Husqvarna Automower Review Part 5 – Rain or Shine

Normal service has been resumed at the Automated Home in terms of summer weather. After a couple of fine weeks in May, June ended cold wet and windy.

Rain or Shine

However in the week that Wimbledon started, rain has not stopped play as far as mowing the lawn goes. The Automower doesn’t care if it’s wet or dry, it just gets on with the job in hand.

That’s another win for the robot over the ride-on then. In previous summers with similar weather it’s been impossible to cut the grass during these extended rainy periods. It’s very easy for the lawn to slip into a cycle where it gets too high for our mulching ride-on to cut properly and even mowers that collect the grass turn into a sticky mess. The lawn is often damaged by the wheels of a heavy ride-on too and the increasingly wet summers mean the Automower is a much superior way of maintaining a lawn on these islands.

Robot Renewal

Another difference between the ride-on and the Automower is the sheer number of hours the smaller machine has to work to cover the same area.

We’ve run our current ride-on for 3 summers now and the machine has around 80 hours on its clock. In comparison, after 2 months the automower has run for almost 600. Even thought that pace has slowed considerably since the initial intensive cutting period, that’s a striking difference.

Husqvarna Automower Review Part 5 – Rain or Shine

Along with that increased running time is the requirement for more maintenance. Rather than perhaps cleaning your mower once a season you’re going to need to do it more often with the Automower, especially with all this wet running. The manual has several pearls of wisdom here…

It is important to keep the robotic lawnmower clean. A robotic lawnmower with a lot of grass stuck to it will and it harder to travel up slopes, perform worse and be exposed to greater wear and tear… Inspect the robotic lawnmower each week and replace any damaged or worn parts.

Husqvarana say not to use water when cleaning the Automower but it’s currently wet enough from the rain that most of the grass was soft and easy to remove. I nicked the better half’s Ikea washing up brush and it was a perfect size and shape for the job.

husqvarna-automower-cleaning-diagram

Switch Off, Glove Up, Brush Down

Turn the machine over and switch it off by setting the main switch to position 0. Clean the drive wheels and the front casters and axels. Clean the body, chassis and cutting system, removing grass, leaves and other debris. Don’t forget to check the charging station too and removing any objects that may impede the mower from docking cleanly.

Husqvarna Automower Cleaned

Blade Runner

We also took the opportunity to replace the 3 pivoting blades at the same time. Extra blades are inexpensive and the box included 9 new ones (3 full sets). New screws are included too and it’s important to keep everything balanced for the most efficient cut.

TIP: When replacing the blades, don’t screw the first one in fully and it will keep the holes lined up to easily replace the other 2 – see video

You can see the amount of metal that’s been worn away in just 8 weeks comparing the old dull blade we took off to a new one. It’s clear we should have replaced them much earlier. If, like us, your Automower has to work hard for a few weeks to get the lawn down to a lower level then you should change the blades after the first month.

Husqvarna Automower - Worn and New Blades Compared

Cleaning the Automower and replacing the blades is a task you’ll need to do a few times over a mowing season, but it’s only a 2o minutes job to keep your bot performing at its best.

So here’s the fifth part of our video review (please like, share and subscribe)…

Make sure to check out all 8 parts in this video review series…

Part 1 – The Robots are Coming

Part 2 – The 1st Cut is the Deepest

Part 3 – Perfect Timing

Part 4 – Connect Control

Part 5 – Rain or Shine

Part 6 – Stolen?

Part 7 – I Messed Up

Part 8 – A Tesla for your Garden

www.automowerchallenge.co.uk  :  husqvarna.com

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6 Comments on "Husqvarna Automower Review Part 5 – Rain or Shine"

  1. Thanks Mark, another question. Our lawn is split into three parts by our drive. I see you have a small section of lawn one side of your drive. What is the solution to that? Multiple wired areas or do you need to have a bridging area of grass or just mow the drive 😉

  2. @Robin – This is something I hope to cover in another video. Our dealer has been great and got the bot doing both sides now even though we only have a very narrow strip joining the 2 lawns (thats the reason we had to go back up to 24/7 mode between videos 3 and 4.

    If your drive is the same level as your lawn you can run a guide wire in a slot across it and the machine will follow it. If there’s no route between the areas you can lift the machine and set it inside a closed loop boundary wire and it will cut until the battery is flat. I believe you can also have a 2nd charging dock on a secondary area.

  3. David Horn | July 5, 2016 at 2:14 pm |

    Is it possible to isolate the power when cleaning underneath / changing the blades. Hard to tell if the battery is removable.

  4. @David – Setting the main switch to position 0 turns everything off. The battery is not accessible to end users officially far as I know it’s supposed to go to a dealer to replace, although I’m sure it’s easily possible for a competent DIYer.

  5. I noticed that the blades are worn fairly evenly on both edges. Does this mean that the spinning disk rotates in alternate directions, or do you flip over the blades and use the unworn side before replacing it?

  6. @Richard – Good spot 🙂 Yes the direction alternates, I believe each time it starts a new cut coming off the charger.

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