Melard Technologies, based in Armonk, N.Y., unveiled two new mobile data systems at the Bell South Wireless Conference in San Diego, Calif. The new Sidearm All-Terrain Handheld PC and the Enduro, a full-sized, ruggedized notebook computer, round out the company's product line, which includes the popular, portable sub-notebook computer called the Scout2.

The Sidearm is designed to provide real-time, wireless access to the Internet, automated dispatch, and peer-to-peer communications in the field, according to Russell Schmidt, Melard's vp-marketing. "With the Sidearm, we can increase productivity for a wide range of field service organizations," he says.

The new handheld utilizes Microsoft's Windows CE 2.12 operating system and is optimized for use with cellularand wireless RF modems from DataTac (Motient and Ardis), Mobitex (Bell South Wireless Data), plus CDPD, GDM, and wireless LAN modems. It features a 206 MHz Intel Strong ARM processor with 16 MB RAM expandable to 32 MB.

The Sidearm is just 8.66 in. long by 7.25 in. wide and weighs only 2.4 lb. with battery and is designed to withstand a 5-ft. drop. Melard expects to have the unit in the market by the third quarter for an estimated list price of $2,100 per unit.

The Enduro is the company's high-end product offering. It features a 400 MHz Intel Pentium II microprocessor, 256 MB RAM, and high-capacity hard disk and LS-120 drives. Other features include a CD-ROM/DVD drive and PCI 3D audio with built-in stereo speakers. Schmidt says these characteristics allow the notebook to support complex and collaborative computing.

The Enduro is now available for Windows 98 and 2000. List prices begin at $4,750 and vary depending upon configuration.

At the recent North American Truck Show in Boston, eflatbed.com introduced its online logistics services for flatbed freight. According to president Joe Morgan, over 1,400 carriers and 20 shippers already subscribe to the service.

Eflatbed.com's web site provides instant access to thousands of flatbed-only loads throughout North America, said Morgan. It also offers automated load-booking and administers payment of freight invoices to carriers.

Morgan told FLEET OWNER that eflatbed.com is currently waiving the monthly subscription fee of $24.95 for carriers to join in order to increase the number of participants. To enroll, carriers must complete an online form and provide proof of their insurance coverage and U.S. DOT safety rating.

Carriers can search for inbound and outbound loads on a state-by-state basis. Loads are displayed by origin, destination, load weight, and P&D times. A carrier interested in a load simply clicks on it and submits a price. Load offers are then responded to within one hour during normal business hours.

The service's base is in the metals-shipping industry but according to Morgan, eflatbed.com is "aggressively moving forward" with expansion into other vertical segments requiring flatbed shipping.

Brian Carroll has been named vp for FleetBoss, the developer of the Boss fleet management and vehicle tracking system. He will be responsible for the Orlando-based company's day-to-day activities.

Keystone Systems' fleet management software - for small- and medium-sized fleets - is now available in Windows version. It handles everything from dispatch to accounting functions.

FuelQuest Inc. (www.fuelquest.com) is a petroleum marketing site that provides seamless supply chain integration between refiners and suppliers, marketers, and commercial and retail end users.