Aftermarket vehicle parts, including big machine parts, play a significant role in the automotive industry. The automotive aftermarket in the United States garnered $287 billion in revenue in 2017, and experts estimate that the compound growth rate per year will be 3.6% through 2020. Aftermarket big machine parts can cost significantly less than the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. If you're looking to replace your driver's seat on your big truck, consider whether an aftermarket or OEM model is the right choice.
Why the Condition of Your Seat Matters to Your Wellness
Typically, a trucker will drive for 60 hours in a week or 70 hours in an eight-day period. This is a lot of time to remain sedentary. Although truckers can't be required to work for more than 14 consecutive hours, they can drive for 11 of these hours. That means truckers can spend more than 40 hours a week driving, which may have serious physical consequences.
The Importance of Driver's Seat Maintenance
Sitting for extended periods is tough on the body, and the effects are even more serious when the seat lacks the right support. Even brand-new OEM seats may not offer proper support, and like any seat, they will deteriorate over time. As seats become less and less supportive, they can contribute to musculoskeletal and soft tissue conditions, which are exacerbated by the physical demands of trucking. Body aches, muscle pulls, and sprains can put you out of a job.
According to a survey administered by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the most frequent long-haul driver injuries are strains and sprains, and more than 50% of drivers hurt while working needed to take time off as a result. Since 20% of injuries reported affect the back or neck, a seat with adequate support can lower the risk of getting hurt and make it less likely that a driver will need to be sidelined.
Truckers and owners know that timely maintenance and mechanical fixes, including the replacement of big machine parts, is crucial to the functioning of big trucks. The driver's seat should be included as one of the big truck parts that need to be checked regularly for wear and tear, and one that may need to be repaired or replaced. It's more cost-effective for owners and better for drivers' wellness to spend money on shoring up or replacing seats, as opposed to letting drivers become injured and unable to work.
Aspects to Consider When Replacing a Driver's Seat
Big truck seats contain a suspension mechanism, meaning they make an up and down motion to lessen the effects of bumps on the driver. A feature that operates like a pair of scissors allows for this up and down motion, with a shock absorber lessening the impact of bigger bumps. OEM seats tend to come with minimal features, such as low backs, vinyl covering, narrow cushions, and few options for adjustment. These features don't lend themselves to support or comfort over time. By contrast, the aftermarket provides a range of seats with features that are better for support and comfort.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a new seat:
- The height of your cab. This is a crucial consideration when you're looking for a new seat. If you have more height, you'll have more seats to choose from. With sufficient space, a higher frame for your seat allows for greater vertical movement. If you have enough headroom, you can better fit in a seat with a higher back. These aspects of driver's seats offer the support and comfort you need to help prevent fatigue and injury.
- The firmness of cushions. A soft cushion won't give you the support you need over time. Firm cushions offer comfort as well as support.
- Isolators. These mechanisms help to cut down on rocking back and forth as you speed up or slow down. They usually feature a lever that allows the driver to disable the mechanism for particular driving conditions.
If you're ready to make your seat more comfortable and supportive, visit our website and chat with a team member. We offer a wide selection of big machine parts and big truck accessories online. We're here to help you make the right choice.