by Donna Carlson
In 1999, Motion Master ride management systems were installed on five trucks belonging to OOIDA members who agreed to test the product's claims. Manufactured by the Lord Corporation of Cary, NC, the magnetic fluid seating system is designed to improve ride. After several months of actual road testing, the owner-operators were ready to evaluate the product.These professional truckers took the shock absorbers out of their existing seats and installed the Motion Master. This system is basically a small computer that sits under the seat and monitors the vibrations coming from the road 500 times a second and adjusts the ride. If the ride gets rough, the Motion Master adjusts the amount of force the shock absorber puts out."What makes it work," says Doug LeRoy, the product's marketing manager, "is that inside the shock absorber is magnetic fluid."LeRoy says an electro magnet inside the shock absorber picks up signals from the controller (computer) and by doing so, controls the comfort level. The operator has a ride mode switch that allows he or she to select a medium or firm or even softer ride.
Owner-Operators rate the product
Motion Master's field test results indicate that owners rate the product in the following way.
Five out of six users say their seat bottoms out less with Motion Master, one user didn't feel any difference.
Five out of six also feel the overall ride is more comfortable with the system. Four of the six testers rated Motion Master a four on a scale of one to five for ease of installation, one trucker did not install the system himself and one rated the system at three.
Three of the six truckers said they feel less tired at the end of the day, one didn't see any noticeable difference and two were not asked the question.
When asked if they would recommend Motion Master to other drivers, four of the six rated the system a five (out of five) and two rated it at four.
Would these truckers spec Motion Master as part of their next truck purchase? Five of the six strongly agreed that it was a great choice, and one rated it a three.
The two truckers who have back problems said Motion Master has lessened the pain since installing the system, the four others had no opinion.
The Motion Master is available through several OEMs (Bostrom Seating, National Seating and Seats Inc.) for selected models. The product is also available as a retrofit for your truck's existing seat.
Ray Kasicki owner-operator from Cleveland, OH, says he has back problems and is on the road at least 10 hours per day. He has this to say: "My current truck was ordered with Motion Master. I have it on both seats so when my wife, Joan, rides with me we can both be comfortable. I can set it for firm and she can set it for medium to soft. That way I bounce less and don't get slapped in the back."
Joan Kasicki appreciates an easy ride when working on her books in the passenger seat. "The roads we travel are fair to poor and over the 12 months I've used Motion Master, I find it's great for doing logs and drinking coffee. It keeps the ride smooth."
Kenneth Becker owner-operator from Isabella, OK, hauls dry bulk and agricultural loads over some fairly rough roads. He had Motion Master installed five months ago. "Motion Master set on the soft ride on a rough road bottoms out," says Becker, "but setting it up to medium takes care of this problem well."
Jim Mathews owner-operator from Greeley, CO, has used the system for five months and likes what the product does for a road sore body. Jim says he only has sporadic back problems, but he has seen marked improvement in his bad knees with the system. According to Jim, "On a bad highway, a change to medium from soft improves the ride tremendously."
Eric Beck owner-operator from Little Rock believes that the condition of Arkansas roads helped him give the system a fair test. He has used the system for more than three months. "It helps a lot," he says. "Those southern roads are rough, especially the ones I run. Motion Master takes the bounce out of the bumps."
Marshall Barney owner-operator from Forestville, NY, rates the roads he travels as fair. "With my back problems," he says, "I feel Motion Master makes great improvement in the ride. So much so, that when I traded trucks, I saved my seat with Motion Master for the new truck..."