Vehicle two-way radios concept: a truck driver uses a mobile radio while sitting in his cab.

On the Move: Essential Vehicle Two-Way Radios for Your Fleet

In the fast-paced world of fleet operations, drivers need reliable communication. DTWR is proud to offer several exceptional vehicle two-way radios to help them stay connected. Here are our top six recommended mobiles.

RCA’s RDR5200: Redefining the Radio Experience

The RDR5200 is a testament to innovation in vehicle two-way radios. With its advanced functionality and user-friendly design, this mobile sets the new standard for driver communication.

  • Powerful Performance: Units output 45 or 50 Watts of power in UHF or VHF, respectively.
  • Multi-Mode Functionality: Units can switch between Conventional Analog, Conventional Digital DMR Tier II, and Digital DMR PRODIGI™ Plus.
  • Crystal-Clear Audio: DMR technology filters out background noise regardless of distance between sender and receiver, offering drivers uninterrupted clarity.
  • Feature-Rich Design: 1,000 channels and 250 zones offer plenty of choices to assign your radio users.

RCA’s RPX6500 CTRH: Upgrading Emergency Response 

The RPX6500 CTRH is a versatile radio option for police, fire, and emergency services. 

  • Military-Grade Protection: Units are built to handle harsh environments in the field by meeting Military Standard (MIL-STD) 810F for durability, shock, and humidity. 
  • Digital and Analog Encryption: Units offer two types of encryption for digital mode, as well as scrambler voice encryption while in analog.
  • GPS Tracking: Real-time monitoring encourages driver accountability and faster emergency response.

Icom’s A120: Taking Communication to New Heights

For those in the aviation industry, the IC-A120 is the epitome of airborne communication excellence.

  • Aviation Compliance: Units meet all aviation standards for air traffic communication.
  • Clear Visibility: Pilots can navigate through channels effortlessly and safely thanks to user-friendly LCD displays.
  • Exceptional Durability: Units come rated IP54 for dust protection and water resistance.
  • Bluetooth® Compatibility: Units can be operated hands free with third-party Bluetooth-enabled devices.

RCA’s RPX6500 KDH: The Ultimate in Security

The RPX6500 KDH specializes in security-based applications, delivering unparalleled reliability for team performance.

  • Scalable Technology: Thanks to MultiCom™ software, units are able to meet a radio network’s current standards, as well as adapt to future changes in its configuration and size.
  • Flexible Mounting: Units offer convenient installation practically anywhere within a vehicle.
  • Rugged Design: Because they adhere to Military Standard (MIL-STD) 810C, D, E, and F, these units are perfect for security personnel operating in challenging environments. That includes protection from shocks, vibrations, drops, extreme temperatures, solar radiation, rain, humidity, salt fog, blowing dust, and sand.

RCA’s RDR5550: Optimal Performance for Sophisticated Networks

Sophisticated radio networks rely on dynamic radios that can support a large number of users and channels. The RDR5550 more than meets this need thanks to RCA’s PRODIGITM Plus Trunking. Units provide the right balance of high-performance features with affordability, making them ideal for organizations that need reliable communication without breaking the bank.

  • Advanced Features: Users have access to a full range of available options, including Caller ID, group and private calls, text messaging, encryption, radio checks, radio monitoring, and emergency alerts.
  • Brand Compatibility: Units support large-scale networks and can sync with models from other brands.
  • Wide-Area Coverage: DMR digital technology optimizes sound quality without compromising signal strength, ensuring reliable communication across various terrain.
  • Industry-Leading Warranty: Units are backed by a three-year, hassle-free warranty for peace of mind.

RCA’s MRM400: The Right Choice for Marine Safety

The MRM400 offers a fully submersible mobile two-way radio that can withstand a depth of one meter for up to 30 minutes. Its unique characteristics make it ideal for anyone operating on the water. 

  • Innovative Water Removal: Units leverage advanced technology that clears water from their speakers through vibration, ensuring radio protection and sound clarity. 
  • Lightweight and Powerful: Units come with a compact design that still yields 25 watts of power.
  • Built-In Digital Selective Calling (DSC): Users have access to several DSC features over VHF. This includes DSC watch, which can monitor Channel 70 for distress calls while receiving on another channel. 

Now that you know which mobiles are available, let’s talk about how they influence safe driving behavior.

Essential Tips for Using Vehicle Two-Way Radios

Even though mobiles are designed for vehicles, drivers still need to know how to treat them responsibly. Here are some factors they should keep in mind.

Hands-Free Operation

One of the most fundamental safety tips for mobile radios is prioritizing hands-free operation when available. Distracted driving can pose a significant risk, and that can include when you take a hand off of the wheel to grab a radio mic.

Example: Imagine a delivery driver navigating through busy city streets. Instead of holding a radio handset, they use an earpiece to communicate with dispatch while staying focused on the road.

Mounting and Placement Matters

Proper mounting and placement of mobile radios contribute to distraction-free driving. Ensure that yours are securely mounted where they won’t obstruct drivers’ fields of vision, or interfere with vehicle controls.

Example: A police officer patrolling the streets relies on a well-mounted radio system positioned within easy reach. This setup allows them to concentrate on their surroundings and respond promptly to requests without compromising reaction time.

Pre-Drive Checks: Ensuring Functionality

Before hitting the road, conduct pre-drive checks to ensure the functionality of your mobile radio system. Confirm that the radio is securely mounted, the microphone is functioning correctly, and the volume levels are set appropriately.

Example: A long-haul trucker conducts a pre-drive check by ensuring that their mobile radio is in optimal condition. This proactive approach ensures that they can communicate effectively with other truckers and receive important traffic updates during their journey.

Familiarize Yourself With Controls

Take the time to familiarize yourself with the controls of your mobile radio system. Knowing how to adjust volume, change channels and frequencies, and activate emergency features without looking away from the road enhances your overall safety.

Example: An emergency medical services (EMS) driver, responding to a critical call, is adept at using their radio controls without diverting attention from the road. This allows them to communicate efficiently while en route.

Use of Headsets and Earpieces

When applicable, use headsets or earpieces to maintain clear communication without the need for excessive radio volume. This not only enhances privacy, but also prevents loud radio transmissions from becoming distractions.

Example: A security team patrolling a large event venue relies on discreet communication through earpieces. This ensures that radio conversations do not draw attention to team members or disturb the event, allowing them to maintain an unobtrusive presence.

Emergency Protocols: Be Prepared

In high-pressure situations, quick and effective communication is crucial. Familiarize yourself with the emergency alerts unique to your vehicle two-way radios, including how to transmit distress signals or activate special features.

Example: A tow truck operator encountering a hazardous situation on the highway instantly communicates the need for assistance using the emergency channel on their radio, allowing help to arrive faster. 

Stay Informed About Local Regulations

Different regions may have specific regulations regarding the use of mobile radios in vehicles. Stay informed about local laws and adhere to them to avoid legal consequences and, more importantly, ensure road safety.

Example: A commercial bus driver, crossing state lines, is aware of the varying regulations regarding radio usage. Adhering to them ensures compliance, improves safety, and avoids potential issues with the law.

Minimize Non-Essential Communication

While the whole point of mobile radios is to provide uninterrupted communication, some conversations are simply distracting chatter. If the information a driver is sharing isn’t relevant to the operation of their vehicle, their destination, or their cargo, chances are that it’s better suited for when their vehicle is finally idle.

Example: A courier driver, navigating through heavy traffic, keeps radio communications brief and to the point. This allows them to stay focused on their route, while still conveying important information about their delivery status.

Speaking of brief communication… Do your drivers know all of the best shorthand messages to use with their vehicle two-way radios?

Common Phrases Used With Vehicle Two-Way Radios

Drivers depend on shorthand radio messages for the clarity, brevity, and accuracy of their messages. Here are the most common phrases that they use.

“Over” and “Out”: These two terms are fundamental in radio communication etiquette. “Over” indicates that the speaker has finished talking and is awaiting a response, while “Out” signifies the end of the conversation.

“Roger” and “Wilco”: “Roger” is used to acknowledge that a message has been received and understood, while “Wilco” means “will comply” and indicates that the instructions will be followed.

“Affirmative” and “Negative”: Instead of saying “yes” or “no,” radio operators use these terms to affirm or negate a statement or request.

“10-Codes”: Derived from law enforcement practices, 10-codes are numeric codes that represent common phrases or instructions. For example, “10-4” means “message received and understood.”

“Breaker” or “Breaker 1-9”: Commonly used by truckers on CB radios, “breaker” is a term used to request a pause or to interrupt ongoing communication for an urgent message.

“Mayday”: This internationally recognized distress signal is used to indicate a life-threatening emergency. It is reserved for situations where immediate assistance is required.

“ETA”: An acronym for “estimated time of arrival,” ETA helps coordinate activities and logistics efficiently.

“Copy That” and “Say Again”: “Copy that” is a confirmation that a message has been received, while “say again” is a request to repeat the last transmission due to it being unclear or incomplete.

“Lima Charlie” (Loud and Clear): This phrase indicates that the message received is understandable.

“Check” or “Radio Check”: Both are used to test radio equipment and ensure that communications are functioning correctly.

“All Stations” or “All Call”: When a message needs to be broadcasted to all users on a particular frequency, these phrases address everyone simultaneously.

“Standby” or “Hold”: These terms are used to request a temporary pause in communication, often to attend to other matters or gather information.

Mastering these phrases will make two-way radio communication easier for your drivers.

Mobile Two-Way Radios Are Available!

The RDR5200, RPX6500-CTRH, Icom A120, RPX6500-KDH, RDR5550, and MRM400 collectively showcase the diverse range of mobile solutions here at DTWR. Whether you prioritize durability, versatility, security, affordability, or compliance, we have vehicle two-way radios tailored to meet your specific needs. 

At the same time, ensuring safety while on the road should always be a top priority for your drivers. Following the essential tips and real-life examples above will allow them to do this while maintaining effective and efficient communication.

Our mobile radios are currently in stock and ready to ship! Call us today to speak with one of our award-winning radio specialists and learn more about how to enhance your network!

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