Mechanic’s seats, or creeper seats, are an absolute essential for anyone working for long periods on cars or large-scale industrial equipment. Without one, an operative is tasked with hours of bending, squatting or kneeling (often on cold, hard concrete) – but with a seat they can work comfortably and more productively. Here’s our guide to choosing the best mechanic’s seat for your needs.
You can find mechanics seats that do not have padding, typically they have a hard plastic seat. However, for people that are using the seats for many hours a day, padding can be a real game-changer. The more comfortable your staff are, the more productive, happy and engaged they will be – so don’t skimp on the padding.
The size of the seat is an important factor for your consideration. Too small and users will be uncomfortable and precariously balanced – they might even fall off and injure themselves. Too large and manoeuvrability becomes limited as users cannot get close enough to the workpiece. Look for seats with diameters in the region of 40cm.
Without wheels, a mechanic’s chair is simply a short stool. The wheels allow users to move around the vehicle or equipment that they are working on, without having to stand or lose their position. If you are sanding or painting for example, you can simply manoeuvre your way around until the task is complete.
Your mechanic’s chair needs to be height-adjustable, ideally without leaving the seat. Gas-powered is the way to go here, although corkscrew/manual lifting is also a solid option. Look for the range of heights that you are most likely to need – if your work is predominantly on brakes or wheels, you won’t need to go as high as panel workers.
For maximum manoeuvrability, your chair should have a smooth, 360-degree swivel motion. This will allow operators to attend to tasks at a huge range of angles, and turn to access tools or supplies as required. For tasks that require a more fixed working angle you can find square seats that do not swivel and give more stable positioning.
Simple, built-in storage on your mechanic’s seat can help with productivity – a tray near the base (just above the wheels, usually) can be used for temporary storage of small tools, fixtures and fittings, letting users access them quickly for more efficient working.
Some manufacturers make mechanic’s chairs with whole toolboxes integrated into them, ideal for those tasks that need a broader range of tools or equipment.
There are a number of different types of mechanic’s chairs, each suited to specific tasks or environments:
These chairs have particularly low clearance, allowing for work much closer to the ground – even underneath vehicles and equipment in some cases. Users can lie flat on some of these models, or use them as kneelers if required.
Saddle-style stools force the user to adopt a straight-backed posture. This alleviates back pain by strengthening the spine and reducing pressure on the discs. Ideal for very long periods of work, where it might be tempting to sit in a bent-over position.
The standard, or classic, model is a circular stool on castors. These can be found in a range of variants and are used everywhere from tattoo parlours to local garages.
These models don’t have the range of motion of circular/standard mechanic’s chairs, as they typically don’t swivel. However, the bench or seat can be mounted on a substantial tool box or storage unit, giving these units a different type of versatility.
Author Bio: First Mats started life as safety matting specialists, but have since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge. www.firstmats.co.uk