Mounting a Rugged Tablet in a Forklift - What You Need to Consider


Forklift operator working in a warehouse speaking to his manager holding a tablet

Warehousing, construction and transport industries rely on machinery like forklifts to assist in their daily operations. The introduction of fixed rugged tablets in machinery has improved the productivity of operators significantly. With a mounted rugged tablet in a forklift, workers can send and receive data, access the organisation's database and have the option of a barcode scanner to obtain stock levels quickly. 

Before you decide to mount a rugged tablet in a forklift, there are a few things you need to consider. 

#1 Environment of the Forklift

Your work environment plays an important role in the rugged tablet you choose. If your operations involve Forklifts used in freezer locations, they're subject to cold temperatures and condensation. 

Outdoor facilities will be exposed to the elements, so your mounted rugged tablet will have to withstand rain, cold temperatures, heat and sun glare. A device's IP rating will reveal the level of protection against the intrusion of solid objects; including dust, and water in electrical enclosures.

All rugged tablets must also comply with MIL-STD-810G standards. These standards will dictate the environment the device can survive in. 

If the tablet is to be used in a dusty workplace such as a warehouse or a construction site, you’ll want to make sure the tablet has the right IP rating to handle dust. 

While rugged tablets are rated to withstand vibrations, there is a limit to the amount of vibration some tablet models can cope with. If the ground is poor, organisations can look for a rugged tablet that will cope with extreme vibrations. 

#2 Add-ons for Boosted Productivity

By mounting the rugged tablet, it’s possible to use add-ons such as keyboards and barcode RFID scanners to get the most out of your rugged tablet. The add-ons are available through a USB port or Bluetooth.

#3 Ease of Removal

The rugged tablet is always securely locked in place when sitting in its dock. However, there are times when the mounted device needs to come out of the forklift such as for servicing, repairs and thorough cleaning of the forklift. A rugged tablet can be undocked from its mount in seconds. 

If a forklift is only used for part of the day, having a fixed device in the cab is a waste of technology because it’s sitting idle for hours every day. A rugged tablet that can be removed from the forklift cab and used as a mobile computer during the hours that the forklift isn’t running.

#4 Power Requirements 

Full-shift battery life is essential for most industries; waiting for a device to be fully charged while on shift isn’t an option. A rugged tablet battery is designed to last longer than a consumer device. 

When running demanding software and applications, you’ll want to have a backup power source just in case your device is running low on charge.  

As rugged device experts, Roaming Technologies provides solutions for all types of forklifts from 12V through to 70V isolated power converters. With the right converter, a rugged tablet can keep running for as long as the forklift whether it’s a diesel, electric or propane forklift. 

#5 Speak to the Forklift Operator

Before it’s time to mount the rugged tablet in a forklift, speak to the main operator/s and find out how they prefer to work. The position of the rugged tablet can determine the type of mount needed. When a tablet is mounted in the most optimum position it means the operator is more likely to use it to its full potential.

#6 Position of the Mount

There may be multiple options in the cab for the rugged tablet’s best position. You will need the tablet to be in a place that is easy to reach and view but not create any blind spots. The operator should be able to enter and exit the cab without the tablet being a hazard they need to squeeze their body around. The mount should also allow the operator to adjust the height and angle to conform to their body’s requirements.

The variety of mounts available mean that rugged tablets can be mounted from above or below, wherever it will work best for the operator. The mount placement options include:

  • Bar – The mount is attached to one of the vertical cab bars that support the overhead guard. 

  • Dashboard – For those operators who are concerned about their visibility being obscured, this option provides the least amount of visual obstruction. 

  • Step - For operators who prefer the tablet at their side, this mount attaches to the foot step with a swing arm which can be moved when stepping in and out of the forklift.

  • Overhead Guard – This mounting option doesn’t require any drilling into the forklift so it’s ideal for leased forklifts.

Need Some Help?

If you need help with information or choosing your ideal rugged tablet and mounting it in a forklift, don’t hesitate to contact one of the hardware experts at Roaming Technologies by calling 1300 131 933 or contact us online.
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