02 September 2019

From cold chain to potentially explosive atmospheres, there’s no limit to the variety of working environments within which workers need digital back up. At many of these demanding workplaces, workers also need their hands free, which is where rugged vehicle mount computers come into play. Docking securely on truck and van dashboards, as well as on forklifts, pallet trucks, order pickers and other types of material handling equipment, rugged vehicle mount devices provide easy and robust access to the digital systems and data that workers need on the operational front line. 

Here we take a look at the most important factors to consider when choosing rugged vehicle mount computers for your business. 

Features of rugged vehicle mount terminals

To be as effective and functional as possible within harsh conditions and extreme environments, rugged vehicle mount computers need several key features:

Specialist touchscreens/voice control

Standard mobile computers and smartphones may have touchscreens, but it’s unlikely they’ll keep working if exposed to dust and dirt, water and drops from height. A rugged device boasts ultra-tough, ultra-responsive touchscreen technology, even through thick gloves and even in extreme temperatures, with built-in screen defrosting for cold chain conditions.

Processing power

Industrial-grade rugged devices for vehicles boast more processing power than your average consumer or commercial grade mobile computer. You’ll need this so that your workers can run multiple applications seamlessly and without lagging loading times as they log job progress and access operational data.

One-handed docking and undocking

Challenging industrial settings involve constantly changing workloads and shifting priorities. Workers need versatile hardware that can keep up with them as they switch from one task to another.

Make sure your chosen vehicle mount computers work across different vehicles, vans and trucks and can be docked, undocked and redocked quickly and easily, even with one hand and while wearing gloves.

Look for robust environment performance

Most importantly, rugged vehicle mount computers need to withstand tough working conditions without any dip in performance. Material handling equipment is heavy machinery, built to take impact and intense vibration, so any mounted devices need to do the same. Rugged devices won’t need constant repair or replacement when placed in harsh working environments, taken out on the road or frequently docked and undocked from vehicle mounts, making them more than worth the investment.

Warehouse management, manufacturing or waste? Which devices work best in which industries?

The right rugged vehicle mount computers for your organisation will also depend on the nature of your business. Warehouses, for example, need rugged vehicle mount devices that work alongside connected rugged scanning technology for efficient inventory management, while manufacturing firms tend to need rugged hardware that makes for simple decentralised control across each point of a supply chain.

Organisations in the oil and gas sector should look for rugged vehicle mount computers with ATEX specification – the official regulatory standard that ensures the safety of products used in potentially explosive environments. For waste management companies, truck mountable rugged devices that undock quickly and easily for mobile work will be top of the list.

Whatever your business focus, a specialist rugged mobile hardware supplier like TouchStar can help you narrow the market to find the right rugged vehicle mount computers for you. Not only that, our expert technicians are poised to help you integrate your new rugged hardware into your operation and our ongoing customer support services and onsite troubleshooting ensure you’ll always get the most from your tech. Ready to find out more? Get in touch with us today.         



Peter joined TouchStar (formally Belgravium) in a sales manager role in 2001. Prior to joining the company, Peter held Partner and National Sales Manager roles within the parcel and logistics industries.  

In 2011 Peter was promoted to Sales Director and is now actively involved in promoting the value of TouchStar’s Rugged Mobile Computing solutions to the warehouse, logistics, manufacturing and field service industries. When not involved in the business, Peter is a keen and enthusiastic football and cricket fan.

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