Radios for UTV's

My department is getting a UTV for local response for now, and possibly out of county in the future. Was interested in finding out what other agencies do for comms. We are in the process of switching to Motorola portables department-wide and discussing whether to put one of those in or something different like a Rugged Radio M1 Race Series. I’m thinking the Motorola wouldn’t be great due to dust and possible moisture since it wont be enclosed, but there is some hesitancy about going with something other than “department standard”.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

It depends on which model motorola you are using. Most if not all the public safety grade models are IP67 rated and will work just fine. Plus having a different model radio inthe ATVcould cause operator lack of familiarty issues…

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My department has 4 UTV’s, each with a radio in it. One has a Motorola APX with the control head in the glove box and the deck mounted under the drivers seat, this works great as long as you don’t plan on fording high water.

The other 3 have Kenwood 7160/7180/7360 radios fully mounted in the glove box, with speakers mounted to the roof. These also work great.

The biggest thing to keep in mind with the UTV’s is to buy a metal roof to mount the antennas to so you have an effective ground plane to make sure your radios have the best RF performance. We use Sti-Co Flexi-Whips on our UTV’s so low tree branches and whatnot dont rip the antennas out of the roof.


We’re planning on going with the the APX8500…looks to be an IP56 rating.

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