New breakthroughs combining robotics and electric power tools for campus landscaping are coming just in time. More new ordinances are regulating that landscape and turf maintenance activities must be completed using green and quiet products.
AEPA member agencies provide a Husqvarna competitively bid purchasing contract that offers battery-powered handheld equipment and lawnmowers, ideal for these new requirements. One of AEPA’s offerings for schools is the robotic lawnmower, which can cut lawn maintenance labor costs for school districts, cities, and counties.
Because schools have traditionally used human-powered lawn mowing, not all may be familiar with the benefits of the robotic approach. This new groundskeeping technology can transform a school district’s approach to maintenance while keeping grounds tidy and positioning landscaper crews toward other more pressing tasks.
Benefits of Robotic Lawn Mowing for Schools
One key benefit for schools in seeking a great campus landscaping solution is significant labor reduction. The Husqvarna Automower is a robotic unit, so it does not require an operator but instead uses either a GPS or boundary wire (and guidewire) system that allows the mower to operate independently. Grounds crews can focus on other maintenance activities, such as blowing and trimming, and leave the mowing to the Automower.
It also has serious advantages in terms of performance compared to traditional mowers for landscape and turf management. First, it provides a higher-quality cut compared to rotary mowers. It can also keep grass at a preferred height at any time of day — or night — so schools experience a healthier, more robust surface over time. Because it’s also autonomous and battery-powered, its noise economy is minimal while it operates. And its lithium-ion battery also means zero emissions.
The Automower even bakes in some critical safety and security features. Its Lift & Tilt Sensors automatically shut off the cutting system if the unit is lifted off the ground or tipped over, preventing injury if anyone interacts with the mower while it’s in operation. It also thwarts theft with an alarm that sounds if the unit is picked up or moved, and it comes equipped with a GPS tracker that allows the owner to locate the unit if it is removed from its property.
Finally, it comes with an overall cost advantage. Though the initial cost is higher than that of traditional lawnmowers, the Automower typically pays for itself in 18 months to two years through labor reduction from its robotic operation, and service and maintenance costs, as there is no gas engine to maintain.
Lawns always look better and perform better — a plus for students, neighbors, and the community.
3 Bonus Tips for Supercharging Your Automower Experience
New electric products like the Husqvarna Automower, under contract through AEPA members, are simplifying turf management. But management is still under your domain, so here are some tips to make a robotic mower more fun and effective for your fields.
1. Show off your Automower by day …
Who doesn’t love robots? By allowing your Automower to do its job during the day when members of the school community can see it working on its own, it will send a message that the school district is investing in new and modern solutions to solve traditional problems. It will also leave the grass healthier and greener, attracting the community to use the area.
2. … But also try using it by night
After an initial period of “showing off” the Automower, you may try programming it to cut at night. The advantage is that this allows more time throughout the day for students to use the field while the landscaping is done after hours. It’s a clever and innovative approach to landscape and turf management.
3. Consider upgrading to a GPS-enabled Automower
The GPS system is an advanced feature that allows the unit to operate without boundary wires on the property. That also saves labor and the overhead of keeping track of where those wires are so no one disrupts them — which would require reinstallation. It’s the ultimate in hassle-free lawn mowing!
Embrace the Robotic Lawn Mower Future
The Husqvarna Automower is ushering in a robotic lawn mower revolution for school district landscaping needs, providing a clean, green, quiet, low-cost solution to turf maintenance.
For more information on the AEPA-recommended contract for Husqvarna Automowers and other battery-driven outdoor equipment, including string trimmers, hedge trimmers, edgers, leaf blowers, chainsaws, and other electric power tools, please visit www.AEPAcoop.org.