Whether on a construction site or out in the field, effective communication is essential. Many contractors opt for two-way radios to ensure efficient communication that helps ensure efficiency and safety for team members. The best two-way radios for contractors varies by the business.
Benefits of Two-Way Radios for Contractors
These days, most staff have their own mobile phones so some may believe that is sufficient. However, contractors still benefit from the use of two-way radios for the following reasons:
- Efficiency: A push-to-talk radio enables your team to contact you without looking through contacts or dialing a number.
- Smooth one-to-one and one-to-many communications: The primary benefit is the ability to communicate with the entire team at once. This keeps everyone informed and results in faster assistance in an emergency situation.
- Improved Safety: As mentioned, a radio allows your staff to use their push-to-talk to call for help quickly. In addition, specialized radios certified as Intrinsically Safe operate using lower electrical energy so they are safer than mobile phones in certain situations near combustible materials.
- Efficiency: Open communications allows your team to work efficiently as everyone stays informed throughout the day.
How to Choose the Right Two-Way Radios For Contractors
When it is time to choose a new two-way radio system, the first thing any contractor should do is consider their business needs. Ask yourself the following questions as a starting point.
- How many workers will use the radio system?
- What is the physical situation or context? Will workers need to communicate in multi-story buildings? Will they be indoors, outdoors, or a mix of both?
- What safety hazards common on the job sites?
- What situations do you hope to improve due to increased communications? What problems could better communication solve in your situation?
- How noisy are the job sites?
Depending on your needs, here are some features to consider. Please note this list is just a starting point.
- Compliance: For most types of radio-systems, businesses must acquire a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license. Also, consider any safety standards specific to your business and the materials you work with. You will want to choose a system that helps you stay compliant.
- Look for noise canceling technology if your team works in a noisy environment.
- Consider battery life as a factor if you have individuals working alone in remote locations.
- Frequency: UHF analog radios and VHF analog radio. UHF provides the best coverage outdoors and indoors. It is usually the better choice in multi-story buildings and other situations where the sight line is broken. VHF work well for many purposes outdoors, in a team environment when there is a clear sight line among workers. There is a third option, DTR Digital radios which offer a similar range to a UHF 4-watt analog radios.
- Do you need an Intrinsically Safe (IS) or FM Approved radio? This depends on the materials you work with and worksite conditions. These radios are designed and certified to be safer around explosive gases. The radios use less electrical energy than other communication devices.
If you need additional help choosing a two-way radio system for your business, feel free to reach out to a quality retailer for suggestions and guidance. Their expertise allows them to recommend the best radios for contractors in most fields.