John Deere’s smart lawn tractor tracks every inch of grass and makes garden chores fun. Tracking has become part of life, and it makes sense that this has finally spilled over to the world of lawn care. Recently, I tested out a John Deere X354 Riding Mower for an entire month and used the brand new John Deere MowerPlus Smart Connector, which costs $100.You can see a bird’s eye view of your actual lawn showing the mow pattern, and then use the Bluetooth-enabled connector with your phone to see analytics like battery state (you’ll see a warning if you have a dead battery), how much fuel is in the tank, and an hour meter showing time on the tractor.
There’s also a maintenance minder feature that gives you tips about oil changes, etc. One important note here is that the connector I tested (about the size of two or three AA batteries) works with the X300 Series and the X500 Series mowers for all of the features I tested.
If you own a 100 Series and S240 mower, you can only see the hourly usage meter, which is called the MowerPlus Hour Meter Connector and costs $79. The app has a few features that have been around for a bit, and I liked those as well. You can see an indicator of when it’s the best time to mow to avoid wet grass. There are some tips to help you mow like a pro, including one I noticed about using a mulch setting. The X354 is pretty high end and my grass looked like it had been cut by a stylist at Great Clips.
The fun part of all of this is that you can challenge yourself. For each mow, I tried cutting corners a little differently, increased my speed a touch, and generally tried to make the process less tedious. It’s a brilliant idea, too, because we’re entering an age when we’re going to track everything – who is at the front door, how many times we flush the toilet or brush our teeth, how far we drive every day, and even our own health and activity down to each heartbeat.