The 2017 Service Technician’s Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays (and frigid winter) are just around the corner. Here are just a few ideas to let your technicians know how much you appreciate them this holiday season.

When the cold starts, the work doesn’t stop. Service technician is one example of a deskless career that involves lots of traveling and physical work inside and outside. In rough weather, some field techs risk their lives to help others. The field service industry ranges from manufacturing and distribution to HVAC, landscaping and construction. However, field techs must also protect themselves from the moment they hit the road to when they finish their jobs.

These key accessories, devices and safety gear will prepare service technicians for the many winters ahead.

Tech

Rugged phones and cases help prevent damage against water, snow, rain, mud, scratches, chemical spills, and drops. There are many Android and Apple protective cases that offer thermal imaging, brighter screen, enhanced video and photo quality, and a specific “drop rate” for water and ground.
Some well-known rugged phone and accessories companies include Otterbox, Ballistic Case Company, and Catphones. These brands are popular for construction, plumbing, electric work, and other similar industries.

• Cloud based mobile field service apps are designed to make field service tasks digital. Field techs experience many schedule changes daily, such as frozen pipes in winter, and can’t keep up with just phone call and texts. Many apps offer visual scheduling, digital invoicing/billing, and the ability to record work and purchase orders digitally. Keeping records on a central system simplifies communication between the office and field techs, while also eliminating paperwork.

3M WorkTunes Connect Bluetooth Headphones protect the ears from both from noise and wind chill. A 24dB Noise Reduction Rating almost completely cancels out equipment noise, and the Bluetooth technology lets users listen to the radio. In 2018, 3M will add high-fidelity speakers and the ability to make and take phone calls to these headphones.

Mobile printers are small and easy to carry both between office rooms and customer sites. Often, many mobile printers can also scan and copy. Using mobile printers, service technicians can print contracts, invoices and bills anywhere, whether configured with a laptop, desktop or Smartphone.
Some popular mobile printer, scanner and copier brands include Canon, Epson, HP OfficeJet, and Primera. Users should choose their ideal brand and model based on battery life, size, paper size, and wireless printing capacity. Waterproof and other damage resistant material is a plus.
Primera Trio mobile printer fits into backpack

Outerwear

• The Men’s Ranger Jacket is designed with comfort and strength in mind. The fully lined jacket has an Insuloft wadding and soft fleece-lined pockets and facings for coziness. The outer fabric is 100% polyamide for oil and stain resistance, which is good for abrasive environments. The jacket also has fifteen pockets for holding lots of small tools and accessories.

Red Wing Shoes 6-Inch work boots have rave reviews for comfort, quality, and free sole replacement and leather reconditioning. A flat bottom-sole design and a shallow lug offers traction to prevent falls, while the material blend is made to resist water, oil, chemical, heat and abrasion. Most commonly, reviewers use these shoes for masonry, plumbing and electrical work.

Tillman Winter Welding Gloves are known for their warmth and water resistant qualities. For example, Tillman Winter Welding Gloves 1412 is made of pigskin, which resists water and oil, while a top grain finish resists tearing. The fleece lining provides a soft, warm feel to protect the hands in bitter temperatures, while flexible Keystone thumb ensures a tight grip.

Travel Gear and Equipment

• Service technicians can’t do their jobs with just a car. Cargo vans are are large, sturdy and attach to trailers to store equipment. Companies should consider fuel efficiency, mileage, cargo height, trailer weight and payload weight capacity when choosing. Popular, modern day brands include Chevrolet, Ford Transit, Nissan, and Mercedes.

• A handheld GPS plugs into the vehicle’s port or an adapter to track its location while driving, even in underground locations. The best GPS models resist water and other damage, which is important in field service. It’s also important to that a device has a large HD screen, voice commands and ability to predict accidents and road closures. Some popular brands are Garmin, TomTom, and Spark Nano.
TomTom handheld GPS

• Portable power equipment makes it easier to recharge devices while on the road. Power outages happen unexpectedly, especially when it’s rainy. To be prepared, it’s useful to have an adaptor and power strip and an easy-to carry cable cord.

The 2017 Service Technician’s Holiday Gift Guide by