Robotic lawn mowers

Anyone here use one?

Have been thinking of our lawn at the house in Carmaux…okay, mother in law has been on the phone to say that she has booked our local gardener to come in and cut the lawns again, so that is another 150euro out of the account!

Flo and I were discussing how we could hope to keep the grass cut whilst we were not actually there and trawling through some websites and youtube videos came across robotic lawnmowers by Husqvarna. My my they seem to be the answer! They merrily wander around the garden day-in and day-out nibbling the lawn just like a grazing sheep!

A good idea or a waste of money? The lawn is about 1500sqm and a suitable robot would set us back about £1500. We have a ride-on but we would look to sell that to replace it with the robot as, really, it would only get used once or twice a year by me at best.


I was very tempted to get one to cut the grass when we were living in UK - the youtube videos are very impressive.

I think there can be an issue with slopes and them getting stuck not being able to make it back to the charging stations.

It will take a while to set up the perimeter wire.

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I’ve stood and watched a few of these robo-mowers pootering round lawns on my local walks, and I know if it was mine I’d spend all my time following it round neurotically in case it missed a bit.

Not that my own lawn isn’t a scraggy mess, but that’s not the point…:grinning:

My neighbour up the road has one that does a good job of cutting the reasonably sloping lawn at the side of his house. (He’s not so good on his pins these days.)

Mind you, only today I saw one in use cutting a 3 foot wide strip of grass between a front boundary hedge and the ditch at the side of the road, and I did wonder about the wisdom of leaving such an expensive bit of kit unattended and effectively at the roadside.

Hi Carl

I’m just wondering if 150€ is the going rate for cutting your patch. Seems a bit steep.

Why not see if you can negotiate a regular trim - which would take less time (thus cost much less) than a major attack when it is becoming overgrown.

I agree that 150 euros sounds steep but regular trims would mean more visits and add up to the same, or more?
There is no perfect answer for absentee owners

It should be worth asking the question and also seeing if there are other gardeners in the area, in order to get various quotes for an hourly rate.

No-one should be paying-out without being sure they are getting best value for money.

An absent-family used to have a gardener come in a couple of times a year. The work cost them a fortune as the place swiftly turned into a damp tangled mess/jungle. The clear-up took days at a time.

They have found that it is cost effective to have a regular quick trim., which the gardener easily fits in with his other regular customers.

It is worth investigating - in my opinion :hugs:

not to mention the additional security aspect for an absent owner by having someone regularly visiting the premises…

We have a neighbour with a robotic mower, and their grass always looks good. Their garden does have some slopes, but is otherwise quite straightforward as no shrub beds. However, I would be worried about leaving it unsupervised for weeks at a time. We have a robotic window cleaner, and every now and then it gets itself into a jam and emits plaintive squeaks until rescued.

Looking at the video Matt posted it seems it does have anti theft features.

We had a devis for 4 hours x 34€/hr plus 20€ for disposing of the cuttings for about 2400m2 - hasn’t been taken up yet :thinking:.

Hi Paul - was that a one-off cut, or part of a regular mow. I’ve noticed that the local gardener does not collect the grass, it is so fine it goes back into the ground.

The previous chap used to hack/scythe, collect, then mow - hence his high charges.

All this talk of mowing has given me a flash-back in time. At our last home in UK, we started off with a collection of mowers, then finally bought a ride-on.

OH would do the necessary at weekends (sunshine willing). The greatest difficulty was dodging round the trees in the orchard section. He only cut about 1200-1500 sq m - the rest was left to run wild and was enjoyed by pheasants, partridges, stoats, hedgehogs et al :hugs:

The intent was a regular mow - I was slightly less than completely impressed as the chap asked how long it took to mow - I assumed a professional gardener should be able to look at a plot and tell fairly quickly how long it should take, plus over 150€ is pretty much the price of a ferry ticket using one of Brittany Ferries slightly-out-of-season offers, at which point we might as well pop over and do the job ourselves.

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Mmm… he doesn’t inspire me with confidence :zipper_mouth_face:

Gardeners can be skilled professionals and so it’s fair that they charge a reasonable hourly rate like other artisans. You might be asking them to do a basic job, like mowing, but it is still their time. So reckon on 25€ - 30€/hr plus tax. Work out how long it takes to mow grass, add on 15 minutes for getting set up, add on another 25€ for transporting themselves to the garden, unless they are just round the corner. If they are using their own equipment add on another 25€ or so for maintenance and then another 10€+ for fuel. And that should give you a bottom line cost.

So if it takes 3 hours to mow the grass, then that’s maybe 140€ plus tax of 28€. So 150€ is an acceptable estimate.

If you have your own equipment you might instead want to find a local teenager who’s keen to have a Saturday job

Our Belgium friends pay nothing for their garden maintenance. They have an agreement with the ex owner that he continues to use part of the land (there is a lot) for his vegetables and he cuts all the grass in exchange, plus he gives them loads of fresh veggies when they are here :relaxed:

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Well put JJones. It is a similar comparison when looking at a decorating Devis. It’s only a paintbrush and paint and I could do that, or, it’s only grass and I can cut that. But if you 're not there ??
I have provided a grasscutting service for 10 years in my area and would agree with your cost calculation. The biggest problem is trying to explain to absent owners that the grass still grows when they are not here. The most often asked question is : can you cut it once a month instead of twice? When the grass is long it takes twice as long to cut and clean up so nothing gained is my reply but it fallson deaf ears.
So pleased that I am now a man of leisure and can concentrate on my own hectare of garden which I cut once a week and it looks wonderful.
No moles either this year after investing in mole bombs but that is another story.

Our local chap does the rounds of the village gardens - hence that keeps his travel costs to a minimum for each client. Where he gathers the debris, that is put into one large trailer and is disposed-of in one go - another saving.

Having someone come from a distance simply to do one garden could, indeed, be prohibitive. :upside_down_face: I’m not saying they are over-charging, just not necessarily cost-effective for the one customer.

All very well and I do not disagree - rates of pay have to take into account the fact that you only get paid for work done on site but there’s travelling etc plus the high cost of running a business in France - I get all that.

It wasn’t so much the hourly rate - although it’s more than I get paid which is a bit rich - it was the fact that it was nearly as much as a trip over for a few days.