Remote-Control Lawn Mower Eyed for Improved Worker Safety at UB

“A remote-controlled mower can allow our employees to guide the unit from a safe distance, eliminating the risk of rollovers of riding mowers...”
Christopher Donacik, assistant director of UB buildings and grounds
Remote-control lawn mower.

UB staff watch a demonstration of the Spider, a remote-controlled lawn mowing unit, on the hillside of Walter Kunz Stadium.

Published May 25, 2018

The Spider, a remote-controlled lawn mowing unit, could improve worker safety at UB.

Improving Safety

UB University Facilities and Procurement Services staff members watched a demonstration of the Spider mower, a remote-controlled lawn mowing unit with all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering capabilities. The unit was developed by Company Dvorak in the Czech Republic, and is operated by a worker using a joystick-like unit.

Christopher Donacik, assistant director of UB buildings and grounds, says, "We are looking for options to make mowing the campus’s steeper hillsides and hard-to-reach areas safer.” He adds, “A remote-controlled mower can allow our employees to guide the unit from a safe distance, eliminating the risk of rollovers of riding mowers when cutting the grass on these types of areas.”

Exploring Possibilities

After watching the Spider mower demonstration, Facilities Management and Procurement Services managers planned to talk with other facilities and building and grounds professionals around the state who already have Spider mowers in use.

James Scripp, head grounds supervisor for Facilities Campus Operations, says, “The top three factors, for us, are safety, time and fuel. There is a four-and-a-half gallon tank in this unit, so you can mow a half-day on one tank, break for lunch, fill up, and finish the day. Over the course of the mowing season, that can translate to significant savings on time and fuel.”

UB managers viewing the demonstration said a final decision has not been made on whether the Spider will be coming to UB.