July 1, 1999
Palm-size computer made for industrial use The Norand 600 Series of mobile computers from Intermec Technologies Corp., Dallas, Tex., combine the small size of a consumer PDA with the ruggedness of an industrial hand-held computer. The series is offered with Windows CE, Windows 95, and MS-DOS operating systems, and has been designed for one-handed operation using both a touchscreen and a keypad for

Palm-size computer made for industrial use The Norand 600 Series of mobile computers from Intermec Technologies Corp., Dallas, Tex., combine the small size of a consumer PDA with the ruggedness of an industrial hand-held computer. The series is offered with Windows CE, Windows 95, and MS-DOS operating systems, and has been designed for one-handed operation using both a touchscreen and a keypad for data entry.

Weighing only 11 oz., the Windows CE and Windows 95 versions of the 600 series both feature 16mb RAM, a 10 or 40mb Internal Compact Flash card, and an External Compact Flash slot for adding memory, modems, and other peripherals. The display is 240 x 320 pixels and can be ordered with either a monochrome LCD or backlight electroluminescent (EL) screen. Power is provided by an internal lithium ion battery said to run up to 10 hours between charges.

Docking stations for both vehicles and depot installations provide LAN connectivity and RS-232 ports, as well as charging. A wide range of options include an integrated laser bar code scanner, a hand-held portable dock with impact or thermal printer, and a variety of power adapters. Software for the 600 Series includes Norand's RoutePower and standard distribution applications, as well as a software developer's tool kit for custom applications.

Small fleets can move to wireless computer-aided-dispatch without investing in high-end computer hardware or software. MobileDispatch from Dynamic Mobile Data Systems (DMD), Somerset, N.J., allows fleet personnel to dispatch drivers using a simple Web browser and internet connection. The dispatch software resides on a server maintained by DMD, and can be accessed at the company's Web site.

The RIM Inter@ctive Pager 950, which is a small two-way device with a full QWERTY keyboard, provides MobileDispatch drivers with two-way mobile communications over the BellSouth Wireless Data network.

A stand-alone version that resides on a fleet's own server and that can be integrated with existing fleet management systems is also available from DMD.

ARINC Inc., Annapolis, Md., has announced that hardware for its Dominium Tracker untethered trailer tracking system will be $400 per unit. The hardware includes a GPS receiver for positioning information, a transceiver for the ORBCOMM low-Earth orbit satellite communications network, a rechargeable battery, and a low-profile roof antenna. Optional equipment includes door and load sensors.

The tracking system provides periodic and on-demand trailer position reports, as well as status and alarm reports. It can also be used to remotely set alarms or monitoring parameters.

Tom McLeod, president of McLeod Software has been named Small Business Person of the Year by the Birmingham Area Chamber of Commerce. Some 325 fleets use McLeod's LoadMaster transportation management software, and his company, founded in 1985, now has 140 employees.

TLGM Technologies of Concord, N.H., demonstrated their ability to integrate proprietary software systems, "dumb" terminals, alphanumeric pagers, e-mail, and the Internet at the recent American Truck Dealers convention. The company specializes in integration of dealer systems, including dealer/manufacturer software programs, utilizing a variety of operating systems, networking protocols, and databases.

Symbol Technologies will hold a series of executive seminars and workshops covering yard, dispatch, cross-dock, warehouse, and fleet management systems. Locations and dates are: Dallas, Sept. 9; Atlanta, Sept. 15; Seattle, Sept. 22; Chicago, Sept. 28; Newark, Oct. 6; and Toronto, Oct. 21. For more information on the seminars, contact Vaden Cox at [email protected] or call 770-850-0115.

OPTIX from Blueridge Technologies, Mesa, Ariz., is a cross-platform document management system that can be accessed over the Internet by any authorized user to retrieve scanned images, word processing files, spreadsheets, and even records from computer-to-laser disk (COLD) storage.

Based on industry standards such as SQL databases, UNIX and NT servers, and TCP/IP, the document system includes workflow management, document imaging, text retrieval, document management and control, optical storage, and optical character recognition. It also allows mainframe documents to be archived in either ASCII or image format for COLD storage.

HighwayMaster, a provider of wireless voice and data communications services, has announced two-year contract extensions with two of its largest customers - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Contract Freighters Inc. (CFI). Wal-Mart, which currently has 3,880 tractors equipped with the HighwayMaster system, will add another 1,250 units in its dry van and refrigerated divisions. All of CFI's 2,000 tractors are currently carrying the HighwayMaster voice and data system, and the new contract calls for additional units as the fleet expands.

The Transit Group, a holding company with 13 for-hire truck fleets, has signed a contract to install OmniTRACS' two-way communications systems in 3,000 vehicles. The group plans to use the wireless system to help consolidate and integrate its operations, according to Philip Belyew, president and CEO.

AutoPilot from Gamber-Johnson, Stevens Point, Wis., is a vehicle-mounting system for Pilot and IBM WorkPad hand-held devices. The unit mounts to a windshield using suction cups and features a quick release, a flip-down desktop, and serial-port access for connections to cellular modems, GPS receivers, and other devices.

A third generation of UPS' hand-held Delivery Acquisition Device (DIAD III) will provide portable wireless data communications over the ARDIS packet data network, giving the company real-time tracking and dispatching information.

The current version of the device must be returned to a delivery vehicle cradle before it can transmit or receive package-delivery information over the circuit-switched cellular network.

In some cases, the portable wireless device will reduce the lag between package data collection and communications by as much as 30 minutes, according to UPS. Although the company refuses to comment on current or future costs, the new packed-data system is also expected to cut wireless communications costs substantially.

UPS currently handles 800,000 requests a day for package tracking information over its Web site alone. With DIAD III, that data will now be available before the driver has even left the building, the company says.

Developed with Motorola, the DIAD III was rolled out last month in 13 U.S. cities, including New York, Boston, Chicago, Miami, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Some 50,000 units will be added over the next two years in the U.S. and internationally. In addition to the ARDIS packet data radio, the device will also be able to communicate over cellular networks using the vehicle cradle or over the standard telephone network via an internal modem.

Freight bill auditing, processing, payment, and information provider, NPC Freight Services of Princeton, N.J., became CorPay Solutions Inc. as of May 3, according to the company. The change reflects the combination of NPC Freight Services with NPC's Corporate Payables division.

Fleets looking for commercial vans can find the entire inventory of used rental vans from General Motors Truck Remarketing on the Internet. Information on the used trucks, which are located at GM dealers throughout the country, can be found at

Cadec Corp., Londonderry, N.H., has added cellular digital packet data (CDPD) service to the communications options for RouteMaster, a real-time onboard data system. Where available, CDPD offers cost and speed advantages over circuit-switched analog cellular data communications.

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