“I have someone who comes and does the lawn”.
When talking to people about our lawn mowing robots, we sometimes get the response, “well I have someone who comes and does the lawn”, as if to say that’s the end of the matter. But it really isn’t. Read on …
A mowing service can cost households around $100 per month. This is based on fortnightly visits over the summer growing season, and around an hour spent on the premises by the contractor doing the job each time. If you want the hedges trimmed then that’s usually an add-on service that costs more. Of course, you could ask the neighbourhood kids to do it for less, or even do it yourself.
Somebody has to pay for all that.
But if you use a contractor, just put yourself in their shoes for a minute … they probably spend as much time on the road as they do at your place. They also need to have the right insurance, the right equipment, and a vehicle to transport it around. Somebody has to pay for all that. And that person is you – just to get the most basic of all gardening tasks done.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Most of the time spent in the yard goes towards doing the lowest value task, ie. the mowing of the lawn. That’s why some people are waking up to the fact that they can get a device to do the lawn mowing, and have the contractor do more the value-added work that’s necessary to maintain a beautiful garden.
“We’ve always done it that way”.
Have you ever heard someone say that’s the most dangerous phrase of all? We know that’s a cliche, but is there merit in changing the way lawn care is done? From the homeowner’s point of view, they can make better use of their gardeners’ higher order skills, in edging, weeding, trimming, planting & growing. From the contractor’s point of view, they can visit the premises less often, which reduces the amount of dead time involved in travel, and so they can service more customers. And do more interesting and value-added work while they are on-site. It also reduces the impact of bad weather on their business schedules. As for the lawnmower itself, the contractor just needs to check that it is doing its job, not getting caught anywhere, and give it some seasonal servicing, such as changing the blades.
Robots in Landscaping as-a-service.
This business model is becoming what’s called a new ‘segment’. In the US, robotic-lawn-mowing-as-a-service is a new emerging trend, where homeowners enter into a hire-purchase plan to pay off their robotic mower as part of an overall garden care service. It’s a bit like a phone plan where the customer pays off the equipment over 2 or 3 years. What it also does for the contractor is to help business continuity and customer loyalty by making the contract last for the whole renewal period. These new emerging businesses are being sponsored by some major robotic mower makers, who see it as a way of getting their devices onto households’ lawns.
Why are robot mowers so popular in Europe?
There are of course other sensible non-financial reasons to introduce an automated lawn mower, apart from the fact that they are inexpensive to run. Such as, they: always turn up on time; ‘mulch’ the clippings back onto the lawn; provide a sharp, clean cut which is good for the grass; don’t make any noise; and don’t use any petrol. These reasons are partly why so-called ‘robotic lawnmowers’ have become so popular in Europe.