INNOVATION


How Automower® helps keep Lake Nona looking beautiful 24/7

Chuck Pitman was initially skeptical about robotic mowers. But that skepticism has turned to enthusiasm for the professional Husqvarna Automower® fleet that keeps the green spaces in his community looking great 24/7.

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Orlando, Florida – Chuck Pitman wasn’t always so sure about robotic lawn mowers.

As the Landscape Manager for Berman Corporation in Orlando’s Lake Nona community, Pitman is a green industry veteran who isn’t quick to jump on just any passing fad.

”I was very skeptical” Chuck explains during an interview with Husqvarna. ”I’ve been doing this for 25 years and just liked the old adage: gas is the only way to work.”

However, Chuck’s initial skepticism of robotic mowers quickly turned to enthusiasm as he’s put the technology to the test and seen the results up close.

”All of our Husqvarna Automowers®, where we have them mowing now, it basically looks like it’s been mown 24/7,” Chuck says. ”All the homeowners, they rave about it. They love seeing it. They love the fact the grass is always looking pristine.”

Chuck’s team currently employs nine professional Automower® units in the Lake Nona community, with plans to expand that initial fleet to between 150 and 200 units. According to Chuck, the advantages of using robotics begin at the turf itself.

”Probably the main benefit for me is [using] less agronomics, healthier turf, the consistency on the turf, and the color,” Chuck explains. ”You see the biggest difference in maybe Bermuda. I had a $35,000 gas engine out mowing my Bermuda. Every time you mow it, it hurts the grass. Right now, if you go to any of our Bermuda places, it’s much greener, it’s much healthier.”

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Of course, looks aren’t everything— Chuck also appreciates how his Automower® fleet has improved the environment in the community.

”From the noise factor, there is zero noise,” Chuck says. ”Homeowners love it. The biggest thing in Lake Nona is the zero emissions. We are really trying hard to get away from any gas-powered lands care equipment.”

Fortunately, recent increases to lawn robotics technology mean Automower® can bring its quieter, fume-free operation to nearly any type of green space. Chuck explains:

”We actually have some of the all-wheel drive Husqvarna Automowers® on our ponds. I was really skeptical at first. You know, it’s a pond… is it going to be able to go throughout the terrain? It’s on the side of the slope. The mowers are actually able to mow within two feet of the water’s edge. You can set that to what you want— two feet is close enough. But I’ve never had any issues.”

To keep track of his Automower® units, Chuck relies on Husqvarna’s Fleet Services.

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”I do use Fleet Services™,” Chuck says. ”I use it on a daily basis. Basically some of my guys as well as me we go around and check the mowers every day… to make sure they’re running. But the Fleet Services™, it’s very easy program to use. And the technology is very advanced. It works well.”

When asked whether or not other communities would be as well suited as Lake Nona for the use of professional robotics, Chuck doesn’t hesitate:

”I would definitely recommend Husqvarna Automower® to anyone that’s in the landscape industry,” he says.

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