Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

SEP 2018

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

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 29 of 55

Left The Spider 3RIDER combines remote controlled operation with a ride-on op- tion. Once the slope gets too steep for ride-on mode, the operator can get off, remove the operator's panel, and use it to continue to guide the mower's movements. 30 LC DBM Green Power Grows Maintenance equipment that runs on batteries continues to be - come more effective, and more ef- ficient at managing their power sources. While the technology is still a work in progress, many compa - nies are currently developing tools that deliver the performance that pro- fessionals expect with the added ben- efits of zero emissions, zero gas, low noise and lower maintenance. For instance, a new generation of 36V, 4.8ah lithium-ion battery was recently launched that claims to have 25 percent more run time than the batteries they are replacing, with no added weight. And these models can be used in the rain because they have Look Ma, No Operator An interesting innovation that is taking place in commercial lawn mowing is robotics – al - lowing the machine to perform without supervision while other work is attended to. Quite a few robotic mowers are marketed only as personal mowers for homeowners, but professional use of other models is growing. Na - tureworks, a Massachusetts landscaping company, has been using them on some of their accounts for about three years and currently has 20 such mowers, each cost - ing around $2,000, in service. Robotic mowers use rechargeable batter - ies as power sources, and a few models use solar energy to recharge them. As far as runtime/charge time ratios, LC/DBM's re - search found a varied range: from one able to run for an hour and recharge in 50 min - utes, to one with a runtime of only 45 min- utes but needing 90 minutes to recharge. Certain mowers require information, such as start time, to be input at the units themselves, while others can receive in - formation via smartphones using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. One model is programmed to sense rain and abstain from mowing dur - ing wet weather, but operators can deac- tivate the rain sensor if necessary. Wires can be set around the perimeter of a yard to define the work area for the mowers. They use built-in sensors to de - tect obstacles. Some models are "multi-zone" mowers, which can be programmed to move be - tween different areas of a lawn or even to take themselves from the front lawn to the back one. Certain robotic mowers can even tend up to four zones on one prop - erty if necessary. And this multi-zone technology may pave the way for mowers with geospatial technology – using GPS data to define a mowing area instead of physical boundar - ies. However, this kind of technology is limited at this time according to Geospa - Managing from a Distance Another relatively recent mower innovation is remote control operation. One situation in which landscape professionals might benefit from the use of this type of a machine is when ground conditions, such as steep slopes, makes it very dangerous for an operator to be on or next to a mower. Another is when traditional mowers and operators cannot fit into an area that requires maintenance. In Australia, remote control Spider ILD02 mowers tend to turf that is located under delicate solar panels which are low to the ground. Ride-on mowers cannot fit under the panels, and there is a risk of expensive damage when using reach or swing arm mowers. Left With the help of electronic sensors and the ability to tilt and adjust as needed, robotic mowers can move in a pattern to ensure an entire area is mowed without the supervision or control of operators. This Automower 450x is waterproof, so it can work in inclement weather conditions as well. Above The Solar Lawn Truck by Super Lawn Technologies has panels on top that convert solar energy into electricity to recharge commercial-grade, 82V lithium-ion battery-powered tools inside the truck (inset), giving landscape professionals the ability to maximize efficiency and performance with smarter battery management.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain - SEP 2018