency identification (RFID) tags. You can buy any number of RFID tags you like. Place them on your tools, register them and then associate the necessary tools to your logged jobs. The system will scan the vehicle upon start up and let you know which ones are missing and which ones are present. These tags also have personal uses. Register and tag camping items, fishing items and the like!

Click the red and yellow player below to listen to the full interview.

5 Responses to “Ford & Dewalt Contractor Control Centers: Smart Trucks”

  1. Amanda Says:

    My husband is a foreman for a large concrete company based in Pittsburgh. I cannot count the times he has called me at home to check the weather radar online for him. For him to be able to access the web from his truck would be a real time saver. I will be interested to see how much extra this function adds to the truck cost.

  2. EJMalyn Says:

    The safety features are great and web access is a big plus.

  3. Martin Lindeskog Says:

    Fascinating development! Maybe you could accomplish real Just-In-Time deliveries at this stage. I will tell my fellow members of Swedish National Association of Purchasing and Logistics (Western region) about this.

  4. Chris Says:

    I think these are a fantastic addition to the work force. I know many, many contractors that could make use of every feature mentioned here. As well, many of these guys are hunters and fishermen. And I think they’d be tickled about the fact that you can attach the RFID tags to any equipment they intend to bring on those trips. It’s a bonus – a big one to the guys I’ve talked to about this so far. What will they think of next? Exciting news for many I know.

  5. Jake Says:

    That is a seriously great idea! I can’t count how many times I’ve had six sites I’ve been at in a day and for the life of me can’t remember where on earth I put my impact wrench etc.. I would buy this in a heartbeat!

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