How to Track Tools or Equipment On-board your Truck or Vehicle

One of our new clients asked how he could track tools or equipment that is carried on a Septic Tank Truck…

A while back I sent out a couple of emails and then shot a Video that shows and describes to you how to track Tools or Equipment on-board your Truck or Vehicle but it's been buried on our main site.

So I decided to bring it out and re-edit the video, polish it up a bit and provide the text of the tip in this post as well

Here's the Video, it described at least 3 ways you can track Tools On Board:

And here are some written instructions that should help you too.

The simplest way would be to use the notes section for each piece of equipment and just list each tool or on-board equipment associated with the vehicle.

You could then print out all the notes for a piece of equipment by going to Reports-Current Equipment Reports->Notes

You can use that list to go out to the vehicle and verify everything that should be there.

You could also search for the tool to find out which truck it's on.

To do this you would probably want to use some kind of numbering system to identify each tool, especially if you have a lot of the same model of tool.

Then next to the “Search” button you would change the dropdown where it says “by Equipment Num” to Search “by Notes”

Another less desirable way would be to use the Driver History section of the Equipment summary screen. I would only recommend this if you are not currently using that section for actual driver history.

You can also enter each individual tool into TATEMS as a separate piece of equipment and in the “Location” dropdown you could enter the vehicle that it is currently in.

This would also allow you to keep a maintenance schedule for tools that need maintenance.

You could also search by “Location”. To search by Location you would change the dropdown in the search bar near the top of the screen next to the word “Filter” to “by Location”.

Then next to the word “Choose” there is a dropdown showing all the “Locations” in your database. If you were associating a particular tool with a particular vehicle then that vehicles number would show up as a “Location” to “Choose”

Once you “Choose” a Location in the search bar then click the “Search” button. To display all the Tools or whatever is at/in that “Location”

To display all your Equipment again in the Search results list you would change the “Filter” back to “Show All” then make sure the Search text box to the left of the “Search” button is empty then click the “Search” button again.

And…Wala! All your equipment shows in the list again.

I hope this has not been too confusing…

Have a great week and if you're on Facebook or Twitter be sure to Like or Tweet this post or use one of the free bookmarking service buttons we provide.

Oh ya, please leave a comment too!

All The Best!


P.S. In the video I mention using a separate empty database to store and track your tools on-board. I made a copy of an empty TATEMS database and renamed it, so it won't conflict with your default TATEMS database to: tatems2005be-Tools-On-Board.mdb then I zipped it up. If you would like to have it you can download it by clicking here

New Spreadsheet Shows All Equipment PM History

I pray that you are staying healthy and safe with all these disasters going on in the world.

On Monday we attended my daughters college graduating ceremony.

It was great to see her finish college, now on to her career in Cardiac Sonography.

Know any doctors or hospitals hiring? 🙂

Nice to see that gas has been getting a little cheaper. It's come down to $3.67 here at the local Sam's Club here in Las Vegas.

I just finished up a new spreadsheet that shows you a list of all your equipment and also all of the lube services that have been completed.

It will link to and display your current TATEMS data:

Each row in the spreadsheets contains the following columns:

Equip Num
Lube Service Type
Date Completed
Accomplished By
Air Filter
Oil Change
Fuel Filter
Oil Filter
Tire Pressure
Wheel Bearings
Brake Adjusments
A Service
B Service
C Service

This will allow you to see which PM items were checked off over time on each piece of equipment.

I shot a short screen cam video that shows you what it looks like.

The spreadsheet is number 59 on our TATEMS maintenance software spreadsheets page

Tidbits from around the NET
From the L.A.P.D.

“Things Your Burglar Won't Tell You”

1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, selling magazine subscriptions or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.

5. Hey your car parked in the driveway – I will use the garage door opener in your car, it activates the garage door – even when the car ignition is off. So you may want to turn your garage door opener (power) off from inside the garage when your home.

More of those on the next post.
Tell a Friend about TATEMS or like this post on Facebook and leave any comments below.

Have a great weekend!

2 New Spreadsheets that pull Work Order Discounts and More

I hope your week is going well . Gas is still holding at 3.79 per gallon and the it's going to be about 92 degrees today, but the winds are supposed to get up to 50 MPH tomorrow here in Las Vegas.

American Idol or the Voice? If you live in the U.S. do you watch either of these?

OK I admit it… my wife and my daughter and I are Idol fans, but The Voice is not bad either and it brings a new twist. Are you watching the battling talent shows?

We had a request come in and a client wanted to see just the “Discounts” given on all work orders, he also wanted to see the “Misc” charges separated out on the same spreadsheet. He just wanted to see the grand Totals for the 2 fields for all equipment combined over a certain date range.

So we not only created that spreadsheet but went one better and created a second spreadsheet that will also display the Parts Totals, Labor Totals, Misc Totals, Discount Totals and Grand Totals from Work Orders for each piece of equipment.

The first spreadsheet only displays the 2 cells

Screenshot Grand Totals For Work Orders Discount and Misc Spreadsheet

Screenshot above: Work Orders Discount and Misc Spreadsheet

This spreadsheet uses a date range of 1/1/2000 to 12/31/2050 and is a compilation of all equipment over that time period.

To change the date range in Excel 2010 see the screenshot below

Screenshot to change Discounts Grand Totals for Work Orders Date Range

Screenshot above: How to change the date range for this spreadsheet

The second spreadsheet displays a row for each piece of equipment and the 6 columns seen below. This one also uses a date range between 01-01-2000 and 12-31-2050.

Screenshot Grand Totals For Work Orders Totals For Labor, Parts And Discounts

Screenshot above: This spreadsheet gives you much more data from Work Orders Totals

Changing the date range on the second spreadsheet is basically the same, but the dates are not so close to the bottom of the command text box seen below. To get to the point where you click connections in step one you have to be in the data tab.

Screenshot Equipment Totals For Work Orders Change Date Range

Screenshot above: Changing the date range on the second spreadsheet

When you open either one of the spreadsheets or change the date range you may need to click the
refresh data in the data tab.

Most of this stuff looks the same in older versions of Excel, but instead of a data tab there will be a data menu item.

You can find both of the new spreadsheets at:

They are numbers 57 and 58 respectively.

There is also a link on that page to a video that shows you how to link to your TATEMS data on a different server.

Or see the video on this page:

I hope this was helpful for you. Please leave any comments or questions below and if you use Facebook be sure to click the like button below.

Have a Great Weekend!

Thanks Again


New Version 4.3.02 and Video

Big news this week!

Osama Bin Laden is dead, my youngest daughter turns 23 and graduates from college, and we released a new version update of TATEMS!

Gas prices here in Las Vegas were 3.79 per gallon at the nearby Sam's club this past weekend and the weather is great! It's going to be about 77 degrees today and almost no wind.

I created a quick (less than 3 minute) video showing you a couple of changes we made in this version update.

Get the update here

Please comment below if you have any feature requests and remember to like this page on Facebook, re-tweet on twitter and bookmark at your favorite bookmarking site!

Thanks Again

Marc Ready

New Video How to Attach an Equipment Picture in the proper format

I had someone call and say he could not get pictures into TATEMS.

You don't actually upload a picture into the program.

When you use the Equipment Picture button in TATEMS you are creating a link to a picture of that equipment on your computer or on a server.

The picture must be in a specific format. It must be in the bitmap format have the .bmp extension.

You can use Microsoft Paint which is included in all versions of Windows to open your picture
and then save it as a .bmp(bitmap) file.

It is also best if you re-size the image to either:

5 x 3 inches or 320 x 216 pixels at 72 dpi

Then you can link to the picture using the Equipment Picture button.

And from that point on when you click the Equipment Button or print a unit information report you
will see the picture.

The only exception is if you delete or move the picture to a different location.

Here is the video that shows you how to do it all:

Was this helpful for you?

Thanks in advance for leaving a comment below and for a Facebook Like and or a tweet using one of the buttons below.

How To Video for Drive Fuel Efficiency Spreadsheet Report

After 3 weeks we finally got our second car out of the body shop on Friday. Overall they did a nice job. I never thought it would be so hard to go
without a second car for that period of time.

The weather here in Las Vegas is starting to warm up. It's supposed to be 75°F tomorrow; and gas prices are at a low of $3.69 per gallon on the north
west side of town.

Last week I posted spreadsheet number 56: TATEMS-DriverFuelEfficiencyReport spreadsheet and this week I created a quick video to show you how use it and where the data comes from and how to get it into the spreadsheet.

If you have any requests for a  spreadsheet we haven't done please post a comment below.

Thanks Again

Marc Ready

New Driver Efficiency spreadsheet report

We got one of our cars back from the body shop. Hopefully we'll get the other one back by the end of the week.

We filled up the other day for $3.69 per gallon at an Arco station near us here in Las Vegas. Now I'm glad we traded in our 14 MPG Yukon Denali SUV late last year for a 25 MPG Camry. I loved that Yukon though.

We had a request a while back for a somewhat complex spreadsheet/report that would display the Miles Per Gallon or km/L for each driver on each piece of equipment. This would allow you to see if some drivers are costing you more per mile.

So the spreadsheet we created has the following columns:

Equip Num
Average MPG/KpL
Driver Started On Equip
Driver Ended On Equip
It is sorted by Equipment Number then Driver Start Date then Sort Order number.
You will need to have Microsoft Excel to use this spreadsheet and have it link to your TATEMS data.
This spreadsheet will link to your TATEMS data if it's in the default installation location on 32 bit Windows.

C:Program FilesTATEMS 2005tatems2005be.mdb

The video link below shows you where the underlying data query is.

The video also shows you what you will probably need to do in order to make it work on your computer if you are not running Excel 2007 or 2010

The video link below will help you to see how to change the path to your TATEMS data if you need to.

You can get the spreadsheet at our website and it's called:

It's completed for you online and ready to download at the link above or here:

This spreadsheet is number 56 in the list on that spreadsheet page.

I hope this tip has been helpful for you.

Please leave any questions, comments or requests for special Excel Spreadsheets below. If your spreadsheet requests are feasible I'll get them created and posted in a future TATEMS Tip.

Have a great weekend!

Shell-shocked! You never know when disaster will strike

I was looking forward to a normal day when the call came in.  I just got out of the shower and my wife’s phone was on her nightstand ringing. 

“Can I talk to Mom?” my daughter said.  I walked the phone down the hall to hand it my wife.  As she spoke she stayed calm but it didn’t sound good. 

Our daughter had been in an accident. Our Honda was crumpled and un-drivable but Thank God she was not injured, and neither were the people in the SUV.

Fast forward a few hours and my wife and I are on our way to the body repair shop so they can begin repairs.  I’m waiting patiently for the pedestrians to cross in front of me before I make a right turn. When suddenly BAM!  We get rear ended in a 3 car accident.  The car behind us runs into us after she got rear ended.  

Thank God for no injuries. 

Now our Toyota has to go the body repair shop for repair.

2 accidents in one day can cause you to feel a little shell-shocked. I had not been in an accident since I rolled my Dad’s VW when I was 18. 

I'm feeling like, ok when will the next accident happen?

The unexpected can happen at any time, that’s why it’s so important to have insurance. 

You need to insure against losing your data too.

Please make sure you back up your data every day. The best practice is to make sure it’s backed up off site.

At a bare minimum get a copy of your data off your computer and onto to an external flash or hard drive.

I made a video that shows you much of what I describe below:

In order to save and backup your TATEMS data, you need to make a backup copy of a file called tatems2005be.mdb.

tatems2005be.mdb is the file that contains all the data you entered into the program.

This file is in the folder

C:Program FilesTATEMS 2005

Or the folder below on a 64 bit system

C:Program Files (x86)TATEMS 2005

TATEMS must to be closed on all computers whenever you backup or restore this file.

If you ever have to reinstall the program, you will need to restore this file back into its folder after reinstalling in order to work with the backed up data.

A couple of additional things need to be addressed here. There is a Backup and Compact feature in TATEMS under

Tools->Backup and Compact.

You can see this feature in action if you go to TATEMS Training Videos then click on the “Backup and Compact data” link

The Backup and Compact feature only allows you to backup the data to the same folder where the data file is housed.

So if the data file is in

C:Program FilesTATEMS 2005

then the backup file will be created in that folder.

The backup file will be Date/Time stamped within the actual file name. It will look something like this:


The 7-19-2006 is the date part and the 09-12 is the time part in 24 hour time (9:12AM).

This can be useful if you want to go back to a “point in time” backup to see where some mistake was made or something went wrong.

These “point in time” backups and any backups for that matter should be moved off the hard drive to a CR-R, a Zip drive, USB drive or memory card for safe keeping.

The “point in time” backups should also be moved off your hard drive because they can quickly start taking up space, especially if you do them on a daily basis.

You can always link to a point in time backup by using the Networking Tool in TATEMS.

Under: Tools->Networking. This will allow you to see what's in a file without having to rename it.

Regardless of which approach you use to backup your data, you should do it on a daily basis.

New spreadsheet-Periodic (90 Day) Inspections Due and Past Due with extra columns

Our prayers go out to the people of Japan and hope that things will improve soon for them.  

I had a request last week to create a new spreadsheet to display the 90 Day Inspections(or user defined number of days) Due or Past Due along with the Location so that they could sort the list by Location 

When I created it I also added the Deptartment or Area and the Customer fields in addition to the Location field.

This spreadsheet will link to and display the following columns fromyour TATEMS data:

Dept or Area
Equip Num
Date Insp Completed
Next Inspection Due
Equip Desc
Equip Sort Order

Here is a short video to that shows you the Spreadsheet in action.

You can get the spreadsheet here

Have a great week!

Thanks Again

Marc Ready

TATEMS update to version 4.3.01

Just a quick note to let you know we just released an a new update.

You can update to version 4.3.01 here:

Why so soon after we released 4.3.00? 

Well we had some feedback that when you closed the Reminders Popup screen in version 4.3.00 an error occurred, causing you to have to restart TATEMS.

The weird thing is that the 4.3.00  update did not touch the Reminders Popup screen…

This update fixes the issue though.

Thanks Again,