Beaded Seat Covers Not a Good Idea on Forklifts

Photo courtesy of Ashton's Upholstery at flickr.com

Photo courtesy of Ashton’s Upholstery at flickr.com

Taxi drivers in big cities and long distance truckers sometimes use beaded seat covers to improve their comfort while sitting behind the wheel for long periods of time.

Proponents of these beaded seat covers claim they gently massage the drivers’ backs and backsides, allowing them to avoid the soreness that typically comes from sitting in the same position all day.

But are they a good idea for forklift operators? After all, most forklift drivers also spend hours at a time “in the saddle”. Can’t they take a lesson from taxi drivers and use beaded seat covers to improve comfort?

Probably not. And here’s why.

Forklift Operators Aren’t Stationary

First of all, there’s a big difference between driving a forklift and driving a cab.

Taxi drivers generally sit in the same forward-facing position with their two hands on the wheel for hours at a time. In some cases, drivers can spend anywhere from 8 to 24 hours without moving very much at all.

Forklift operators, however, are always on the move. They need to crane their necks to see over loads while moving forward and spin around in their seats to watch where they are going while backing up.

Forklift drivers are also continually jumping in and out of their cabin throughout their shift, checking loads, securing pallets, and other everyday tasks they need to perform to do their job safely.

Beaded Seat Covers Reduce Stability

Some taxi drivers who use beaded seat covers claim they allow for more air circulation because they lift the body a fraction of an inch off the surface of the seat.

Plus, their hard wooden beads massage the muscles in the upper back, lower back, and neck, providing constant relief as drivers travel long distances.

But these same wooden beads also make these seat covers less stable than standard forklift seats. They could potentially cause forklift drivers to roll forward in their seats should they come to a quick stop. And unlike a car, taxi, or truck, forklift’s don’t have as large a steering wheel, a big dashboard, or even an airbag to stop them from colliding violently.

Wooden beaded seat covers also aren’t specifically designed for forklift seats, which usually are significantly smaller than the car seats found in taxis. Fitting too loosely can add to their instability.

While forklift operators should be applauded for pursuing any avenue they can to improve their comfort while on the job, beaded wooden seat covers used by taxi drivers add more problems than solutions.

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