A mobile command center (MCC) is meant to serve as your main office on the road. You need to be sure that it is properly equipped and capable of handling all the tasks you need it to fulfill. Getting an MMC to this point is not an easy thing to do and often requires a lot of planning. The trick to getting a good MMC is to keep the key elements of a mobile command center in mind when getting your system or modifying it.
Every mobile command center needs constant communication with anyone deployed. You need to be able to stay on top of any problems that arise, and a good communication system is the best way to do this. Without a good system to communicate any issues or changes to people you have deployed, you will find it hard to coordinate and finish tasks. Getting a good communication system requires investment in gear and technology. However, this gear takes up space in your MCC. This means that you need an area that can handle such communication. If you will be in locations where cell coverage is limited, installing a satellite connection can be helpful in keeping a good connection and could be worth the investment. Consider getting a pneumatic mast to house all of your connections.
Any good command center will require a lot more power than any regular vehicle. You will need to invest in a good power source to keep all of your tools and machines active. This includes any additional lighting and workers’ electrical needs. The most common way of providing power to a mobile command center is with an auxiliary battery that’s separate from the vehicle battery. Depending on the amount of power needed, a diesel generator can provide great and consistent power to your systems, but they do require a safe, insulated spot in which to be installed. Try to get a spot where the additional generator noise is reduced, or else you will hear it constantly.
An MCC requires constant use no matter the weather or situation. It must be capable of handling dark areas while providing a useable workspace. To accomplish this, you will have to install good lighting to provide an area where people can work as they need. You should look for strong light sources that do not need constant replacing. LED lighting often fulfills this role and does not heat the command center’s interior. Be careful when you are looking into lighting for the outside of your MCC; some kinds of lighting are illegal in certain states, so make sure you are following all local laws on the kind of lighting your MCC can have. If you are using a slide-out MCC, make sure that all electrical cabling is installed through an energy chain system to protect it from getting cut while the unit is sliding in and out of the vehicle.
A mobile command center must be capable of handling a large amount of weight and items, all while fitting multiple people for extended periods of time. A command center is meant to handle all sorts of tasks and requires a lot of equipment to do that. It is key that you have the storage to carry everything you need. The best way to ensure this is with the use of storage modifications. Getting additional shelving added in is a good place to start, but the real way to add to storage is with modifications like custom truck storage boxes or roll out command centers with built-in storage. These additions will help you maximize your space usage and efficiency. They can even help with the organization of the whole area, which improves safety and productivity.
Many command centers need an area dedicated to workstations. This is an area meant solely to provide a space for workers to do their jobs. Each workspace will be a bit different depending on your needs and industry. However, this is where your command center can shine. Getting a good work area will give your employees all the tools they need to accomplish their tasks. If there is room, having multiple areas is also a good call, as each area can be utilized by different people at the same time. For example, on a slide out unit you can have fold down tables on both sides and at the tailgate end. Do not be afraid to ask your workers about what needs to be in these areas. They know what is best for them and what tools they will need to get the job done.
Just as every MCC has a need for communication systems, it also has a need for a central meeting area. This is a place to gather to discuss relevant issues and should also have access to all necessary information like MSDS and site plans, as well as your communication devices. It should include enough space to accommodate multiple people and be in a position to address everyone, if needed. Having a whiteboard with dry-erase markers is useful not only for incident planning purposes and sharing ideas, but a magnetic one can also be used to keep the badges of everyone on scene for employee tracking purposes. This area can also serve as a place to meet with anyone online and can function as an onsite “conference room”.
MCCs are constantly in use and they also have to function all year round and in all kinds of weather. That is why it is important to make sure that your MCC is able to handle these conditions and keep your employees safe. MMCs can be prone to overheating, and this can cause a host of problems for people in the vehicle. Making sure that the air conditioning is functional is key to keeping everyone happy. The same can be said for the winter months and the heating of the MCC. Keeping your MCC comfortable will keep those in it happy and productive.
Now, if you keep these key elements of a mobile command center at top of your mind when designing your MMC, you will be able to get exactly what you need, and you will turn your MCC into a vehicle that can handle all your operations.