FTC Disclaimer: The following post is sponsored by Husqvarna.
Sometimes surfing on Facebook pays off.
A few months ago, my wife was scrolling through her Facebook feed when a link popped up offering a chance to try an automatic lawnmower. Potential candidates had to live in the Southwestern United States, have a strong enough presence on social media, and have a compelling argument about how an automatic lawnmower would change their lives.
The first two requirements were easy: I live in the Atlanta area and (obviously) I have a few social media channels. But the third one was a bit more challenging. I mean, yeah, a robot that mows my lawn… that’s cool. But what advantage does it give me over firing up the old push mower once every couple of weeks?
Our house was built in the early ’80s on roughly an acre of land, a quarter of which is wooded. It’s a solid enough house, but the catch is that the house hasn’t really been updated in the nearly forty years. The yard was also left to its own natural devices and the usable portion is a fairly steep hill. We’re working on the interior first, but that leaves the hill to contend with these pre-arthritic knees (thank you, United States Navy) in the Georgia summer heat.
We crafted a quick response and sent it off, not expecting to hear anything. As fate would have it, we did, and we were chosen for the Automower First Program. Husqvarna sent us one of their Automower 430x models, including installation. It’s smartphone controllable, roams the yard like a Roomba, and is supposedly quiet enough to run at night. Basically, it’s designed to maintain the yard 24/7.
I’m excited about this opportunity because it saves me from climbing this steep hill every week while manhandling a lawn mower, which will hopefully reduce the amount of pain in my knees. It also opens up time to continue the interior renovations, start work on the exterior (including a rebuild of the fence and the deck), and to map out the plans for terracing the yard. When the exterior work is done, we’ll have to call the Husqvarna installer again to re-run the guide wires, but that’s a small price to pay for a usable and enjoyable yard.
We get to keep the mower in exchange for five weeks of social media exposure detailing our adventures with this little buddy. That will take place on this blog (which feeds to the Facebook page, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google Plus), my personal Facebook profile, and my Instagram page. I am considering options to include my YouTube account as well, which would expand this ten-year audio podcast veteran’s horizons with the video front.
You can also track our progress and that of other people in the program by following the hashtags #Automower and #AutomowerFirst.