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Follow these do’s and don’ts for successful robotic mower winterization

November 28, 2022 -  By
Keep it clean Cleaning off debris like grass and leaves is crucial to ensure mowers run smoothly. (Photo: Husqvarna)

Keep it clean Cleaning off debris like grass and leaves is crucial to ensure mowers run smoothly. (Photo: Husqvarna)

Robotic mowers offer professionals a different way to maintain a property. But just like any other kind of “traditional” mower, robotic mowers must undergo a winterization process to ensure they’re ready to go in the spring.

Joe Langton, president of Langton Group in Woodstock, Ill., — which offers maintenance, construction, irrigation and snow removal services to a 35 percent commercial, 60 percent residential and 5 percent municipal clientele — shares with LM what professionals need to do to have robotic mowers in peak condition.


Pre-plan your routes. Langton says his company — which uses Husqvarna’s Automowers — picks up all its mowers in one swoop after ensuring they’re all parked using Husqvarna’s Automower Connect App. He recommends preplanning pickup routes.

“The last thing you want to do is make a bunch of wasted trips back and forth,” he says. “Then it might cost a lot of money to winterize. But if you preplan the routes so that you’re picking them all up in a trailer at once, it will save time and money.”

Leave the charging station. The mowers Langton Group utilizes all have a “home base” on a client’s property where they charge. Langton says his team leaves those on-site and places a bucket over the top of the stations to protect them from the elements and pests. Husqvarna recommends storing the station inside or covering it for protection.

Clean the machines. Langton says professionals should keep it simple when they clean their robotic mowers.

After his team collects all the mowers on their route, they’re brought back to the shop and cleaned in a controlled and clean environment. Langton says his team first brushes any dirt and debris off the mower and then uses a water and dish soap solution to clean it. The mowers are then hand-dried and placed on a shelf.

Check for wear. Just like you would do when winterizing a ride-on, stand-on or walk-behind mower, you’ll want to check robotic mowers for items worn down after the season. Wheel motors, casters and blades are some of the items that Langton recommends professionals check when mowers get back to the shop.

“We always put fresh blades on when we bring them back,” he says. “So that in spring, everything is ready to roll out. This is some preventive maintenance you can do in the winter, so the mower is ready for the busy season.”

Have enough storage space. “As you’re converting (to robotic mowers) and adding mowers to your fleet, you’ll need a place to store them all,” Langton says. “If you buy 100 robotic lawn mowers, figure out your shelving situation so you can store 100 mowers.”


Joe Langton

Joe Langton

Forget to turn off the mowers. Langton, who also sells robotic mowers through his Automated Outdoor Solutions business, says the No. 1 mistake professionals make is forgetting to turn off the mower itself after pickup for winterization.

This is an issue, Langton says because when the machine is on, it constantly communicates with the app and the station because of the GPS device onboard.

“That slowly brings the battery down to zero, and then you have to wake up the lithium battery in spring, and it massively decreases, in my opinion, your longevity and charging cycle on the battery,” he adds.

Use pressurized water. Pressurized water is a mortal enemy of a robotic mower. Langton strongly advises against using water from a hose or a power washer.

“(Professionals may think) ‘I’m not using a pressure washer; I’m just using a hose.’ But that’s not needed with (robotic mowers),” he says. “If you hose it off and then put it up on a shelf or hanging somewhere where it’s already cold, and it’s got water sitting on it, that’s a recipe for disaster.”

Unplug the power station. Langton adds that it’s important for pros to not unplug the charging stations. He says when a station is left plugged in, it operates better when uncovered in the spring.

Rob DiFranco

About the Author:

Rob DiFranco is Landscape Management's associate editor. A 2018 graduate of Kent State University, DiFranco holds a bachelor's degree in journalism. Prior to Landscape Management, DiFranco was a reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio.

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