In the landscaping industry, robotic lawn care causes a bit of a divide because of misunderstandings. On one hand, robotic mowers in a lawn care business means less work to worry about. On the other hand, some fear that the robots are coming for their jobs for good.
And we get it. Robotic mowers can handle large lawns, can mow in the rain, and can deal with ruts, hills, and obstacles… all without the landscaping company barely lifting a finger. But what does this mean for your workforce?
In this article, we will discuss what benefits or drawbacks might exist for robotic mowers in a lawn care business. Will they help or hurt business?
Are Robotic Lawn Mowers Stealing Jobs Away From People?
The short answer: not at all.
Like all powered equipment you use in your landscape company, an autonomous mower is a tool to help make the job easier for you AND your team. Landscaping professionals often spend time lugging and pushing around heavy equipment.
“Robotics move workers away from low-paying, low-margin tasks to higher-paying pruning and trimming,” says CEO of Autmow Jeff Lattimer, “One contractor also pointed out that his team seemed happier moving to lighter equipment.”
Robotic lawn mowers help the pros save time from lifting, revving, pushing, and even sweating. Instead of workers only mowing and trimming, they can focus on other ways of beautifying the lawn.
While the robotic lawn mower cuts the grass on one side of the lawn, the landscapers can pick weeds, plant and care for flowers, or pick up debris and trash from the other side. The landscapers just need to lay down the boundary wire (or repair it if it breaks), establish a charging station, set cutting height, and the robotic lawn mower will take it from there.
Basically, a robot will be your coolest new team member. It won’t replace Tom, Jill, or Gary.
No matter how advanced robotic mower technology gets, there will always be a need for someone to monitor it. If it flips over, you can’t expect the customer to flip it back in place. You can’t let the mower roam the lawn without a perimeter setup. Landscaping pros (Aka HUMANS) will always be needed in some way, shape, or form.
Can Robotic Lawn Mowers Help Improve Results for Customers?
The customers will really love the outcome of robotic lawn mowers. Traditional lawn mowers cut the grass pretty well. But they can leave patches, unevenness, or parts that were cut too low.
With robotic lawn mowers, the blades cut at a certain height. Those blades cut the top parts of the grass, then let it fall into the soil. That acts as a natural fertilizer. Since robotic lawn mowers can mow more frequently and on their own, it’ll leave the customer’s lawn evenly green, healthy, and low.
Even better is the fact that they don’t make much noise. Robotic lawn mowers run so quietly that even the customer won’t even hear that it’s running. That’s great news for those customers who have whining neighbors. They won’t be bugging your team about the noise that would normally be there with traditional lawn care equipment.
The only downside your customers might face is that their lawn won’t have mowing stripes once the job is done. Because robotic mowers cut the entire grass evenly, the result is a lawn that’s evenly, healthily green. Like a carpet without stripes.
But in all honesty, that’s a pretty minor loss there. We doubt any customers will complain that their grass doesn’t have stripes or that it’s cut too even. The result will look gorgeous no matter what.
How Lawn Care Pros Will Save Time and Money With Robotic Lawn Mowers
A major objective of the landscaping business –or any business– is to provide the highest quality product or service at the most cost-effective price. Robotic lawn mowers allow you to do just that.
In terms of quality, since the mowers don’t cut too close to the ground, there won’t be much stress on the turf. More frequent runs mean your customers will almost always have that look of a freshly cut lawn.
Depending on the lawn size, the average lawn cut takes from 45 minutes to an hour. With a traditional mower, that’s a full hour of your crew pushing and turning. And when they’re done, then they care for the other elements of your lawn.
Robotic lawn mowers change the way time is managed. Instead of your crew spending an hour mowing then tending to other things, they can tend to other things in the lawn WHILE it’s being mowed.
Overall, that’s a lawn care project that was completed with excellence and in less time than usual. That leaves more time in the day to handle other customers’ lawn care needs faster. In the end, that could generate more profit.
One of the most appealing benefits of robotic lawn mowers vs traditional is the money you save on maintenance. The costs associated with keeping up with your mowers are much lower with robotic mowers. Sure, the upfront costs are higher, but you’ll soon see a significant reduction in maintenance costs.
Additionally, maintenance is much easier. Thanks to fleet management, anytime a mower comes across an issue, you’ll be notified right away. Simply sync all of your robotic mowers to the management system, and you’ll have access to the status of all of the mowers right from your computer or phone.
Possible Disadvantages of Robotic Lawn Mowers to Your Lawn Care Business
One thing to keep in mind is the possible learning curve for transitioning. With regular lawn care equipment, you simply rev it to start it. Robotic lawn mowers may take a few extra button presses because they have many technical features.
That’s why the team of robotic lawn care specialists here at Autmow is dedicated to helping you with every step of this exciting transition.
Additionally, you’ll need a game plan for charging your equipment. On a full charge, many robotic mowers run for over two hours; that’s enough for roughly two medium-sized or three small-sized lawns. But after that, they’ll need to be charged again. Thankfully, most charge times are only an hour.
Ready to Empower Your Lawn Care Team?
As you can see, robotic lawn mowers will add so much value to your business. If you’re ready to make the switch, contact us for more information on the next steps for your lawn care business.