Our neighborhood is good mix of young families and aging couples, and for the last eight years, I have been the only guy using a push mower on my half acre lot. It has been a tremendous workout and garnered me the attention as "the guy who works so hard on his yard." After the relentless urging of several close neighbors, I started to reconsider the benefits of a lawn tractor.
Mowing has been a substantial portion of my summer exercise program. I even modified my push mower to accommodate my breakneck walking speed when hustling to get the job done.
The long cold winter had left me feeling old, and I decided even before the snow melted that I never wanted to push mow my yard again. So in the Spring, before the first mow of the season, I finally "bit the bullet" and purchased a brand new 2014 Craftsman T2200 Riding Lawn Mower.
Overall, I love the tractor, but have grown to really despise the seat. The contoured lumbar drives my back into spasm after the first half hour of mowing. This mid-back seat is a pretty common, and is on a lot of the new Husqvarna made mowers badged under different name brands.
Not sure if I am not heavy enough to compress the rear springs, but the seat feels like it is shoving you forward. After trying all the adjustments, I yanked the seat and tried it on a level surface. Turns out that it was pretty comfortable, so I examined the mounting plate and noticed the upper deck has an inclined angle. My guess is the seat was designed independently of the mower body.
I reapproached the problem, focusing on leveling the seat by removing the rear springs and replacing them with short rubber bumpers. Then, I raised the front mounting bracket with hardboard shims. All together, this modification greatly improved the ride comfort and only cost a few dollars to fix.
With the backstory told, I would love to say that a riding mower was a match made in heaven, but it is not that cut and dry. The remaining energy after mowing is really nice, but I would have to say my fitness level has taken a much bigger hit than I expected. And it is not really a time saver either, considering the added time for weedeater trimming that my push mower did not require.