Automower Install Basics

  Before we get started lets make sure you have the right model Automower for the job. This page on the Husqvarna site will let you measure your yard and then asks a series of questions to help you decide which model is best.

 Your Husqvarna Automower will need to be installed before it can be put into use. This involves either burying wire or even just laying wire on the surface of the ground and stapling it down. Don’t worry, wire laying on the surface will eventually become unnoticeable. You will also want to find a centrally located flat area for your charging pad. This location must have household ac current and also be free of obstacles within a 10 foot radius of the mowers entry side of the pad. We find it best to make a map of the property so you can plan boundaries, guide wires and the charging pad location. This could come in handy in the future if you’re looking for a broken wire or have plans that involve planting or digging in the yard. The buried wire is low voltage but you still don’t want to break it if you can avoid it.

Map of house and boundary wire shows pad location with no obstacles within a ten foot radius.

 Once the charger location is set you can begin trenching wire. Leave a few feet of loose wire and begin at the center of the base location. You will want to install the boundary wire at different distances from the edge of the property depending on what you want to happen there.

 The above picture is a good reference and shows the varying distances of the boundary wire away from objects. This is the wire that keeps your mower in your yard. For example if you want the automower to mow over the edge of a drive or patio and leave no trimming then you want to install the wire 4 inches from the edge of those pavers. If the wire is installed 12 inches away from an object then it will bump it and leave some trimming. If the wire is installed 14 inches away from an object then the mower won’t bump into it at all. A good example of this kind of install would include vinyl siding that would be damaged if the mower bounced off of it.

 The above picture also shows a wire leaving the charging pad and running through the middle of the yard eventually connecting to the boundary wire. This is called a guide wire and the automower uses it to find the charging station and also to follow out to specific areas for mowing. You’ll notice where the guide wire meets the boundary wire they left a loop of wire exposed. This allows for making the connection and is another reason to map out the install and pre-plan for these areas.

The pre-planned location where a guide wire will meet the boundary wire. Notice how a loop of boundary wire was left untrenched to allow for connection of the guide wire.

The boundary wire will get cut and trimmed to length and then a special weather proof connector will be used to connect the three ends together (two pieces of boundary and one guide). This will then get buried. Its just a simple matter of teeing the guide wire into the boundary loop. Depending on which model Automower is being installed there could be up to three guide wires.

Teeing the guide wire to the boundary wire.

 You’ll also notice in the above map pic where the wire comes off the boundary and goes around a few trees. These are called islands. Not all trees need islands but anything you don’t want the mower to touch or run over will need to have an island around it. A good example would be a flower garden in the middle of the yard that didn’t have a border around it. Another example might be a swing set or possibly an area that has a trailer always parked there. An island wire leaves the boundary at a right angle and then goes around the object and then returns to the boundary wire which continues around the property.

Island wires running together from the boundary wire. Notice how the island wires are crossing over a rut. The rut isn’t enough to stop the Automower but the wires have to be stapled down so the mower doesn’t get hung on them.

Its important the island wires are right next to each other where they run together. When two wires run together like this they cancel out each others signal and the mower runs right over them like there is no boundary there. Its also important that they keep the flow moving from right to left or left to right and don’t get crossed. This pic explains it best.

 Some things to consider before doing your install.

 Drives and walks-Some installations require more effort than others. For example if you want to cross a driveway or sidewalk then there may be some cutting involved in order to create a groove for the wire to sit in. There may also be the need to lift pavers and install wires under them or caulk grooves where wires cross a sidewalk or driveway.

 Slopes-Your Automower will handle most slopes just fine but there is always a chance the machine could slide down the slope in certain conditions. If the property slopes right up to a boundary wire, a flat area or a physical border at the bottom of the slope is a good idea. For example, you don’t want a slope to the lake with no buffer between the turf and the water.

 Ditches-Its ok to include a ditch in the boundary but if you have a ditch that often fills with water then you’ll have to park the mower during these events. Automowers can run in the rain and even drive through a couple inches of water but they are not boats and a sunken Automower is not covered under warranty.

 Charging pad location-We talked about keeping a clear path around the pad and the power requirements. Centrally locating it on the property is preferred but not necessary. A shady area is ideal as it is more forgiving on the batteries as they are charging. Some owners have come up with very creative ideas including dog houses or openings in the side of a shed. This provides a cooler environment, protection from the elements and a bit of security. Its not necessary but consider it when planning the location.

 Snow plowing-If your plan is to install the wire by just stapling it to the ground you may end up catching it during snow removal operations. Consider burying the wire along driveways and walks. Modern Rentals has a trencher we rent out just for this.

 Trimming-Most installs will require some grass trimming because the Automower won’t cut flush against buildings, trees or fences. Many people will clean up these areas with some type of vegetation killer or by adding mulch/stone to the landscape.

 Holes/roots-Your Automower has much smaller wheels than your garden tractor and it will probably find a few holes you weren’t even aware of. Be prepared to fill these in. The mower could also get hung up on some tall tree roots. Trees with tall roots could be island off or maybe mulch and a physical border are a better answer.

Finally,  every install will be different and it would be difficult to include every possible scenario here. Get creative. The goal is to create an environment that the Automower can handle with little human intervention.