Farmers experience whole-body vibrations when they drive tractors. Among the various factors that influence the vibrations to which the driver is exposed are terrain roughness, tractor speed, tire type and pressure, rear axle width, and tractor seat height above the ground. In this paper the influence of tractor seat height above the ground on the lateral vibrations to which the tractor driver is exposed is studied by means of a geometrical and an experimental analysis. Both analyses show that: (i) lateral vibrations experienced by a tractor driver increase linearly with tractor-seat height above the ground; (ii) lateral vibrations to which the tractor driver is exposed can equal or exceed vertical vibrations; (iii) in medium-size tractors, a feasible 30 cm reduction in the height of the tractor seat, which represents only 15% of its current height, will reduce the lateral vibrations by around 20%; and (iv) vertical vibrations are scarcely influenced by tractor-seat height above the ground. The results suggest that manufacturers could increase the comfort of tractors by lowering tractor-seat height above the ground, which will reduce lateral vibrations.
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