With the use of digital audio tape recorders and piezo accelerometers, a practical field-ready method of determining occupant loading has been developed for heavy truck and equipment ride evaluation. The primary objective in determining ride quality is to verify the accelerations transferred to the occupant through the seat. These accelerations can then be compared to occupant threshold limits to assist the engineer in determining ride quality. The acquisition of acceleration data can be done incrementally for each component of the vehicle, from the ground up to the seat cushion. This allows for an in-depth analysis of suspension and frame components which can then be used to fine tune the design. A secondary use of this method is to evaluate the interaction of contributing components to overall ride quality. Specifically, tires, shock absorbers, air bellows, spring rates, fifth wheel position and front axle position can be evaluated with this field ready method.