When you’re driving for long periods of time every day, it’s important to know how to protect your health. Thankfully, high-quality semi-truck seats like air ride seats are excellent at providing comfort and protection where it matters most. Discover what air ride semi-truck seats are and how they work.
Why Your Driving Seat Matters
It’s important to start thinking of your driver’s seat as a tool, not just as a piece of furniture that you sit in every day. Having the right tools for any job makes the job easier and ensures that the person doing it doesn’t hurt themselves—truck driving is no different.
Protecting Your Spine
When you drive, your body is subject to all kinds of vibrations from the car and the road. In a large vehicle like an eighteen-wheeler, the truck’s size magnifies these vibrations, which is terrible for your spine. What is more, on bumpy roads a seat with bad suspension may actually hit the floor of the cab, sending road shocks directly to your spine.
With enough spine damage, you can eventually develop permanent back and neck pain, in addition to nerve damage, micro spinal fractures, and protruded discs. Some of these conditions are difficult to reverse and can make it extremely difficult to continue working as a trucker.
Ergonomics and Driving
You’ve probably seen diagrams that show how to sit properly in an office chair, but did you know there’s also correct posture for driving?
First, you need a high-quality seat with lots of adjustability, since no two bodies are exactly alike. You need to make sure you can reach the pedals comfortably while keeping your back against the backrest. You should also be able to reach the steering wheel while keeping your arms loosely bent.
One of the problems many truck drivers face is inheriting a truck from a previous driver that still has the same old driving seat. This means that the seat is already broken in for someone else’s body, and there’s a good chance it won’t provide full protection and comfort to you.
There’s nothing worse than feeling sweaty while you’re driving for hours a day. With a poor-quality seat, your chair may get hot very quickly and trap that heat inside the fibers of the chair, raising your temperature. It will also absorb your sweat, making your chair gross pretty quickly. If you’re not the first driver to use your chair, then you’re probably sitting in a dirty chair.
What Is Air Ride?
Most people know that cars all have a suspension system that determines how many road vibrations you feel while driving. However, what people often don’t realize is that truck driving seats also have a separate suspension system that keeps the driver from feeling road vibrations all day.
Most older models of trucks come with chairs that only have a mechanical suspension, which is basically the same thing as a car’s suspension. As you drive along bumpy roads, those bumps turn into vertical acceleration for your vehicle. Without a suspension system, every bump would transfer that acceleration to the entire vehicle, creating the feeling of going up and down while you drive.
A suspension system in a vehicle absorbs all that vertical acceleration so that people riding in the body of the car don’t experience any changes to their momentum. In a semi-truck, the suspension is even more important because of the vehicle’s size. That’s why most seats have additional suspension to protect the driver.
However, these mechanical systems can wear out. When that happens, they do very little to protect your spine from road shocks and vibrations. The best way to prevent this problem is to invest in an air ride seat.
Air ride seats introduce a second suspension system by including pressurized air springs. This pneumatic system is easy to adjust to fit different body types and comfort levels. Air ride seats can also absorb much higher percentages of total road vibrations, so you hardly feel a thing as you’re driving.
Since air ride seats are all about driver safety and comfort, many of them also come with maximum adjustability and high-quality materials that wick moisture away from your skin as you drive. They also don’t absorb body heat as quickly, meaning your chair stays nice and cool even in hot driving conditions.
What To Look for in an Air Ride Seat
Now that you understand what air ride seats are and how they work, it’s time to start searching for one. There are lots of features that make driving more convenient, and we’ve broken down some of the most important.
Price and Affordability
Not all air ride seats are priced competitively. Some older models are more expensive but don’t absorb nearly the same percentage of shocks as newer versions. Make sure to check the exact specifications of the seat you’re interested in purchasing so you don’t end up overpaying.
Not every aftermarket seat fits in every cab. Always measure the inside of your cab, keeping in mind the ideal distance for your legs and arms to reach the pedals and steering wheel. You’ll also want to take into account the amount of headspace in your cab and look for a model that fits.
This is the number one feature to look for in an air ride seat. You want the best vibration absorption possible without overpaying. Since the whole point of an upgraded seat is to protect your body, this is the feature you should focus on.
After you know that the seat will fit in your cab and that you can afford it, the second most important feature is adjustability. You want your driver’s seat to fit you like it was made for you, and many of the newest models of trucking seats can do this.
Choosing the Right Air Seat
If you’re looking to buy air ride seats for semi-trucks, take a look at GRA-MAG’s new line called SteadyRide. Unlike other vibration-cancelling seats, SteadyRide cancels up to 67 percent of all road vibrations, which is more than any other seat on the market. Additionally, it does this with a compact and lightweight design that fits in all major truck cabs.
When safety and comfort are your top priorities, the kind of seat you sit in while you drive matters. Upgrade your semi-truck seat to an air ride seat like SteadyRide to prevent injury on the job and provide long-lasting comfort.