Albert is the perfect tool for anyone who likes to watch others work.
More fun than a sheep and less work than a ride-on mower, Albert is programmed to keep David and Lorraine Meharry's extensive lawns trimmed and tidy at all times.
The couple bought their Husqvarna 230 ACX automower from Norwood Machinery Centre in New Plymouth, the Taranaki distributor for this must-have machine.
"Everyone who has one gives it a name," says Norwood's parts manager Andy Davis, adding that the company will stencil the name on the shell if wanted.
For Lorraine and David, it is all part of the fun of owning the new-generation lawnmower.
"We never have to worry about the lawns again," says Lorraine. "Even when we go away, the lawns still get mown."
Albert is battery-operated and works within the wire boundaries that Andy and his team put in.
"Within a few days, the grass started to grow over the wires so that we can't see them anymore," says David.
Anthony Barry works in the Auckland Husqvarna office and says that the automower has been in New Zealand since 2006 and in existence for around 15 years.
"Most of our sales are in Germany," he says, "because many towns and cities have bylaws that prohibit the use of petrol-driven lawnmowers on Sundays, mainly because of the noise pollution."
The automower is practically silent, a slight hum the only sound to be heard as it crosses the lawn in a random pattern.
The blades are really just small razor blades and another huge plus is that there are no grass clippings to get rid of.
"The machine makes constant small movements over the surface," says Anthony. "It cuts a little, often; and with no grass waste, nothing is trampled inside."
David and Lorraine have programmed Albert to work from 9am-3pm, have a siesta until 4.15pm and then work until 9 or 10pm, with Sundays off.
When the battery getsto 20 per cent, Albert takes himself off to the docking bay, manoeuvres in and starts to
The cost is awfully attractive too, about the same as running a 75-watt light bulb.
Weather doesn't worry Albert and lawns don't worry David and Lorraine - a match
made in heaven.
Call Andy at Norwood Farm Machinery Centre, New Plymouth on 06 757 5582 or
0274 459 238.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Would you use a life coach?Related story: (See story)
Get Taranaki's frequent news and sport updates
Choose an iconic Taranaki photo as wallpaper for your computer
Astronomer Tom Whelan explains what is in the Taranaki heavens for each month.