Ergonomics is the science of equipment design intended to maximize productivity by reducing driver fatigue and discomfort. Ergonomic consideration should not compromise the rules of BAJA. The members of a team vary in their heights and weights widely. But the buggie should be able to keep any member safe and provide good comfort for all.

One of the main aspects of ergonomics is the seat. If a team plans to purchase a new seat, then, each member of the team should sit in the seat prior to purchasing it to make sure they would fit in it properly and make sure it provides proper support.

Another factor to be considered for proper ergonomics is the position of steering wheel in relation to various drivers. The optimal placement with respect to different members of the team should be found before placing it.

The next factor being the gear shift. Based on the design a type of shift which suits the design is decided. Then the reach of different members of the team to the stick shall be ensured. A paddle shift should be an optimum selection since it allows the driver to shift without letting off the steering wheel. A gear shift indicator shall also be provided to indicate the driver the appropriate time of shift.

Other features like reverse mirrors and removable lights shall help the driver while practising during nights.

These entire ergonomics factor for driver can also be checked before fabrication using software which has the option of including a dummy. The dummies used should replicate the 95th percentile male. Once the dummy is placed in the seat its hand reach to different components and the visibility on the front shall be checked. This is called Computer aided ergonomic analysis. The dummies are available in software like Pro-E, Catia, Solidworks.

Nitin Varman

PSI Racing-NIT Trichy

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