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While the steel body casing, heavy-duty industrial tires and other parts of the forklift are designed to absorb this level of sustained, high-impact use, there’s one piece of equipment that tends to break down faster than others: The forklift seat.
Frequently, forklift owners will go through multiple seats during the usable life of their vehicle. So knowing what to look for when selecting a forklift seat is essential.
Different Styles of Forklift Replacement Seats
Forklift seats come in a number of different styles. When it comes time to replace the seat on your forklift, one option is to simply order the replacement part from the original manufacturer. But this usually is not the most cost-effective choice. Original manufactured parts are often more expensive than buying a compatible replacement part.
Unlike auto parts, you usually can’t go to the junkyard and find a serviceable replacement part for your forklift seat. But you do have other options besides simply buying the replacement seat from the forklift’s manufacturer.
In some cases, you can buy a seat that is even better or has more functionality. Some forklift seats have ultra-soft designs that improve comfort and offer more cushioning. Forklift seats are notoriously hard and uncomfortable, so replacing hard forklift seats with softer versions can increase staff morale and reduce injuries.
Consider Specialized Uses
Others have specialized features, such as hinges that allow operators to tilt them up to remove rainwater or snow if the vehicle is frequently used outdoors.
Some forklift replacement seats have additional leg and shoulder prevention in case of a rollover, while others offer high back, neck and head protection, which is especially important if you are using your vehicle on rough terrain where the likelihood of tipping is higher.
You can get forklift replacement sets that are built on a swiveling base to allow the operator to get on and off the vehicle more easily, without twisting the torso, potentially causing an injury. Swiveling seats also help protect against the operator banging his knees against the steering wheel or gears.
Many forklift replacement seats come with adjustable tracks that allow the seat to be slid forward or backward to accommodate operators of different heights and weights. This also makes it easier for the operator to get into the most efficient position to operate the steering, foot pedals and mast controls.
More Comfort, More Productivity
There are even forklift replacement seats that have comfort-inducing armrests. Not only do these help operators maintain better posture — increasing the amount of time they can spend in the seat before becoming sore — but they can also serve as a place to hold clipboard, documents and other materials the operator may need.
If the forklift is going to be used in a freezer warehouse, a heated seat may be the best choice.
The type of forklift replacement seat you choose depends on how the vehicle will be used. There are many different more affordable and more practical options out there than simply buying the replacement part from the forklift’s original manufacturer.