This is part 8 of the series “Automower”, click here to read the “Part 1: Introduction to the Automower”.
Autonomous, high quality of cut, silent, leakproof… The automower sounds like a dream… but there is catch… actually, more than one!
- Auto – freaking – check.
Directly number one, because every single one of you will be confronted with this issue. If your idea is to maintain, update and fix your fleet yourself, you will quickly be stopped. Everything that happens inside the robot, or in its software, requires you to use the AutoCheck software. Problem? This software is only accessible to the certified dealers.
What does that mean? That means that even after the warranty is over, you will not be able to fix your robot yourself… which means you are without a fairway mower until your dealer is available.
So, I highly recommend having at least one or two, of each model in stock. Using the AMC app, you can pair a second mower to an existing charging station, it is just a matter of seconds.
Husqvarna is (supposedly) working on a Lite version of the AutoCheck, but nothing is available yet.
2. The “stress in the back of your mind”:
Similar to the irrigation system, running a fleet of robots will always keep you on your toes. “Will the robot set off alarms tonight?” “Will the players set the alarms off” “Are the blades still sharp?” “Should I bring the robot back on in this rain?”… And it’s easy to work on these situations even at home. Connected to your phone, the fleet will be able to reach you anywhere in the world with notifications. “Robot in alarm at night?” Is this an important alarm? Can this wait until tomorrow or is someone stealing it?
It’s not much of a stress, but it is important to talk about it.
3. The insurance nightmare:
Depending a lot on your country, and because the robots are out 24/7 in an open site and can be easily stolen or damaged, it can be quite difficult to find an insurance company that will cover your fleet. And because you need a good number of robots, even a low price for each unit can rapidly lead to a high overall cost. I recommend you talk to your insurance provider before purchasing any automowers.
As example, in Germany there is only one company that will insure automowers on a golf course!
4. It is TOO easy… to mess up:
It’s all too easy to simply let the robots do their business and just drive by, but if you are lacking attention, the robot will quickly make you pay the price for it. If you, course manager, are running out of time, it is important to delegate the task to a trustworthy employee.
As the robot only cuts millimetres of grass at each pass, if you let the blades go dull, the mower will carry on 24/7 damaging the grass tips of your entire fairway until you fix it. And, because its only millimetres per day, it will take multiples days for the robot with new blades to give a new sharp cut to the surface.
Now that you have been through the season, let’s have a look at the winterization process.
Click here to read “Part 9: Winterization of the automower.”