Though you may have seen them roaming around public parks here and there, robot lawn mowers are still a relatively new and unknown commodity in lawn care.
While they can make a homeowner’s life easier, robot lawnmowers must be appropriately utilized.
In addition, homeowners with hills and slopes on their property often question if robot lawn mowers are right for them.
Most modern robot lawn mowers are more than capable of working on hills. However, the most critical factor to consider is that your mower has the right wheels to handle inclines. Also, keep in mind that most robot lawn mowers can only handle small to medium-sized hills.
When adequately equipped, robot lawn mowers will have no problems mowing the hill in your yard.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you buy.
In the article that follows, we’ll detail the capabilities and restrictions of robot lawnmowers.
Important Things To Know Before Purchasing a Robot Lawn Mower
Not all robot lawn mowers are made the same.
Some have more capabilities than others. The type of wheels, motors, batteries, and center of gravity all make a difference in these mowers.
Your type of yard also plays a key role.
Although most robot lawn mowers can handle gentle hills and slopes, not all can handle steeper inclines.
If you want a robot lawn mower to make your life easier and not harder, then make sure you know precisely what your mower is capable of before buying it.
1. Your Robot Mower Needs the Proper Wheels for Hills
One of the most essential features needed for a robot lawn mower to work on hills is the proper wheels.
Think of this in the same way that you would an off-road vehicle, such as a Jeep.
The deeper the tread of the wheels, the more traction it’ll have to handle steep terrain.
If the wheels on your robot mower don’t have good tread, it’ll struggle to keep your hills mowed to your liking.
It also depends on how large the wheels of your robot lawn mower are.
Some mowers are designed to be small and unnoticed, and these won’t usually have wheels suitable for mowing hills.
For a robot mower to operate smoothly on hillsides, you need a model with two or four drive wheels with treads capable of handling steep terrain.
A low center of gravity is also crucial in robot lawn mowers to avoid tipping over on a steep hillside.
The combination of proper wheels and a low center of gravity is what you need to get the job done.
2. You Need a Robot Mower With Rain Sensors
If your property has steep inclines or hills, you’ll know that pushing a mower up in the rain can be a challenge.
The same goes for your robot mower: if the grass is wet, chances are, it’ll struggle to make its way to the top.
The good news is that a high-quality robot lawn mower should also come equipped with rain sensors.
These sensors allow the lawn mower to know when the grass is too wet, and if so, it’ll abort its grass-cutting mission.
Cheaper robot mowers don’t have rain-sensing capabilities, and it’s up to the owner to manually disengage the mower.
A high-quality robot mower will not only abort its grass cutting, but it’ll also automatically return to its charging dock until the grass is dry.
If you have the option to spend a little more and get a mower with this feature, it’s well worth it to help prevent your mower from getting stuck out in the rain.
You may also wonder: Do robot lawn mowers get stolen?
3. Motor and Battery Power Make a Big Difference
All robot lawn mowers have the motor power to handle even and level ground, but a little more juice is required to handle hills.
If the motor on your mower is too weak to make it up hills, the result will be spinning out and leaving divots in your yard.
So it’s only natural that motor and battery power makes a huge difference.
The steeper the hills are in your yard, the more motor drive will be required.
Battery life and power also make a huge difference.
Each mower will specify its battery life, but it’ll be cut in half if the robot has to mow hills for extended periods.
One of the last things you want is for your robot lawn mower’s battery to die halfway up a hill with most of your yard left to mow.
So instead, you should purchase a lawn mower with a battery life durable enough to cut your entire yard from start to finish.
BONUS: Robot Mowers Can Only Handle Low to Medium Slopes
Most modern robot lawn mowers can handle slight hills and slopes, but not all can take on every kind of hill.
Therefore, you must know the slope percentage of your steepest hills.
Some mowers can only handle hills with a 10% slope, while others can handle slopes up to 50%.
Knowing the pitch of your hill could mean the difference between choosing the right robot lawnmower or regretting your purchase.
First, measure the incline on your steepest hill, and then check the product specifications on the mower model you’re looking at.
If you find the robot mower you want doesn’t have the motor power for the hills on your property, you may need to consider spending a little more.
Choosing the Right Robot Mower
Now, let’s take a look at a few different robot motors to help you figure out which is right for you.
Coming in on the lower end of the budget, the WORX WR147 (from Amazon.com) is a stellar little mower.
It’s a fan favorite due to its smaller size and ability to climb steep slopes and make clean cuts.
With solid battery life and a decent motor, the WORX is a reliable mower. Unfortunately, its strengths are also some of its weaknesses.
Because it’s a smaller mower, it takes longer to mow your yard and doesn’t quite have the firepower of a larger mower.
All in all, the WORX WR147 is a great robot mower for a small yard with hills less than 30% grade.
Husqvarna is probably the most well-known name in robotic lawn mowing.
For over 25 years, they have been putting out some of the best mowers in the country.
The Husqvarna Automower 430X (from Amazon.com) is no exception.
This is a heavy-duty robot mower, weighing in at just under 30 pounds (13.6 kg).
It has a battery life capable of mowing a yard up to .8 acres (3,237 sq m).
The Automower 430X can get your lawn mowed quickly and beautifully.
It can also handle hills with a slope of up to 45%, which is plenty for most yards.
If your yard has steep hills and you need something similar to the Husqvarna 430X, then the Robomow RS630 (from Amazon.com) is the mower for you.
With many of the same bells and whistles and similar capabilities as the Automower 430X, the R630 is an excellent mower for most moderate to steep yards.
Robot lawn mowers are an excellent commodity for those who have yard work but no time to get it done.
When purchasing a robot mower, the main thing to keep in mind is to get one suitable to your yard’s needs.
If you have hills and valleys, make sure that your robot lawn mower can handle these obstacles.
All robot mowers don’t have the same capabilities, so it’s crucial to research and get the right tool for your specific needs.
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