Built Better: LDV’s Custom Seats, Straps and Soft Goods

Tony and Eli make up LDV’s Upholstery Shop


LDV’s Upholstery Shop is a two person team made up of two extraordinary talents: Tony and Eli. Chances are, if you have been inside one of our trucks within the last eight or nine years, Tony and Eli have built the seats you sat on. They are responsible for all of the fixed and flip down seats in the law enforcement, mobile medical and bookmobiles we manufacture. They also create the workstation flip down seats in our Snap-on® tool trucks.


We like to pat ourselves on the back for the effort we put into every vehicle we build here. From the design through delivery and everything in between, we obsess over the details. Tony and Eli have created a department fueled by their attention to these details and the pursuit of constant improvement.



Are these seats easy to clean?

Can we add more underseat storage?

Do the seats look nice?

Are they comfortable?





This last question is a big one for us. We take our seating seriously. We have built, revised, redesigned and reengineered our seats to be the most comfortable they can be. Command centers, in particular, are often deployed at community events or other critical incidents for hours. This means staff members might be sitting for long periods of time. Not only that, they look great. We take great pride in making sure the finished seats compliment your custom vehicle’s interior.



Shown: CareNet Mobile Medical Vehicle with custom fixed bench seat by LDV’s Upholstery Shop.

“Our seats are really comfortable. We want our customers to like using our seats when they are out in the field for extended periods of time,” said Eli, LDV Upholstery. “The seating needs to feel good and encourage good posture.”


Another key feature is the shape of the seat itself. Incorporating a beveled front provides room for your legs (and shoes or boots) and contouring the seat backs provides more comfort.




COVID-Safe Seating

Not only do they have to be comfortable when you sit on them, but they have to stand up to the daily demands of real world deployments and fight off Coronavirus. All of the seating materials have been carefully considered. Cushions can be cleaned often with spray cleaners and CaviWipes® to reduce the transmission of Coronavirus. All of our cushions are anti-microbial and won’t discolor from repeated cleanings. Our one-piece powder coated aluminum seat bases are seamless, which means there is no place to trap dirt and debris and they are easy to clean.



“We have worked extensively with our engineering teams and sales staff to create what we feel is the ultimate bench seat offered in a custom truck,” says Tony, LDV Upholstery. “Since COVID, we began using materials that will allow for extensive surface cleanings.”






Storage Bases

Seats take up a lot of space in the interior, so why not use them? Enabling the seat bottoms to be removed easily or flip-up allows for additional storage underneath. We can add hinges, lift arms and magnetic closures for easy access behind and under all seats.


“Having additional storage is critical right now for our customers. We are constantly working on ways to maximize every available inch within the interior,” Tony told us.


We have completed trucks with lockable gun storage, compartments and other features to utilize the space effectively under seats.


Looking Ahead

Never content with anything we do, LDV is exploring new ways of raising the bar in upholstery.


“We just added a CNC machine that will be able to cut our cushion bases faster and with even greater accuracy,” said Eli. “Plus the CNC generates less waste. We can load a program and hit ‘GO’ and it will produce what we need in a matter of minutes.”



Additional improvements to our seating include accent color pulls on the seat bottoms when underseat storage is part of the design. You’ll also start to see double stitching on seams for greater durability, accent colors and two tone seating in medical and outreach vehicles.


We are also working on prototypes for molded seat backs which are more conforming, adding additional comfort for staff members.


If you are planning a tour of LDV’s facilities soon, be sure to stop by our Upholstery Shop to see what Tony and Eli have in progress. See for yourself the craftsmanship and detail that goes into every seat we build.



Tony takes final measurements before getting to work on the back rest cushion.


Tony preps a back rest. Each backer is hand sanded and all edges are rounded to protect the fabric or vinyl.


Eli on the sewing machine. All of the seams on our bench seats are sewn by hand.


Eli spray glues batting to a seat cushion. The batting provides better airflow so the cushion doesn’t balloon when you sit on it.