Desktop in Semi Truck

I've considered installing a desktop in my truck.  I have plenty of room in my ultraloft. My only concern is the constant vibrations and jarring while going down the road. Should I not bother, or are current desktops fairly resistant to this?

  • If you can secure the PC in such a way that vibration is not a factor, then I would say go for it.

  • Something like this would work from Grainger.

  • While it's possible to install a desktop in your truck, the constant vibrations and jarring while driving can cause significant damage to the hardware over time. Traditional desktop computers are not designed to withstand such conditions, and you may end up with a broken or malfunctioning system.

    1. Have you looked at ventilation and power needs too? 
  • A rugged laptop rated for drops might work out better for all the hazards that can happen on the road.

  • Vibrations, movement, bumps, jostling, braking -- all will take it's toll on the hardware. A laptop suitable for job sites or military use (one of those in hardened cases) likely will fare better and should be able to hook up to external monitor & keyboard/mouse if you'd like. Alternatively, maybe check with those who build pcs how best to stabilize a desktop while keeping airflow & ventilation. 

  • In general most computer systems don't like bumps and jarring, it might also depend on what is in the system and how well it's built, for example, HDDs would be an absolute no, you can't do that, since HDDs use physical disks and each bump would likely damage the disks and / or the heads. an SSD however, in theory would care less about bumps and jars. I think it might also depend on how the system and everything is installed, for example, just sitting in the truck could be problematic, but having it hard mounted to the cab could also be a problem, maybe some kind of shock absorbing mount / stand to keep it from flying but also so any movement due to the road's condition? either way it might be more effort than preferred. a laptop might be a better way to go in some cases, even then I'm not totally sure how they would handle bumps and jars, though I suppose they would handle it better, since toughbooks used by police are in their cars and seem to function just fine.

  • Spot on with the advice of using a SDD vs traditional hard drive. One thing that I haven't seen anyone address is the power supply. Power inverters aren't always the cleanest source of power and definitely are not all created equal. In order to get clean power out of a power inverter, you will want to overshoot your power consumption needs by quite a bit. Generally speaking, power inverters start having real problems with clean power when they are nearing 75% of the rated maximum output. Another consideration is what other devices you will have sharing the power source as the inverter will be far less capable of dealing with surges from something like a mini fridge compressor kicking on. All of this will be passed along to the computer power supply and therefore to the computer components as well. Just food for thought.

  • Installing a desktop in your semi-truck is definitely doable, but you're right to be concerned about the constant vibrations and jarring that can occur while driving. While desktop computers are not typically designed to handle these types of conditions, there are a few things you can do to help protect your system and ensure it continues to function properly.

    Firstly, consider investing in a sturdy mounting system or bracket to secure the desktop to your truck's cabin. This can help minimize the amount of movement and vibration the computer is exposed to while driving. Additionally, you may want to consider using shock-absorbing materials, such as foam or rubber, to further dampen any vibrations or impacts.