Ambrogio L400 Elite

The Ambrigio L400 Elite caught our attention here at Mack Land, LLC.

The Italians aren’t only famous for their sports cars, motorcycles, clothing, food etc. They have also used their flair for design and attention to detail in the field of robotic mowers.

In our previous robotic lawn mower articles we discussed what features to look for when choosing one  and more specifically about the Italian made Ambrogio range of robotic mowers. The Ambrogio L400 Elite now takes things to a whole new level.

We provide many services including landscape architecture, irrigation etc. but most often our swimming pool removal services are the catalyst for implementing many of these robotic lawn mowers. Customers have their  swimming pools removed for a variety of reasons and then need to make a decision what to do with the resulting space. Besides garden trains, car lifts and other interesting uses of the space the most common request after a pool removal job we are asked to do is to turn the resulting space into a luscious lawn. These clients need to start thinking about how to maintain this new expanse of lawn. Enter the Ambrogio L400 Elite.

While lesser models need to make use of a perimeter wire to ensure that the mower does not head off to the neighbors, the Ambrogio L400 Elite makes use of very accurate differential GPS technology allowing the robot to cover large areas without the need for a perimeter wire. These advanced cutting and navigation systems guarantee inch level cutting precision, memorizing and avoiding the areas that have already been mowed.

A map can be defined at the time of installation that allows the robot to mow in straight lines, reducing the mowing time to the minimum possible.

All of these features making the Ambrogio L400 Elite the world’s only robotic lawnmower that can covers areas up to 7.5 acres.

With such great features and huge coverage ability, the care and maintenance of very large areas, such as airfields, golf courses, football fields and parks becomes easy with the Ambrogio L400 Elite.

Read more about this clever robotic mower here and if you live in the greater Chicago or Denver areas talk to us about including an estimate for the implementation of an Ambrogio L400 Elite when we supply you with our estimate for other work.

 

Car Lift – The next generation in parking

Just when you thought you have seen it all, along comes the car lift.

Having your swimming pool removed is one big decision, deciding what to do with the resulting space is another. We have previously spoken about how we have put that space to good use. These projects included smart irrigation, xeriscaping and robotic mowers. Just imagine if budget was no object and you asked us to convert that hole in the ground into a car lift. Well, imagine no further. Take a look here at this clever technology developed in Europe.

What is a car lift?

Car lifts are alternative solutions to the conventional access ramp of a garage.

A car lift is installed where, for space reasons, a ramp can not be built or to maximize the space that would be lost by creating a ramp. This results in a greater number of parking spaces.

Choosing a car lift may also be for aesthetic reasons. The lift becomes an alternative solution to the ramp that combines functionality and aesthetics while keeping and dedicating all the outdoor space to gardens or courtyards. The result is an invisible car lift, with a covering roof resembling the rest of the garden/courtyard.

Car Lift Denver

What about safety?

Safety regulations require that the user, when on the platform, holds down the button for the entire duration of the lift’s journey if the compartment is not completely enclosed, i.e. without cabin doors. Lifting platforms for people also fall under the same regulation and are operated with a dead-switch mode when they have no cabin doors.

From the outside of the platform, the car lift movement can be automatic, by pressing a button.

For platforms with railings (or positioned in fully enclosed compartments) it is possible to call the lift from outside by pressing the button from the floor panel or by using a remote control.

The car lift system has perimeter photocells to prevent the risk of crushing anything in its path.

Other safety photocells are installed on board the platform to prevent the risk of shearing and to signal the correct positioning of the car.

A series of safety measures are also present such as a surface camera, color display and on-board LCD touch-screen that allow to control the system area during all stages of movement.

What happens if there is a power failure?

In the event of a power failure the included uninterruptible power supply will kick in allowing the lift to descend and the doors to open even in the absence of electricity.

Systems with people on board are also equipped with an acoustic alarm and telephone (like with conventional elevators for people). The telephone allows the user to contact the operations center to alert technicians who will be able to identify the system from the telephone number.

It is also possible to install a generator which would also supply the required power to keep the lift operational in the event of a power failure.

Car lift Chicago

How does the car lift handle low temperatures?

The hydraulic control unit of the car lift is equipped with a heating probe to keep the system oil warm avoiding the risk of freezing.

In countries with frequent snowfall, it is advisable to install heating pads similar to those used in heated driveways under the roof paving to prevent snow from accumulating.
It is also possible to use special oils suitable for particularly low temperatures. In addition, by setting the automatic return to the ground floor, the amount of oil present in the pipes is reduced, so that the heating probe is more effective.

What about rain?

Rain is prevented from flooding the underground structure by making use of gutters than run around the perimeter of the covering roof.

In the four corners of the roof there are guttering has drains to channel water into the sewer system.

In the bottom of the pit, however, there must be a well with a safety electric pump as backup.

Is it possible to use the space above the lift to park another car?

It is possible to use the roof of the system for both parking and for the transit of another car. The car lift standard roof can support up to 5500 lbs.

For safety reasons, it is not possible to lift the second parked car while parked on the roof.

What materials can be used to cover the roof?

It is possible to pave the roof in any material to contribute to making it totally invisible and obtaining a prestigious finish. The car lift roof can be covered to blend in with the surrounding landscape architecture.

The materials most often used are grass, marble, teak and stone.

So once escrow has closed on that mansion of your dreams and you’re trying to work out where to park your weekend sports car, consider installing a car lift to keep that beauty protected and secure while still being able to enjoy your uncluttered garden.

With credit to Ideal Park and Cardok.

Ambrogio Robot – Robotic Lawn Mower

In our previous article titled ROBOTIC MOWER – WHICH ONE FOR MY LAWN? we spoke about the features of robotic mowers in general, here we focus more on the Ambrogio Robot series and how they not only meet but exceed these features.

The current Ambrogio Robot series is split into 3 major groups the GREEN Line, the PRO Line and the recently announced NEXT Line.

Ambrogio Robot GREEN Line

THINK SAFE & GREEN
The Ambrogio Robot GREEN Line was designed to allow you to benefit from all the advantages offered by Ambrogio’s simple and innovative technology. The four models ensure excellent cut and nutrition of the turf, resulting in a greener, lusher, healthier lawn in a completely eco-friendly way.

SIMPLE & ECO-FRIENDLY
Respects the environment, very quiet. The set-up menus are simple and intuitive.

SMALL, COMPACT & SAFE
Designed for small to medium sized properties, it moves with extreme agility and is completely safe.

Ambrogio Green Line

Ambrogio Robot PRO Line

The Ambrogio Robot PRO Line series of lawnmowers is designed for those who want a professional and excellent product. The ten Pro Line models all have brushless motors, powerful lithium-ion batteries and advanced cutting systems to meet the needs of homeowners who want to keep their lawn in pristine condition, all year round.

AUTONOMOUS &EFFICIENT
Ambrogio does not need to work continuously during the day and night when used on average-sized properties. Powerful batteries and careful programming allow Ambrogio to stay in the recharging base all night and part of the day (or vice versa, according to the needs of the owner).

HIGH PERFORMANCE & MAXIMUM PRECISION
Ambrogio easily handles the most difficult slopes, up to 29° for the L85 Elite model. The stainless steel blades ensure precise cutting on any type of grassy surface.

SMART & USER-FRIENDLY
Ambrogio’s rain sensor signals the robot to return to the charging station in case of rain. Ambrogio’s flexible programming options are easy to set-up.

Ambrogio Pro Line

Proline “i”

As an upgrade to the PRO Line there are also the Ambrogio Robot i series elite models. They add the following extra features.

LATEST GENERATION MOTHERBOARD
The processors are faster and can process more data at higher rates, with less power consumption.

ZCS CONNECT *
This new ZCS-labeled device allows you to connect and interact with the robot anytime and anywhere (with your own smartphone or tablet). By using the Remote Ambrogio App, it is possible to setup the robot time-profiles, verify its location (geolocalization), isolate and/or work in specific areas of the yard (Go Away), monitor the status of the robot and receive alerts if it is removed from the yard (Geo fence alarm, an evolved anti-theft system). Thanks to the Go Home and Work Now functions, it is possible to force the robot to return to the recharging station or to work in the yard.
* Free traffic data for two years. Renewable on expiration.

TOUCH DISPLAY
The interactive and intuitive touch display allows interacting with the graphic interface of the operating system by simply touching the screen with your fingers, without having to use
physical keys.

GSM & BLUETOOTH
The communication technology that allows updating the software and driving the robot in close proximity.

Ambrogio Proline "i"

 

The Ambrogio Robot NEXT Line

This newly released 4.0 range takes the Ambrosio Robot features even a step further.

4.0 Basic

The 4.0 Basic model is ideal for those who want a simple and reliable robot that adapts to changes. Its flexible, yet solid and secure structure enables the installation of three different types of Power Units, which allows it to convert from a robot small- to medium sized yards (with Power Unit Light up to 1/5 acre or with Power Unit Medium up to 1/3 acre to a solution that covers up to ½ acre (with PowerUnit Premium) with extreme precision. The brushless motors, rubber wheels and soft bumper complete the profile of an innovative robot that meets the most varied needs. Equipped with Bluetooth receiver, it can be controlled independently by a dedicated App. The new design also allows greater autonomy: the body designed around the blade provides quick and safe self-cleaning. The Basic 4.0 is the only customisable robotic lawnmower that changes with your yard!

4.0 Elite

The Elite model combines the features of flexibility and modularity with 4.0 technological innovation.
It comes with a ZCS Connect device that allows the safe connection of the robot anytime and anywhere, by means of GPS, Bluetooth and GSM technology.
With a simple touch, the robot can be stopped and started and areas can be excluded. The Geofence Alarm allows the system to alert the user when the robot is taken from the yard. In this way, you will always be informed on the movements of your Ambrogio 4.0., with its evolved anti-theft system.
It can be combined with the Medium, Premium and ExtraPremium Power Units going from ½ acre up to 3/4 acre coverage.
The Extra Premium kit permits equipping the robot with the inductive recharge. Ambrogio only has to touch the station, which is now smaller and less bulky, to recharge itself.
Inductive recharge avoids regular cleaning of the contacts. The adjustment of the blade height, now motorized, is also easy to operate, thus facilitating the use of your robot.
ZCS technology is more user-friendly and interactive for easier maintenance of your lawn in a completely autonomous manner. Always, anywhere, anytime… super smart Ambrogio!

Ambrogio Next Line
Ambrogio Next Line

 

What is ZSC?

With the ZCS CONNECT MODULE* the future is here and now!
The new ZCS labeled devices allows connection and interaction with the robot anytime and anywhere (with your own smartphone or tablet). By using the Remote App Ambrogio, it is possible to set-up the robot time-profiles, verify its location (geo-localization), isolate and/or work on specific areas of the yard (Go Away), monitor the status of the robot and receive alerts if it is taken out of the yard (Geofence alarm, an evolved anti-theft system). Thanks to the Go Home and Work Now functions, it is possible to force the robot to return to the recharging station and to work in the yard.

These Ambrosio Robot Robotic lawn mowers are the latest in unattended mowing solutions. Compare the different models here.

Having your pool removed and the resulting space professionally landscaped could leave you with a wonderful stretch of lawn. With these great products from Ambrogio there’s no need to worry about how to keep it looking trim and neat.

Contact us and we will facilitate installation as part of our landscape architecture services in both the Denver and greater Chicago areas.

Garden trains – after the pool removal

Garden trains? What has this got to do with landscaping? Read further.

That pool in the yard has been an eyesore for many years and you have eventually decided to have it professionally removed. The question is what to do with all of that newly generated real estate and how to keep the kids entertained. As members of the American Society of Landscape Architects many of our customers contract us to stay on site to design their landscapes after the pool removal is complete.

Specifying a design possible of incorporating garden trains is something that we have been asked to do in the past.

We are able to provide the landscaping and retaining walls and design and plan out the layout. In other instances we can work with someone who already has a plan in mind.  In an existing garden we could build the natural stone retaining walls and excavate and provide power.  Some hobbyists may want to handle some of the finer details, others would want us to provide a complete turnkey package.

When considering garden trains the kinds of aspects that we would need to take into consideration include the following:

  • Consider How Much Yard You Want To Leave in Lawn
  • Consider where your focus Points Should Be
  • Know Your Trees and Know Your Shade
  • Consider the Yard’s Slope
  • Consider Privacy
  • Consider Water Runoff
  • Decide HOW Your Focus Points Should Interrelate
  • Balance Your Features
  • Provide Vertical Interest
  • Plan Access to Features
  • Plan Routes Among Features
  • Use Lines to Draw Attention
  • Vary Textures to Draw Attention

Now that we have your interest piqued, where does one start with garden trains?

One of the most important aspects is the type of rail and track. This is one area where you must not skimp as this must last a long time under varying weather conditions.

Rail is usually made from either Brass; Aluminium; Stainless Steel or Nickel Silver. All these metals have their advantages and disadvantages but overall brass seems to have the edge. All of these can be mixed on your layout apart from aluminium which can apparently react adversely to other metals.

By far the most common sectional track is made from heavy solid brass rail mounted on injection molded imitation wood-textured sleeper  strips usually made from UPVC plastic with UV protection against the effects of the sun’s rays. Even longer lengths of flexible track trend to use multiple short sections of webbed sleepers.

Then there is decision about locomotives, rolling stock, figures, power etc. etc.

Take a look at this wonderful design by Dennis Cipcich.

Bottom line? If you reside in the greater Chicago or Denver areas, already have your own garden train design or need a turnkey job done all you need to do is contact us and we’ll get right back to you.

 

Denver Pool Removal

We received an inquiry from our Colorado office from a prospect looking for a reputable Denver pool removal company. Removing a swimming pool is quite a big undertaking and clients like to do their due diligence before selecting a contractor. While chatting with this prospect these are some of the questions that they had.

Do you have any examples of other Denver pool removal jobs?

We have been in the Denver pool removal business for many years. We have removed many pools from the areas within a 15 mile radius of Denver, and have many satisfied customers. Take a look at just a few of these here.

Lakewood, CO

Greenwood Village, CO

Littleton, CO

What methods do you use?

We have continually refined our processes in order to do the job as quickly and efficiently as possibly. Long gone are the days of the wrecking ball. We are able to minimize collateral damage by using new and improved low impact techniques.  Our main tool to achieve this is the compact excavator.  We also make sure to do inspections long before we start to ensure that everything runs without a hitch.  Additionally we are a complete turnkey solution company with ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) certifications allowing us to not only manage your Denver pool removal but also to leave you with a beautifully landscaped garden afterwards.

How environmentally conscious are you?

Where possible all the concrete associated with the pool removal is completely demolished and processed into 8” fracture concrete gravel similar to PGE and used as fill in the resultant hole.  Because we process the concrete associated with the pool into fill material, also called our low impact method, it reduces heavy truck loads of concrete out and then heavy truck loads of fill back in reducing trauma to your property and public roads.

We also recycle all the pool heaters plus whatever other material is recyclable.

What about OSHA?

We continually keep abreast of the latest OSHA requirements to ensure a safe working environment for both our employees and for our customers.

As you can see there is a lot to consider before choosing your Denver pool removal contractor. Get the facts, make an informed decision and be happy with the outcome.

Still not sure? Contact us for a free consultation.

Chicago pool removal

We recently had a client who was looking for a reputable Chicago pool removal company. They were quite thorough in their approach and did a lot of research. Here are some of the questions that they asked us along with our responses.

Do you have any examples of other Chicago pool removal jobs?

We have been in the Chicago pool removal business for many years, have removed 100’s of pools and have many satisfied customers. Take a look at just a few of these here.

Algonquin, IL – Above ground Pool removal

Long Grove, IL – In ground Pool removal

All concrete Pool removal in Northbrook, IL

What methods do you use?

We have continually refined our processes in order to do the job as quickly and efficiently as possibly. Long gone are the days of the wrecking ball. We are able to minimize collateral damage by using new and improved low impact techniques.  Our main tool to achieve this is the compact excavator.  We also set up the Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators (JULIE) inspection long before we start to ensure that everything runs without a hitch.  Additionally we are a complete turnkey solution company with ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) certifications allowing us to not only manage your Chicago pool removal but also to leave you with a beautifully landscaped garden afterwards.

How environmentally conscious are you?

Where possible all the concrete associated with the pool removal is completely demolished and processed into 8” fracture concrete gravel similar to PGE and used as fill in the resultant hole.  Because we process the concrete associated with the pool into fill material, also called our low impact method, it reduces heavy truck loads of concrete out and then heavy truck loads of fill back in reducing trauma to your property and public roads.

We also recycle all the pool heaters plus whatever other material is recyclable.

What about OSHA?

We continually keep abreast of the latest OSHA requirements to ensure a safe working environment for both our employees and for our customers.

As you can see there is a lot to consider before choosing your Chicago pool removal contractor. Get the facts, make an informed decision and be happy with the outcome.

Still not sure? Contact us for a free consultation.

Smart Irrigation

In our previous article we spoke specifically about the Rachio Smart Irrigation system and what features a good smart controller needs to have. In this article we talk about smart irrigation in general.

Smart Irrigation Systems – Saving water

Smart sprinklers and irrigation controllers can simplify home lawn and garden care, and reduce water consumption.

Instead of fixed timers, these systems draw on data from sensors, weather forecasts and plant-care databases to determine watering needs. They deliver just enough moisture at just the right time. Lower your water bill, and check up on your plants from anywhere in the world using mobile and web apps.

EPA standards

According to the EPA, in the United States, outdoor water use alone averages more than 9 billion gallons of water each day, mainly for landscape irrigation. As much as 50% of this water is wasted due to over watering caused by inefficiencies in traditional irrigation methods and systems. Smart irrigation control technologies can significantly reduce over watering by applying water only when plants need it.

Not all controllers are made equal so the EPA came up with the WaterSense stamp of approval. WaterSense labeled controllers allow watering schedules to better match plants’ water needs. With proper installation, programming, and maintenance, homeowners and businesses can use WaterSense labeled controllers instead of standard clock-timer controllers on their existing systems, and no longer worry about wasted water.

To earn the WaterSense label, landscape irrigation controllers must be able to adequately meet the watering needs of a landscape without over watering. As with all other WaterSense labeled products. WaterSense labeled controllers will be independently certified to ensure that they meet the criteria for efficiency and performance.

Replacing a standard clock timer with a WaterSense labeled irrigation controller can save an average home nearly 8,800 gallons of water annually. If every home in the United States with an automatic irrigation system installed and properly operated a WaterSense labeled irrigation controller, we could save $435 million in water costs and 120 billion gallons of water across the
country annually from not over watering lawns and landscapes. That’s equal to the annual household water needs of nearly 1.3 million average American homes.

The Benefits

If you’re a typical property owner, you probably put your automatic sprinkler system into the same category as your heating and cooling system. You expect it to work reliably and efficiently with minimum fuss. Smart irrigation controllers saves water, saves time, adds convenience.

There are two major types of smart irrigation controllers: weather-based and on-site soil moisture sensors. The right solution depends on your geographic location and landscape environment. Not wanting to baffle you with too much detail here. We suggest that you contact us to discuss the various options for your site.

We have installed smart irrigation systems in Denver and in the greater Chicago areas where we have our teams located.

Let us conduct an irrigation audit for you to help determine the best smart irrigation solution for your property.

 

 

Recycling Pool Heaters

The question about Recycling Pool Heaters often comes up.

When you remove as many pools as we do here at Mack Land we tend to accumulate a lot of recyclable material such as pool heaters. Recycling pool heaters at a state regulated facility follows our ethos of being as friendly to the environment as possible on every job that we do.

How do you prove you’re the industry leader?  Drop off 33 pool heaters at a time from our Illinois operation, to be reborn into new products that you may be using tomorrow.

Both our Chicagoland and Denver Metro operations strive to reduce the impact to your property and to reduce the impact to the environment by keeping trash out of the landfill and recycling all the various debris generated from a pool removal.

Doing the right things today for tomorrow.

It makes no difference if it’s an all concrete pool removal in Northbrook, IL or an indoor pool removal in Colorado Springs , CO

Don’t do anything before Contacting us about removing your pool.

Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping is known as the art of conserving water through creative landscaping.

The concept was coined and trademarked by Denver Water, the city of Denver’s water department, during a difficult drought period in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Since then Xeriscaping has become more mainstream even in areas where this is no drought but where people would like to conserve water for many other reasons.

Yards that embrace xeriscape ideas actually feature all manner of plants and garden styles, including cottage gardens. The term simply refers to a landscape that minimizes water use.

For a Xeriscape exercise to be successful the following steps need to be considered.

  • Thorough planning and design of the overall area
  • Improving the soil with organic matter to hold more moisture
  • Practical turf management.  Turf grasses have a place in xeriscapes for recreational space, for pets, or just for their aesthetic appeal. However, because turf grass uses more water and maintenance than any other part of the xeriscape, it is recommended only for limited areas that serve a specific purpose. Lawns created primarily for appearance could be replaced by attractive alternatives, which also reduce erosion, prevent the sun’s glare, and cool the local environment.
  • Appropriate plant selection is key. As you research xeriscaping plants, always select ones that are winter hardy in your zone. Many of these water-wise plants demand well-drained soil. Take time to amend soil in planting beds with compost or grit, which includes things like gravel, pulverized granite, terra-cotta pot pieces or builder’s sand.
  • Efficient irrigation practices, such as “smart systems” like those from Rachio that recognize moisture content or drip systems which lessen evaporation.
  • The use of mulches, both organic (compost, wood chips, bark, etc.) or others such as gravels, cobbles or decomposed granite.
  • And finally, on-going maintenance of the garden to ensure long term health and appearance.

As members of the American Society of Landscape Architects we have years of experience and are eminently qualified to assist you in your xeriscaping pursuits.  We are able to tackle xeriscaping in Chicago and xeriscaping in Denver with teams in both of these areas and surrounds.

Contact us and we will get right back to you.

 

Compact Excavator Advantages

The compact excavator or mini excavator has many advantages with very few disadvantages.  You will notice that we use the compact excavator for a great deal of the services we offer.

Here are some of the many projects that we tackle where the compact excavator is used.

  • Swimming Pool Removals
  • Grading & Drainage
  • Boulder and Outcropping Stone Walls
  • Electrical Trenching
  • Underground Utilities
  • Detention Pond Maintenance
  • Detention Ponds
  • Fish Ponds
  • Topsoil
  • Fill Dirt
  • Landscape Berms
  • Small Structure Demolition
  • Heating Oil Tank Removal
  • Concrete Removal
  • Driveway Removal
  • Debris Removal
  • Lot Clearing & Buckthorn Removal
  • Parking Lot Additions

A compact excavator is a large piece of equipment, driven by a qualified worker, that can be used for either digging or demolition. Because these excavators are smaller than other types of similar equipment, they are generally used for small to medium-sized projects.  These machines may not have the digging depth of their full-sized counterparts, but they bring superior capabilities to smaller digging operations in close quarters.

One of the biggest benefits of using a mini excavator is that it brings a lot of power to a small space. Even projects that don’t provide much room for large equipment, a mini excavator may be able to handle with ease. They have a small foot print but are very powerful and can manage even tough tasks.

There are two basic types of attachments that can be used with a compact excavator, those used for digging and those used for demolition. The type of attachment we use will depend on the project we are working on and some projects may require us to use a few different kinds of attachments.

 

Compact Excavator Advantages

 More versatility.  – Different attachments to accomplish a variety of tasks using one machine. For example, you could drill a hole with an auger, demolish concrete with a breaker or move concrete debris using a thumb.
Better maneuverability. – Features such as 360-degree turning, offset digging and reduced tail swing allow rented compact excavators to work productively in spaces where a full-sized excavator could not move.
Lower fuel expenses. – A compact excavator uses less fuel than larger excavating equipment does. You also can tow a compact excavator using smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Lighter footprint. – A rubber-tracked compact excavator can move over pavement without harming it. A compact excavator’s low ground pressure also minimizes damage to turf.
Less noise. – Compact excavators generate less noise than larger excavators, especially when moving across pavement or other hard surfaces.

Completing projects safely and efficiently is our number one priority. With good leadership and communication and using the best equipment for the job, you’ll end up with a great outcome every time. If you’re in the greater Denver or Chicago areas please contact us to discuss your compact excavator requirements.