Commercial landscapers frequently deal with challenging terrain like steep slopes and heavy brush in often inaccessible areas. Such challenging terrain poses safety hazards that can involve mowers tipping or rolling over and workers dealing with extreme heat while cutting down deep brush. Remote-control mowers like Spider Mower USA’s all-terrain slope mowers help mitigate safety issues while reducing onsite manpower and keeping under budget.
Remote control mowers also cut down on damaging ear noise, vibrations and smelly fumes that inundate workers who operate commercial landscaping equipment. Riding lawn mowers are fine for your typical mowing job where the grass is shorter and there’s not much of a slope to deal with. Slope is the measure of vertical change over the measure of horizontal change. If the point on a hill that you’re measuring is four feet tall (vertical change) and the point at the bottom of the hill is eight feet wide (horizontal change), the slope is 4/8 or 50 percent (degrees). Operating any industrial riding lawn mower on a hillside with a slope greater than 15 degrees is outside OSHA’s recommended safety zone.
Remote control mowers, however, can traverse up to a 20 to 60 degree slope depending on its manufacturer. A Spider hillside mower can cut that steeper angle with ease utilizing its stabilizing hydraulic winch, even if you are controlling the mower from up to 900 feet away.
Measuring Slope Multiple Ways
Many jobs involve mowing thick brush on steep hills around dams, reservoirs, swampy areas and marshlands where it can be tough to get a handle on slope due to uneven terrain, slushy banks and varying heights of weeds, grasses, saplings and small trees. There are various ways to measure if your mower can handle the slope. You can use your cell phone’s level app, an inclinometer, a simple protractor, a hand level or measuring tape with a slope calculator to measure the slope of the area you’re going to work on.
Both Android and iPhones use the iHandy app which makes measuring slope incredibly easy. Use a piece of wood or other level surface to put your phone on as the ground can be uneven or wet. Your iHandy app will show you the reading without any extra effort. Estimating slope without math is easy when you use an inclinometer or a protractor. If you don’t have a digital inclinometer, you can print one out or use an app made for your mobile device. You use a protractor the same way you measured with one in high school. Level up the bottom and read the angle of your chosen point. You can also use a digital protractor. If you use a hand level and measuring tape, use an online slope calculator so all you have to do is enter the numbers to get your hill’s slope.
Measuring ahead of time is not only an issue of manpower and budget, but of lawn mower safety, whether your company uses technological devices or relies on manual means to find the angle that the mower needs to handle.
The Value of a Remote Mower
Real world situations vary when mowing irregular terrain and the value of a remote mower is that it consistently works for your business time and again. Considerations include weight, power, cost and a high return on investment. Don’t discount the value of easier learning, parts availability and overall pricing initiatives over time. Maneuverability and amount of slippage should also be considered.
Also consider whether it is best to invest in a multipurpose remote control mower or a dedicated one. Multipurpose mowers will often remove heavy brush and grind stumps. If you already mow with a multipurpose mower, you may want to consider a dedicated mower. Many businesses use multipurpose mowers less than dedicated mowers since functions like grinding stumps isn’t an everyday occurrence.
Reliability and Parts Availability
You have to consider reliability and parts availability before investing in any commercial landscaping equipment. You’ll want quick access to OEM parts like a USB serial programming interface to a geometry adjustment service tool. Downtime doesn’t pay the bills.
The Learning Curve
Proficiency with any remote mower won’t be immediate. It takes a bit of time to get used to operating out of a site line. You can’t see a low tree stump when you’re operating a remote control from a long distance.
The initial outlay for a commercial remote control mower ranges anywhere from around $10,000 to around $45,000. Buying the best to fit the needs of your business that your budget allows will ultimately up your ROI with savings across the board.
Your Return on Investment
Spider slope mowers are unique in that they have a patented four-wheel drive system with omni-directional steering.
The integrated hydraulic winch allows the mower to climb up to 60-degrees by keeping all four wheels on the ground. This stabilization technique allows the mower to maintain steep slopes while reducing soil erosion like track mowers. Brush is removed more effectively and there are less tip-over accidents due to remote operation and a lower center of gravity.
Investing in a remote control slope mower can be a higher initial outlay so there’s a lot to consider in this long term investment. If you would like to learn more about Spider remote controlled slope mowers and why they are the safest commercial landscaping equipment, contact us to help you make an informed decision. Your return on investment is holistic: budget, manpower, time and above all, safety.