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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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