Balance XT Harness
Comfortable, solid construction
Note: I purchased the XT harness separately; the 343FR comes with the Balance X harness.
The rigid back really helps, and the adjustment for the operator’s height is very welcome, since after an hour with a land-clearing saw on uneven terrain, one size does NOT fit all. I could do without the warning sign riveted to the back (“Stay back 50 feet”).
Unfortunately, Husqvarna’s design fails to incorporate a feature I feel is essential for comfort: independent controls for the height and for the position of the pad. The height of the equipment hook is primarily dependent on the operator’s height. For comfort, the pad must needs be rotated and rest on the operator’s thigh, not the hip, else on every sweep the handle and/or shaft hits the operator’s leg. The pad cannot be rotated towards the front too much, as this tilts the pad, and, when combined with the weight of the machine skews the pad and it digs into my thigh.
I’m 6’1”, 170 lb., and cannot make the harness truly comfortable---even simple carrying it is uncomfortable.
Changing my cutting style from machine rotation (via the arms) to hip rotation (as in some U-Tube videos) provides some relief, but at the expense of speed and precision.
I wish they put out a DVD on the harness (as well as tips by real users on machine operation).
August 5, 2012