Last Updated on August 29, 2023 by ILGM Ninjas

Change is certainly in the air. Modern technology such as AI & 4G connectivity, coupled with battery capability and older technologies such as GPS and well, uh, mechanical mower have brought us robotic mowing. But why have you never heard of a near 30 year old industry? Well we are aiming to change that. Unless you have been under a rock  automation is here and is going to update an antiquated industry that is struggling to stay profitable and has the image that is much to be desired. With a low barrier of entry, you can grab a mower and begin a business tomorrow. That is how we did it but with recent market forces such as labor, fuel, insurance, equipment and maintenance of that equipment as well as a shrinking workforce that is unwilling to engage in manual labor without getting  increased wages. Where is this extra money going to come from? Well it is going to be the consumer, that is unless you engage in modern technology. For years the industry has compensated with bigger and faster machines, much to the dismay of the average homeowner, this has been how contractors have hedged leveraging their time and making progress with productivity. With what is coming down the pike, this is going to change. With recent pushes to reduce gas powered equipment, current labor trends, the advent of Corona and the Great Resignation there will be a need for labor where there is none. Enter the Machines. Below we will make a case for automation. Will you be a part of it?

*Automation- The biggest part of automation is the simple fact that you can engage in a mechanical means of leveraging human productivity by running a machine that amplifies human work. You are well acquainted with some of these technologies. The washer and dryer. You probably have been doing this your whole life as this technology was invented some time ago. The HVAC, no more stoking a fire for heat when you wake up in the morning, it is already happening, even while you are away from home. Your DVR, even the VHS if you are old enough could record while you were away, that is if you could ever set the stupid clock.

*Energy- 1 horsepower equals 745 Watts of electricity. It doesn’t take very much energy to cut a blade of grass. As a mater of fact it is quite less. The magic of robotic mowing is that it is not based on the 1 cut per week (a compromise) mowing tradition. The mowing is a process, continuously maintaining the grass at a certain height. In other words it is maintaining an already cut lawn. Pretty groovy huh?

*Emissions- The robotic mowers do not produce any emissions as the do not have an internal combustion engine. While the energy from your wall outlet is hooked up to the coal powered power plant for you purists, if the power source is solar it is truly zero emissions.

*Noise- The sound of a mower running is actually quieter than the blades hitting the grass if you can believe that. This allows you to operate outside of normal hours in which you would operate a gas mower.

*Operation time- Because of the aforementioned aspect (no noise) you can actually mow your lawn while you sleep. Pretty crazy huh? We are just getting warmed up!

*4G Connectivity- With a smart phone you can operate your mower not just at night but when you are absent and I am talking like in another state absent.

*Security- With GPS technology you can be rest assured that your investment is right where it should be. If not it can be tracked, in real time.

*Safety- Most mowers have a dead man switch when picked up, stopping the blades. This was a technology pioneered back in the 70’s as the result of to many weekend farmer attempting to mow while 4-wheeling forcing the government to get involved. With a low powered cutting blade there is also a low kinetic energy environment which means no lost fingers but perhaps a severe paper cut if you are so inclined. A low voltage wire, soon to be replaced with optics and better GPS (RTK) technology keep the mower from going into the street and taking on traffic.

*Horticultural value- A little known secret to having a really killer lawn is cutting it more than one time per week as this significantly lowers stress in the lawn. This stress can almost be eliminated with daily cutting.

*Water savings- By cutting the lawn more frequently you also use less water as there is less stress to overcome.

*Free Fertilizer- There is no bagging or need to bag-EVER! These normally wasted nutrients serve as free fertilizer that can be cycled back into the lawn, improving the overall health of the lawn.

*Cost of operation- Because there is no fuel, oil or internal combustion engine there is not  lot of maintenance. Because you don’t have to do it to pay to have it done the overall cost of operation drops significantly.

*The cool factors such as, ” Hey Joe look I am mowing my lawn, across the street while I am talking to you having a beer”, or “Hey Joe, I already cut my lawn today so I am going out to have fun with my family rather than mow the lawn”, or the best one, “Hey Joe, I already cut my lawn and it is 2am on the day after the 4th of July, top that!”. You get the point…

In addition to these basic concepts, for the commercial arena there are factors that need to be addressed because at the end of the day you have overhead which costs you money and productivity is paramount. We can help you minimize these expenses while maximizing productivity. It is just like having free employees that work for you even while you sleep. These areas include such things as:

  • Liability costs- There is a cost to human error.
  • Maintenance Costs- Big machines require constant maintenance. From tune ups, to blade sharpening, damage from misuse, dealing with liquids and filters that need to be routinely changed. Robots are very low maintenance that significantly reduce maintenance costs and downtime.
  • Workman’s Comp Insurance- Machines do not get injured and when they require repair you don’t incur a claim.
  • Reliability- Robots show up on Monday morning, after a holiday, whenever you need them to be there. They do not need breaks, the do not takes vacations and they do not call in sick.
  • Fatigue factor- Robots work just as hard at 7am as they do at 5 pm as they do at 2am. They do not experience fatigue.
  • Labor costs- Robots do not require compensation, raises or even overtime
  • Labor Taxes-  As there is no labor, employment costs are eliminated.
  • Fleet management- You can track all of your machines from your office in real time and monitor operational statistics and productivity in real time.
  • Compaction- Smaller machines cause less compaction.
  • Deadlines- Need a field cut for a game by 2 pm? Have it cut that morning before you even show up to work. These machines work when you can’t.
  • Downtime- Mowing 24/7 adds up and gets you to point B much faster and that adds up over time.
  • Safety- Less moving parts, no dangerous heat, no dangerous fluids that have safety built in to their programming.
  • Learning curve- Save time on instructing new employees to do the job right. Robots mow right the first time-every time.
  • Hiring costs- Need we say more? In the advent of the labor crises you no longer need to look for people who want to show up to work, saving all of that precious time you can put into your productivity. How valuable is that?
  • HR issues- No drama, just a productive dedicated asset.

The point is that unless you are compelled to mow your lawn for some purist reason, you don’t have to and if you need to step away and the kid down the street is too busy playing video games you can still get things done, welcome to automation, the productivity never stops.