LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Bose was at the Mid-America Trucking Show, providing truckers with an opportunity to test its vibration-muting truck seat.
The company’s seat is now available as a factory-installed option with Volvo, and Bison Transport is deploying about 60 seats into its fleet as part of a comprehensive study of the benefits.
The seat was first introduced in 2010. While the company won’t discuss sales figures or projections, Michael Rosen, general manager, Bose Road Team with Bose, told Trucknews.com in an interview that the company is pleased with customer response so far.
“In addition to our expectations being validated, the reliability side of the equation has been good as well,” Rosen said. “The critical components have done fine and we feel good about the robustness of the product.”
The seat has been designed to last a million miles. It’s being marketed towards linehaul, over-the-road fleets and owner/operators. Rosen said some drivers have been able to extend their driving careers by using the seat, which greatly reduces the harmful effects of vibrations on the torso.
“As we’ve moved the product out into the market, we’ve seen more and more verifications that if you remove harmful vibration from the torso, drivers feel better, they can do their jobs better and they feel better even when they’re not driving,” Rosen said.
The seat taps into the truck’s electrical system for power and features an electromagnetic motor system with sensors and a computing engine. As the truck enters a pothole, the sensors detect that the truck floor is lowering and it informs the electronic circuit to power the motor and extend the seat upwards to keep it level. As the truck comes out of the pothole, the sequence is reversed, so the seat remains at the same height through the entire event. It is a regenerative system, so very little power is required of the truck’s batteries – about the same as a light bulb, Rosen explained. The sensors measure the truck floor’s position 2,000 times per second.
The seat is a pricey option, at about $6,000 for a single unit, including professional installation. However, Rosen noted fleets can receive considerable volume discounts. For example, when purchasing 10 seats, the price drops all the way down to less than $3,800. And when ordering it as a factory-installed option from Volvo, there are savings available as well, since the cost of installation is eliminated.
“The fact it comes with the truck and you are not replacing another perfectly good seat you have to discard is a big advantage,” Rosen said, “because truck seats in general are not inexpensive things.”
Bose will be at ExpoCam in April to demonstrate the seat.