Which Cell Phone Is Best For Dirt Contractor?

 
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:54 AM   #1
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Which Cell Phone Is Best For Dirt Contractor?


Hello, I have never owned a cell phone but am now going to purchase one. I have been able to get by with out one up to now, I am self employeed with a few workers when needed. I am wondering which cell phone has worked the best for you in the dirt business. My area only has one effective cell phone company thats Verizion no one else has the tower coverge in the area I work in.
? do you think a cell phone is all one needs or do you recommend a Blackberry type of phone?
What are the various usages on your cell phone that you use? I know there are many various options on a cell phone and many probabily are never used.
What especially should I be looking for in a cell phone or smart phone to be used in the dirt construction industry?
There are a few heavly constructed cell phones made to withstand a ruff environment and wet conditions, has any one used one of them? and did it last and perform any better then previous phones you used?
I have read many online consumer comments of various phones, it apears that competing phone companies are posting unfavorable comments about their competors phones and posting vary favorable comments about their own phones, via company employees? So I do not find the web comments vary usefull rather I fine them distrustfull.
What ever input you can provide will be greatly appreciated.
Hope this coming construction season is better then last year.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:29 AM   #2
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Re: Which Cell Phone Is Best For Dirt Contractor?


I'm in dusty environments all the time, not dirt work though. I'm really hard on phones. I've had a motorola quantico for a couple months now & it's already took a couple pretty hard hits & seems to be holding up well. It claims to be able to be totally submerged in water for like 30 minutes with no leakage. Supposed to be their best rough use phone. Guess time will tell & I'm a good test candidate.

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Old 02-24-2010, 09:30 AM   #3
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Re: Which Cell Phone Is Best For Dirt Contractor?


Regarding the cell phone service--stick with what works. Sprint markets towards GC's in their ads but if their service is garbage in your area (which is the case in mine), you'll simply be frustrated more often than not. If verizon reliably works well in your area, I'd go with that.

Regarding the type of cell phone to get--that's up to your comfort level. If you're accustomed to using computers, apps, etc, then you may benefit from having a blackberry. They are convenient but at an increased cost. You really won't see much of a benefit out of a blackberry unless your clients, employees, and vendors are all onboard with them. If you have a digital program in place, they can truly be wonderful tools. However, it is my suspiscion that they are overkill for most contractors.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:39 AM   #4
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Re: Which Cell Phone Is Best For Dirt Contractor?


If you are just getting started on wireless communications, walk before you run.

You can get a small flip phone that can be kept in a front pants pocket and will be protected as well as your vitals. Another choice is a phone definitely with a leather sheath and a knob so you can hang it from your belt or from a mount in the truck. You can usually hear it better than one in a pocket. Water is the enemy of cell phones and just a drop or two in the wrong place can be a disaster.

Most plans allow you to list "favorites" that you can call or receive calls from with no use of minutes.

The brands are all about the same and are cheap or free with a contract. After you have used it for a while, you will know btter which way to go when you upgrade. Your first phone is a cheap way to find out what can fit you when you get serious about what type of needs you have.
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:41 AM   #5
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Re: Which Cell Phone Is Best For Dirt Contractor?


While my job involves sitting behind a desk being a general PITA and doing what I call Adult Child Care I am one of the few Engineer/PM's who will actually go out and get dirty and enjoy it. I used to go through cell phones like other people go through underwear until I came across ruggedized cell cases. A quick google search turns up some nice ones. I personally use the Otterbox.

For me I have to have email and all that crap in order to stay in touch and on top of things so I opted for a iPhone as it was one of the two platform/phones my employer supplied and supported. For you it may not matter.

Don't focus too much on the kind of phone to get. Look at how a phone fits in your hand and your pocket/belt/etc, which provider has the best coverage for the area you work out of, and that has the features you need to do your job. Then put it in a case that lets you play football with it or go swimming.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:26 PM   #6
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Re: Which Cell Phone Is Best For Dirt Contractor?


I have service with Verizon and have the Casio Gz One "Rock". I'm on a "new every two" plan and had the previous model before this. It's one tough phone and they advertise it's built to "military specifications". Here's their website for the phone http://www.casiogzone.com/ The fonts are easy to read and the numbers are big and bright.

I carry mine in a leather handcuff case...thick leather with an easy to get to snap closure. The phone also has a compass, thermometer, sunrise/sunset, tides and a few other applications.
The best feature is a side button that opens the lid when pushed. Makes it easy for one-handed operation. It also has a flashlight, and some may think..."who needs a flashlight in their phone"? I use the flashlight feature at least once a week for different things.
I just use a phone to talk, take a picture now and then and get messages, so texting and email aren't that important.
Read about the phone on their website and it will tell you how tough it is. I love this phone!
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:51 PM   #7
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Re: Which Cell Phone Is Best For Dirt Contractor?


Motorola I580...Nextel and I think AT&T has a different model out now, they meet Military spec.i,e shock proof,dust proof,water resistant,etc. Had I580 one for many years, dropped from second story deck in to the basement, hit concrete floor and nothing happened. Got drunk jumped in the pool with it, was ringing under the water 15 minutes later being in the pool submerged...(tip: if happens, don't answer the phone ) one mistake I did and it shortened out, otherwise if I let the phone dry, would probably be ok.
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:00 PM   #8
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Re: Which Cell Phone Is Best For Dirt Contractor?


Just changed from nextel to verizon. Better coverage & really got sick of direct connect feature. I'd be in a bank, or office & someone would be start talking on walkie-talkie.

I haven't gotten to the point where I need e-mail or internet on phone. If I did get a blackberry or iphone I would def. get the otterbox. Verizon has 2 good worksite phones. One is waterproof & the other water resistant. Guy was convinced I couldn't destroy it until I told him about the time I backed over my brother in laws phone with a bulldozer.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:34 PM   #9
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Re: Which Cell Phone Is Best For Dirt Contractor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Upchuck View Post
Just changed from nextel to verizon. Better coverage & really got sick of direct connect feature. I'd be in a bank, or office & someone would be start talking on walkie-talkie.

I haven't gotten to the point where I need e-mail or internet on phone. If I did get a blackberry or iphone I would def. get the otterbox. Verizon has 2 good worksite phones. One is waterproof & the other water resistant. Guy was convinced I couldn't destroy it until I told him about the time I backed over my brother in laws phone with a bulldozer.
I just did the same thing, got LG Lotus, the service with Nextel sucked in my area as well, but the I580 phone was good, if they could make it compatible with my new service and improve keys for typing and internet I would get the same phone again, its indestructible.
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:03 PM   #10
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Re: Which Cell Phone Is Best For Dirt Contractor?


I have verizon and have the "boulder" which i believe you can't buy anymore. The "rock" replaced it. I have tried to destroy this phone. Dropped it from 20' onto concrete, down steps to subfloor dropped it in water/mud. Laying block in a ditch its on my side and scrapes against rocks and stuff. just take it in the shower with me and give it a bath. Blow the water out of the speaker and your good to go. The extended battery will run her for about 4 days.

A buddy of mine has the "rock" which is the new version and the software is a little retarded and it lags. But mine does that to a little but not as bad as his.

If you do any sight work or stuff i would go with a ruggedized phone, but if your interior and running around in the truck go with a black berry or something with one of those cases. Its really all in what you need.

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Old 02-24-2010, 08:28 PM   #11
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Re: Which Cell Phone Is Best For Dirt Contractor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by pinwheel View Post
I'm in dusty environments all the time, not dirt work though. I'm really hard on phones. I've had a motorola quantico for a couple months now & it's already took a couple pretty hard hits & seems to be holding up well. It claims to be able to be totally submerged in water for like 30 minutes with no leakage. Supposed to be their best rough use phone. Guess time will tell & I'm a good test candidate.
Another vote for the Motorola Quantico.

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