Even in this age of the internet, smartphones, plus other electronic wonders, ham radios provide several benefits to truckers. They are easy to use and allow effective and instant communication even within remote areas.
The popularity of ham radios sometimes referred to as amateur radios, is on the increase around the globe. However, this rise in popularity has led to a proliferation of substandard products.
If you are seeking the best ham radio for truckers, you are in the appropriate place. Continue reading to discover our top 5 picks.
Top 5 Ham Radios for Truckers
|1||BTECH Mobile UV–50X2||Best Overall|
|2||Kenwood TM-281A||Most Durable|
|3||VMUKSAN TYT TH–9800D||Best Sound|
|4||AnyTone AT-778UV||Excellent User Interface|
|5||BTECH Mini UV-25X2||Compact|
The Best Ham Radio for Truckers: BTECH Mobile UV-50X2
The UV-50X2 by BTECH can output a maximum power of 50 watts, which makes it a long-range radio. Matched with a dependable antenna, this high power output will enable you to transmit for over 50 miles.
Thus, when you are far away and need to get weather information from other truckers, the UV-50X2 will not let you down. The device also has a 10-watt power setting, which can be beneficial when you do not need 50 watts of power.
The BTECH mobile UV-50X2 is made using hard-wearing components. Thus, the radio will continue to work flawlessly no matter the level of shocks and vibrations that your truck encounters on the road.
The device is also designed to withstand the extremes of temperatures that it will inevitably experience sitting within a truck throughout the year.
One of the attributes that set this transceiver apart from others within its price range is its customizable multi-hue LCD screen. You have the option of selecting from 9 different colors.
You can tailor the color layout along with the displayed elements to suit your preferences. This can help keep the screen clutter-free so you can view the information you require without hassles.
A few users have complained that the device’s LCD screen is somewhat tiny. These users however note that the display is reasonably clear and crisp.
The BTECH Mobile UV–50X2 has a scan mode that allows you to easily scan frequencies and channels. It features a dedicated scan menu that lets you choose scanning resume styles.
You can set your device to commence scanning immediately it powers on, recommence scanning if scanning was suspended to transmit, or commence scanning once a reboot is complete.
Another factor that makes the UV-50X2 a fantastic ham radio for truckers is its superior sound quality. Distressing noise can come from several places. Items within your vehicle can fly all around hitting each other or barriers.
Road traffic can be excessively loud. With its 2-watts power, the speaker fitted on this radio is engineered for loud truck cabs so you can hear messages with clarity.
The device also features a jack for headphones/microphones that will enable you to receive/send transmissions more clearly.
To mount this radio on your truck, you will require some hardware including screws and a truck mounting bracket. Thankfully, when you purchase the BTECH Mobile UV-50X2, all these are included within the package.
This BTECH two-way radio weighs a paltry 2.65 pounds. Hence, you will have no hassles moving this product around if required.
- Weight: 2.65 pounds
- Maximum power: 50 watts
- Number of channels: 200
- Max operational distance: 50 miles
- Frequency range: UHF: 400-520 Mhz, VHF: 136-174Mhz
- Color LCD
- PC programmable
- Loud 2 watts speaker
- Dual synchronize display mode
- Randomization privacy mode
- Scanning modes
- FM radio support
- Auto power off
- Quad watch delay time
- Channel mode editing
- Microphone audio gain setting
- Easy to program
- Simple to use
- Great transceiver for the price
- Excellent sound quality
- Impressive long-range transmission
- Compact design
- A few users report that configuring the channels and settings was somewhat difficult
How to Use BTECH Mobile UV–50X2 Walkie Talkie?
The BTECH Mobile UV–50X2 is a multi-band radio that will always deliver immediate dependable communication. Before you start using the device, it is recommended you carefully read the included manual.
Also, bear in mind that an antenna is not included in the package. You should never transmit without an antenna. Doing so will harm your device’s internal components.
The manufacturers recommend that you use the Nagoya UT-72 mount Antenna with your UV-50X2 radio. It is also recommended that you get the PC04FTDI cable for simple computer programming of your radio.
Here are a few tips to keep your ham radio working at peak performance at all times.
- Regularly remove any dirt on the radio’s surface using a feather duster. If you let dust accumulate on the surface, it can ultimately harden and make it difficult to operate the keys
- Do not let liquids spill onto any openings on the radio
- Avoid packing your truck under direct sunlight. The heat from the sun can get inside your truck and damage your radio
- Ensure that the radio wires do not get tangled up to prevent damage
User Reviews and Feedback on BTECH Mobile UV–50X2
Many users of the UV-50X2 two-way transceiver have had positive experiences. Here are some of the positive user comments:
- Nearly all users note that the radio offers great value for the dollar
- Most previous buyers report that the transceiver is simple to program
- Several truckers who use the radio report that they can connect to repeaters 75 to 85 miles away
- Many users describe the radio as rugged and robust
- Most previous purchasers are pleased with the product’s sound quality describing it as exceptional for receiving and sending
- Several users give the device a 5-star rating noting that it provides premium features at a highly reasonable price
- Many customers love that they can configure the radio for simultaneous UHF-UHF or VHF-VHF operation
- Most users are pleased with the scan mode that allows for easy scanning of frequencies and channels
- Most users are happy with the keypad microphone feature that makes navigating through saved channels a breeze
Some users of the UV-50X2 two-way transceiver have also had negative experiences. Below are some of their negative comments:
- Some users are not happy with the 2-inch LCD noting that it is somewhat tiny. However, many of these users note that though the display is small, it is reasonably clear.
- Some users have complained about the memory preset descriptions which are restricted to only 7 characters. These users say they would like to use more text to describe a saved channel or frequency
- Some users are not happy that the radio allows for only 200 memory channels
Why is BTECH Mobile UV–50X2 the best walkie-talkie for truckers?
With its 50 watts power output, the BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 can transmit up to 50 miles and still provide clear, crisp sound quality.
This long-range transmission capability gives you peace of mind in an emergency knowing that instant communication is just a button push away.
The in-built speaker sounds great and there is a jack for headphones/microphones that can help ensure you receive/send messages more clearly.
The radio’s compact design means it will not take up excessive space within your truck. With these features, the BTECH Mobile UV-50X2 is undoubtedly the best ham radio for truckers.
4 More Top Rated Ham Radios for Truckers
1. Kenwood TM–281A
Kenwood is famous for making top-quality communication devices including two-way radios. The Kenwood TM–281A comes with several exceptional features that make it an outstanding ham radio for truckers.
To start with, the product has an extremely rugged design. Dependable ham radio for truckers should be built using strong components.
The radio should be sufficiently robust to survive the impact of crashes. This way, you can send emergency messages afterward using the radio.
Weighing in at just 2.5 pounds, the Kenwood TM – 281A can be described as a lightweight and compact transceiver. This lightweight construction means you can easily move the device around whenever necessary.
Furthermore, its compact design means the product will not occupy too much space in your truck. The audio quality of this Kenwood ham radio model is another attribute that endears it to long-distance lorry drivers.
Several reviewers love that the speaker is fitted at the device’s front section. This placement of the speakers helps ensure the sound is not smothered when mounted in a truck.
The TM-281 also allows for long-range transmissions – thanks to its 65 watts max power output. Thus, with this radio, you can conveniently communicate with other radio users who are far off from you.
Several users say they have been able to transmit up to 80 miles using this radio. To achieve long-range transmissions, bear in mind that you will need to connect this device to a reliable magnetic mount antenna.
If you do not need to transmit long-range, you can switch to the lower 25 watts power setting to save power.
The TM-281 comes with the memory scan function which makes it simple to find channels. The radio also features a DTCS/CTCSS decoder/encoder, which helps ensure you can converse with others in your group without third-party interference.
The Kenwood TM-281A gives you 100 channel memories to store channels. Most reviews agree that the Kenwood TM – 281A is simple to use. Its user interface is not complicated.
However, some users say they had a difficult time comprehending the abbreviations used on the interface. Therefore, you should read the user guidelines provided by the manufacturers.
- Superb audio quality
- Rugged design
- Backlit LCD screen
- Long-range transmissions
- Some users report that the radio generates high heat during operation
2. VMUKSAN TYT TH–9800D
The audio is a critical factor to consider when shopping for ham radio for truckers. The TYT TH – 9800D has been praised by many previous buyers who use the product in their trucks.
These users report that the audio is amazingly clear and loud, just ideal for a trucker ham radio. The radio’s maximum output power is 45 watts on the UHF band and 65 watts on the VHF band.
With this high power output, you will have no difficulty communicating long-distance with this radio.
No one wants to settle for 2 bands when they can have 4. The VMUKSAN TYT TH–9800D delivers quad-band performance – a feature that has impressed users.
Nearly all Ham radios within its price range offer dual-band performance. The transceiver offers over 800 memory channels and you can name each channel as you wish.
It also comes with an in-built fan to ensure the radio does not get overheated during use.
The front panel can be detached, which means you can reposition it singly from the device chassis. And, you can install it anywhere inside your truck – thanks to the extension cable that comes with the package.
Most previous buyers have praised the radio for its lasting durability. Many of these users who have had the product for over 3 years report that it has continued to deliver exceptional performance even with regular use.
Included with the VMUKSAN TYT TH–9800D are the owner’s manual, screw jacks, front controller separation wire, protection fuses, front controller installation bracket, DTMF hand microphone, and DC power cable plus fuse holder.
- Fantastic audio
- Quad-band performance
- Offers great value for the price
- Incredibly durable
- CHIRP compatible
- Feature loaded
- A few users report that they had durability issues with the radio
3. AnyTone AT-778UV
Excellent User Interface
This AnyTone dual-band transceiver features 3 power output levels – 5, 15, and 25. The maximum operational distance you can achieve at the 25 watts power level is 40.
While this is somewhat inadequate for long-range communication, it is just ideal for truckers who operate within cities that are not too large. You can switch to the 5 or 15 watts power level when you do not require the 25 watts power.
The radio’s color LCD screen has been described as phenomenal by many reviewers. Most reviewers note that the user interface is easy to navigate.
Programming the radio is also a breeze. You may find it beneficial to read the manual included in the package before you start using this radio.
You will love the clear and loud sound that comes from the speaker/audio out.
When your truck cab is noisy or when you are driving through a noisy environment, loud and clear audio will help ensure you hear what other parties are saying. Users have also reported excellent transmit audio.
The AnyTone AT-778UV also comes with a compact design. When installed in your vehicle, you will find that it occupies minimal space.
The device weighs only 2.67 pounds so moving this mobile radio around will not be a problem. The radio’s frequency range offers you two choices – UHF and VHF.
The UHF functions at 400 – 480 megahertz channel frequencies while the VHF functions at 136 – 174 megahertz channel frequencies. The device also offers memory channels that let you save 200 channels.
The major user complaint about this AnyTone radio is that buyers are required to visit the company’s website to download the software. Also, a few buyers have complained about the lack of PC programming cable in the package.
- Perfect for city use
- Reasonably priced
- Easy to program
- Compact construction
- Rugged build
- Users are required to download software
- PC programming cable not included
4. BTECH Mini UV-25X2
The UV-25X2 by BTECH is packed with features that make it a superb ham radio for truckers. The audio is sufficiently loud to allow for clear communication within a noisy truck cab.
The transceiver is also sufficiently small to fit within any glove compartment, which means you can safely store it out of sight. Weighing an insignificant 0.9 pounds, the UV-25X2 is easy to reposition when necessary.
The radio’s LCD screen displays in color and you can customize it to suit your preferences. Furthermore, you can fully tweak your saved channels to show their frequency settings or just their alpha-numeric names.
This unit has gotten 5-star ratings from several color-blind drivers due to its highly customizable multi-hue LCD screen.
With the UV-25X2 you get 200 memory channels. Most users love that they can set up the device to function precisely as they require by programming it via a PC.
The manufacturers recommend that you get the PC04 FTDI programming cable as well as the Nagoya UT-72 antenna for an enhanced communication experience.
Most reviewers agree that the radio broadcasts full power (25 watts) as specified by the manufacturers. These reviewers also report that this relatively high power output delivers excellent frequency coverage.
The device’s power output is 25 watts on high and only 5 watts on low. You may want to switch to the lower power when you do not require 25 watts of power.
The transceiver has an inbuilt fan that switches on when you are doing long-range transmissions. Some previous buyers report that this fan is not noisy during operation.
This fan can be highly beneficial particularly if the interior of your truck tends to get hot. The radio also has the auto power-off feature, which can help preserve your battery as well as prevent needless power draining.
The kit contains BTECH UV-25X2, Mic & Radio brackets, a user guide written in English, Mounting hardware, speaker mic, DC cable (6 foot) plus cigarette plug connector.
If you are seeking a low-cost ham radio that accommodates both the VHF and UHF frequencies, this compact radio by BTECH may be your finest bet. The radio is compact, durable, allows for long-range communications, and has fantastic sound quality.
How to Select the Best Ham Radio for Truckers?
Several choices are available to you when purchasing a ham radio for your truck. However, you should never settle for just any product. Here are some of the critical considerations to help you make the appropriate choice.
The size is an important spec to consider when selecting a ham radio for your vehicle. You want a compact transceiver that can fit nicely into your truck without occupying excessive space.
The radios recommended in this post all come with a compact design and will thus not occupy excessive room in your truck.
However, with a dimension of 3.85″ x 1.38″ x 4.65″, the BTECH Mini UV-25X2 is the winner concerning compact design.
Furthermore, the device weighs an insignificant 0.9 pounds meaning you can easily move it around when necessary.
If you regularly drive through rough terrains, then you will want a transceiver that can endure rock or gravel-laden roads.
These devices are constructed using highly robust components and parts.
Before you settle for a particular radio, make sure you consider its power rating. The power rating impacts the radio’s performance directly.
A UHF/VHF transceiver that delivers a max power of 5 watts is sufficient if you intend to communicate in short ranges.
If, however, you plan to communicate with other ham radio users that are at far distances, you will require a UHF/VHF transceiver that delivers no less than 25 watts of power.
However, the best ham radios for truckers are the ones that offer selectable power. With this feature, you can select a power output level depending upon how far or near you want to transmit.
The Kenwood TM–281A is the winner concerning power rating. The radio allows for long-range transmissions – thanks to its 65 watts max power output.
If you do not need to transmit long-range, you can switch to the lower 25 watts power setting to save power.
The UV-50X2 by BTECH takes the runner-up place. It can output a maximum power of 50 watts, which makes it a long-range radio.
The device also has a 10-watt power setting, which can be beneficial when you do not need 50 watts of power.
4. Ease of use
Choose a ham radio that you can easily install without engaging the services of an installation professional.
For this to be possible, make sure the package includes the installation hardware such as mounting brackets plus screws. The LCD screen and buttons should be sufficiently large to let you use the radio without hassles.
The product features a multi-hue LCD screen that you easily customize to suit your preferences. It also has a scan mode that allows you to easily scan frequencies and channels.
Comparison of Top 5 Ham Radios for Truckers
|Ham Radio||Weight||Dimension||Maximum Power||Maximum operational Distance||Turner Technology|
|BTECH Mobile UV–50X2||2.65 pounds||5.7” x 1.85” x 7.5” (W x H x D)||50 watts||50 miles||UHF/VHF|
|Kenwood TM-281A||2.5 pounds||6.34 x 6.71 x 1.69 inches||65 watts||80 miles||UHF, VHF|
|VMUKSAN TYT TH–9800D||2.65 pounds||4.49 x 2.24 x 1.3 inches||50 Watts||50 miles||UHF, VHF|
|AnyTone AT-778UV||2.67 pounds||4.7 x 5.8 x 1.5 inches||25 Watts||40 miles||UHF, VHF|
|BTECH Mini UV-25X2||0.9 pounds||3.85 x1.38 x 4.65 inches||25 watts||30 miles||UHF, VHF|
With so many options in the market, it can be a challenge to select the right ham radio for your vehicle. It is hoped that this guide has helped you understand the critical factors to look out for.
From the recommendations, our top option is the BTECH Mobile UV – 50X2. It is highly durable, has superior sound quality, comes with a compact design, and its power output is superb for long as well as short-range transmissions.