If you live on a hilly property, you don’t need us to tell you what a pain it can be to mow, no matter what kind of lawn mower you use. If you try to mow horizontally, the mower could tip. But depending on the slope of your lawn, going up the hill certainly ain’t no picnic (especially if you have a push mower…unless, of course, you also have those calves of steel.) Coming down is easier, but sometimes you get moving so fast that you get uneven cutting.
Our expertise lies in autonomous mowing, the latest and greatest in lawn care technology. So it might go without saying that people are always asking us, “Can robotic lawn mowers handle hills?”
Certainly, robotic lawn mowers can handle hills. But different models are better equipped for different slopes. So we decided to put this question to the test. We pitted the Mammotion Luba AWD 5000 against the Husqvarna EPOS and the EcoFlow BLADE robotic lawn mower to see which would be crowned the king of the hills.
For our test, we visited what we lovingly call the “crazy dumb hill” near our office (our creative nicknames know no bounds). Crazy Dumb features about a 25° slope. As an added bonus, the hill was covered in thick grass and even some hay, really upping the level of difficulty. We mapped the same area for each mower and let them loose.
Check out the results below!
Results: Robotic Lawn Mowers and Hills
Before we dig into each robotic mower’s performance, a quick spoiler: there was a correlation between the cost of the model and how well it did in our test.
That is not to say that cheaper robotic lawn mowers are bad in any way. They are not. We sell many of them. But different models are built for different needs. Cheaper robotic mowers are designed for smaller properties and relatively flat lawns.
Cheaper models just aren’t powerful enough to handle a steep gradient. As a result, they might not even be able to make it up the hill at all. If they do, they often don’t grip and cut grass properly, leading to an uneven mow.
Now, on to the results of our test.
At the end of the EcoFlow’s run, we gave it the same grade we used to get in art class: a D+. Because, well, at least it tried.
To be fair, though, we put the BLADE in a situation where success was impossible. Quite simply, the EcoFlow was not designed for that kind of slope. And, it wasn’t designed for the thick grass. As a result, the robotic mower often would get stuck.
That said, the EcoFlow BLADE did better than we thought it would. It used omnidirectional wheels and torque to do its best. At one point, the robot mower rocked back and forth, slowly clearing itself a turnaround spot so it could get moving again.
So though we would not recommend using the EcoFlow BLADE on any major inclines, the machine’s reaction to the challenge showed just why we love robotic lawn mowers: unlike us in art class, they are creative and never get tired of trying new solutions.
The Husqvarna EPOS actually did better than we expected. It took an interesting approach to the problems that our Crazy Dumb Hill presented. The EPOS would go up the hill without cutting, often moving backwards. It usually saved the cutting for when it had momentum going forward down the hill. We have to say, we appreciated the innovative approach.
That said, the EPOS went after the Mammotion Luba AWD 5000 had already cleared some paths. Without that, the EPOS probably wouldn’t have been able to do much cutting. In fact, when the Husqvarna robotic mower would hit thick tufts of grass, it would just stop. And we had set the cut height as high as we could, far above the height we set for the Mammotion lawn mower.
Our final verdict? We believe the Husqvarna EPOS could work on our hill. However, the grass would have to already be well-maintained. And even then, we aren’t confident. We would not recommend the EPOS if your property has any significant slopes.
Mammotion Luba AWD 5000
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. The Luba AWD 5000 had the disadvantage of being the first to have to tackle the hill with all its fescue. Honestly, we weren’t sure it was going to be able to clear a path to the top, but it absolutely did.
In fact, we were really impressed by the problem-solving capability of the robotic mower. The Luba AWD 5000 reviewed the situation until it had a solution. Had that not worked, it would have kept trying other solutions. Honestly, that is one big advantage to a robot lawn mower: unlike humans, it doesn’t give up. Like our guy Wile E. Coyote, it keeps trying, no matter the difficulty.
The solution that the Mammotion Luba robotic lawn mower ultimately came to was to start small and build from there. It mostly zigzagged uphill and saved the cleaner lines for going down the slope. Then it overlapped that path on later passes so that it had an easier go. Soon, the Mammotion lawn mower was having no trouble going downhill and not even much going up.
Why it Won
Of course, the Mammotion Luba AWD 5000 has some advantages over the other models. The multi-point turn (a new addition to the line) helped tremendously. The dual-blade cutting system was able to cut through even that long grass. And of course, the all-wheel drive was the ultimate cheat code. The Luba was able to gain traction in a way that the other models could not.
We should note that we had to put on a few atypical settings for this challenge. We set the cut height at its highest setting. Also, we turned off object avoidance. However, this was only because of the fact that we were asking the Luba to cut through the largest grass blades outside of the rainforest. If the hill was already well-maintained, our Luba AWD 5000 review proves that the machine would have no trouble.
We feel confident that we could have left the Luba on that hill all day, even with that tall grass, and it would have given the hill a shave that left the perfect amount of stubble. The only issue is that this situation would really dull the blades.
If your lawn has a steeper hill and normal grass? An AWD robotic lawnmower, like the Mammotion Luba 5000, is clearly the best way to go.
Final Conclusions: The Mammotion Luba Robotic Lawn Mower Handles the Hills
Of course, we recommend not exceeding the manufacturer specs of your robotic mower. This ensures the best results in your lawn, and it keeps the machine running smoothly for much longer. However, in this case, we did put the autonomous mowers through a rigorous test. Why? Because we care about your learning. And because it was hella fun.
What we found was that the Luba was clearly the best machine for the job. We sent the Mammotion Luba robotic lawn mower up our Crazy, Dumb, Overgrown, Hay-Covered hill first, and it still performed the best. In fact, it did the heavy lifting and cleared the way for the other models.
Does this mean that the Mammotion Luba AWD 5000 is the right robot lawn mower for you? Not necessarily. Contact Autmow today and tell us about your unique needs. Once we understand your lawn and how you want to use your robotic lawn mower, we can recommend the right fit for you.
Just please don’t ask us to draw anything.