Mining Publication: Systematic Comparison of Different Seats on Shuttle Cars Used in Underground Coal Mines
A field study was conducted to evaluate seat designs on shuttle cars. Eight operators participated in evaluating seat designs on the basis of perceived levels of vehicle jarring/jolting and discomfort. Researchers also measured the levels of vehicle jarring/jolting. Four basic seat designs were compared on low- and mid-coal seam shuttle cars during production operations at two underground coal mines. Two seats were currently used on the shuttle cars; another two were NIOSH designs. Objective data were collected using accelerometers with preamplifiers and filters connected to a data recorder. Subjective data were gathered with a visual analog scale (VAS) and a questionnaire. Results from measured levels of jarring/jolting showed that the NIOSH seat L2A smoothed out bumps better than any other seats. Using the VAS, mid-seam and low-seam shuttle car operators rated the levels of jarring/jolting and discomfort lower with the NIOSH seat than the other seats. Questionnaire responses showed that operators rated NIOSH seat designs as more comfortable. This research will provide the industry with better seat designs for isolating jarring/jolting in vehicles. Furthermore, researchers plan to improve the NIOSH seats using information gathered in this study.