Robotic mowers can be convenient, but their low power means most owners will still need to use a regular mower now and then to cut their grass. However, Cub Cadet’s new XR3 packs enough power to handle thick, tall grass so it can be your only mower. Add in advanced features like app-scheduled mowing and rain sensing, and you have a machine that takes the work out of managing a suburban lawn.
A Robotic Mower with Serious Power
Most robot mowers on the market use a tiny blade to trim the ends of the grass, limiting their use to frequent, shortcuts. Look underneath the XR3, and you’ll find a pair of triangular blades that wouldn’t look out of place on a brushcutter. This is backed by 400 watts of cutting power, putting it on par with a small walk-behind mower.
The XR3 has two modes. Most of the time it can run in Eco mode, performing a light trim to give the lawn an even, manicured finish. In Turbo mode, the blades run at top speed while mower speed is cut in half, giving it the power to cut tall grass, whether it’s at the start of the mowing season or after heavy rains.
Unlike other robotic mowers, the XR3’s 22 inch-wide deck extends past the wheels, cutting closer to buildings and curbs so you’ll have less trimming to do. Cutting height can be set anywhere from ¾ to 3.5 inches. This mower can handle slopes up to 20 degrees, so hills are no problem.
A Quiet Cut
The average mower puts out 90 dB of noise, but since it doesn’t have an internal combustion engine, the XR3 is much quieter. It produces 66 dB of noise in Eco mode, the same as the ambient sound in a busy restaurant, and 74 dB in Turbo mode, which is a little quieter than a vacuum cleaner.
How Does It Work?
When the mower is installed, perimeter wire is buried in the soil to define the edge of the lawn and obstacles including buildings and trees. From there, the mower can be programmed using an app available for iOS and Android.
The lawn can be split up into zones, letting the mower cut one section at a time. Paths can be defined to tell the mower where to cross sidewalks and driveways, shutting the blades off automatically when it reaches them. Once everything is set up, mowing times can be scheduled using the app’s calendar.
Rain sensors tell the mower when the grass is too wet to mow. If this happens, the mower will return to its base station and reschedule.
How Long Can It Mow?
The XR3 can mow for 55-70 minutes, depending on the mowing mode and condition of the lawn. Recharging usually takes 90-110 minutes. Occasionally the charger will take longer to balance the batteries, extending their life. The mower will automatically drive back to its base station and recharge when the battery is low.
What if Something Happens to the XR3?
Most situations are covered by the mower’s design:
– The blades stop automatically if the mower is lifted or tilts over.
– The mower can be controlled manually by connecting via Bluetooth so you can drive it back if it gets lost.
– The mower has built-in GPS to keep track of where it is on the lawn. If the mower is removed from the property, Cub Cadet can tell you exactly where it is.
– The mower can stay outside on the docking station during the mowing season, but it may need to be moved inside to protect the batteries from low temperatures in the winter.
How Much Does it Cost to Operate?
Power costs will vary depending on your local electricity prices, but most owners can expect their electric bill to go up by $3-$5 per month while the XR3 is in use. The electric motors are maintenance free, but you’ll still need to replace wear items like the blades and wheels over the course of the mower’s life.
Cub Cadet makes three versions of this mower, each designed around a specific size of lawn:
3000: Mows up to 1/3 acre, uses 22 kWh/month on average, and has regular drive motors.
4000: Mows up to 2/3 acre, uses 27 kWh/month and uses heavy-duty drive motors
5000: Mows up to 1 acre, uses 34 kWh/month and uses heavy-duty drive motors
How Long Will It Last?
The XR3 comes with a two-year warranty. Cub Cadet says the expected service life is between 5 to 7 years including the battery.
Where Can I Get Parts for This Mower?
While the rollout of this new product is limited to a handful of dealers, you can get all the parts you need for your XR3 from www.cubparts.com. Just select your model and serial number, and our site will show you parts specific to your model. We ship across the U.S. and Canada.