John Deere’s smart lawn tractor tracks every inch of grass and makes garden chores fun


Maybe you do not know that, but you are being followed – and not always in a bad way. Cookies in your browser track your web visits and place relevant ads on Facebook. It could be called more than a mistake in terms of technological advances. Your car also tracks your location using GPS, and the Fitbit watch knows where to run every morning.

Tracking has become a part of life, and it makes sense that this has finally entered the world of lawn care. I recently tested a John Deere X354 ride-on mower for a full month and used the brand-new John Deere MowerPlus Smart Connector, which costs $ 100 (about $ 80, $ 150).

The basic idea with this connector is to help you with how (and where) you mow, but it's also helpful for maintenance, efficient use and, to be honest, a bit of fun.

(Credit: John Deere)

The app shows you exactly where you mow, which is my favorite feature. You can see from a bird's eye view how much has actually been mowed on your lawn. Then use your phone's Bluetooth-enabled port to view analyzes such as battery status (you will receive a warning when the battery is empty). Fuel is in the tank and an hour meter indicates the time on the tractor. There is also a maintenance function that gives you tips on changing the oil, etc.

An important note here is that the plug I tested (about the size of two or three AA batteries) works with the X300 series and X500 series mowers for all the features I've tested. If you own a Series 100 Mower and S240 Series MowerPlus, you will only be able to see the Hours Counter, which is called the MowerPlus Hours Meter, and costs $ 79 (about $ 60, $ 120).

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Mow like a pro

I mowed about four times with the X354 and liked being able to see all this data. I'm not an overly detailed person – for example, I just jump up and down without thinking too much about tubes that I'll have to clear out of the way later – and I'm not a hyper-environmentalist I'd like to spare at any time every quart of gasoline I easily adapt my mowing pattern.

I am a geek though. It's cool to see the mowing pattern for me, not so much because I'm going to mow differently, but mainly because it's cool to see that technology is even possible.

The app has some features that have been around for some time, and I liked them too. You can see an indicator of when the best time to mow is to avoid wet grass. There are some tips that will help you mow like a professional, including one I've noticed about using a mulch setting. The X354 is pretty high quality and my grass looked as if it had been cut by a stylist at Great Clips.

John Deere lawn tractor

(Credit: John Deere)

The funny part of it all is that you can challenge yourself. Every time I've mowed, I've tried to cut corners a bit differently, increase speed, and generally try to make the process less tedious.

I'll say the tractor itself is like a Cadillac compared to the riding mower I normally use, though neither of them can handle the steep slope of my lawn ridge (which requires a mower). I forgot to set the app to record my mowing once, and for those like me who are not planning things in advance, it may be difficult to remember to have done this. I prefer a built-in AI where the app knows when it's near the mower and when you start cutting.

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However, this is a small problem. If you've invested in a powerful lawnmower like this, it makes sense to track every inch of your lawn. The apps save the history of each cut so that you can compare results and even track your lawn care year to next.

It's also a great idea because we're entering an age where we're going to track everything – who's at the front door, how often we flush the toilet or brush our teeth, how far we drive every day and even our own health and health Activity until every heartbeat.

I am all for you – it means more to look around. Including lawn care.

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