A modern truck may be an enormously complex vehicle made of of thousands of individual components, but few of those components are as important as the seat you sit in to drive it -- after all, how can you be expected to focus on the road and drive safely with crippling back pain and a numb behind? Consequently, you should take care to make the right choices when choosing a new driver's seat for your rig, and deciding what type of covering you want for your seat can be a little more difficult than you might think.
Leather is considered the gold standard of truck seat coverings by many veteran truckers, and it's easy to see why. This luxurious, hard-wearing material has a number of attractive qualities that can make them far more comfortable and practical to use than fabric-covered seats. However, there are also a few drawbacks to using leather truck seats, so you should make sure investing in a luxurious leather truck seat is worth it before you hand over your hard-earned cash.
What are the benefits of leather truck seats?
Few things in life are as satisfying as sinking into a soft, supple leather chair, and a leather-covered truck seat can rival your armchair at home when it comes to comfort. The soft, supple material can mould itself to the contours of your body as you sit down (unlike some inflexible, low-end fabrics), and is particularly valued by long-haul truckers who will spend hours or days in their seats.
Sheer toughness is where leather really excels, however, and a leather seat is highly resistant to tears, scuffs and sharp objects such as keys or penknives. Because the tanning process makes the leather waterproof, it is also highly resistant to staining, and a leather seat cover will prevent spilled liquids from soaking into the padding of your seat and encouraging the spread of mould.
The waterproof properties of leather seats also make them very easy to maintain, and a simple wipe down with a damp cloth is generally all that is required to keep your seat clean. Leather cleaning solutions can be used on more stubborn marks. This makes leather an attractive choice for truckers who value a clean and orderly cabin, especially if company rules require you to keep your truck interior clean.
Considering how tough and easy to care for leather truck eats are, it's no surprise that they can have long service lives, and a high-end leather truck seat can be a sound long-term investment. Leather softening compounds can be applied to your seat from time to time to prevent the leather hardening and cracking, so a well-maintained leather seat will be just as comfortable years after it was first installed.
What about the drawbacks of leather truck seats?
Uncomfortable in high temperatures
Leather seats are notoriously sticky and sweat-provoking in hot and humid environments, and truckers who routinely work in hotter parts of the country may wish to stick to fabric. Many high-end leather truck seats are fitted with built-in cooling coils to alleviate these problems.
Nothing good in life ever comes for free, and leather truck seats balance out their many advantages over fabric seats with a higher initial cost. Given the extra durability and longevity leather provides, these higher prices often balance themselves out over the years, but you may wish to stick to fabric if your seats routinely take too much punishment to last more than a few years.