Heavy vehicles and driver comfort

bobcat-excavatorWhile it may not always be the key point of consideration for businesses, workplace and employee comfort plays a large role in improving productivity – as well as adhering to required Workplace Health and Safety laws.

When it comes to heavy vehicles (from freight trucks to Bobcat excavators), there are several contributing factors to what makes for a comfortable environment. Naturally you’re not looking at a typical office space, so promoting comfort in the cabin / driver’s section of a truck, earth mover or any other heavy vehicle is going to be a little different.

Behind the wheel

How comfortable anyone is behind the wheel will ultimately depend on how the vehicle itself was designed. While that does mean that ensuring comfort is a little out of your control, what it does mean is that if anything happens that causes a comfortable environment to become less-than-comfortable (e.g. the driver’s seat sustains damage or requires repairs), then it is your company’s responsibility to resolve the issue – be in the form of repairs or even replacement. After all, employee comfort is an expectation set by law.

Sleeper cabin

Once again, the quality of sleeper cabins in vehicles such as freight trucks comes to the manufacturer, but they must still be maintained to ensure an environmental capable of promoting comfort and rest. When you have truck drivers spending several hours (even days) on the road, then they are permitted by law to sleep for a set number of hours relative to how long their trip will take. If they can’t get proper rest due to a poorly maintained sleeper cabin, then your company is failing to provide them with the necessary environment they are legally entitled to.

Air conditioning

The cabins of heavy vehicles are obviously far smaller to an expansive office space, and more often than not these cabins will be exposed to the sunlight for long periods of time. Australia is notorious for its oft-blisteringly hot summers, which can lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion and, sometime fatally, heat stroke.

Along with tinting windows and providing curtains to block out the sun in sleeper cabins, air conditioning is a must for all heavy vehicles. While you may get air conditioning as standard in many heavy vehicles, having an air conditioner that runs when the engine is turned off is not as standard.

Trucks, Bobcats and other mining vehicles – it doesn’t matter. If your employees are going to be exposed to heat and humidity, they need air conditioning. Just make sure that they stay hydrated as well by drinking plenty of water.
These are just some of the key means of ensuring a comfortable environment for your employees.


If you’d like to learn more about the range of specialised air conditioning solutions we offer for trucks and heavy vehicles, be sure to contact us.


* Image source: Tomasz Sienicki, used under Creative Commons 2.5 (image cropped, colour corrected)