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A cat sitting in a plastic container that is placed on top of a autonomous vacuum cleaner.
A cat sitting in a plastic container that is placed on top of a autonomous vacuum cleaner.

Roombas are Coming

2 Minute Read
Kevin Forestell headshot
Kevin Forestell
July 13, 2017

Lawn Mowers Haven’t Changed In Years

The most ridiculous thing about our culture is the way everyone cuts their own grass with their own lawnmower.

Every Saturday morning – you’re enjoying the quiet — when all of a sudden a lawnmower fires up. Then you hear another one. One after another, every Saturday morning. My wife calls it Lawnmower Season.

But why does everyone have their own $400 lawn mower? Except for one hour a week, it just takes up room in your garage. I think it’s a bit silly.

A Place for an Autonomous Lawn Mower

Cutting grass is a perfect use case for autonomous vehicles, also called self-driving. You’ve seen those little robot vacuums that drive around your house (occasionally with cats on them). These robot vacuums drive in a straight line until they hit something, then they turn around, and repeat. They’re pretty silly, but they do a good job. There’s even a version that mows your lawn.

Imagine these robots were a little bit smarter. Not simply robot mowers, but self-driving mowers. Instead of everyone having their own $400 lawnmower in their garage, you could have a lawnmower for every block. You can program it to stay within a defined neighborhood and it goes to work.

Instead of starting up mowers every Saturday morning, everyone’s lawn is perfectly cut – effortlessly.

Commercial Landscaping and The Future of Lawn Mowers

Now, take this a bit further into commercial landscaping. I had a grass cutting project for a 2,500-acre Rifle Range – 300 of those acres had to be cut every single week. The grass could never get above three inches. At the peak of summer, the grass would be cut twice a week. Think of the size of that space. If you think everyone cutting their backyard is mad – why is a person cutting 300 acres twice a week?

Mowing is a commodity service; it’s non-disruptive, bulk work. The benefits to business owners are huge: self-driving machines are more reliable and safer. A self-driving lawnmower doesn’t have to worry about being shot when it’s mowing a rifle range.

Roombas will change our house, but self-driving machines are going to change the entire landscape of the industry. Husqvarna and John Deere already have self-driving mowers available for commercial landscaping.

Be Prepared

If you’re a business owner you have two ways to get ready for these new technological equipment pieces:

1. Invest in self-driving vehicles now to create a differentiated service business.

2. Focus on craftsmanship and move away from the commoditized, bulk work as your primary revenue stream

Roombas as a lawnmower are coming, and they will change the way both communities and commercial companies look at lawn care and landscaping. Make sure you’re prepared.

Stay Ahead, Stay Equipped

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Kevin Forestell headshot
Kevin Forestell
Kevin Forestell is CEO of DOZR and one of the co-founders. Kevin first got started as an entrepreneur when he founded Forestell Landscaping right after graduating from University. His love and passion for the industry and desire to help solve an equipment problem that contractors faced every day is what brought the founding team to start DOZR. Kevin is proud of the level of efficiency brought to the industry through DOZR and hopes that DOZR will help change the standard way equipment is rented.
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