Tools manufacturer DeWalt is collaborating with the Ford Motor Co. to launch Tool Link, a tracking system that will enable contractors to monitor the tools stored in vehicles.

Available on the 2009 F-150, F-Series Super Duty trucks, and E-Series vans this fall, Tool Link by DeWalt is a feature of Ford Work Solutions.

DeWalt collaborated with Ford and ThinkMagic to create Tool Link. Tool Link allows contractors to track assets and control inventory, ensuring crews arrive and leave the jobsite with the right tools and materials for their job. The system includes labels that allow the truck operators to tag, scan and track expensive tools, equipment and other assets.

When the vehicle is running, a pair of antennas, mounted in corrosion and impact-resistant housings on the inside of the pickup box, scan the box for tagged items on a pre-programmed inventory list. This data is transmitted to a reader mounted inside the cab and displayed on the in-dash computer screen, alerting the driver if any inventoried tools are not loaded on the truck.

“DeWalt is dedicated to developing new products that provide professional contractors with innovative solutions to help meet their needs,” said Chris Allen, vice president of DeWalt’s security business group. “Working with Ford and ThinkMagic to create Tool Link further demonstrates this commitment and will enable end users to be more productive on the jobsite.”

DeWalt reports that Tool Link offers industry-first features such as a pre-loaded menu with several standard tool lists that are easily edited to reflect specific types of jobs. The system uses industry standard second-generation electronic tags that can be fastened to tools or other assets and can scan and organize hundreds of them in seconds.

“Ford, through Ford Work Solutions, is focused on offering productivity solutions for our truck owners. Collaborating with DeWalt is an opportunity to take productivity to a new level by creating innovative solutions,” said William Frykman, Ford product and business development manager. “Ford and DeWalt are both leaders in their industries. With DeWalt’s core knowledge of its end users and expertise in developing jobsite solutions that meet the needs of professional contractors, Tool Link will ensure that professional contractors can work smarter.”