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Thinking about a Robotic Mower or Automower? Where to start?

Robotic Lawn Mowers

The United States is a bit behind our European neighbors across the pond when it comes to robotic mowers.  Europe has seen this technology grow for the past 20 years.  Here in the USA, this idea of a smart mower that cuts your lawn on its own each day is just catching on.  If you are interested in having a robot cut your lawn, follow us through this series as we decide what Automower to purchase and then the installation and our final review.

First, robotic mowers work by cutting your lawn every day.  They cut very little at a time and work in scheduled time frames.  Most robotic mowers are quiet, so they can be run at almost any time.  This type of mowing benefits your yard as it is not able to have weeds grow and go to seed or spread.  Also the grass that is rich in nutrients is mulched back into the soil.

Choosing a Brand

There are many brands of robotic mowers making their way to the US markets.  Since this technology has been in other countries for a long time, it is important to us to choose a brand that has a lot of experience in this area so we get the best mower for our money.  Since Husqvarna has 20 years of experience we chose to take a closer look at the models they offer in the US.  Click here to check out the robotic mowers by Husqvarna.  Our yard is not overly large, but it is complex with some landscaping grades and fencing.  Here is a quick chart showing the options Husqvarna offers at this time.

 

Automower 315 Automower 430X Automower 450X
Working Area Capacity 0.37 acre 0.8 acre 1.25 acres
Slope Capability 40% incline 45% incline 45% incline
Typical Mow Time on One Charge 70 minutes 135 minutes 260 minutes
Typical Charging Time 60 minutes 65 minutes 75 minutes

There are a few factors that go into determining the right Automower for your yard.  First is going to be the size of the yard as Husqvarna shows int he chart as working area capacity.  In this calculation, remember, this number is the amount of grass being cut, not the size of your lot.  The calculation should start with the size of your lot and subtract out the area your home and landscape sits, any driveways, pools, sheds or barns or other areas that will not be cut.  Once those items are subtracted, you will get your working area capacity.

Next look at the grades in your lawn.  Most people will not have the grades in their yard close to what these are rated for, so that is not an issue for most, but worth checking.  Beyond those two factors, you start getting into creature comforts.  Some models have GPS or wifi control so you can send the unit out or home from your phone.  Just like a car, you can get a nice one with few options or you can load them up with all the bells and whistles.

Installation Planning

Most robotic mowers have wires that set boundaries.  When looking at your lawn, look for items that you will want to segregate off to stop the mower from entering.  These items might be sidewalks, landscaping, pools, or other areas you do not want mowed.  Beyond a boundary, there might be areas of your lawn that are thin strips where you might need a guide wire for it to find the path.  The same type of wire system might be needed to get the unit back to the charger.  These situations are not a big deal, but it is best to do some planning.

Google Earth or satellite view is a cool place to start.  One can draw out where you want your wires to be including and guide wires. Locate the plug outside and where your base will sit.  This will all help bring the planning of installation together so when the day comes and you want to put in the wire, it is an organized job.

Next we will choose an Automower and start our planning.

 

 

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