Your Focus
2 minute read

Evert Mallie: Forklift seats have evolved

Thursday, 13 November 2014 ( #693 )
Evert Mallie
Evert Mallie
Evert Mallie is managing director of EBLO which specialises in supplying operator seats to suit all kinds of work environments, helping to reduce harmful stress and increase driver safety and comfort.
Having been active in the seating world for almost 35 years, we have seen significant changes in forklift seating. We've come a long way from the very simple static fixed bucket seat, with hardly any comfort or safety features, as seating has been adapted to the high-tech ergonomic working environment. From the beginning, the problem with forklift seats has always been the restriction in height. Due to the fact that seats are usually fitted onto the engine cover, the available space to fit a decent seat is limited and this has caused serious headaches to the seating specialists and engineers. The lower the seat, the smaller the suspension stroke and this again causes less comfort. Forklifts are still heavy and rigid and most of them have solid tyres - both factors which seriously detract from comfort. In the early 1980s, this began to change with the first semi-suspension seats coming onto the market. Slowly, some forklift manufacturers changed the design, allowing for higher, full-suspension seats to be installed. At the same time, seat manufacturers worked hard to design low-profile, full-suspension seats. Over the years, knowledge of ergonomics grew and more comfort features were introduced, including adjustable lumbar supports and shaped cushions. Meanwhile, attention was also devoted to safety, and more features were introduced, with seatbelts made mandatory in 2002. Then operator presence switches were required as part of the seats for electric forklifts, with other classes following. In 2006, the new vibration regulations caused a massive change and more money is now spent to increase the driver's comfort and reduce harmful vibrations.
Evolution: old design versus new technology
Evolution: old design versus new technology
Nowadays, high-tech seats - some with air suspension - are being installed with ergonomic joystick armrests, inflating, heated or cooled cushions and fully automatic weight adjustment. Unfortunately, the main challenge stemming from height limitations prevails, but seat makers are able to compensate in creative and innovative ways.
  • Find out more about EBLO at its website.
Dawsonville, GA If federal workplace safety requirements had been followed, a North Georgia site grading and pipeline contractor could have prevented the death of a 24-year-old worker who was killed in...
Sydney, NSW, Australia Australian electric vehicle producer and supplier Nexport has entered into an exclusive 20-year manufacturing and licensing agreement (MCLA) with leading French engineering firm Gaussin. The agreement will see the...

Inside Forkliftaction

Nearly 180 million Americans shopped during the five-day holiday shopping period from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday, according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation.
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that news from North America is a bit thin this week. Our regular sources were either too
...Continue Reading

Fact of the week

The Japanese word 'Kuchi zamishi' is the act of eating when you're not hungry because your mouth is lonely.
Dragon Escalator, Beijing China
The world's longest outdoor escalator takes visitors to the top of China's largest dam and is also shaped like a dragon.

Inside Forkliftaction

Nearly 180 million Americans shopped during the five-day holiday shopping period from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday, according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation.
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that news from North America is a bit thin this week. Our regular sources were either too
...Continue Reading
Fairfax, VI, United States Local police have confirmed that a 43-year-old man has died following a workplace accident at the Home Depot in Fairfax, Virginia. Officers and Fire and Rescue personnel responded for...
Treviso, Italy Italian forklift maker Raniero has partnered with BSLBATT to launch a line of sit-down counterbalance trucks with integrated, high-voltage lithium-ion power. The new Raniero models provide a zero-emission alternative...

Fact of the week

The Japanese word 'Kuchi zamishi' is the act of eating when you're not hungry because your mouth is lonely.
Dragon Escalator, Beijing China
The world's longest outdoor escalator takes visitors to the top of China's largest dam and is also shaped like a dragon.
Treviso, Italy Italian forklift maker Raniero has partnered with BSLBATT to launch a line of sit-down counterbalance trucks with integrated, high-voltage lithium-ion power. The new Raniero models provide a zero-emission alternative...
Hangzhou, China While Western countries are analysing the success of the recent Black Friday/Cyber Monday retail booms, China’s EP Equipment is celebrating the success of Asia’s sales equivalent, Double-11 (September 11...

Inside Forkliftaction

Nearly 180 million Americans shopped during the five-day holiday shopping period from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday, according to the annual survey by the National Retail Federation.
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that news from North America is a bit thin this week. Our regular sources were either too
...Continue Reading