Sun City Hilton Head Robotic Mower Program

Summit Landscape Group is proposing a new and innovative approach to mowing the turf within the community. We are proposing the utilization of robotic mowing equipment for the homes we maintain. Summit has spent nearly a year researching this option and have even demoed several units to see how they would perform in a single family environment. We were overly impressed with the performance and quality of cut during it’s 90 day trial. Following the demo, we compiled a ton of data to determine whether this would be a financially viable option if we were to roll this out throughout the entire community. After multiple discussions with manufacturers and distributors, we were able to determine that this is truly a viable option with the ability to provide the ‘scale’ needed to support the demand of Sun City. 

Through our extensive journey to find the right mower for the community, we were able to come to a decision. Though it wasn’t an easy, due to the incredible technology that is currently available, our final decision was to partner with Stihl. Stihl is known world wide as a leading manufacturer of quality hand held equipment to include chainsaws, gas pruners, line trimmers, etc. Over the past several years, they have also become well known for their battery powered equipment to include mowers and hand held equipment. The decision to partner with Stihl was not only due to their mowing equipment but also their battery powered handheld. 

Summit’s long term goal is to enhance the look of the community while reducing the noise levels caused by gas equipment. This will be achieved by the use of battery powered equipment to include: mowers, blowers, line trimmers, stick edgers, pruners, etc. Stihl will be us throughout this journey as we move towards this goal. Our plan is to have all of Sun City on full battery power over the next 3 years. The mower we have chosen is the Stihl IMow 632. This unit is capable of mowing in all weather conditions thus eliminating any delays in mowing intervals. Its incredibly quiet as it deploys, mows, and recharges throughout the day and night. Below are several pictures for you reference. 

Here’s a video: https://stihl.box.com/s/oi1wtmn3wsgnmce01jyjk7xzgtl0a45x

THE BENEFITS OF MOWING AUTOMATION

  • No weather delays. This mower is capable of mowing in wet conditions and during rain. 
  • 24 hour mowing. The mower is capable of operating during the night as well thus eliminating the disruption of mowing during the day. 
  • The mower is incredibly quiet. The mower makes less noise than a vaccum. 
  • Improved cut quality. This mower will mow all turf areas up to 3x per week which reduces the amount of grass being cut each time. This will help with eliminate the amount of thatch buildup. It will help create a much denser turf grass. 
  • Reduced Nitrogen requirements long term. As the turf grass becomes denser, the recurring requirement for Nitrogen because less thus eliminating the use of needed fertilizer. This will also save money by potentially eliminating some fertilizer applications in the community. 
  • No damage to your landscape or home. These mowers do not discharge grass which won’t require as much blowing. These mowers also won’t damage your house by hitting siding, etc.
  • Reduced dependency on labor to perform mowing. As labor costs increase and/ or becomes harder to source, automated mowing will eliminate these issues. 

CHARGING THE MOWERS AND LOCATIONS

Each mower is designed up to 1 ¼ acre per charge, depending on topography and design layout. We anticipate one mower will be utilized for every 5- 7 homes with a centralized charging station. For each mower, there will be a specific location where the docking station will be installed. This will be at someone’s house where we can utilize an outside outlet to charge the mower. The annual cost to charge this system is roughly $35. Summit will provide each home that has a docking station a $50 gift card each year to cover this expense. The system is a low voltage charging station that requires little to no power to charge its lithium battery. The mower will charge itself and deploy on its own after each charge. 

BATTERY POWERED HANDHELD EQUIPMENT

In a combined effort to reduce the noise level within the community, we will continue our partnership with Stihl to introduce battery powered handheld equipment. We plan to launch several pieces of equipment over the Winter of 2019 which will include backpack blowers and line trimmers. Like the Stihl Imow, the handheld equipment will be an immense investment. Our plan will be to be 100% full battery power within 3 years. Summit will phase in more equipment as we move along with different types to include stick edgers and pruners within years 1 and 2. Here is the equipment you will expect to see.