Vibration exposure in coaches at the driver's seat and in the sleeping compartment

Project No. BIA 4080


completed 10/2000


Coach drivers often complain about low back pain as a result of many years of professional driving activities. Many drivers report sleeping compartments in coaches offer little rest while the coach is on the road. Consequently, the German authorities do not consider this type of break to be a rest period. The project had three aims: investigating the driver's vibration exposure at the driver's seat and in the sleeping compartment of five selected coaches, assessing the possibilities of vibration reduction by the used seats and mattresses and recommending measures for improvement.


The vibration measurements were initiated by the institution for statutory accident insurance and prevention in the vehicle operating trades. They were conducted on the seat, at the seat mounting point as well as in the sleeping compartment on and under the matress. Measurement directions were: back- breast, shoulder-shoulder, which are perpendicular, and the direction of the spine.


The drivers' seats of coaches offer scope for improvement with regard to their vibration-reducing characteristics. This is even truer of co-drivers' seats. The drivers' and co- drivers' seats should be subject to the same requirements as the drivers' seats of public service buses. The vibration stress upon the mattresses of sleeping compartments varies considerably from one coach to the next. Improvements may be anticipated where suitable interior-sprung mattresses and softer pillows are employed.

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


Type of hazard:



Belastung, Vibration, Transport und Verkehr

Description, key words:

coach, vibration exposure, driver's seat, sleeping compartment