Seats: Make that Operator Happy!

When I was a younger man, many years ago, I received a call from one of my good customers. He was the plant manager of this large manufacturer facility. He said
“Mike, I need some seats. Send me about a dozen. I need them quick. The union threatened to walk out if we don’t put some new seats on some of our equipment.”
I said of course, I just need the models of the equipment you want new seats for.” We are going way back, so at that time we would have been talking about a Clark C500-45’s and a Tennant Model 92. I think he had some Yale’s G82C’s as well. But my point here is
that sometimes that is what it took to get a new seat on equipment. The union had to threaten to walk out. Of course, the business was good for me because it helped
sales. And so, it goes with the age-old question: when do you replace the seat? That’s a question for each individual equipment owner. But I am sure you don’t want to wait
for people to walk out.

Here is a technique to help outside sales people sell more seats. I always carried a brand new seat in the trunk of my car. If I was making a cold call and felt I wasn’t
getting through to the prospect, I would always use the “monthly seat special” as a last ditch effort to get in the door. Many times it worked. I would not only sell the seat I had, but many times I’d sell multiples and had my delivery guy send the rest. Again, what is that saying about us as a people. We let the seat go to hell and don’t replace it until we are forced.

When I was the used equipment manager, it always struck me how bad the seats always were on mostly all equipment. Every once in a while I would see a lift truck or sweeper with a nice seat. I always immediately went over to it knowing that the vehicle was probably taken better care of. So I would always look deeper into the piece of equipment for condition. I would say 80% of the time, little had to be done to get it ready to sell. It
usually was in good shape. I am not saying to buy used equipment on this basis, but there is something to it.

Within this article, I just gave you three examples of seat conditions on equipment. And it isn’t looking pretty. Why do we wait so long to replace the seat? Do we want to simply get our money’s worth out of a seat? I think not. It maybe that we are just too cheap and want to hold off until the last minute. Or we just let it go until the operator starts to complain about the condition of the seat. Any way you look at it, seats should be inspected as other parts of equipment are on a regular basis. These operators in an eight-hour shift may sit on the equipment for 7 hours. That is day after day after day. I would think you would want to keep your operators happy. Seats in poor shape are irritating and distract the attention of the operator. You want your operator always focused on the
task at hand. And you could even make a case for a safety hazard.

So, all of you out there, check your equipment for seat damage. Extreme tears or rips should NOT be allowed. If your seat has more repair tape than original seat covering, replace it. Or, have you ever seen the inside stuffing coming out? That would be extreme, and yes that seat needs replacing. Check not only your Tennant M30 Sweeper/Scrubber, Nilfisk-Advance SW8000 Sweeper, PowerBoss Commander 90 Sweeper/Scrubber, Minuteman SCV28/32 Scrubber or your Karcher B300R Sweeper/Scrubber, but all your other equipment as well. I am talking about your lift trucks, your personal carriers, your Bobcats, your telehandlers and your construction equipment as well as your sweeper/scrubbers.

So, make that operator happy! You’ll be glad you did and your operator will thank you. If you have any questions regarding this article, please do not hesitate to e-mail. Thank you as always for reading.

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