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Ultimate Guide to Mounting Rugged Tablets: Powering Your Tablet


After all that tablet and mounting talk, we’ve reached the last step in building your mounted tablet solution – powering the device. While this can be answered in the tablet and mount selection stage, there are just so many options and variables I wanted to give it its own space to shine. Let’s get started. 

Does the device need constant power? 

If your device needs to be connected to a power source at all times, the most popular solution is a direct wire kit. These enable the forklift or vehicle to power up the device and can be used with or without a dock. The dock adds more ports, enabling the addition of extra peripherals like a corded barcode scanner. I recommend direct wiring in most scenarios as it ensures constant battery power for the tablets. 

Another powering option is external power banks. Many people carry these around for their smartphones, and they function just the same for tablets. The batteries themselves, however, are much more robust and powerful. This option is most commonly used with rented vehicles. If external batteries are preferred, make sure you have a plan to keep them charged after a shift, otherwise you may end up with a dead tablet in the middle of a shift. 

Customers who frequently remove the tablet from the mount to complete tasks tend to prefer hot-swappable batteries. This enables a user to remove the current tablet battery and replace it with a fully charged one while keeping the device running. Workers can easily remove the tablet from the mount quickly and without worrying about damaging any connected wires. 

What is the voltage of the forklift/truck? 

If a direct wire kit is your preferred choice, I will need to know the type of forklift or and the voltage. This ensures I match the correct kit with your chosen tablet to prevent any potential power surges that could cause damage to the device. 

Gas or LP (liquid petroleum) tend to have lower voltage levels, around 11 to 27 volts. On the other hand, electric forklift batteries offer higher voltage, typically ranging between 20 to 60 volts. MobileDemand offers direct wire kits for all of our rugged tablets and cases to meet both of these requirements. We even have a kit for batteries with 72 to 100 volts for extra large and powerful machines. 

The kits contain everything necessary to direct wire the tablet directly to the power source including zip ties. That’s right – we feel so strongly about ensuring proper cable strain relief is practiced that we include basic zip ties within the kits to make sure everything stays secure and strain free. When getting all the wires connected from the tablet or dock to the battery, you must be sure the wires aren’t being pulled or under a lot of strain. 

Ready to deploy solutions 

Well folks, that’s it. My process for selecting a mounted tablet solution broken down between tablet, mount and powering options. I’ve got one final blog to wrap up this mounting series to come and it’s all about MobileDemand’s new value-based, forklift mount bundles, so stay tuned! 

About the author: Amy Garman is currently the Northeast Enterprise Regional Sales Manager as well as head of International Sales for MobileDemand. With nearly 10 years at MobileDemand under her belt, she is the company’s mounting expert with a strong focus on forklift mounting. 

Connect with Amy on LinkedIn.