I’ve had the pleasure of meeting another knowledgeable robotic lawn mower user named Lyle from Easy Lawn Mowing. Lyle was gracious enough to provide a guest post for my readers that includes some valuable tips about robotic lawn mower parts. Check it out below and let me what you think in the Comments.
Robot Lawn Mowers – What’s in the Box?
For those unfamiliar with robomowers, there is a little more to them than meets the eye. They aren’t just little plastic bots that roam around your garden uncontrollably, they actually have quite a few other components.
Even though some components may seem quite small and insignificant, all play an equally important role in the outcome of the mow. So I think its best practice to familiarise yourself with all of them, or at least the most common ones.
Don’t worry if you’re in unknown territory right now, that’s what I’m here for! I’ll take you through all of the main accessories you would get with robomowers, telling you what role they play, how to keep them in good nick and how long before they’ll need replaced.
Of all of the components I’ll be taking about, this is definitely the most important. It keeps complete control of the mower’s boundaries, stopping it from getting into your flower bed, and aids its navigation.
Not only that but the station recharges the mower when its batteries are running low and is where you’ll see it sleeping during the night. So, unlike the typical push mower, there’s no need to buy more fuel or replace any batteries, just let the docking station do its thing.
Oh and don’t worry about having to place the mower back on the station during a mow, the mower will take care of that by itself. With the help of the perimeter wire (more on that later) and signals sent out by the station, the mower will find its way back with ease, all on its own. So when batteries are running low, you won’t have to move an inch.
Unlike most things I’ll be talking about today, the docking station won’t need replaced except in the case of unexpected damage, because of bad weather conditions for example. As a result of the lack of wear and tear on the docking station, it should last as long as the mower does. However, it is always good practice to keep it properly maintained.
Because of all the built up grass in and around the mowers wheels, the docking station can get quite dirty throughout the year. This could make it difficult for the mower to charge and, in effect, operate properly. So make sure you check it on a regular basis, every month or so.
All you need to do is run a damp cloth and brush around the station, removing as much debris and muck as you can. Do not use a lot of running water or a power cleaner or hose as these would cause problems to the wiring and electrical system – definitely something you want to avoid!
Check it once a month, give it a clean and you’re good to go.
This wire is what the docking station uses to control the boundaries within which the mower operates. Attached to both sides of the station, this wire is fixed in place all the way around the perimeter of your garden, flower beds, trees and pretty much everything else you don’t want the mower munching at.
To prevent the mower from going off course, the station sends out an electrical signal through the wire which the mower will pick up. This tells it exactly where the wire is and therefore where it is not permitted to enter.
Whenever the mower reaches the wire during a mow, all it does is stop, recalculate a new route, turn around and continue mowing in a different direction. So all your valuable plants and flowers will be completely safe when the mower gets to work.
You could say it acts like an electric fence.
Once you have it properly installed with everything working correctly, you aren’t actually required to do any maintenance. As it’s fixed in one place, it isn’t vulnerable to much wear and tear, so it should last for years on end, you don’t even need to take it inside during the winter.
Of course it isn’t completely impervious to damage, you could quite easily cut through with some gardening tools. You can usually tell if there is a problem with the wire if the mower seems to be operating stranger than usual or even if it just doesn’t operate at all.
If something seems to be wrong, make sure to run through the user manual and check through everything else first. Finding the point where the wire has been damaged can be quite a strenuous task so you really don’t want to go through it when it isn’t necessary.
But if you can’t find anything else that could be causing the problem then it’s best to contact the mowers manufacturer and request a new one. They will be more than happy to replace it and they’ll know the exact procedure to follow. You might have to miss out on a few days of mowing but they’re in a much better place to fix it than you are.
Some models of mowers have specific programs to deal with this situation so just check the user manual beforehand for more information.
As I mentioned before, the perimeter wire needs to be fixed in place around your garden and there can be two ways to do this. You can either fasten it down firmly using the pegs or you can bury it about a foot underground. Both have their pros and cons, it’s really your preference which one you choose.
Making use of the couplers depends on a couple of things, how complex and big your garden is and the type of mower you have. If your garden is large with a lot of slopes and sharp angles, then one perimeter wire may not be long enough to cover the entire your garden. If this is the case you would use 2 wires instead of 1 and connect them together.
If you have a particular mower, say Husqvarna for example, which makes use of a guide wire as well as a perimeter wire then you will need a coupler. All the guide wire does is act as another navigation aid and helps the mower find its docking station much quicker.
The guide wire runs from the bottom of the station to a mid-point in the perimeter wire so you’ll need a coupler to connect them both.
These are a little more open to damage than the wire so you might have to change them every now and then. This does depend on your situation so you could find you get through a couple of seasons without having to make any changes.
A good rule of thumb is to go around and check the wire after carrying out maintenance for the docking station and the mower.
To make sure the mower isn’t damaged nor causes any damage, there are certain distances you need to be mindful of when installing the perimeter wire. Due to the size of the mower, it needs quite a bit of space on the outside of the wire to turn around.
Now you don’t use the same distance for every area of you garden, for example the mower will need more space to turn beside the wall of your house than it would beside your driveway. Your User Manual will give you all the information you need to make sure you have the correct distances.
You’ll only need this during the installation process so it requires no maintenance. But just in case you’ve done something wrong or have changed the layout of your lawn, keep it safe somewhere inside your house.
I thought it would be easiest to show you how all these components come together with a video. Below is the video Worx prepared for their Landroid mowers, it shows you the entire process and how all the components descripted above are used properly.
Now that you’re finished reading and watching the video I hope you now have a better understanding of the components of a robomower, their function and how to keep them properly maintained. Taking good care of the individual components will ensure that your robomower lasts for years and years.
Now that you know how simple it is to take good care of your robomower, perhaps the time is right to invest in one.
I hope you enjoyed this informative post. Please make sure you check out Lyle’s website at https://easylawnmowing.co.uk to read more tips, reviews, and resources. Thanks Lyle!