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What’s new in driver seats

March 4, 2019
Health and comfort (and massages) rule in new offerings from truck seat manufacturers.

“With innovative features, truck seats can help in the retention of drivers by providing for greater comfort and less fatigue,” said Ron Mock, Sears Seating’s director of aftermarket.

An example is the company’s Legacy Silver seats with standard features such as enhanced back support and an air parallelogram suspension as well as a 22-in., four-position cushion. The Legacy Silver seat also has a 19-in.-wide shoulder region and a fully reclining backrest. It is available in high- or mid-high back models with additional lumbar support, armrest, swivel, heat and massage options.

Adam Lindloff, aftermarket sales manager at Seats Inc., agreed that seating innovation revolves around driver comfort. “We design and engineer seats with the driver in mind by testing and utilizing sophisticated pressure mapping to ensure comfort and ergonomics,” he stated.

New from Sears Seating is the Atlas II ActiveVRS Suspension Seat that uses a Magneto-Rheological (MR) fluid system to reduce driver exposure to whole-body vibration resulting in less fatigue. The technology employs a position sensor to read suspension travel 750 times per second; depending on damping needs, it instantaneously increases or decreases the strength of the magnetic field to stiffen the damper and absorb shock.

The Sears Atlas II ActiveVRS seat also features the manufacturer’s ComfortZone support structure system, a contoured metal seat pan, a 22-in.-wide seat and back cushion, and a quad chamber air lumbar support. Options include heated cushions and StowAway armrests.

“An active seat offers the best opportunity to integrate technology that improves driver health and productivity,” said Mario Flores, general manager, seating at ClearMotion. As a result, the company’s seat technology cancels vibration from the road by sensing vehicle motion, instantly counteracting those forces, and isolating the driver in an optimal position. The seats are available in heated leather and fabric as well as standard fabric versions.

Bostrom Seating offers a variety of heavy-duty truck seats, including the  Wide Ride+Serta, Wide Ride Core, Pro Ride, T-Series and Baja models. A new design for its Patriot series seats includes a wide platform, the company’s Flex Support Cushion System, and a scissor action suspension for improved weight distribution. Additionally, Bostrom’s ParaBar II manual lumbar system provides for a continuous range of adjustment.

Available from National Seating are several truck seats, including the Captain, Corsair, Commodore, Admiral and Ensign models. On Corsair, Commodore, Admiral, and Admiral CT models, the company offers its BackCycler system, which cyclically inflates and deflates an air bladder in the lumbar area of the seat. The manufacturer noted the slow and slight movement in and out, as the bladder fills and deflates, causes the lower back to slightly adjust on a continuous basis, helping keep blood flowing and muscles and ligaments from stiffening.

Kingman air suspension truck seats from Grammer are offered in Comfort cloth and Luxury leather models. The seats feature Active Seat Climate Control that uses activated charcoal and a ventilation layer to remove moisture and keep the seat’s surface dry. Built with an ergonomic design and easy adjustments, the seats have a weight adjustment range of 110 to 285 lbs., a suspension stroke of 6.3 in., and a memory air height adjustment so drivers can set the seat to meet their individual preferences.

Other features of the Kingman seat include a quick release button for exit from the cab; an adjustable reclining backrest; lower, upper and side air bolstering; and fore/aft adjustments and isolators (with a lock) to reduce horizontal vibration and prevent jolts. The seats have a 20-in. bottom cushion with a seat cushion extension with seven forward and back settings, seat cushion tilt with nine up and down settings, an adjustable shock absorber with 11 settings, and optional dual armrests and heating and cooling (standard on Luxury models).

The Minimizer Heavy Duty Semi Truck Seat System is installed using one of six seat risers. For the majority of truck models, a Universal Seat Riser is available while others require a special riser plate for installation. Minimizer seats are offered in cloth and leather versions with heating, cooling and massage options.

According to Steve Hansen, director of marketing, Minimizer seats were designed based on interviews with truck drivers about favorable seat features. “A fleet’s number one cost has shifted to the driver,” he added. “With that in mind, fleets are investing in seats to better support recruiting, retention, health, productivity, and overall driver satisfaction.”

About the Author

Fleet Owner Staff

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Kevin Jones, Editorial Director, Commercial Vehicle Group

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