Towing Companies and Service Type

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SCPD

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Should towing companies be grouped in with all "business" service types or would they be better classified under "transportation"? I'm curious on what others have done for enabling/disabling a service type related to towing companies.

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jonwienke

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Business. They transport vehicles to facilitate repairs, but are not a taxi service.
 
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DaveNF2G

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Any populated area has enough towing companies that a separate service type would be very useful. The same goes for taxicabs.

Any addition would have to be coordinated among RR, Uniden and Whistler in order to be effective.
 

SCPD

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I will end up using a custom service type, wish they could be renamed, for towing companies. With the onset of winter and poor road conditions, I'm interested in listening to them more, compared to the summer months.

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Jay911

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For me, Business is where I put stuff I don't want to often hear (I program it in my FL, but leave the tag turned off). I have zero interest in listening to farmers, factories, shopping malls, and other garbage like that, so it's all in "business". If I want to hear it, it's almost certainly moved out of that tag into something else, even if only a "custom" tag.

In my FLs, "transportation" includes:

Light rapid transit trains
City buses
Tow trucks
Emergency road service
Road maintenance crews
Airport maintenance/ground services
Taxis (reluctantly or rarely - in my area taxis are either extremely boring or extremely unreadable due to accents or foreign languages)

I agree, with the inclement weather season having hit our province (moreso in your area than mine), it's going to be important to follow all the highway/roads stuff.
 

mciupa

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For me, Business is where I put stuff I don't want to often hear (I program it in my FL, but leave the tag turned off). I have zero interest in listening to farmers, factories, shopping malls, and other garbage like that, so it's all in "business". If I want to hear it, it's almost certainly moved out of that tag into something else, even if only a "custom" tag.

In my FLs, "transportation" includes:

Light rapid transit trains
City buses
Tow trucks
Emergency road service
Road maintenance crews
Airport maintenance/ground services
Taxis (reluctantly or rarely - in my area taxis are either extremely boring or extremely unreadable due to accents or foreign languages)

I agree, with the inclement weather season having hit our province (moreso in your area than mine), it's going to be important to follow all the highway/roads stuff.
In Jay911's example above, only those entities involved in Public Transportation are supposed to be tagged Transportation in accordance to the guidelines we follow from the DBA Handbook.

I would suggest to follow Jay's lead and create an efficient Favourite's monitoring list as he has done.
 

milf

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(City buses)
Thats the Transportation....
Transit Rail.. Railroad
Everything else business or Public Works.

How you choose to set it up in your scanner in an PL/FL/SL is up to you.

Around here I monitor Mall Security as it is not only very entertaining, but gives me an heads up on a LOT of Public Safety Calls... \

As for taxi services.... The few that are still using radios are getting harder and harder to understand due to heavy foreign accents, or just outright use of African or Arabic speech which I do not speak. English, French, some Spanish, some German, an tad of Russian, and a tiny bit of Japanese and Korean is my limit currently.

Inclement weather from now til like late April has me about to start loading in contractors that do plowing and unlocking the Tow Trucks.

:)
 
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DaveNF2G

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Anything aviation related should be tagged Aircraft, IMO.
 

GTR8000

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Anything aviation related should be tagged Aircraft, IMO.
The AIRCRAFT tag is used only for air traffic control operations:

Aircraft – All civilian or military air traffic control operations (typically in the 118-136 MHz and 225-380 MHz bands in AM mode). Other aviation frequencies (that are not used for air traffic control) shall be tagged with the most relevant non-Aircraft tag. Airline "company frequencies" (in the USA, typically in the 128.825-132.0 MHz and 136.5-136.975 MHz) shall be tagged as "Business." Aerial firefighting frequencies shall be tagged with the appropriate "Fire" tag.
You may want to download the Database Administrator Handbook for reference:

Database Administrator Handbook - The RadioReference Wiki

Of course, you're free to setup your own favorites lists with whatever tags you prefer, but there are standards in place for the RRDB.
 

milf

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And the one other exception is air to air fress like 123.4500

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DaveNF2G

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Maybe there should be more related tags like Airport and Airline. At least Airline, to distinguish aviation from Business.
 

Jay911

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I'd love to have more service types in the radio, but the majority of people seem to have problems handling the ones that are there now...

Like I said earlier, Business is too broad a category for me and ends up full of junk that I have no interest in hearing. Strictly speaking, following the policy, all the following should be categorized as Business, but I have them under something else:

- Common channels for use on "resource roads" (logging roads and oilfield access roads) otherwise known in Western Canada as "LAD channels". I have these as Transportation because they are used to identify vehicles in movement to avoid collisions and other surprises on these narrow poor-visibility roads.
- Towing operators. As a first responder and heavy road user, I want to know what the highway situations are like, and tow ops are frequently at the pointy end of that particular stick. This one too gets Transportation.
- Gas plant and other industrial operations. If you tag them as Business they get lumped in with shopping malls, fast food restaurants, janitors, ski hills and golf courses, construction companies, radio companies renting/leasing their radios to miscellaneous companies, hotels, recreation centers, stadium operations, etc etc etc. I have reluctantly set up gas plants as utilities, even though they are not the public utilities such as commercial and residential gas & electric providers. They could benefit from a unique service tag (or a custom tag, if there were enough to go around - many of the ones I mention above should be broken out into their own or "custom" tags)
- Businesses which support railroad operations. My city has a large industrial park in the middle of its railyard which includes all manner of businesses such as locomotive and railcar maintenance, rail repair, diesel mechanics, automotive truck facilities (for fitting & maintaining hi-rail kits), and so on, none of which should really be in the Railroad category or else their comms gets buried in the chatter for rail movements on the trackage for the actual railroads themselves. I'm sacrificing one of my few Custom tags for this.
- Transit operations. In my case city transit including their light rail transit line, which should not be placed under Railroad for the same reason as above. These are under Transportation for me. Other places will have public transport that goes beyond a city such as a region or provincewide (or statewide) service and that too should not be under Railroad or Business.
- As I said above, construction, road maintenance, and other related services don't deserve to be clumped in with other Business agencies. I would also suggest that construction should be further broken up into road construction, building construction, and other similar breakdowns.
- Sports. There's a category for racing officials and racing teams, owing to the popularity of scanners at NASCAR and other motorsports events, and I agree with that. Where do you put the coach-to-quarterback headsets at football games? Business? I don't think so... for me, I've used up another Custom tag. All kinds of sports use radio comms these days and there should be service tags for many of them.
- Another business which is often lumped into either Railroad or Business is intermodal yards ("sea cans"). I'm in a landlocked province so it's most often thrown into Railroad because that's where they're most often seen. However there are shipyards on coasts that have intermodal facilities, and trucking yards as well. In my case I've put them in Transportation, but that doesn't really fit well, since that tag already includes other things which aren't quite in the same category (such as buses and light rail). I'll probably end up eventually using a Custom tag for this.
- Speaking of shipyards - shipping and passenger/automotive ferries have to land in either Transportation or Business because there is no Marine category. Same with marine channels, which are thrown in Transportation in the full DB, but Transportation is beginning to become cluttered just like Business is.
- CB, FRS, GMRS, and etc is currently categorized as "Other" in the full DB. Not entirely an accurate description.
- Radio communications used at post-secondary institutions (college, university) in specialized disciplines such as scientific facilities, medical centers, etc are listed as "Schools" which is not particularly useful.

For those of you saying "all aeronautical MUST BE tagged Aircraft" and similar assertions - nothing at all "must be" done in any fashion whatsoever. If I want to write my favorites list with control towers as Emergency Ops and ground maintenance crews as Transportation, that's my choice, and I'd love to see how you plan to stop me.

I'm pretty confident that bidulock was soliciting opinions on how to assign types in favorites lists, not how to post things into the database. How the service tags are used in the RR database is of very little concern in this situation except that if he uses, say, Transportation for tow trucks in his FLs, and continues to monitor the full DB as well as his FLs, he wants to know what other stuff he's going to be hearing in addition to his desired comms. It'd be nice to be able to filter the full DB on the website by service tag, so you could review what all is contained within each tag in a given county or subcat.
 

GTR8000

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For those of you saying "all aeronautical MUST BE tagged Aircraft" and similar assertions - nothing at all "must be" done in any fashion whatsoever. If I want to write my favorites list with control towers as Emergency Ops and ground maintenance crews as Transportation, that's my choice, and I'd love to see how you plan to stop me.
:roll: Don't be ridiculous. No one here is dictating to you how you should setup your favorites lists. My post explained how the RRDB tags are used, and I specifically noted that I was talking solely about the RRDB standards, not personal favorites lists.


I'm pretty confident that bidulock was soliciting opinions on how to assign types in favorites lists, not how to post things into the database. How the service tags are used in the RR database is of very little concern in this situation...
Well see the thing is, he posted his question in the Site Administration Forums > Database Discussion Forum, so with all due respect to your mind-reading abilities, I'd say that explaining the RRDB standards for these tags is a perfectly appropriate response to his query.
 

mikewazowski

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Well see the thing is, he posted his question in the Site Administration Forums > Database Discussion Forum

Actually he didn't. The thread was moved here by myself after I assumed he was asking about the proper tag that should be used by DB Admins.

Now that I look at it, it appears Jay's interpretation is most likely correct and the thread should really be in the Uniden Software forum.

I'll leave it here for now.
 
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DaveNF2G

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I have to agree with part of Jay's comment. The existing user tags do cause some confusion.

For example, what the heck is -Talk for? In the emergency services, communications generally break down into Dispatch, Operations and Tactical. There is no Ops category, so I use Talk in my Favorites.

As others have noted, using custom tags in Favorites does not help at all if you use the full database, such as during mobile GPS operations.
 

Jay911

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For example, what the heck is -Talk for? In the emergency services, communications generally break down into Dispatch, Operations and Tactical. There is no Ops category, so I use Talk in my Favorites.
I think that the idea is that "tac" is to be used for incident operations, i.e. fireground, EMS scene incident, etc., and "talk" is for non-incident chatter, such as a "car to car" channel or CPIC/NCIC records check channel.

"Multi-*" is another one that gets troublesome for me. My province has a network of repeater sites that are used (same frequency, same CTCSS tone) by a variety of provincially-governed users for a variety of reasons. Some are "park ranger" types, some are fish & wildlife, "park police", public safety, and so on - in fact some of the above duties are all handled by one person. Then there are dedicated public safety/search & rescue crews that use the same channels, and to boot, forestry firefighting crews. These are all provincial resources (employed by the province aka state). Some people believe that "Multi-Dispatch" or "Multi-Talk" is most appropriate. Others feel that "Federal" is correct as it's a governmental entity (even though it's not nationally/federally operated) - but that runs afoul of some other channels such as postal service sorting plants which are also getting tagged with Federal. It's inappropriate to repeat the channel multiple times with tags for Law, Fire, Emergency Ops (or whatever you put a dedicated rescue-only agency under), because then you have duplicate channels receiving the same traffic in your scanner. I've reluctantly accepted using Multi-Dispatch in my radio for these channels. I don't really have a better solution to suggest for this one, because the problem is kind of the fault of the province for loading the channel(s) with pretty much every entity that needs comms in the area.
 
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DaveNF2G

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In my realm :) , record checks would be -Admin, a category I forgot when posting above.

Car-to-car as -Talk does make sense.
 

SCPD

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I'm slowly moving all towing companies into a custom service type. It's too bad we can't rename the custom service types.

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wa8pyr

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I think that the idea is that "tac" is to be used for incident operations, i.e. fireground, EMS scene incident, etc., and "talk" is for non-incident chatter, such as a "car to car" channel or CPIC/NCIC records check channel.
Correct. "Admin" is also a Talk usage (generally just a bunch of white shirts talking to each other).

"Multi-*" is another one that gets troublesome for me.
You're correct that "Multi-" is also problematic. There are so many local variations about which agencies use frequencies for which purposes, that there's no real hard and fast way to categorize these frequencies. Even the Handbook definition doesn't always fit, so there's a little leeway given.
 

milf

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And here is where the OLD SCHOOL scanners win! No worrying about use tags! And you only had 12 slots to load in an Alpha Tag, so you used your brain more to put something that you would understand. You only had an limited amount of chans to use, again had to think about what was really important to you! But alas those days are nearly gone in most places. The systems in use are much more complex, and the scanners we use also much more complex. It has made our job here at radioreference that much more challenging, and that much more rewarding. The Aplha, and Use Tagging are just basic guidelines for everyone out there, the most important parts of every thing is still the actual user/description fields in the DB. That is what tells you who is using the FREQ/TG/SL combinations. The Alpha Tag, and other stuff you can do with what you want in your scanner, even toss em aside and put in your own personal spins. Heck, half of the time, once I DL from the DB to ProScan, or Win96 etc... I put my own Text Tagging in because I want to put things in that make more sense to me the scannist anyway! Take for example on the IDPS TRS I monitor, the Aplha Tag for the IMPD district I live in is labeled like the actual tag in the XTS, and APX radios (MET NW1, MET NW2, for METRO NORTHWEST 1, and 2) I REtext that to become IMPD NW 1, IMPD NW 2 for my PRO-96s, and just NORTHWEST 1, and 2 in the IMPD OPERATIONS group in my BCD396XT. And don't worry about the Use Tag as none of my scanners use it anyway, and the labels are misleading, because of the way IMPD uses the TGs.
 
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