Do Robot Mowers really work on hills and slopes?

Do Robot Mowers Work on Hills?

Yes, they do,

..but some are a lot better than others.

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.

Inclination or Slope Calculator for your yard

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.

Wheels

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.

Wheel Motors

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..

The Ambrogio QUAD Elite for example, can handle slopes of up to 75%.

Yes, that’s right 75%, and that’s thanks to its 4 driving, electric-steering wheels, there’s a traction wheel motor that runs on each of the four traction modules.

There’s also the Husqvarna Automower® 435X AWD, another all-wheel drive robot lawn mower that features the latest technology.

The Husqvarna Automower® 435X AWD robot lawn mower is able to optimize the control of each wheel in order to maximize it’s performance in the most demanding terrain.

It can handle steep slopes of up to 70 % (35°) incline.

3 or 4 Wheels

All robot mowers have two rear wheels, but not all robotic lawn mowers have 2 wheels at the front.

3 wheel mowers work well, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them on general lawns

But when it comes to traversing hills with uneven terrain, i’d prefer a 4 wheel mower simply for the fact that they are more stable, and less likely to get stuck.

Better still if they are 4 wheel mowers with AWD there’s way less chance of them being stuck in a divot in the ground.

All wheel drive mowers include the:

  • Ambrogio L60 Elite
  • Husqvarna 435X AWD
  • Husqvarna 535 AWD
  • and my favourite the Ambrogio QUAD Elite

Battery / Run Time

All these robot mowers use rechargeable batteries, preferably the lithium ion battery.

What you should be looking for is mower that has a quick charge time with a higher average working time (hours).

The Ambrogio QUAD Elite has a continuos cutting time of 2:30 hours whereas the Husqvarna 535 AWD will cut continously for 1:40 hours.

If your yard’s not that big, then it’s probably not as important.

What Slopes Can Robot Lawn Mowers Manage

In the table below I’ve listed most of the more popular robotic lawn mowers available in Australia, brands such as Ambrogio, WORX, Victa, Lawnba, Masport and Husqvarna.

Most of these mowers will handle up to 24 ° slope, or a gradient of 45%, the WORX range are less.

But for more challenging properties with hills and steep slopes there a great range of very capable robotic mowers.

What’s Better – 3 or 4 Wheels

All robot mowers have two rear wheels, but not all robotic lawn mowers have 2 wheels at the front.

3 wheel mowers work well, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them on general lawns

But when it comes to traversing hills with uneven terrain, i’d prefer a 4 wheel mower simply for the fact that they are more stable, and less likely to get stuck.

Better still if they are 4 wheel mowers with AWD there’s way less chance of them being stuck in a divot in the ground.

All wheel drive mowers include the:

  • Ambrogio L60 Elite
  • Husqvarna 435X AWD
  • Husqvarna 535 AWD
  • and my favourite the Ambrogio QUAD Elite

Battery / Run Time

All these robot mowers use rechargeable batteries, preferably the lithium ion battery.

What you should be looking for is mower that has a quick charge time with a higher average working time (hours).

The Ambrogio QUAD Elite has a continuos cutting time of 2:30 hours whereas the Husqvarna 535 AWD will cut continously for 1:40 hours.

If your yard’s not that big, then it’s probably not as important.

What Slopes Can Robot Lawn Mowers Manage

In the table below I’ve listed most of the more popular robotic lawn mowers available in Australia, brands such as Ambrogio, WORX, Victa, Lawnba, Masport and Husqvarna.

Most of these mowers will handle up to 24 ° slope, or a gradient of 45%, the WORX range are less.

But for more challenging properties with hills and steep slopes there a great range of very capable robotic mowers.

Worx Robotic Lawn Mower cutting lawns

What Slopes Can Robot Lawn Mowers Manage

In the table below I’ve listed most of the more popular robotic lawn mowers available in Australia, brands such as Ambrogio, WORX, Victa, Lawnba, Masport and Husqvarna.

Most of these mowers will handle up to 24 ° slope, or a gradient of 45%, the WORX range are less.

But for more challenging properties with hills and steep slopes there a great range of very capable robotic mowers.

MODEL BRAND SLOPE GRADIENT 4WD
Landroid M500 WR139E WORX 19 ° 35% No
Landroid M1000 WR140E WORX 19 ° 35% No
Landroid L1500 WR150E WORX 19 ° 35% No
RM100 VICTA 22 ° 40% No
AUTOMOWER® 305 HUSQVARNA 22 ° 40% No
AUTOMOWER® 310 HUSQVARNA 22 ° 40% No
AUTOMOWER® 315X HUSQVARNA 22 ° 40% No
ROBOLINHO 700E MASPORT 24 ° 45% No
L32 DELUXE AMBROGIO 24 ° 45% No
L35 BASIC AMBROGIO 24 ° 45% No
L350i ELITE AMBROGIO 24 ° 45% No
TWENTY ELITE AMBROGIO 24 ° 45% No
AUTOMOWER® 430X HUSQVARNA 24 ° 45% No
L35 DELUXE AMBROGIO 24 ° 45% No
AUTOMOWER® 450X HUSQVARNA 24 ° 45% No
L400i DELUXE AMBROGIO 24 ° 45% No
L400i BASIC AMBROGIO 24 ° 45% No
L250i ELITE AMBROGIO 24 ° 45% No
L250i ELITE S+ AMBROGIO 24 ° 45% No
AUTOMOWER® 550 HUSQVARNA 24 ° 45% No
L60 ELITE AMBROGIO 26 ° 50% Yes
L60 ELITE S+ AMBROGIO 26 ° 50% Yes
E1600 LAWNBA 27 ° 55% No
E1800S4 LAWNBA 27 ° 55% No
L85 DELUXE AMBROGIO 27 ° 55% No
AUTOMOWER® 435X AWD HUSQVARNA 35 ° 70% Yes
AUTOMOWER® 535 AWD HUSQVARNA 35 ° 70% Yes
QUAD ELITE AMBROGIO 37 ° 75% Yes

Conclusion

No two yards are the same and there’s more to consider than what I’ve covered here in this article.

Other considerations are the wire perimeter slopes, thats the outer edge of the perimeter wire, the motor type (brushless motors vs brush motors), and the size and number of the Lithium-ion batteries.

The intention of this article was to:

  • Help you work-out the slope of your property
  • List the main key points / features required for a good slope robotic mower
  • Highlight which mowers are better suited – that will save you some time

If you’re still not sure which way to go, get in touch and we’ll see if we can arrange an on-site demonstration.