When working on the farm, people are spread out through many acres of land where cell phone coverage is not always dependable. Whether you are checking in with the farmhouse, running the combine & grain cart, cleaning out grain bins or just having an everyday conversation, you need to communicate and the best way to do this is two-way radios. Traditionally, farmers have either used CB radios which have limited range and poor voice quality or expensive commercial radios where many times the user must lease their radio frequency. The solutions below are the perfect happy medium between the two. The MicroMobile two-way radios provide superior range and voice clarity without the price tag of a commercial mobile radio.
Two-way radios are ideal because they guarantee communication without being service dependent like a cellphone. They actually work better in rural areas where buildings are not blocking radio waves. Also unlike cellphones, they are reasonably priced and don’t require a monthly service plan, so you can disperse them throughout your farm, having handheld radios to clip to your belt while having a MicroMobile in your tractors, semi-trucks, UTV, barn, and farmhouse to make sure you are always connected.
Choosing A Two-Way Radio
The number one application for two-way radios on the farm is for combine to grain cart communication. Additionally, two-way radios can be used between the farm and the grain truck on it’s way to drop off it’s load. Two-way radios can also be used during planting season, cleaning out grain bins, feeding livestock and more making it easy to say, “No Cell Service. No Problem”.
Your two-way radios should have enough range to cover your entire property without issue. They should be an ideal alternative to attempting to find service for your cell phone in rural areas. If you are currently experiencing range issues we recommend the MicroMobile line of radios. If range is still an issue we recommend upgrading the antenna on your MicroMobile such as the MXTA26 6db gain antenna.
Make sure the radios you purchase are rugged and durable. The handheld two-way radios are made for harsh outdoor climates and are durable through weather and getting dropped on the ground a few times. In fact, Tyson from Adventure Rig accidentally dropped his X-Talker T71 handheld two-way radio out of a spray plane and later found it on the ground unharmed! When your hands are dirty, you should be more comfortable grabbing the radio clipped to your belt and pushing the talk button than having to mess up your phone and taking the time to dial someone’s number.
Although your farm may be in a rural area where it is unlikely to pick up messages from other radios, you may run into a neighbor who is running FRS/GMRS frequency radios as well. All of the Midland radios provided for agriculture have access to privacy codes that block out unwanted chatter.
If you already have a MicroMobile radio and are looking for handheld two-way radios, make sure that they will be compatible. Unlike CB radios, MicroMobiles are compatible with FRS and GMRS radios. FRS/GMRS handheld two-way radios are pretty much any handheld two-way radio (walkie talkie) you would find in a sporting goods store or big box retailer. You can easily customize your communication system with a combination of MicroMobiles and handheld two-way radios.
There is none! FRS/GMRS two-way radios are very simple to use and are a perfect “plug and play” option. Simply make sure you and the person you want to communicate with are on the same channel (1-22) and starting talking!
The Best Two-Way Radios for Agriculture
The MXT115 15 watt radio is a great two-way radio to install in both a vehicle or a building where you want a base radio. The range of this radio can be up to 50 miles with no obstructions but from feedback we’ve heard from farmers you can expect 10+ miles as long as their are no major obstructions in the way. This is a GMRS radio and is compatible with other FRS/GMRS handheld two-way radios on the farm. The MXT115 radio also comes equipped with NOAA weather alerts for times when you are out on the farm and not checking in on weather alerts online. The MicroMobile MXT115 also comes with a USB charging port for charging your devices on the go!
Werner Farms, who operates on 1,700 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and rye along with 1,000 acres of custom harvest work, uses the MXT115 and said, “flawless communication between the combine and the semi.”
The MXT115AGVP3 is the most popular farming bundle. It bundles the 15 watt MXT115 MicroMobile with the upgraded MXTA25 Ghost Antenna, MXTA23 Mirror/Bracket Mount, and MXTA24 Cable. Farmers like Chet Larson of Larson Farms use this bundle extensively and boasts he gets up to 28 miles of range with the unit.
Check out the video below of farmer, Brian Brown from Brian’s Farming Videos who uses our MicroMobile testing their range on the farm.
The MXT400VP3 MicroMobile is the most powerful GMRS radio on the market. By law, CB radios max out at 4 watts of power. However, GMRS radios are allowed to have up to 50 watts of power, and the MXT400 has 40 watts of power so you’re talking 10x the power of CB with this radio. This power allows for crisper communication over a longer distance. If you are a farmer looking for a GMRS radio that will be sufficient on a large farm of 2000 acres or more, this is your best option.
When looking for a handheld two-way radio, the ideal option is the X-Talker. The X-talker is a line of radios that includes a variety of options depending on distance, power, and price. All of the two-way radios in the X-Talker line transmit on FRS/GMRS frequency. For agricultural use, the best X-Talkers are the: T71VP3, T75VP3, T77VP5, T290VP4, T295VP4. Many of the X-Talker two-way radios have the option of camouflage if you are also interested in using it for hunting.
While originally made for the backcountry, this handheld two-way radio is ideal for large farms. This radio has the most power allowed by law for a GMRS handheld radio. It also features NOAA weather to alert you of severe weather in your area so if you are far out in the field you will be able to return to a shelter with ample time.
A Midland Customer Said: “The radio has excellent reach. In a small, hilly town with lots of trees and houses, I can clearly hear my staff from the town square all the way out to the public pool. Battery life is good as well. Easy to use and carry. Weather radio is a plus, very easy to set up.”
Pro Tips for Antenna Mounting
Did you know that most newer large frame tractors and combines come pre-wired making installation extremely simple. If your tractor is pre-wired you will find a metal cap on the top of the cab. Simply unscrew the cap revealing the “NMO” connector, and screw the MXTA25 3db Antenna or MXTA26 6db Antenna onto the connector.
If your tractor does not come pre-wired you can simply install our MXTA23 Mirror/Bracket Mount on the mirror of other area of the vehicle. The MXTA24 Low Profile Cable pairs perfectly with this mount.
Check out all of Midland’s Farm Radio Options.