Golf courses that use autonomous mowers are far and few between – but that doesn’t mean you can’t be one of the first to put the robotic mower to the test.
Good, old-fashioned, manually operated mowers are still pretty common to have around the golf course. But what if we told you that your return on investment could improve? What if we told you that you could make cutting your greens sustainable? What if we told you there are a lot more pros than there are cons to the whole process?
Let’s dive a little deeper.
Pros for Autonomous Golf Course Mowers.
Right now, robotic mowers can mow approximately one fairway with only a single charge.
So far, experienced greenkeepers cannot tell the difference between a manual and an autonomous mower when it comes to quality of the cut.
Not to mention, you can set up a robotic mower to mow for as long as you want and during whatever hours you want.
Today’s autonomous mowers can sense where the grass is longer and will pay more attention to these problem areas, skipping areas that don’t grow as quickly.
These small machines don’t wear the grass out as quickly as the larger manual mowers do, either.
In terms of getting tired, the machine never will, so this won’t be a problem.
Plus, autonomous mowers can mow softer green areas without sinking, and they can mow slopes up to 45 degrees.
Sustainable Energy Aspect
On the pro side of autonomous mowers comes the sustainable energy aspect; they’re absolutely great for sustainable energy and require no hydraulics or fuel. In fact, they only operate on a single spinning blade.
That’s a start to getting away from fossil fuels and leaning towards the use of batteries for a better future.
Cons for Autonomous Golf Course Mowers
Like anything else in this world, robotic mowers have to have a few cons.
The most obvious consist of how small they are. In addition, small autonomous mowers can’t mulch like the bigger, manual ones. That means you’ll likely need to get the leaves, branches, and pine cones out of the way.
They may potentially be too expensive to have power lines reaching each fairway, but that depends on the company you go to work with.
Return on Investment Costs
All in all, the cost of one manual mower is as follows:
The cost for one fairway mover every five years is approximately $60-90K. The cost to mow 10 ha of grass three times a week is anywhere from $15-20K. Plus, the fuel and maintenance per year is approximately $5K, give or take. Each year, the cost totals out at about $32K per year.
An autonomous mower is approximately $4.5K per year. And, it would cost $90K to operate 20 mowers to cut 10 ha. Plus, the cost of power to each fairway would only be a one-time fee.
Basically, the ROI would take about three years, and that could always be quicker once the technical advancements on the equipment start to go underway.