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Working on a farm is the exact opposite of a job in a busy office. If you need to ask someone a question or get some help, you can’t just shout over a desk to your nearest neighbour - they may be several fields away.

Two way radio has long been an important tool for keeping lines of communication open between farm workers. When your daily routine can involve covering several miles of open countryside, a reliable means of staying in touch is essential for coordinating and maintaining high safety standards.

There are dozens of models of two way radio available on the market these days intended for all sorts of purposes, from providing security at large events to coordinating work teams in factories and on construction sites. But what are the best options out there for farmers?

Here are five things to prioritise when looking for the right two way radio for your farm.


Farm work is tough work, out of doors in all seasons and in all weathers. You need equipment that can withstand the rain and dust, and communications equipment is no different. That is why two way radio is far better suited to farm work than mobile phones are, as they are designed to be much tougher. Look for a model with a good IP rating for water and dust resistance.

Easy to use

When your job is hands on, complex gadgets are the last thing you need. You want functional, user-friendly gear that is easy to operate without interrupting the flow of what you are doing. Opt for a straightforward non-display two way radio that only requires the push of a button to use. Or even better, look for models that support VOX voice activation so they can be used hands-free as you work.

High quality audio

When you are working next to machinery or out in the wind and the rain, you want to still be able to hear calls when they come through. Modern two way radios offer outstanding audio clarity and quality, cancelling out background noise and boosting volume to make sure important messages always get through.

Good signal range

Unlike mobile phones, two way radio operates on a limited signal range, so you cannot wander wherever you like and still connect to other users. As farms can be extremely big, it is important to choose models with an appropriate range, or else use additional equipment such as repeaters or vehicle mounted radios to increase the coverage area and mobility.

Low cost

Farm operators are unlikely to require the thousands of channels and advanced range of functions offered by the highest spec two way radio models. The main priorities are a model that is functional, durable and reliable, and to tick those boxes, there is no point paying for more than you need.

License-free radios are a good option for farms. Because they operate on open public airwaves, you don’t have to buy a special license to use specific frequencies. The downside is when lots of people are using the public airwaves, there can be lots of interference. But out in the countryside, away from heavily populated urban areas, this is unlikely to be an issue.

Which Radio?

So which models fit the above criteria? The Kenwood TK3501 is an ideal example of a two way radio perfect for farm use. License-free, it is affordable yet highly reliable, with a tough outer casing, one-touch or VOX operation, high quality audio and a 2km signal range.

Alternatively, the Hytera PD405 is a slightly higher spec digital model with similar functional design, IP55 rating for water resistance and a 3km signal range.

Brentwood Communications has been the UK’s leading supplier of two way radio solutions for business and industry for more the 40 years. To find out more, please visit

*This article contains sponsored content and does not necessarily represent the views of The Scottish Farmer.