Vibration exposure of truck drivers

Project No. BIA 4054


completed 12/1994


To carry out a risk assessment for truck drivers, it is necessary to know their exposure to vibration while sitting on the driver's seat. If the exposure is known, it is possible to distinguish workplaces with and without vibration-related health risks and recommend preventive measures, as for instance the use of suitable driver's seats with vibration control.


In co-operation with the German Berufsgenossenschaft for registered users of vehicles, vibration measurements were conducted on 21 heavy (more than 7.5 to) and 24 light trucks (up to 7.5 to) under typical operating conditions on different public roads. Measurements were taken at the points of vibration transmission, viz. seat mounting/seat base and driver's seat/driver. The measurements were aimed to determine the vibration exposure on the driver's seat and to define suitable vibration spectra for seat testing in the laboratory.


Modern trucks, operated under usual conditions on a paved road, do not belong to that group of vehicles whose drivers must fear injuries of the lumbar spine after permanent, long-term driving activities. Exceptions might be found among earlier models. The central criterion is the vibration behaviour of the driver's seat. For more than 50 % of the heavy trucks and for approximately 15 % of the light trucks, the weighted acceleration on the seats exceeded 0.5 m/s². The results were used to define suitable vibration spectra for the testing of driver's seats for heavy trucks in accordance with DIN 45678 (1994) "Mechanical vibration - Articulated trucks - Laboratory method for evaluating vehicle seat vibration".

Further informations:

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Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften - HVBG
Research institution(s):
  • Berufsgenossenschaftliches Institut für Arbeitssicherheit - BIA


Type of hazard:



Belastung, Transport und Verkehr, Vibration

Description, key words:

whole-body vibration, transhipment, truck, driver, typical workplace exposure, driver's seat