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The standard forklift seat is bolted into the cabin in one position: Pointing forward. Operators might be able to move it forward or back for comfort, but that’s about it.
But modern forklifts come with a variety of new types of forklift seats that move, lift, and even spin to improve both workplace safety and operational efficiency.
Forklift Seats that Lift
The Atlet Omni DCR is a forklift that has a seat that rises up so that operators can see above the loads they are lifting. Actually, for maximum safety, the entire cabin rises as seen in this video.
This rising forklift seat is ideal for seeing onto higher shelves in warehouses, seeing above pallet loads while traveling on docks and getting a birds-eye view of loading and unloading operations.
Forklift Seats that Spin
Another type of innovative forklift seat spins 180 degrees so that operators can get a better perspective on what is around them.
Rotating forklift cabins carrying heavier, larger loads to operate their vehicles in reverse while facing the direction their vehicles are traveling.
In some models, in addition to the seat spinning around, the steering wheel and the operational pedals also can be rotated 90 degrees to either side so that the driver is always facing in the direction the vehicle is moving. This improves safety and efficiency.
According to a survey conducted by the German Employers’ Liability Insurance Association of Trade and Logistics (BGHW) rotating forklift cabins can improve operator ergonomics by 60%.
Heated and Cooled Forklift Seats
Many forklift operators have to work in climate conditions that are less than ideal. Whether it is taking a shift in a frozen warehouse or working all day in the hot summer sun, the forklift seat can double as a torture device when the weather conditions aren’t cooperating.
Fortunately, forklift seats are available to counteract outside temperature variations. Heated forklift seats feature insulated heated coils inside the seat housing that warm up drivers working in sub-zero conditions.
Cooled seats work under a similar principle, chilling the seat to provide comfort and relief to operators on hot, sunny days.
Forklifts Without Seats
Another take on forklift seat innovation is to remove the seat altogether. Standing forklifts allow operators to stand on a small platform while driving their vehicle. This allows them to jump on and off the forklift more easily during operations.
Standing forklifts also generally have a slimmer profile so that they are more effective in narrow-aisle operations and other tight spaces.