Landscape crews are tackling the steep, uneven terrain along Interstate 77 in South Carolina with the help of a 2,500-pound, remote-controlled robotic mower that can operate in hard-to-reach places, such as underneath billboards.
The $80,000 piece of equipment is owned by Dixie Lawn Service of Kings Mountain, North Carolina, which contracts with the South Carolina Department of Transportation to maintain York County’s primary and secondary roads.
“This is the safest way to do it,” Billy Lingerfelt, the area supervisor for Dixie Lawn Service, told The Herald in Rock Hill, South Carolina. “If you’ve got an operator in a machine (on an embankment) and it rolls over, he could get hurt.”
The Traxx RF, manufactured by Seguin, Texas-based Alamo Industrial, is a relatively new device that combines the features of a riding mower with the operating principles of a toy car. Work crews operate the mower with a handheld device from level ground. “It saves a lot of time,” Lingerfelt said. “I used to have 10 guys and now I can just use one person with a remote control.” To see a video of the Traxx RF in action, visit the Alamo Industrial website.
Alamo says the machine’s remote-control signal is good up to 1,000 feet. The mower has rubber tracks with steel cleats and spikes – features which, when coupled with its low center of gravity, make the Traxx RF safe to operate on slopes up to 60 degrees, according to the manufacturer.