Better Communication on the Farm: Tips for Buying Two Way Radios
Two-way radio has, for a long time, been seen as an invaluable tool for communication between farm workers. Sitting at a desk in an office, or walking the shop floor in a factory, is not the same thing as working on a farm, and not just for the obvious reasons. If you need an answer to something, you can’t just lean over the table and ask your colleague, chances are there are a number of fields between you and them.
When your office environment involves many hectares, acres or miles of open countryside, a reliable way to stay in touch is vital for maintaining or coordinating work and safety.
Today there are so many models of two-way radio available on the market and for all sorts of operations: providing security at large events, coordinating work teams, janitorial needs in schools and construction sites, the list is almost endless. But what are a farmers’ best options?
Here are some things to think about when choosing the right radio for your farm.
Two-way radio is far suited to farm work more than mobile phones are. Farmers are out in all weathers, so you need equipment that is as tough as the terrain you work in. You need kit that can stand-up against the cold, wind, rain dust, shocks. Look for a model with a good *IP rating for water and dust resistance.
*Ingress Protection ratings determine the level of seal of an electrical enclosure so you can determine how efficient a product is when used in challenging environments
Ease of use
When you work with your hands (especially in cold, wet weather) complicated gadgets are not ideal. You need user-friendly equipment that is simple to operate. Go for an uncomplicated, non-display set that requires only the press of a button to operate (PTT, Push To Talk). An even better option may be a model that has VOX voice activation, keeping your hands free for work.
Crystal clear audio
Two-way radio these days offer exceptional audio quality and clarity, when you’re working next to machinery or out in inclement weather, you want to still be able to hear messages when they come through. With background noise cancelling and volume boost you can ensure important messages are always received.
Don’t let anyone sell you something you don’t need. Farm workers are not going to need the thousands of channels or advanced functions obtainable from the highest spec models. Quite often, the main priorities are functionality, durability and reliability and to get those essentials you don’t need to break the bank.
Another way of bringing down cost is a licence-free option for farms. Licence-free operates on open, public airwaves, so you don’t need to pay for a special license to have your own frequency. The disadvantage of this is when lots of people are using the public airwaves, there can be interference issues. However, in rural areas, away from densely populated urban regions, this shouldn’t be a problem.
The DigiX Liberty is a perfect example of a two-way radio ideal for farm use. Licence-free, affordable and reliable. It comes with a tough outer casing, one-touch or VOX operation, high-quality audio and a 2km signal range.
The Hytera PD405 is a higher spec, a digital model with similar functionality and design, rated IP55 (5 protected against dust, 5 protection against low-pressure water jets from all directions) and a 3km signal range.
NRC is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of two-way radio solutions for business and industry. To find out more, please visit https://nrcradio.co.uk/