Monthly Archives: July 2016

Key Differences Between Semis & Passenger Vehicles

Semi-trucks are just like your automobile, just bigger, right? Not exactly; while semis have some similarities to smaller automobiles, there are some big differences that big truck drivers and individual motorists need to know.


Big truck drivers


The most obvious difference between passenger vehicles and semi-trucks is, of course, size. Consider the weight of the two vehicle classes. The average passenger vehicle weighs around two tons. The average semi and tractor is 40 tons. The size difference has a big impact on how semis brake and how smaller autos fare when they crash into semis. (Hint: The semi always wins).


Semi-trucks have larger blind spots than passenger vehicles. There’s no rear view mirror in a semi-truck, as the trailer obscures the area the mirror would reflect. Truck drivers compensate with additional mirrors on the side, signs warning motorists to stay out of the blind spots, and, increasingly, electronic sensors and cameras. Nevertheless, blind spots remain a big contributor to accidents involving semis and other vehicles.


Semi-truck engines last far longer than passenger automobile engines. Because semis are constantly on the road, their engines are designed to be more durable than those in passenger cars, trucks, and SUVs. While most passenger vehicles are ready for the scrap yard after 200,000 miles or so, that’s just the beginning for a semi.


Semi-truck engines


Semi-trucks use air brakes, while passenger automobiles use hydraulic brakes. The air brakes in semis aren’t just for the truck; there is a system of brakes for all wheels of the tractor trailer. A key benefit of air brakes over hydraulic brakes is that, while hydraulic brakes can lose effectiveness if they are low on fluid, air brakes will always have plenty of air to operate. However, truck drivers must carefully inspect air braking equipment and monitor air pressure levels.


Suburban Seating & Safety is a family-owned aftermarket truck seats and truck accessories company. In business since 1947, Suburban Seating & Safety has built a reputation for offering a wide selection of accessories from top manufacturers and ensuring clients’ specific needs are met. To learn more, call 1-844-SAS-SEAT.

Three Tips for Dealing with Blind Spots

Blind spot-related accidents make up a large percentage of all accidents involving commercial trucks. In fact, about 840,000 accidents involving vehicle blind spots will occur nationwide this year. With proper training and use of the best semi-truck seats and other safety-related accessories, drivers can reduce their risk of getting involved in blind spot accidents.


Blind spot related accidents


Although drivers of other vehicles are typically responsible for accidents involving semi-trucks, tractor-trailer drivers can reduce risk by improving their vigilance. No matter who is at fault in a crash involving tractor trailers, the aftermath of these accidents can be psychologically and financially stressful for drivers. Driver training, being attentive on the road, and abstaining from alcohol or drugs while driving reduces accident risk; however, blind spots represent an ever-present safety issue.


Blind spots are areas surrounding an automobile that a driver cannot see while looking through the side mirrors. Big commercial trucks do not have a rear view mirror, creating a larger area of hazard than that of regular vehicles. Commercial trucks also have larger than normal blind spots on the sides of the vehicle because of their size. Truck blind spot zones are located directly in front of the vehicle, behind them, and on either side; learning these thoroughly can help a driver learn how to drive a semi-truck safely.


Blind Spot Driving Tips

These safe driving tips for truck drivers can help reduce the likelihood of a blind spot accident:


  • Drivers can reduce the chance of an accident by posting signs on the vehicle warning other drivers to keep out of their blind spots. These signs inform and remind motorists to avoid a truck’s “No Zones” and that the truck driver has limited visibility.
  • Drivers can reduce blind spots by increasing the number of mirrors on the sides of their vehicles and strategically positioning them. Mounting two mirrors on either side of the hood will help to reduce blind spots, as will adding a second mirror on the passenger side of the cab. Mirrors increase the visibility of vehicles, people, and objects in the truck’s blind spots.
  • New electronic devices can also help reduce blind spot accidents. In addition, the latest car seats in trucks, safety systems from Suburban Seating & Safety include rear sensors and cameras to help drivers better see vehicles directly behind them, and cameras mounted on the sides of the vehicle can also help to reduce blind spots.


Newer safety products include digital back-up monitors, digital mirror monitors, heated driver-side mirrors, noiseless backup alarms, and a host of other electrical components and devices.


Because of the large size of tractor trailers, when a blind spot accident occurs involving a commercial truck, the result can all too often be fatal. By increasing awareness of blind spots and how to safely lessen the risks they pose, commercial truckers can avoid costly accidents.


How to Avoid Blind Spots While Driving

Motorists can also take steps to improve their safety. This Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration infographic identifies semi-truck blind spots to stay away from. To avoid a potentially dangerous situation:


  • Pass cautiously; switch your turn signal on sooner than usual and pass as quickly as you can. If you can’t, pull back so you don’t remain invisible to the truck driver.
  • If a truck is turning right, do not approach it from the right. Even if it’s turning left, steer clear to allow the truck room to approach the turn from the left, which is necessary due to its size.
  • Exercise patience; trucks are much larger and require more time to accelerate, turn, and stop; aggressive driving and honking can distract truck drivers, potentially leading to crashes.


Last, never tailgate a semi. Its blind spot is several car lengths long, and the driver will not see you, increasing the risk of an accident if they suddenly apply the brakes or need to make any kind of maneuver.



Truck accessories


Suburban Seating & Safety is a family-owned aftermarket truck seats and truck accessories company. In business since 1947, Suburban Seating & Safety has built a reputation for offering a wide selection of accessories from top manufacturers and ensuring clients’ specific needs are met. We’re on top of your safety needs as well. Aside from maintaining engines, fluids, brakes, and semi-truck tires, accessories are important, especially when you consider blind spots and other safety issues.


Browse or search our extensive catalog of truck mirrors, and digital cameras, not to mention replacement seats, and place your order online today. To learn more, call 1-844-SAS-SEAT or contact us online today.


Commercial Drivers Can Keep Their Seats Clean by Using These Seat Cleaning Tips

Semi-truck and commercial drivers spend most of their time sitting in their seats. All sorts of things can get into the seat materials, from food stains and spilled beverages to dust, dirt, and sweat. Over time, these things not only make the seat look bad but can also cause it to start to smell. To help protect your seats and keep them clean and smelling great, make sure to use these seat cleaning tips:


  1. Clean your truck seats every week. Vacuum cloth seats to remove dust, dirt, and other debris. For leather seats, use a vacuum to remove debris caught in the seams and other areas. You should also use a leather protectant and wipe the seat down to keep the leather moisturized and looking great.


Male hand cleaning car with brush inside


  1. Clean up spills right away. If you drop food or spill a drink, pull over to a safe location and clean it up. If you don’t, it can cause staining in cloth seats or ruin the leather. When removing liquids, blot but don’t scrub the spill. You can use an upholstery stain remover to treat the stain while it is still wet before it dries and sets.
  2. Deep clean cloth seats every three months. Hire a professional or rent a commercial upholstery cleaning machine to steam clean the seats. Make sure to allow the seats to fully dry before sitting on them.
  3. Use upholstery car seat covers to protect the seat. If you don’t want to have to worry about accidental spills, food, stains, odors, and other problems, use seat covers instead. Find a high-quality seat cover that has a heavy-duty liner on the back to stop moisture from soaking through and reaching the seat.


Leather car seat cover cushions


Upholstery Car Seat Covers Cleaning Tips

Most replacement seat covers are easy to keep clean by simply vacuuming them weekly and cleaning up spills to avoid staining. Some types can be taken off and laundered in a washing machine, too. The best thing about upholstery car seat covers is you can replace them anytime they wear out or start to take on smells and odors.


For assistance in finding the right replacement seat covers for your semi-truck or another commercial vehicle, please feel free to contact Suburban Seating & Safety at (844) SAS.SEAT (844-727-7328) today!


The Growing Trend of Women in Trucking Brings with It a Number of Advantages

A trend that began as an answer to labor shortages in the trucking industry has turned into a win-win situation for trucking companies and the many women who are now earning a living driving for them. Not only are women filling the gap in drivers, but companies say they are proving to be better at the job than their male counterparts. According to an article in Bloomberg News, women are excelling in numbers of accidents, compliance, inspection, and other areas.


Custom truck seats for women driversCustom truck seats for pets


With these positive results and a trend that is expected to continue growing in the future, manufacturers and freight companies are giving their products more attention with regards to women’s needs. For example, Suburban Seating & Safety offers a variety of seats for trucks for a custom fit that will allow male and female drivers to achieve a more comfortable ride without fatigue.


In addition to the availability of custom products that make it more comfortable for women to live on the road, the greater acceptance of women as truck drivers has made it more appealing for many who might have hesitated about getting behind the wheel of a big truck.


The women who are a part of the trend have their unique way of dealing with the time they spend away from home. Some take their pets along for companionship, while others may share the driving with their husbands. Granted, there are still those who are unaccepting of women in the trucking industry, but attitudes are definitely changing.


Why They Do It


Women who have left their previous lives behind to join the thousands of truckers on the road do so for a number of reasons. Some have already raised their children and want to join their husbands on the road, while others do so following a divorce. Others may have studied extensively for a career that they have become unhappy with or that they don’t feel compensates them well enough financially. The option to get “equal pay for equal work” is appealing since gender doesn’t play a role in the salary.


The challenge now is for trucking companies to find ways to appeal to more women drivers so they can enjoy more of the advantages they will bring to their company. Contact Suburban Seating & Safety at 844-SAS.SEAT to learn more about our wide variety of custom seats to help give you the advantage.