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Michigan Suspension Seat V-5300, My impressions

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by sprinter, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. sprinter

    sprinter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 110

    I have about 3-1/2 acres to mow, mostly pretty rough. My new Husqvarna 6128 is proving to be a great ZTR but I have to go slower than I'd like due to the rough ground. I wanted to be able to increase my speeds.

    A week ago, I received this seat: http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200268424_200268424 and thought I'd share my impressions since there was some interest here.

    Impression 1: I think these things are drop shipped from the seat maker because everyone mentions the extremely poor packing. These things weigh about 40 pounds and are just put into a thin cardboard box, no packing, nothing. Mine arrived with the box all torn up and the mounting screws poking out, but somehow the seat was not damaged. Poor first impression, though. I feel bad for the people who got the parcels riding next to it...

    2. It's heavy

    3. Mounting is standard 11 x 11-1/4 and mounts easily if you have the right bolt pattern. I imagine you could drill holes if not.

    4. After installation, the mower wouldn't start. Finally figured out that the Husqvarna requires a normally closed safety switch and the seat comes with a N.O. You can't just leave the harness unplugged because the plug itself is interlocked and needs to be plugged into something to work. I did plug the switch in to the harness and left it out of the seat temporarily. I ordered this switch in case you have the same problem. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004HSFDT4/ref=oh_details_o02_s01_i02 It's exactly the same switch that comes on the seat, but is N.C.

    5. Now that I could actually use the seat, I got to mowing. Seat has an adjustment for your weight and it seems to be pretty effective. You sink into the seat a couple of inches and it's cushiony. Once I got going it was clear that I was riding the bumps way smoother and I was immediately able to mow much faster than before. Actually, I probably got a bit over enthusiastic and went a bit faster than I should have in a few places,

    6. In spite of the initial problems which were actually minor, this will be a very good buy for me. It not only allows faster speeds, but even at low speeds, it is much more comfortable and pleasant. I can even tell my wife that I'll be able to save gas and machine hours, which is actually true. I was going to say that on a golf course you wouldn't need it, which is true, but in fact it is a more comfy seat even on smooth ground. I think it's worth the dough.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  2. MS_SURVEYOR

    MS_SURVEYOR LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,002

    Good review. I've been eying one for 3 years now. Just can't get the money stashed. Thanks!

    :drinkup:
     
  3. sprinter

    sprinter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 110

    Thanks for popping in, Mississippi. I also have lowered the pressure in the tires to about 9 (with a new low pressure gauge as you suggested). I did that after the seat install, but frankly didn't notice a whole lot of difference. Maybe a bit less pressure? the tires still feel pretty hard, especially the front. I wonder just how low can you go? It probably is better, but the seat was the real deal. If you need justification, figure around 20% less gas to be conservative. That should be an easy gimme. I think I'm going faster than that myself, but I have no way to measure it and I don't know how much diff it would make for you. Even just going from 4 to 5 mph is a 25% increase in speed and I'm pretty sure I'm doing better than that.

    Maybe I'll measure out a circle on my place and figure it out a little more closely.

    Okay, just a rough back-of-the-envelope figuring here: If you mow 4 hours a week now, at 1.5 gph consumption, that's 6 gal/week. That's $24/week at $4/gal:cry:. A 25% faster speed would save you about $6 a week. In a 25 week mowing season, that's $150 per year savings in gas. Of course, there are a lot of assumptions there, but that gives you an idea. Actually, around here, there are places like the yard and orchard where I still have to go slow anyway. If your place is pretty wide open, the savings will be more apparent. Plug in your own variables. Plus, you put fewer hours on the machine.
     
  4. dieseltech

    dieseltech LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 651

    Just a note...if you go too low on the caster tires, watch obstacles such as trees. The lower pressure taking a hit from a tree or rock the right way may un-seat the bead. Dont it many many times hopping curbs .
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  5. sprinter

    sprinter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 110

    Thanks. So what is the lowest you would safely go on the casters and the driven tires?
     
  6. dieseltech

    dieseltech LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 651

    Drives they are right in there...8 or 9 and caster i stay at 10. Most of your shock to the body will be from the drives but caster wheels transfer too just not as much
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  7. sprinter

    sprinter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 110

    Okay. That's about where I'm at now, so I'll keep it there. I'm pretty happy with the whole thing now. I just wish it would quit raining here so I can get back at it. Grass is getting too long again and I may have to mow but I hate to when it's this wet. They say there may be snow in some passes tonite and rain here all week again. Weird June weather.
     
  8. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,750

    I'm curious if this will fit on my Hustler SD? I have been thinking about upgrading the seat. Certainly not the most important thing right now, but would still like to add it.
     
  9. sprinter

    sprinter LawnSite Member
    Posts: 110

    Take a look at the underside of your seat and measure the bolt pattern. It should be 11" x 11-1/4" (11-1/4 across on the pic). If so, and the nuts are accessible, it should just plop right in there. It comes with nylock-type nuts. Measure your seat switch as I described before to see if it's a normally open or closed switch. The Michigan's seat is normally open and the switch closes when sat on.

    Pics:
    Notice the switch still dangling. I still haven't installed the new one (shame on me). Maybe I'll do it today, which is a step up from "maybe tomorrow". This is the original switch that had to plugged in but not installed to satisfy the machine.

    You may notice that the Michigan seat is a bit fatter than the OEM seat to accommodate the suspension, but I never even noticed. If anything, it's a bit better for me. Anyway, you sink into it quite a ways. If you end up getting one, let us know what you think. Everyone's situation is different.

    P1000733.JPG

    P1000731.JPG
     
  10. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,750

    Thanks for the post. I will check it out today. I have to go out and cut soon anyway. I will measure it up on the clean up.
     

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