Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

SEP 2017

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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In response to an increasing demand for improved safety and efficiency, manufac - turers are introducing remote controlled power equipment. Remote controls were first introduced in the 1890s. Today, remote controlled devices are paired either via infrared, as in a television remote, or radio signals, as in a garage door opener. Radio controlled lawnmowers are making inroads in com - mercial landscape maintenance, especial- ly for mowing sloped areas and hard-to- reach places. A Safer Way to Mow The primary benefit of a remote con- trolled mower is operator safety. In the short term, besides the prevention of roll - over injuries, there is also less danger to the remote operator in areas where hid - den wild animals might become startled, and thereby more prone to attack. In the long term, the operator will be inhaling less exhaust, and injuries from repeated exposure to vibrations while sit - ting on the machine are eliminated. Operations As with a TV remote or a garage door opener, there is a range at which remote controlled mowers can be operated. Pavlina Novakova, marketing manager for Dvorak, producer of Spider mow - ers, recommends that the operator not be more than 100 feet away. "That way, they can see any obstacles or holes," she explained. As with any other landscape equipment, training and an operating manual should be provided by the manufacturer or dis - tributor. Most remote controlled mowers have the capability to mow on steeper slopes than manual mowers – even up to a 60-degree slope. Some mowers will need a winch to operate at this angle; most mow - ers can operate on slopes of 40 to 50 de- grees without extra equipment. Speaking of, look out for attachments compatible with the remote con - trolled mower, such as snow blowers or stump grinders. (See page 36 for more on mower attachments.) Looking Ahead Technology advances day to day, and the landscape industry is no exception. "In my opinion, the next step is remote control mowers with GPS," said Novako - va. "The world is more and more focused on health and safety products, and lower - ing labor and fuel consumption." Alternative fuel sources are another possibility, and solar assisted mowers have already been introduced. In addi - tion, Roomba-like autonomous lawnmow- ers, some of which are battery operated, are starting to be used in both residential and commercial settings. LC DBM A Marketing Masterpiece Remote controlled landscape equip- ment is useful for maintenance of areas that are dangerous for regu- lar equipment. A ride-on mower can topple on a steep slope and injure the operator; with radio-controlled equipment, the operator can be as far as 1,000 feet away from the mower, though this distance will vary by manufacturer. I 44 LC DBM A Remote Controlled Future A Remote Controlled Future by Alli Rael, LC/DBM >> In the Czech Republic, four radio controlled Spider mow- ers created this 538,000 square foot "Mow-na Lisa" on a hill- side with a 45-degree slope. It took two days to survey and map the hillside, using laser surveying technology, and one day to mow the pattern. Each machine, which can hold just over 4 gallons and uses about a gallon of gas each hour, only needed to stop once to be refueled. REMOTE CONTROLLED MOWER MANUFACTURERS Spider http://www.slope-mower.com Remote Mowers http://www.remotemowers.com Evatech http://www.evatech.net Alamo Industrial http://www.alamo-industrial.com

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