Floating on Air: How Suspension Seating Can Save Your Back

After a long, hard day operating a big piece of machinerytractor, truck, excavator, giant mechanical worm, whatever your rig may beyou can come away feeling many things. But, regardless of what’s gone down or how much you’ve achieved, somehow pain has a way of eclipsing all else. And, while you can clock out from other aspects of your job, pain will follow you home, influencing everything from how much enjoyment you get from your downtime to the way you interact with your loved ones.

Something we noticed, and really appreciated, at the 2017 Brisbane Truck Expo was the focus on comfort as a necessity, not a luxury. For many people, the biggest portion of their day is spent in the cab of their machine. And those days turn into weeks, months, years and decades at startling speed. Every moment you spend in your machine is crafting your future self. This is why it’s so important to ensure your cab is fitted out to keep you comfortable. Over time, all those pain-free moments add up to a future free from the internal battle scars typical of truckies and heavy machinery operators.

One of the companies leading the way in the comfort revolution is Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG) who bring the best in suspension seating to the transport, construction and agricultural industries. We couldn’t resist having a go of the brand-new range of air-suspension seats they had on display at the expo.

CVG truck air suspension seats

With the perfect balance of firmness and give, the seats cushion you down into a comfortable position where you float on a bellows of air, while your back is firmly supported. Curious about the other features, we spoke with CVG Systems Administrator, Ashley Sant, about the latest advances in their technology.

Fresh models on the way for construction and agriculture

Ashley introduced as to the brand-new Sciox range from Kab Seating. The models on display at the Brisbane Truck Expo are fresh out of the prototype stage and about to be productionised. The slick looking, supremely comfortable seats will fit into construction and agriculture-related machinerytrucks, tractors, backhoes, you name it.

Brand new sciox range air suspension seats

The design is modular. Which means, in much the same way you can ask for extra bacon but no pineapple on a burger, you can select which features you want and leave out the ones that don’t work for you. In Ashley’s succinct words:

“You tell us what you want and we’ll make it.”

For example, while the air-suspension is as cushy as it sounds, not every machine is equipped with the air supply to get it going. If this is the case, you can go with mechanical suspension or run it through a power supply.

“With construction and ag, it’s rare that you’ll have an air supply going to the cab but, if you’ve got a 12 or 24 volt source, we can still fit an air-suspension seat in it.”

The importance of comfort

While there are other air-suspension seats on the market (including Kab’s own earlier range) these seats represent the latest in design advancement. There’s an inbuilt ‘air-conditioning’ system which draws heat out of the base of the seat to keep you cool. Then, in the cooler months, there’s also a heater so you’re sorted no matter what climate you’re in.

It has a lumbar support system to keep you comfortable and reduce inflammation in your back, no matter how long your work day is. And the whole suspension system is automatic. All you need to do is hop in and it’ll find the optimum position for you and the field you’re operating in. If you want to make any small adjustments or take full control, that’s fine too. The seats feature simple, easy to use controls.

adjustment system on Sciox Cab seating

What’s new for truckies?

CVG also had big news for truck drivers with their re-release of the Bostrom range with a feature never before included: built-in seatbelts.

Now with seat belt inbuilt

While the Bostrum seats aren’t quite as customisable as the Sciox range, they do come in standard and premium. Going for ‘the works’ gets you:

  • heater;
  • isolator;
  • automatic dump valve;
  • automatic levelling valve.

Based on your size and weight, the automatic leveller adjusts the amount of air in the bellows. This is great for truckies working shifts, or operators sharing machines, as you don’t need to make adjustments when switching. The chair takes care of it for you, automatically getting you to the optimum level for your size. If you happen to disagree with its calculations, no worries. You can manually adjust to your desired level.

You can use the dump valve for getting in and out of the cab as it drops the seat to its lowest level. Then when you’re ready to drive, press the automatic self-leveller and it’ll shoot you up to your ideal level.

Floating on Air: How Suspension Seating Can Save Your Back
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Floating on Air: How Suspension Seating Can Save Your Back
The latest advances in suspension seating for the transport, construction and agricultural industries. As seen at the 2017 Brisbane Truck Expo.
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