When you talk about seats with people who operate equipment or vehicles, whether it’s a truck, tractor, construction equipment or a lawn mower, they always will tell you that it’s all about comfort and durability. Yet, as many as three-fourths of all professional truck drivers in the country suffer from lower back pain, claims Dr. Eric Wood, occupational medicine director at the University of Utah.
Today, an air seat is not a luxury, it is a necessity. The incorrect kind of vehicle seat can be more harmful than good. Putting in a low-cost alternative to the newer seat with multi-faceted designs and comfort options, can end up costing you more. Not only may an inexpensive, ill-fitting seat give you back pain, it will not last very long. Now, more than ever, it is easy to find a seat that can be custom fit to your needs and be built to last. Today’s technology and manufacturing capabilities is making that possible. Read our list of benefits you will receive from purchasing an air seat for your truck and why it is a necessity for your health.
The Benefits:

  • Shock and Vibration Protection. The new air seats are designed to provide protection from shock and vibration that allows drivers to operate over full workdays and weeks without negative effects to their health. The new and improved air suspension seating today provides drivers with a smooth, vibration-free environment by focusing advancements in technology and durability.
  • Minimized Vibrations. Air suspension seating also provides up-and-down and lateral dampening of motion and vibration. Air pressure can be adjusted infinitely and continuously to take into account the varying size and weights of the operators. Shock absorber tuning can also minimize vibration and the effects of rough road terrain by maintaining a constant force over the full length of travel.
  • Smoother Operations. The technology improvements have been made in the area of greater load capacity, more comfortable, ergonomic cushions and smoother operating functions. Load capacities have been increased in many seats up to well over 300 pounds. Isolation systems have been improved for smoother operation and shock absorber strokes have been increased. Suspensions are being improved so that there is more even distribution of forces across in the system framework. Suspension rollers have been improved so that there is less friction.
  • Durability and Stability. Durability has been improved by the fact that many of the new seats have fewer moving parts, better aligned parts, reduced free play and a more secure airline system. In addition, the suspension structures have been strengthened to provide more stability.

The Costs:

  • Increased Price. As always, improvements in the technology drive up the costs. It’s always been a tough call to know how much a buyer will pay for the new developments in durability, comfort and safety. Some industry observers estimate that the new state-of-the-art technology could add as much as 70 percent to the cost of a seat. An owner-operator may well feel that it’s worth it for one truck. However, in today’s tight market, fleet owners might see the price as intimidating as they think about the bottom line for hundreds of trucks.

ISRI and National Seating are two companies that have developed ergonomically designed cushions for improved comfort and enhanced styling. National has a unique lumbar support system called the Back Cycler which cyclically inflates and deflates to provide variable pressure on the lower back. This reduces the strain and pain caused when seated in one position for an extended period of time. Coupled with triple lumbar, air bolsters in the back and cushion, thigh extension, front and rear cushion tilt, dual level heat, adjustable shock and easy to reach 180-degree swivel, it really does put you in command of your own comfort.
ISRI’s new generation of customized seats can make driving a more enjoyable experience. Their new premium series seat has automatic height adjustment, adjustable shock absorber, two-chamber lumbar support, leather trim, seat frame tilt adjustment, quick air release, shoulder adjustment, and a heating system. Other options include a relaxer or climate control. Click here for tips on how to purchase the best seat for you and your truck and to receive a special Team Run Smart discount at K&G Manufacturing.
No matter how you look at it, as an owner operator, the quality and durability, and the comfort of the seat is important. You may pay more up front for a better seat, but the payoff will justify the cost. It’s an investment in your health and well-being. Good ergonomics and a good fit will mean a more enjoyable day behind the wheel. If you are in it for the long haul, a comfortable seat will be much appreciated.

Comments (8)

Kevin Mulder

I have been with K & M Mfg. for 24 years, the last 16 as the sales manager. I currently reside in Renville, MN. My wife, Michelle, and I have three grown children and one grandchild. I enjoy reading, all sports and spending time fishing and gardening at our lake cabin in northern Minnesota.

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Thank you for all this great information about suspension seats! I really like your point about how the drivers will have a smooth vibration-free ride. I have heard that driving a truck is hard on the body and to make it that much easier, is great for the industry. That is so cool about ISRI's seats, that they have so many options; height, shock absorption, lumbar, and that is only to name a few!

June 13, 2017 10:38:10 AM

Without these seats there are some of us that could not drive.

June 04, 2016 22:42:13 PM

The seat is important. not only the lumbar but arms rests a smooth Isolater and a quality cushion is equally important. Also a drivers wieght has a big impact on how long a drivers seat will last.

November 28, 2012 11:29:41 AM

I am glad to see that National Seat is one of your recommendations. I plan to replace the seat in my truck in the very near future. I drive an older truck (1999 Freightliner Classic) without the suspension refinements that newer trucks are equipped with. I have chosen the Admiral series (including the back cycler option) from National. It is a bit on the pricey side but I consider it a small price to pay to protect the health of my back and spine.

September 07, 2012 11:44:12 AM

Couldn't imagine driving without an air seat!

August 22, 2012 20:23:55 PM

Grant I agree with you on the ISRI seat. I have one my self and like the ventalation feature . The other thing which works well is the range of adjustability engineered into this seat. Make sure to always read the owners manual on any given seat so you can get the most out of the features. You spend too much time in a seat to skimp on this area.

August 01, 2012 7:39:24 AM

Sounds like a great improvement! Thank you for the information.

July 26, 2012 18:13:48 PM

That new ISRI seat is awesome. Have it in my Cascadia Evolution. The ventilate function sure feels nice on a hot day...

July 19, 2012 14:13:29 PM