Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Brian Beck
As we transition away from gas powered equipment into battery powered lawn equipment we need to be aware of the lateral step sideways to battery powered traditional equipment and automated assets that enable you to leverage your time. One path is a major investment and the other is a smart investment towards productivity, efficiency, safety, performance, environmental and health. I am of course speaking about Automated Robotic Mowing.
Why do we go to work everyday? I hope that it is to be productive, to accomplish a task that is moving towards a greater objective or goal. In regards to turf maintenance the typical story goes as such: A person shows up to work and all that this implies. He then either will commence work on site or will travel to one or several locations to execute the work to be accomplished. There are several forces working against his productivity. These include: weather, mechanical breakdowns, transportation, traffic, holidays, attendance, fatigue, daylight, etc. Operating traditional equipment requires human presence which is finite as well as subject to the efficiency and productivity of the person operating the equipment. In an automated system you can escape much of this equation and focus more on productivity, or getting work accomplished.
It is necessary to exercise efficient measures when conducting business. You don’t use a performance car for a delivery vehicle and you do not use a 4×4 for a track vehicle, in other words you get the right machine for the job and the most effective and efficient machine wins other wise you are wasting time and money. Why use a tool that costs 20-30% more to operate? The same rules apply to turf maintenance. When a $35K machine can produce more in a week than a $150K machine can mow using less energy, what is the reasoning for using the later machine?
Machines that burn things produce heat and a lot of it. They typically produce a lot of energy that is lost in that heat and wasted mechanical energy.by moving heavy and dangerous rotating parts. This heat combined with moving parts has with it the potential for human injury. It is inevitable, as human beings make mistakes. But, what happens when you remove the human being from this environment? You have seen the robotic arms that build cars, no human beings in sight which allows the machines to operate uninterrupted and eliminates anyone from being cut, crushed, bashed or thrown. When you remove the human element from the potential of injury you not only limit injury but you limit and reduce liability costs.
The impact that we have on the environment is of great concern these days. Wherever you stand on this issue politically, no one really enjoys putting things into the environment that should not be there, right? With the reduction of wasted energy the impact on the environment lessens. This is not just about the direct impacts but also the indirect impacts that are related such as wasted materials, noise, spills, transportation costs, etc. There are quite a few once you examine the equation and every little bit of efficiency lessens the impact you have on the environment.
Everyone likes when grass is cut and when it is cut well. There are various criteria for different types of turf whether it is a fairway, a football field, a soccer field, a city park or you own personal lawn. Automation allows greater control on quality as there is less wasted energy on less frequent cuts and more focus on the cut itself which happens more frequently, as much as everyday depending on the requirement. Maintaining a lawn that has just been cut allows this rather than expending the energy on starting from scratch each time. Great cut lawns look great. Automation allows consistency that leads to performance in turf maintenance.
Let me let you in on a big secret, cutting lawns more often not only makes them look better but it lessens the amount of stress on the plant which reduces recovery time for grass and allows for more health. This continuous effort allows for a more consistent growth pattern and reduces resources that are needed to recover from the act of the once-per-week paradigm of maintaining turf. Grass cut twice per week is much healthier. Grass that is cut everyday not only looks better but reduces overall input costs such as nutrient, water, etc.