This SAE Recommended Practice encompasses the significant factors which determine the effectiveness of a seat system in limiting spinal injury during vertical impacts between the rider and the snowmobile seat system. The document is intended to provide a tool for the development of safer snowmobile seats. It is recognized that the seat is only a portion of the entire vehicle protective suspension system. It is, however, usually required that the seat serve as added protection to the suspension system, since the latter may "bottom out" during a severe impact.
The term "seat" refers to the occupant-supporting system not normally considered part of the vehicle suspension or frame system. In some cases, it may include more than the foam cushion.
This document provides the minimum requirements for performance of a general seat system, and a description of specific means of evaluating the shock-absorbing characteristics of foam seat cushions using a specific testing procedure and a companion seat evaluation chart.
The test input and means of interpreting the results are unique to the seats of typical recreational snowmobiles. Therefore, this document is to be used for snowmobile seats only and is not to be used to evaluate seats of any other type of vehicle. In addition, it should not be applied to seats of snow vehicles of significantly different design, dimensions, construction, or intended usage from the typical recreational snowmobile illustrated in SAE J33.