ISSN 2285-5785, ISSN CD-ROM 2285-5793, ISSN ONLINE 2285-5807, ISSN-L 2285-5785

An investigation into the ergonomics of tractor seat position

Published in Scientific Papers. Series A. Agronomy, Vol. LV-2012
Written by Kate LIVESEY, Lancelot BUTTERS

Considerable research has been carried within the automotive and trucking sector in order to provide an optimum driver or operator seating position. There is little available data for the agricultural sector, this combined with a high number of reported lower back problems, associated with agricultural workers, in particular tractor drivers, has been the driving force behind this specific area of research. The ergonomic layout of a typical tractor cab has been critically examined in order to establish the effect of repetitive working practices on operator stress levels and muscular injury. Three student volunteers were selected in order to obtain a range of data specific to body size. In order to carry out this investigation the services of a professional physiotherapist needed to be engaged in order to monitor the effects on each of the volunteers’ health. The outlined results proved that when an operator is sat in a too close position to the machine controls and pedals, considerable muscular discomfort is caused to the upper and lower legs and the lower back. Operator concentration increased when the driving; due to the operators stating they were more concerned with safety and were aware they sat in a compromising position. Had the operators been unaware they were taking part in the experiment all stated they would not have been concerned with safety aspects and carried on regardless. The results for the research are presented in table form and clearly identify the potential for potential long term health problems developing.

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