June 28, 2013 Leave a comment
After purchasing your super duty pickup truck and driving the roads, you have probably realized your truck handles great, engine torque is strong but your back and hips are taking a beating. While Ford, Dodge and GMC have engineered well built trucks, you may find the seats neither supportive nor helpful at eliminating the bumps from uneven roadways. Fortunately, there is a seating solution for many current pickup and medium duty trucks. These seat options, along with air suspension bases, will bolt directly into your current chassis. National Seating (the OEM producer for Ford, Dodge and GMC) offers an air ride seat for pickup and medium duty trucks. These seats utilize similar engineering found in the National Class 7/Class 8 semi-truck seating.
So, if you want to change your truck seats to air ride seats, where do you start? What is involved and how do you do it? Air ride solutions for pickup trucks are relatively simple and they consist of three components: an air ride suspension base, a seat upper and an air supply. United Group, one of National Seating’s best distributors, offers air ride solutions for Ford, Dodge and GMC Topkick/Kodiak pickup trucks. They have been in the seating business for 25 years and familiar with what it takes to help you with your seating needs.
The suspension base utilizes a mounting bracket, airbag and heavy duty shock absorber. This is manufactured to bolt directly into your particular make of truck, so it is important to use the correct suspension for your make and year. While this suspension is the center of your air ride seat, it is meant to be used only with the National Workhorse or Sportster seats. While it may be tempting to use your current seat, it is neither recommended nor manufactured to operate properly with your current factory seat. In fact, you may find height and mounting issues by trying to do such. In addition, the air valves and controls are actually mounted to the Workhorse or Sportster seat uppers.
The seat uppers are well designed and offer a 23 degree recline, forward/backward slides, armrests, air lumbar/bolster and heat options. The Workhorse and Sportster are offered in a variety trim colors and materials including vinyl, cloth or leather. Each offer different features and a United Group seat specialist can help assess the best option for you. Some determining factors would be: is the truck driven locally with frequent stops or used for longer drives; what are the environmental conditions (will drivers likely have oil or grease on clothing or hands); do the current drivers have current back or hip issues? Upon knowing these answers, you will be able to choose the proper seat for you.
Finally, you will need an air source to power your seat. An air supply can easily be obtained from either onboard air (providing source should provide 80-125PSI) or your National Workhorse or Sportster can utilize a compressor kit (containing a 12V compressor, ½ gallon reserve tank with pressure switch and the connection adapters for installation). This kit is capable of powering two air seats and can be easily connected to your trucks fuse box. The compressor unit is generally mounted alongside or behind our seat and suspension.
As pickup and medium duty trucks have increased with size; suspension and ride comfort have not improved. In fact, generally the larger the truck, the harder the ride and the more back and hip issues one will have. Fortunately, you now have some options to eliminate the jolting ride and will once again be able to enjoy your quality pickup truck. For additional information about air ride pickup truck seats, please contact a seat specialist at United Group toll free at 800-223-7003.