Commercial robotic mowers have been around since the 1990s. They’ve sold well in Europe, and have only recently started to make a dent in the US market, largely driven by the popularity of robotic devices that save time and money and help with efforts to reduce global warming.
So, what are the benefits?
UK-base AMS Robotics cites several benefits commercial robotic mowers deliver. They can be condensed into three for US buyers to consider over traditional, gasoline-powered mowers:
- They are less expensive to power and maintain
- They are eco-friendly
- They are virtually soundless
Robotic mowers reduce overhead and labor costs
Gasoline costs in the US rose rapidly in the US in 2022, seriously impacting fuel-dependent businesses like landscaping, as the landscaping newsletter Total Landscape Care reports. Options like adding fuel surcharges to customers or reducing crew pitstops aren’t appealing. But as one reader commented, robotic mowers are the way, citing their lower costs as well as “cleaner, greener, and quieter service.”
Robotic mowers need less maintenance than gas-powered ones. Tires and blades are about the only items that need to be changed out. If there’s a problem with the battery, the entire section is replaced, eliminating the need to call in a mechanic.
Finally, we have a tight labor market in the US. Landscaping is a tough, physical job, and it can be difficult to hire and keep staff. Robotic mowers provide some relief for crewmembers and with this, the risk of accidents and injuries.
Green Industry Pros reports that robotic mower dealers are offering lease deals for companies. They can select a monthly fee arrangement or a subscription based on the leased model. Corporate clients can take advantage of fleet purchases that can earn them tax credits as well.
Robotic mowers are eco-friendly and support efforts to reduce global warming
Commercial robotic mowers are powered by rechargeable batteries and do not produce emissions that pollute the air and contribute to global warming. This directly supports efforts in many state and local governments to reduce carbon emissions.
For example, California passed legislation to end the sale of gas-powered lawn equipment beginning in 2024 and provides grants to small businesses to buy sustainable, battery-powered equipment.
Robotic mowers are quiet!
The batteries that power automated mowers are remarkably quiet. This is a lifestyle benefit that should not be overlooked.
A powered-up Husqvarna Automower is 60 decibels, about as loud as a quiet conversation. A gasoline-powered mower is 90 decibels and often gets louder when it needs maintenance, according to Lawnmodel.com, and can reach as high as 110 decibels. Keep in mind that these are sustained levels, which become dangerous when they exceed 85 decibels.
Robotic Mower Limitations
Robotic mowers have a couple of limitations. They can’t stripe a lawn, a look that is extremely popular in some markets, as Green Industry Pros points out. However, the technology for this will probably be available soon.
Mowers that use satellite guiding technology work best in open spaces with little or no mountains, trees, or buildings in the landscaped area.
What’s the Best Mower for Commercial Use?
Choosing a robotic lawn mower for commercial use depends on the customer properties.
Landscapers who care for wide, open spaces like parks and outdoor sports fields benefit most from models like Husqvarna’s CEORA commercial robotic mower that delivers precise mowing up to 25,000 m2 in a single charge and is controlled via a mobile app. Add Husqverna’s Exact Positioning Operating System (EPOS) satellite technology to create virtual boundaries and eliminate another time-consuming task.
Other Automowers are priced for smaller properties per charge and cutting precision for grass heights of 2.4” to 3.6”. There are also Automowers for large residential yards up to 1.2 acres, priced accordingly.
Husqvarna is the market leader for automated mowers in the US and owns most of the market share. That means more local dealers who can provide in-person training for crews and quickly deliver equipment and parts.