Did You Know? Operator Seat Adjustment

Operator seats in heavy equipment have come a long way from the old milk crates previously used.

Modern seats have multiple points of adjustment to provide customized fit to wide range of body sizes/types. Most importantly, modern seats have suspension systems that minimize vibration and shocks encountered when operating off road. Unfortunately we have discovered that a number of our employees do not know how to adjust seats and in some cases have rendered them as uncomfortable as the old milk crate. 

The operator’s seat is an often overlooked but vital piece of machine safety equipment. Correct adjustment ensures easy reach to the controls and helps minimize fatigue and ensures positive handling of machine. Improperly adjusted seat can lead to back/neck discomfort and mishandling of machines.

Key seat adjustments include:

  1. Fore and Aft: Slide seat forward or backward to ensure operator’s back makes full contact with backrest and has full travel of floor pedals.

  2. Height: Raise or lower the seat so that operator’s feet are flat on floorboard and thighs are horizontal and resting on seat cushion. Do not raise higher than necessary because this reduces clearance between head and top of cab.

  3. Weight: Air ride should allow seat to absorb bumps but not bottom out as machine travels over bumps. If air pressure is too high, the seat will not give and ride will be hard.

Other adjustments including lumbar, back angle, and seat angle are typically available. These may be changed to suit operator’s preference keeping in mind the three listed above are kept in balance. ALWAYS WEAR SEATBELT WHEN MACHINE IS IN OPERATION. Various OEM’s and specific models have different methods of adjusting seats. Refer to O&MM for machine specifics.


Example of Volvo A40G/ A60H seat adjustments:

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