Going Wireless on the Road

Respond to customer questions and conduct product research quickly with mobile Internet access on the truck.

Cingular/AT&T offers wireless Internet plans as well. They offer what is called 3G, which is supposed to have speeds of up to 1.5 Mbps, equivalent to about a basic in-home cable Internet package. When not connected to the 3G network, the speed drops considerably. If you are near a metro area that offers 3G, this service is something to look into. I know that Boston is my closest 3G network, and that most major metro areas offer 3G connections.

With these carriers, you can also get access in two ways: a cell phone or an air card.

The cell phone will connect to your computer with a cable, or through a wireless connection. In some cases, you can simply use the screen of this device for web access, eliminating the need to use your PC, but I prefer the full-size display of my laptop for browsing Web sites.

You can also use an air card. This is a device that goes into an expansion slot or a USB port on your computer, and connects your computer without the need of a separate cell phone. The simplicity of the stand-alone connection without using a phone and cables makes this my preferred method.

Whatever carrier or hardware you choose to use, you will benefit from mobile Internet access on your truck. Your customers will appreciate the fact that you are technologically advanced, and that you care enough about them to have another resource to meet their tool needs.

You will appreciate the extra time that you find through better time management. More time to sell more tools, or to spend with the family. Remember the key to success: You, like everyone else in the world, only have 24 hours in a day. Use them well.

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