Store Your Robotic Mower for Winter the Right Way
By Stephen Hancock
Just like most of your garden tools, even the top-rated robotic lawn mowers are not winter-friendly machines. It’s not happy being left outside braving the cruel effect of below-zero temperature and unhealthy moisture. Frost and dampness are lethal to your mower, making it useless after the cold season.
Don’t let winter shorten the lifespan of your robot lawn mower. Keep it safe and free from any element that can ruin its parts. However, you cannot just tuck it in somewhere dry and leave it there the rest of the season. You need to take some steps to ensure that it will look and perform like it’s brand new when it comes out after months of being unused.
This step is crucial. You want to fully charge the battery first before doing anything else. A fully-charged battery keeps it “active” even when not in use. This helps suppress the extreme temperature from penetrating inside the battery, which can lead to its malfunction. Once this is done, remove the machine from its docking station.
Bring the docking station, the low-voltage cable, and the transformer inside your storage room. Wipe them first and place them somewhere near the machine. It’s important to know that you need to charge the battery even when the mower is hibernating.
As to the boundary wire, you can leave it outside. Just make sure that its connector is protected. If not, insulate it using tape to prevent water from sipping through it.
Depending on the type of battery of your lawn mower, you need to recharge the battery once every two to three months. A lithium ferrum polymer battery, for instance, needs charging every three months.
Don’t keep a dirty robotic lawn mower. If not removed, the grass and mud can create moisture turning to rust. Here are a few steps that you can do to clean a lawn mower:
Step 1: Turn off
Switch off the main switch and remove the battery.
Step 2: Take out the cover
Different models have various ways of removing the top cover of the grass cutter. You can refer to the product manual to see how to do this step. If you can’t find it, search the internet for “how-to” videos.
Step 3: Clean the inside
Remove grass clippings using anything you can find lying around, except sharp objects like knives. If you have a vacuum, put it in a low setting to suck out the mess. This helps remove the dry grass. If you don’t have a vacuum, you can use either a brush or a toothbrush to clean the inside part. Never use a pressure washer for this task.
Step 4: Clean the cover and put it back
Use a damp cloth to wipe the cover of the machine. You don’t need a cleaning solution to dampen the fabric; water is enough. Once cleaned, put the cap back.
Step 5: Clean the blades
Put the machine upside down to check on the blades. Remove grass or soil that is on it. See if the edges are in good condition. Consider replacing the blade before storing the machine if you can see dents or any damage. If you don’t think you can handle replacing the blade yourself, contact a professional to do it for you.
Step 6: Update the software
Go to your manufacturer’s website and see if you need to update the machine’s software. If yes, the page will also provide directions on how to do it.
After cleaning the robotic lawn mower, place it in a dry and not too cold area. If you don’t have a storage room, winter storage companies like Husqvarna offer safekeeping of mowers. If your lawn mower has an anti-theft feature, you can use it as long as the battery is charged.
Once winter is over, make sure that every part of the machine is clean. The contact strips and charging strips must be working properly before you start using the mower. Wipe the surface with a clean towel and test if the battery is charging well. Fully charge the battery before using the robot. Set up the correct date and time. Once everything is ready, you can start using your lawn mower again.
Preparing the lawn mower for winter is not difficult. All you have to do is simple maintenance, and your grass cutter will be working great for many years.
Stephen Hancock received his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering (Robotics Track) from University of Utah in 2004. Since then, he’s contributed to numerous articles and has been a consultant for many technical publications and websites.