R&D: Improving comfort is deep-seated in our school of thought.

Being on the road for upwards of 10 hours a day for eight days straight is a lifestyle choice for truckers who value the freedom of the road and the flexibility to stack their hours as they please. Similarly, heavy equipment operators put in long hours seated, as do many other professionals now that technology has automated processes and digitalized experiences.

Being on the road for upwards of 10 hours a day for eight days straight is a lifestyle choice for truckers who value the freedom of the road and the flexibility to stack their hours as they please. Similarly, heavy equipment operators put in long hours seated, as do many other professionals now that technology has automated processes and digitalized experiences.

But original upholstered seats for trucks, airplanes, and heavy-duty machinery are simply not comfortable enough for hard working essential employees. After years in the seating business, My Comfort Cushion has developed a cost-effective orthopaedic solution.

Familiar with the misalignment associated with sitting in chairs, seats, and positions that are not ergonomically correct, we hired an engineer to research and develop the best cushion on the market. Made from 3-D spacer fabrics supplied by a USA-based producer, our cushion is designed for use on top of an original equipment manufacturer’s existing seat cushion. It increases the body's area in contact with the seating surface, which supports your weight across a larger area, reducing pressure points and giving you a seat molded to your form.

When you sit in a standard truck, airplane, or heavy equipment seat, you sit on the seat cushion, but when you add our cushion, you sink into the seat, increasing the support area and spreading the weight over a greater surface. The benefits are increased oxygen-rich blood flow to the lower extremities, eliminating common aches, pains, and swollen legs so you can be comfortable on the job.

Finding and testing high-performance marketable materials.

We applied our research and tested our prototypes on a 145-pound female and 235-pound male using the BodiTrak pressure sensing mat. Using a selection of gel, foam, and elastomeric cushioning materials, we began the testing on five popular seats in use in the trucking and heavy equipment industries. While we achieved acceptable results testing the selected common cushioning materials, these prototypes were not fully marketable. Our goal was a compactable, breathable, light, and affordable solution. To get the best results from the gel material, for example, we had to use cushions between 2” and 3” thick.

While this was cost-effective, we felt that there would be some difficulties getting in and out of the seat with a thicker cushion. We also knew that portability would be a problem with the cushions weighing between two to three pounds each. Compounded by the fact they could not be easily folded into a small portable package, this simply wasn’t good enough.

- Bob MacGillivray, Director of Product Development

The foam products weren’t any better. They were lighter but also presented heat retention, thickness, and portability issues. While the elastomeric cushions produced very acceptable comfort outcomes, as well as being light and foldable, the manufacturing process was expensive.

Innovating comfort using pressure mapping technology

We began researching alternatives and discovered 3-D spacer fabrics. This material can be engineered to obtain different outcomes, such as shock and vibration mitigation, stab protection, and beneficial cushioning properties. We found a USA-based producer to develop a suitable material for testing purposes.

The 3-D spacer fabric consists of three components: a top layer, a bottom layer, and an interconnecting layer of vertical fibers. Different cushioning outcomes could be achieved by varying the diameter, the number of fibers per given area, fiber properties, and the orientation of the interconnecting fibers. In our case, we produced a 3-D spacer fabric with a stiffness property that could support a seated body comfortably. The ½-inch thickness also improves operator stability on the seat over the common 1-½-to-3-inch thick gel cushions.

Using the BodiTrak pressure mapping system, we conducted testing to determine how well the 3-D engineered fabric supported our test subjects on a range of seat cushions found in standard trucks, buses, and heavy machinery.

The BodiTrak mat recorded the distribution patterns and pressures exerted by the seated body on each cushion. These readings are given in terms of mm/Hg (milligrams of mercury), which is what’s used in blood pressure readings. While there is no established standard for the readings for body pressure mapping, we determined that any readings less than 100 mm/Hg were beneficial in promoting blood flow to the lower extremities while sitting for extended periods.

While we have not eliminated the readings over 100 mm/Hg, we have substantially reduced them by 70% or more and in one case by 100%.

“Using our two test subjects, we conducted over 200 individual pressure tests, with 151 devoted solely to our 3-D spacer fabric,” explains MacGillivray. “In all tests, the improvements were dramatic.”

Body Pressure Mapping Tests

The following are the results of body pressure mapping conducted on a popular seat widely used in the mining industry and truck seats commonly found in Europe and Australia:

Pressure Points Over 100 mm/Hg = 606
Maximum Pressure = 144 mm/Hg

Pressure Points Over 100 mm/Hg = 38
93% REDUCTION

Maximum Pressure = 112 mm/Hg
22% REDUCTION

Download the full Pressure Mapping Report


DISCLAIMER: Our 3-D engineered cushions are designed to improve comfort issues on seats with molded foam cushions only. Use of these cushions on hard surface seats such as benches, plastic and wood surface chairs will not provide any additional comfort benefits. There is no benefit to be expected for any user of this product that is experiencing pain or discomfort as a result of a physical impairment.