#MATS2014: Bose says study validates health benefits of Ride System

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A new study conducted with three fleets has proven the health benefits of the Bose Ride System vibration-eliminating truck seat, the company claims.

Bose shared the results of the study with Truck News at the Mid-America Trucking Show. The nine-month study was completed by 73 drivers from three fleets: Bison Transport, Freymiller Trucking, and Pottle’s Transportation. The idea was to find out how beneficial the Bose Ride System is to overall driver health.

“Those three fleets elected to join with us in a more careful study that started a little over a year ago,” said Michael Rosen, general manager, Bose Road Team. “We worked with the fleets to come up with a set of questions about things that were important to the fleet and for that matter, to Bose. Questions were administered to drivers before they received any new equipment and when drivers received the new equipment, they were polled periodically thereafter every several months.”

Data was analyzed in December and reviewed with the fleets in January before being released this month.

“The results showed clearly dramatic improvements in end-of-day pain and fatigue,” Rosen said.

Before using the Bose Ride System, half the drivers reported that back pain interfered with their ability to do the job. That decreased to about 1% after using the seat.

Eighty-nine per cent of drivers reported using the Bose Ride System would extend their driving career, often by two to three years or more. Sixty-seven per cent of drivers said they can see events inside and outside of the truck better and 71% said they were more confident in their ability to avoid a collision. One-third of drivers reported needing fewer driving breaks and 42% of drivers said they were more willing to recommend their carrier to other drivers as a good place to work.

The survey also found overall end-of-day back pain and discomfort levels were decreased by 76% and end-of-day fatigue reduced by 52%.

“We feel that the study, overall, confirmed that there’s a toolkit here for fleets to use to improve their business,” Rosen said, noting the participating fleets opted to purchase the seats used in the study or to deploy additional units. “We certainly hope this will validate there’s a solid value proposition to the trucking industry.”

Additionally, Rosen said in some provinces, workers compensation boards have approved funding of the seats as return-to-work interventions, helping get previously injured drivers back on the job at no cost to the carrier.

“Under certain circumstances, the Bose Ride System can be funded,” Rosen said.

Bose doesn’t discuss order numbers but Rosen said demand for the seat has increased. It is now offered as a factory-installed option on Volvo trucks. Single unit pricing is US$5,995, but Rosen pointed out volume discounts can bring it down to $3,695 or less. The company also offers discounts at trade shows such as Mid-America.

Rosen said Bose remains committed to the trucking industry.

“We’ve seen the effects of removing whole body vibration from occupational drivers,” Rosen said. And he added surveys conducted with drivers’ families show the seats can improve the lifestyle of drivers – not just when they’re on the road but also at home.

“We got some encouraging and rewarding comments out of families,” Rosen said, adding drivers using the Bose Ride System often feel more energized when at home.

The seat absorbs road vibrations and prevents them from jostling the driver’s body. It’s a regenerative system, requiring about the same power draw as a 60-watt lightbulb.

You can download the full study and the summary report from the Documents section to the right of this story.

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