Some robot mowers are designed specifically for hills, they have 4 wheels (latest models now come with 4WD) with zero turn capability, and can handle up to 70 degree slopes, but these mowers tend to cost more and maybe more than you need.
Now you don’t want to be spending more than you have to, so it’s worth taking the time now before you buy to make sure your getting the best fit for your yard.
And that’s exactly why we’ve put this guide together so you’ll be better informed on which models are better suited to the slopes and which models you should avoid.
So, we’ll take you through step by step on all the key features you should be looking for when buying a robot mower for hills.
So to get started, lets find out exactly what you need.
We’ll need to know the size of your yard as well as the slope of your property, that will help you match the best mower for your specific requirements.
How do I Calculate the Slope of my Lawn?
Let’s start with the slope.
You’ll need two stakes, a piece of string that’s long enough to span between the two sticks. A tape measure and a spirit level.
Hammer one of the stakes into the ground at the top of the hill and one at the bottom of the hill.
The top end of the stake at the bottom of the hill has to be tall enough to equal the height of the top of the hill.
Then you tie the (yellow ribbon rough the old oak tree – only kidding) string to the stake at the top of the hill – at ground level, then run the string until it reaches the stake at the bottom of the hill, then tie it off, trying to get it as level as you can.
With the string tied off at the stake at the bottom of the hill, you’ll want to move it up and down until it’s flat level, best way to do this is with a carpenter’s level placed on bottom of the string.
Once the spirit level’s bubble is right in the middle that’s when you’ll know its level.
Tie the string off at that point, and measure the length of the string (that’s the slope’s run), then measure the height from the bottom of the stake to the string knot (the slope’s rise).
Then you simply divide the rise by the run to determine the slope. You multiply your answer by 100 to convert your slope into a percentage if necessary.
Hopefully that’s not too confusing, and to make your life easier I’ve included a link to a website (click here) where you’ll find a handy little calculator that will help you convert your slope into a percentage.
Now you know what slope your dealing with it makes it so much easier to work out which is the best steep slopes mower for you.
What’s the Best Robot Lawn Mower for Hills?
If you want to jump straight to the list of mowers and their maximum permissible slope range – click here.
If you want to find out what makes a robot mower good for hills and slopes, then read through the next section where to talk about design aspects that are important for mowing hills with a robotic lawn mower.
For me, this is probably one of the most important aspects of a robot mower.
You’ll notice on just about all the robot mowers nowadays, the rear wheels are large with chunky treads. This gives them better traction.
Traction is important, especially when it comes to climbing steep slopes.
If the wheels lose traction, they will start to spin and when that starts happening you ain’t going nowhere.
Longer grass types will also offer less traction, and in some cases you’ll need to consider getting wheel spikes. See more about wheel spikes here.
So for hills, you’ll want wheels that give good traction.
In addition to the wheel traction, there’s also the wheel drive mechanism.
I’m talking AWD – all wheel drive, and 4WD, that’s where all four wheels of the robot mowers have motors that allow each wheel to be driven independently as needed..