Cab Ergonomics 101
When contractors are looking to buy or rent new equipment, the first things they look at are power and operating performance. Obviously, we need our equipment to be able to handle everything we throw at it, but tipping load, breakout force and operating weight are only parts of a larger equation.
The economy has been tough, but the work is out there, and with contractors working longer hours and taking fewer and fewer days off during the busy seasons, operator comfort has become a critical factor in productivity. We pride ourselves in listening to our customers, and our engineers have understood for a long time how important an ergonomically designed cab can be.
In addition to all the innovations and evolution in performance and operation over the years, many enhancements and special features have been incorporated into the interior of the operator’s cabs of our equipment. Our new track loaders — the TL10 and TL12 — feature a completely sealed and pressurized cab, which is designed to help maintain a clean environment for the operator. Free from dust and debris that can impair vision and make breathing difficult, the operator is free to focus on the task at hand. We’ve also developed improved HVAC performance in our new machines for increased operator comfort.
Don’t want to whistle while you work? Operators can dial in their favorite station on one of our optional heavy-duty radios. Also, all of our cabs feature deluxe seats with adjustable suspension and variable height settings to ensure operators of every size can find a comfortable seating positing that gives them an excellent vantage point to the work area. An optional three-point safety harness and terrain-smoothing ride control can provide even more comfort, security, and productivity in demanding applications.
Everyone has their own way of doing things, so we believe that it’s important for our machines to adapt to the user. Our pilot controls are second to none in precision performance, but we’ve recently made them even better with our new quick-change selector valve — available as a factory option — that allows the operator to select between ISO or H pattern controls.
We’ve also made operating attachments easier with an easy-to-use multi-function control handle that provides fingertip control of the 14-pin attachment connector. And we’ve also incorporated a heavy duty rocker switch that provides control of the “G” and “H” pins of the connector to provide more attachment versatility and control.
Operator comfort has become more and more important over the years as we’re spending longer hours out on the job, and seemingly simple things like adjustable suspension and deluxe seats can make a huge difference in how an operator feels at the end of the day. We will continue listening to the feedback that our customers provide, and will continue to lead the way in innovative compact equipment, but the bottom line on ergonomics is this; happy, comfortable operators are more productive, stay on task (and on staff), and get projects done on time.