Robot Mowers. Money saving machines for organisations with large lawns

We have recently worked with an organisation, with large premises and large lawn to replace their ride-on mower with Robot Lawn Mowers. And the result was amazing, in a nut shell, the organisation saved around 20K / year. Below is a case study of what the organisation saved and how.

ABC Pty Ltd lets call it.. Was chasing quotes for Ride-On mowers when we contacted them to offer our Robot Lawn mower. After a lengthy phone conversation we succeeded in locking in a demo for the manager and maintenance lady. We gathered some info including the topography of the lawn from Google maps to have something when we arrive on site.

The organisation turned out to have multiple areas and around 13000 square meters of lawn. This is considerably a big area. On demo day we showed the people involved how the mower worked and explained the benefits of having such a machine. What I want to concentrate on in this article here is the savings the organisation achieved by being an early adopter to such technology. There are many other benefits for using Robot Mowers.

Below is the cost including initial purchase, running cost and maintenance for traditional ride-on Lawn mower

1- Ride on mower $11000 (this number can go up to $100K+)

2- Mower operator $50 / hr (total 8 hrs @ $400 / week)

3- Mower maintenance + Petrol $1500 / quarter

4- Mower repairs $500 / quarter

5- Clippings cleaning / vacuuming $100 / week

Total yearly cost to run the ride-on mower is $37666 / year

Our solution, Robot Lawn mowers

A 13000 m2 pitch requires 3 robot mowers of the L250i Deluxe Super + with 2 years warranty. This mower has a capacity of 5000m2 and 7 hours of mowing time / charge. Even though 3 Robot mowers will cover 15000 m2, the topography of the lawn plays a big role in this department. Cost is as follows:

1- Robot mowers cost including installation is $21000 (depreciated over 3 years)
2- Maintenance contract (optional) $262 / month
3- Battery replacement (year 3) + spare parts $10000

Three of the L250i D S P cost $21000 installed, running with no human intervention.
From day one the organisation was able to save.

Over 3 years:
Year 1 -> $13522.
Year 2 -> $34522
year 3 -> $24522

We have supplied the organisation with maintenance contract which covers the maintenance of the mower, where all labor fees are covered as long as the contract is running. We have also allowed for $10000 spare parts, batteries and repairs in year 3 where the mower is out of warranty.

This is a huge savings of $72566 over 3 years term, what can your organisation do with this money?

We offer finance and lease terms*, contact us on 02 9168 5987 to calculate how much you can save.

Robot Mower Review, Hasqvarna Automower 450x VS Ambrogio L250i Elite Super Plus

Comparison between Hasqvarna Automower 450x and Ambrogio L250i Elite Super Plus. Judge for yourself.

Introduction To Robotic Lawn Mowers

What are Robotic Lawn Mowers

Robotic Mower is a machine that works exactly the same way as a push mowers, but without pushing. Powered by batteries, it is smart enough to follow a program and specific set of instructions.

Once the perimeter cable is installed the mower works within the perimeter cable as programmed by the user. It has a set of sensors to start, stop, increase or decrease blade speed.

Are Robotic Mowers safe.

Robot Lawn mowers are very safe, currently it is recommended they are operated within a fenced area, each robot mower (depends on brand), will have a set of sensors. Some are for safety reasons, and some for operational reasons.
Some of the sensors are:

  • Ride on sensor
  • Lift Sensor
  • Tilt Sensor
  • Rain Sensor
  • Bump Sensor

Robotic Mowers should be dealt with, with care just like any lawn mower. It will still cause damage if you stick your hand under it, just like a push on mower.

Long grass and Robot Mowers

Robot mower will mow long grass, it really depends on the thickness and length of grass. But most mowers will do it a way or another. However, Robot mowers are not made to mow long grass. Instead, it is made to maintain the lawn. This means, the mower should be setup to run every day / second day. In this scenario the mower will be clipping 1/2mm to 1mm of grass every time.

What happens to the clippings

Since the mower will be running every day / second day, the clipping are super short (1/2mm to 1mm depending on lawn condition). Thus will stay on the group and will turn into fertilizer in few days. Giving the lawn some extra food and strength.

Can a Lawn mower run without Perimeter wire / boundary cable

Most Robot Lanw Mowers can be remote controlled in the absence of perimeter wire, however, this is a daunting task.
ONLY one lawn mower has grass sensors and sensors to avoid falling of kerbs. See below. More mowers based on similar theory are being developed.

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Can a Robot Lawn Mower drive itself out to the footpath patch

Robot Mowers Australia, footpath lawn

Robot lawn mowers are becoming more and more popular, especially in areas where house sizes are quite big. Lawns that are 1000 square meters or even 500 square meters can take hours to maintain. Also some time short professionals, prefer to spend time doing more valuable activities than mowing the lawn.

A robot Lawn mower can go anywhere the perimeter cable goes, there are few questions to ask yourself:

  • Will your property boundary with the house next door allow you to run the cable through (enough width)?
  • Do you have a side gate?
  • Is the ground concrete or grass?
  • Is the grass patch across the footpath?

I will go through the scenarios or different answers.

Most properties in New South Wales have a 900mm boundary which allows for a normal size robot mower to go to the front. however some years ago some councils were allowing less boundary space between properties. If the ground is grass (which is not very likely) the mower can run there without any issues. In this case if the ground is concrete users will have to cut through the concrete to run the cable. Or run the cable on top of the concrete and use some sort of cover.

User will also have to modify the side gate (if it exists) to allow the mower to move out of the gate.

Considering the above can be accomplished, the user will then have to cut through the concrete of the driveway and footpath (which i assume may need a council permit) or run the cables through the joints between the blocks of concrete, this also means you with have to run the 2 cables through the same joint (which stops the mower from moving), or run each cable in a joint on its own, which is the correct setup.

If the grass patch is near the front fence and not across the footpath, installation will be easier. You will also have to consider the kerb, how far can the mower move towards the kerb without falling off. Different mowers, are different in size and have different configuration on where the cable is located when the mower is on the move.

Robot Lawn mowers are meant to be installed / operated within a fenced area (at least at this stage). You may also want to consider a possibility that someone may grab the mower and run away with it. Even though most Robot Lawn mowers have alarm sensors that screams when some one picks it up. As well as working with the specific chargers (station). However, some one who doesn’t know this info may just grab it and run.

If you are considering allowing the robot lawn mower to work on the outside, and the situation permits. You may want to consider installing a GPS tracking device which comes standard on most high end mowers. It also can be added to low end mowers at an extra cost.

As an alternative you may consider the Ambrogio L60 Robot lawn mower that requires no boundary cable, it uses sensors to sense the grass and uses other type or sensors to sense the kerb.

Another option is move the robot mower manually to the grass patch, and remote control it. The issue with this, is you will not get every bit of grass and you risk the mower falling of the kerb (happened to me few times when I tried :)).

Will a robot Lawn mower mow the edges?

The answer is simple, No.

A robotic lawn mower is designed in a way (just like a normal lawn mower) where the blades sit in the middle section and the body of the mower wraps around them. This is a safety feature on all lawn mowers. Robot lawn mowers are no different.

The lines in the image above is what the mower will miss, keep reading for solutions.

So the Robot mower will miss the areas where the line is, you will be left with around 200-300mm of un-mowed grass. There can be many solutions which I will list below.

Before applying these solutions, let the mower run for a week or two, so you can tell the width of grass left un-mowed.

  1. Spray weed / grass killer on the excess grass which will leave you with a dead patch around your lawn. This solution requires re-applying every few months.
  2. Manually mow the edges using a Line trimmer. This will have be done often to avoid the lawn looking uneven.
  3. This is my favorite solution. When you are aware of the width of the missed area. Take width and length measurements (width should be the same across the edges). Remove the grass from the roots (you can cut it with a knife) and replace it with pavers. Make sure pavers are leveled with the grass. You will have a nice edge around the lawn and the mower will take care of the rest. This solution has to be applied once only.

Questions about Robotic Lawn mowers, please drop us a line, you can browse our range here. Request a call back by filling the form below.

Robot Lawn mower functionality

below is a list of functionalities that users can find in different lawn mowers, possible to have one lawn mower that has all but it will be top of the range / price mower.

  • App control
  • PIN code
  • Lift Sensor / Alarm
  • Tilt Sensor
  • Bump Sensor
  • Ultrasonic sensor
  • Timer
  • GPS Navigation Assist
  • GPS Tracking
  • Multiple zones / Areas
  • parameter wire requirement
  • Slope degrees
  • Capacity
  • Rain Sensor
  • Push stop button
  • Charging station
  • Bluetooth
  • Automatic Charging
  • Installation lock
  • Time lock
  • Remote text message

10 things to look for when buying a Robot Lawn Mower

Robot lawn mowers will invade Australia over the next few years. And if you decide to buy one here are some functionalities you need to look for.

1- First and for most is the budget to spend on a robot lawn mower, this will determine big time what you are looking for.

2- Slope: Consider if your back yard has large slope or not, most machines deal good with slopes, but not to a large degree.

3- Size: Size matters when it comes to robotic lawn mowers, each robot will have a capacity for example 200m2 or 500m2, you want to make sure your lawn size is within the capacity of the mower.

4- Battery capacity: This is how long your robot lawn mower will go to work for. Depends on the battery capacity, the number can be 1 or 10 hours.

5- Charging time: This is also very important, if your mower charges for 6 hours to work one hour worth or mowing, you are not getting much out of it.

6- GPS Theft Tracking: If you mower will work on footpath patch of grass, you will want it to have this feature, or as an alternative you send it there once every few days and keep an eye on it.

7- Tilt and lift sensors: Most Robot lawn mower have this functionality. This guarantees the blades stop spinning when the mower is tilted or lifted.

8- Sound a noise: This is a big one, if the mower is too noisy the neighbors may knock on your door few times, most mowers I have seen have a reasonable level of noise.

9- Extra Blades: Some manufactures use blades that needs to be replaced more often, make sure you get few extra blades with the mower, usually free.

10- Push stop button: This is a big one when it comes to safety, some mower wonder around the boundary or footpath if not installed correctly, you want to be able to stop it if t drives on anything or wonders around.

Automatic Charging: This is also a big one, you want your robot to go back home to charge when it is about to run out of battery, without you carrying it to the charger.

Robot Lawn Mower price. Sydney, Australia

So how much a Robot lawn mower costs?

After doing your research and making a decision to buy a robot lawn mower, it then comes to the price. As for anything else in life, you get what you pay for. And I personally believe in spending the extra dollars to get a better product. But as I always say, every one is different. below I will details what may help consumers in the market for a robot lawn mower make an informed decision.

The Bottom of the range.
Starting with the Generic brands, mostly Chinese brands rebranded for different companies. You will find the same lawn mower at many different websites / retailers, looks exactly the same and usually the model will be the same. So one website will call it ABC E1600 the other will call it XYZ E1600 and will have a different logo / sticker. These cheapest robotic lawn mower are the entry point and start for around $750, capable of maintaining a good size Lawn according to the manufacturer’s documentation. Browse our range of Generic Robot Lawn Mowers

Next up comes the larger size Generic / Chinese Lawn Mowers, which have more power and can do larger lawns up to about 3600m2 for around $2000. I am trialing one myself, I will add more info in few months. The Generic mowers come with everything you need for setup, no extra cost. Browse the range here.

Generic Robot lawn mower at work, not a bad job at all

Next comes the European Brands such as Ambrogio, husqvarna and few other brands (currently only these 2 available in Australia). The price range for the above two brands starts at about $2000. Customer may also be required to purchase the installation kit, which can cost anywhere between $100 and $500. This kit usually includes the cables, pegs and few other goodies.

Ambrogio also have larger, more capable Robotic lawn mowers that can do up to around 30000m2 (Yes that’s thirty thousand square meters) at around $25000 ex tax, and everything in between. You can check the Ambrogio range here, As for husqvarna the top of the range robotic lawn mower is capable of doing around 5000m2 at a price of $5000 + installation kit.

As you move up in price the feature list starts growing, for example you will get GPS assisted navigation, GPS tracking, operates on higher slope and the list goes on.

If you need help selecting a Robotic lawn mower please contact us on 02 9168 5987 or fill the form below for a call back, we offer sales, service, spare parts and installations for small yard or big parks. I hope this article adds value to your research and help you make the correct decision.

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Robot Lawn Mowers – Our Story

Our story started not long ago, and here is how the story goes …

In early 2014 I bought me a house with big back yard, I would spend a minimum of 4 hours every month mowing the lawn and edges. A year or so in (around 2015) I started valuing my time more, especially on the weekends where it is usually family time. So I contracted some one to look after my lawn, I was being charged $120 / month to keep my lawn neat. And some times this is not the case as the lawn will grow long in summer so by the time it was mowing time, the lawn will be quite long.

Anyway, I recently moved into another house and contacted my gardening friend, given I still value my weekend time with the family. And I was charged $200 since he had to go over the lawn twice due to the length. I was also informed that I will have to mow the lawn every 2-3 weeks in spring / summer and maybe winter if the sun is still shinning.

At this point I though ENOUGH. I had to look for a solution, and here it came, a robot lawn mower. As I started digging deeper into my research, I started loving the idea more and more, and found there is a great potential for robot lawn mowers in the Aussie market, due to many different factors.

I purchased a Robot lawn mower and thought will give this a try and see if it works. When installed (after around 20 hours of work) the lawn mower does a great job, not complete of course due to it not being able to reach the edges. Some manual work is still required OR a way to get around the edges. I decided to remove the grass on edges and replace it with pavers, this is yet to be done though. However, I am sure it will sort out the edges problem and my Robot Lawn Mower will be able to do a complete job. As for the quality of work, it did a really good job on the inner lawn so far, but I would like to see how it progresses in few months as the mower ages.

After installing and trialing the lawn mower I decided to start a selling and installing robotic lawn mowers as this can save people combined hundreds of thousands of hours where people can be spend it with their loved ones or doing more important stuff.

Stay Tuned for more news on the products we will be adding from time to time.

If you have any question, please drop me a line here or call 02 9168 5987 or fill the form below and I will call you back.

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