If you run a warehouse, a construction site, or a dockyard, then you know that one of the most important equipment for your operations is a forklift. Forklifts are operated by workers and are used to lift objects and move heavy loads that humans cannot.

To increase the productivity of the workers and the efficiency of your operations, rugged tablets can be mounted to the forklift. This way, the worker can send and receive instructions, access the company’s core systems, use barcode scanners without stopping to physically access a desktop computer stationed elsewhere.

Before mounting a rugged tablet to a forklift, there are several things that you should put into consideration. Let’s discuss the top five issues to consider.

  1. Tablet’s Ability to Withstand Vibration

One characteristic of forklifts is that they vibrate. Prolonged exposure to vibrations and shocks can damage the internal components of the tablet. Before you mount the tablet to a forklift, it is important to ensure the tablet meets the desired level of ruggedness that can withstand the constant vibrations. This will minimize the instances of constantly repairing and replacing the tablet.

  1. Type and Location of the Mount

There are different mounting solutions available in the market. Some mounts are fitted using clamps and are therefore flexible. This means that they can easily be dismounted from the forklift whenever there is a need to use the tablet off the forklift. These types of mounts require no drilling and are mostly used by companies that lease their forklifts.

Other mounts may require some level of drilling into the forklift. These are mostly used when there is a need to securely mount the tablet in the forklift or when direct mounting is necessary.

The type of the mount also affects the location where the tablet will be fixed within the forklift. Some locations tend to obstruct the operator’s view.

  1. Power Source

Rugged tablets batteries are designed to last longer than the batteries of consumer tablets. They can last a whole workday or an entire shift. However, if you are handling large volumes of transactions, running multiple applications including scanning and wireless connectivity, chances are, the battery power of the tablet will not be sufficient. You may therefore need to power your tablet from the forklift. To safely do this, you need to install a DC power converter.

It is also important to understand how your forklifts are powered. Some forklifts are electric while others run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), diesel, or compressed natural gas (CNG). Understanding the power source of your forklifts and their respective voltage will help you purchase the proper power converter.

  1. Compatibility with Peripherals

Rugged tablets are often used together with other peripherals. Most tablets use a touchscreen as the main input method. Other input methods such as barcode readers, RFID scanners, voice input, and keyboards are commonly used on forklifts. It is therefore important to make sure your rugged tablet supports these devices.

The rugged tablet should have adequate interface ports to connect to the peripherals. Most tablets may not have the necessary software drivers preinstalled to support the commonly used input methods and some may need additional configuration to work with these devices. For this reason, ensure you have access to the relevant software drivers and the necessary accessories.

  1. Work Environment

The work environment plays an important role because it dictates how you are going to tailor a solution to meet your specific needs.

For instance, if your operations involve working in cold environments such as cold storage rooms, the rugged tablet mounted in the forklift should be able to withstand the cold temperatures and condensation issues.

If the tablet is to be used in a dusty environment such as a warehouse or a construction site, make sure the tablet has the right IP rating that makes it withstand the harmful effects of dust.

If your operations involve intense scanning, ensure you get a tablet that has the right scanning applications which can scan in poorly lit rooms or unclear barcodes.

Mounting a rugged tablet to a forklift can increase the efficiency of your business operations and the productivity of your workers. If you are planning to have your rugged tablets mounted in forklifts, be sure to evaluate your business needs and work environment to be able to get the maximum benefits.