High Tech Mounts
Prevent the worst type of computer crash while maximizing workspace
By Tim Walton
You’ve got a laptop, smart phone, tablet and a GPS unit bouncing on the seat and sliding across the dash of your truck – a distraction while you’re on the road, for sure.
Keeping your mobile office’s electronic tools within easy reach and maximizing their usefulness isn’t much better when you’re stopped. Now you’ve got to try to figure out how to be a contortionist to get a good angle to actually use your office equipment to get work done.
The solution is easy: Secure that gear with the right mounts for how you use the equipment.
When considering mount types and mount locations in your mobile office you should make sure they aren’t going to interfere with seeing gauges or the vehicle controls or with air bag deployment.
Smartly-engineered mounts for your specific pickup already take these into account; but if you’re doing the layout yourself, make sure they don’t cause problems before they are permanently installed.
Next make sure such mounts provide ergonomically favorable access to all your needed office equipment.
Units that swivel or rotate to accommodate usage from both the driver’s seat as well as the passengers can be an important asset.
If the passenger seat will be used for a passenger, is it daily or occasionally? Is your truck used for both work and family? Perhaps a removable armature or stand would work for you situation rather than a permanent installation.
If your setup leaves electronics in the vehicle, locking mechanisms to prevent theft are mandatory.
The mount should secure the electronics with some sort of lock so they can’t be easily removed with standard tools. The Tough Desk Ultra from Mobile Desk is a good example of this type of security with a locking laptop tray and locking pedestal that are both keyed alike.
If you drive with the laptop screen up, then a screen support will help reduce wear to screens and hinges. An adjustable screen stiffener allows you to tilt the screen for optimum visibility, and can prevent the screen from moving if your computer has a touch screen feature.
Ram mounts laptop trays feature a screen support that can be folded down if not in use.
EASE OF INSTALLATION
For lease vehicles (or those you want to return to stock before trading in/selling), look for installs that can be removed without leaving evidence.
Consider getting vehicle-specific mounts that use seat mounts as a base for the mounting hardware. Other options include dash mounts that are designed to secure to locations with stock hardware and require no modification to the vehicle to fit.
There are mounts for smaller electronics that wedge into the dash openings or mount against the vents. However, the best bets for permanent stable mounting solutions are probably going to be bolted or fastened in some way.
Windshield suction mounts for GPS units and smart phones are prohibited in certain states. Check with local and state laws when mounting your gear on the windshield to make sure what you are doings doesn’t violate laws to designed to prevent blocking your vision.
Looking for a solution that isn’t a permanent mount but still gives you good organization and access to you laptop? The Road Master Truck from Mobiledesk offers similar laptop positioning to a floor mounted stand without the installation and permanent mount. It also integrates file space and other storage.
Docking stations for mobile applications provide the same convenience that a laptop docking station/port replicator can bring on your office desk. It can power your laptop or tablet and hook it to your printer, auxiliary keyboards or monitors.
These functions have become even more important with the new ultra-portable laptops or tablet computers and they do it with one connection instead of having to deal with plugging everything in individually.
Another option for mounting a variety of equipment is a center-console replacement. These can give you even more power point options, more cup holders, better convenience and improved ergonomics.
The Console-X from Mobile Desk offers an integrated 280-amp 12-circuit power distribution panel, allowing installation of electronics inside and out and easier trouble shooting. The Console-X can be assembled in the shop and installed by fastening it to a no-drill base mount. (mobiledesk.com)