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Author Topic: best drivers seat for long haul comfort?  (Read 8833 times)
Greg Roberts
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« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2010, 09:29:29 AM »

Several years ago when I needed to install seats during my conversion I polled a bunch of truck drivers and they pretty much pointed me to the Bostrom air ride seats as a decent choice. I installed them and they seem to do the job and are reasonably comfortable though I wonder about those Flexsteel seats that they seem to install in a whole lot of luxury coaches. Are they better? They sure look comfortable.
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RJ
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« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2010, 03:50:23 PM »

Brian -

Transit bus drivers are subjected to the worst "wear & tear" on the body that occurs to professional drivers.  Transit properties who wish to keep their worker's comp claims somewhat reasonable take the time to research and purchase decent operator's seats for their staff.

I've seen National, American, ISRI, Recaro and USSC seating in various models, but never a Bostrom.  Dunno why.

Interestingly, the old, original National low-back seats found in 4104s, 4106s and other bus brands from those days are surprisingly comfortable for the long-haul.  Provided, of course, that the seat cushions and padding are in good shape.  (Much better than an air-ride if you still have a stick shift, too.)

ISRI makes a good seat, but they tend to be maintenance-intensive, and sourcing parts is a challenge.

Recaros, for all their glory in Porsches, are quite lacking in their commercial line.  Oh, they've got the bolsters, etc., to support you this way and that, but they tend to have very shallow cushions for your butt to plant itself upon.  In transit use, they usually lasted about three years before the cushions had to be sent out to be repaired.  Drivers would refuse to take out a Recaro coach after sitting down and feeling the only thing underneath you was the steel frame.  These cushions also tended to be short, so taller drivers didn't have a lot of thigh support.

USSC makes some very interesting seats that are conceptually similar to Recaros.  The one difference, and it's a BIG difference, is the size and depth of the cushion you sit on.  They excel here where Recaro falls short, as the cushions are much thicker, which really helps when you're spending 8 - 10 hrs per day sitting.

The USSC and old National seats produced the fewest back injury claims, too.

I have no experience with Bostroms, since I never spent any time in the trucking industry.  I will say, however, that an air-ride seat with a manual gearbox coach is a PITA, much more so than an air throttle/stick-shift combo.  OTOH, an air-ride seat in an air-ride bus, altho almost overkill, is a very pleasant experience if you've got an automatic.  An air-ride seat in an Eagle would be fantastic - UNLESS the coach's shocks were bad, in which case you'd better have your seatbelt on.  Otherwise, you could easily be bucked out of the seat under certain conditions of pavement undulations.  (Non-air ride seats, too!)

You might actually be pleasantly surprised at how comfortable an original, hi-back MC-9 National driver's seat would be in your 5C, and at far less cost than a fancy air-ride.  Simple bolt-in replacement, too.  Something to consider, anyway.

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
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John316
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« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2010, 03:58:40 PM »

Here is another thought. We have an air ride driver seat in our bus (we installed it). It is actually very nice. Some people say that the buses don't need the air ride, and I agree, it is not an absolute necessity. However, it is very nice. It smooths a lot of the bumps out that you don't even know are there.

So fwiw I like ours.

God bless,

John
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MCI 1995 DL3. DD S60 with a Allison B500.
dougyes
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« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2010, 04:13:25 PM »

I drove a late model MCI with an ISRI air seat:
Leather tends to get hot on the butt.
Control buttons are getting loose after only 20000 miles.
Front/back movement like molasses in January.
Good back support and rear support and very adjustable.

The non-air solid seat on our 93 MCI was universally hated, even by the young drivers, so we installed a used air truck seat to everyone's satisfaction.

One item that makes sitting on the driver's seat very comfortable is Cruise Control. It completely un-stresses your right leg.
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Gary '79 5C
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« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2010, 05:33:38 PM »

The seat my PO installed is a Comfort Ride, out of MN. Not sure they are still in business, however it is absolutely a great seat for me. Six air chambers, air ride vertically & forward - aft, and several vibrating areas, both seat & back. It is a high back with arm rests.
I did contact the company 5 years about a seat cover, but mine seat was discontinued. It is a dated mauve color, but clean and very servicable. My wife wants to replace the seat, but I have refused, it is that good.

Good Luck,

Gary
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« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2010, 07:07:33 PM »

I have a Seats Inc air ride seat.  It is a mid to high end model.  I got fabric so it isn't as hot.  It is comfortable for hours once adjusted properly.  It wasn't so great until I removed the partition between the passengers and the driver.  It wouldn't move far enough back before I did that.

I don't like the Flexsteel and similiar driver's seats found in motorhomes.  They are more like Lazy Boys and aren't good for long distance driving.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2010, 07:59:19 PM »

It used to be that when this topic came up, someone always talked about getting seats from old Chrysler New Yorkers.  They had a reputation of being very comfortable and adjustable.  I guess there aren't a lot of those around anymore.  My driver's seat is pretty worn so I will be looking to see what I can find.  In the meantime, a local guy was selling some unused seats from his van.  I just bought three for $50.  I will try one for the driver.
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robertglines1
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« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2010, 05:53:28 AM »

I was a observer here and have taken it all in.Have checked prices on new seats and the recommended ones are around 750 plus shipping..decided this is one place this penny pincher will not cut corners..My bad back sometimes keeps me from attending rallies,so I am missing out on a experience I greatly enjoy for a few bucks..health and friends are priceless!  Bob                                                           Ps I have a stock 89 prevost seat now and it's not doing job
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2010, 08:02:28 AM »

I appreciate all the interest in my question, I am now looking at seats to plan for next year.  One thing is that I have a 4 speed manual bus - and some comments that air suspension seat is not good with a manual shift - what is the reasoning behind that?  Most trucks are still manual shift?

I also noticed, for some reason, that the truckers on the Ice Road Trucker show seem to use the Elite 80...  That was interesting!

Brian
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bigjohnkub
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« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2010, 08:15:54 AM »

I have a 4903 abd a 4107. Both have air ride seats out of wrecked truck tractors. I can run 12 hrs and not be fatigued. I have added a low level upgrade called a "kool kushion" to enhance air flow on my back. Works well for me.

Big john
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Big John  Tyler Tx PD 4903-188 & 4107
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9035304497
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« Reply #25 on: October 05, 2010, 08:37:27 AM »

My 4106 had a "homemade seat" installed by PO. It was made by welding up an old office chair. Since I was strapped to this piece of furniture I thought it best to upgrade. A fellow "Bus Nut" found a Flexsteel six way for sale down in Tucson. We drove down and installed the unit and am I happy. I've never used a bolstrom but you'd have to go some distance to out-do my Flex. BTW I'm a spicer.
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Mike AKA; Red Rider 4106-1885
eddiepotts
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« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2010, 08:41:19 AM »

I have the air ride seat. Not sure what brand but with enough air i it to keep my fat butt from bottoming out I feel like I bounce allot. The bumps that nobody is feeling in the back I am bouncing around like a cowboy. I have made a 12hr trip with out fatigue but it is more because I am having fun driving. The biggest thing is don't drive with your wallet in your pocket.
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sweeney153
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« Reply #27 on: October 05, 2010, 08:54:21 AM »

The PO of my 4106 had a ratty flexsteel welded to the original seat base. The seat base was shot also (couldn't adjust the height) At 6'1" I could barely reach the clutch.  The copilots seat was an old movie theater seat. I got 2 air ride seats from a freightliner and I love them. My more then ample butt is very comfortable. The air adjustments are great. I also am 'Frugal" I got the 2 seats from a truck salvage yard for Less then $150.00

Kevin
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Warwick NY
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2010, 09:08:50 AM »

What? you have a bus and still have a wallet!!!! Grin  I went to a money clip years ago when i realized i was starting to have hip and back problems from my wallet. Smiley
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1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA
RJ
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« Reply #29 on: October 05, 2010, 09:09:21 AM »

Brian -

With a stick shift and an air ride seat, you tend to move around quite a bit as you work your way thru the gears.

Step on the clutch and the seat goes up.

Go to release the clutch and the seat goes down.

For some, it makes it more difficult to shift smoothly.

Don't want to spill the red wine, you know!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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RJ Long
PD4106-2784 No More
S13406 Now
Fresno CA
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