Monday, September 25, 2023

Advantages and disadvantages of a motorized cultivator

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The motor cultivator or walking tractor is a tool very versatile used, in essence, to control weeds in the field. In this article we will study components, functions and, mainly, the advantages and disadvantages of a motor cultivator.

It is well known that for agricultural work it is of the utmost importance to maximize production, this is achieved by incorporating into daily tasks tools Y machinery that help to shorten time and minimize effort. Formerly hoes were used to eradicate weeds that affect the crop.

The first advance in this sense occurred when the peasants began to use draft animals (such as mules, horses and oxen) to speed up the cultivation work and loosen the topsoil.

With the passing of the years, technological advances have arrived that have been used to optimize the processes, now, almost all the tools They are powered by a motor. In this case, the best results in terms of production are seen with the motor cultivator.

The history of the cultivator

The Australian Arthur Clifford Howard, in 1912, began to devise a system that would facilitate the work of his father’s farm, he began to experiment with his father’s steam tractor as a source of power and multiple rotary blades. By 1919 he had his design ready and in 1920 he patented the motor cultivator.

What is a motorized cultivator?

The motor cultivator, also know as walking tractor or tiller, is a single-axle self-propelled vehicle that is steered with two height-adjustable handlebars or arms. It is generally operated standing up, although, if the model admits a trailer, the operator can sit down.

We can define the motor cultivatorAlso, like a small low-power tractor with only two wheels, the third support is the implement or added machine.

Its main function is to work the superficial layer of the soil in farms, orchards, gardens and the like.

walking tractor

Main features

Motor Cultivator Parts


It can be gasoline or diesel, they usually have powers of up to 20CV (horsepower) and a displacement of up to 500cc. They are generally 4-stroke air-cooled with sheet metal cover protection. Starting can be by crank or starter motor.


The clutch disconnects the transmission of power from the engine to the gearbox, it has forward and reverse gear. It has a power take-off for the work of agricultural implements. Some models have belt or chain drive.


The rototiller is an accessory similar to a milling cutter with several rotating blades, the working width goes from 40 to 100cm to remove up to 15cm of soil depth.


In a similar way to a plow, these two handles serve to control the direction of movement of the motor cultivator. In these, there are all the levers and control devices for both the engine and the implements.


They are two pneumatic wheels with agricultural striping and have an adjustable gauge (distance between the planes of the wheels) to adapt to the type of work and cultivation.


It is the metal structure that supports the engine and other mechanisms.

Types of motor cultivators according to the type of fuel

gasoline tiller

It is the most popular and considered the most effective, it can be two or four times. They are generally used for surface work on small or medium land. They are a bit more complex to handle than the other types of motor cultivators. Starting is easier than in the case of diesel.

Gasoline tiller

Gasoline tiller

diesel tiller

It is very similar to the previous one, generally more expensive and not as popular. It is indicated for large plots. In these models it is very important to be aware that water does not enter the engine.

diesel tiller

diesel tiller

electric cultivator

Ideal for small spaces, they have a friendlier configuration with less vibration and noise. They are the cheapest.

electric tiller

electric tiller

Types of motor cultivators according to the type of clutch

dry clutch

It is cheaper if you think in the short term.

Wet or oil bathed clutch

It is a more comfortable multi-disc clutch to use and resistant to the use of a variety of implements. It lasts much longer than the dry clutch and is therefore more recommended.

Advantages and disadvantages of a motorized cultivator

Now that we know what it is and how it works, let’s objectively evaluate the pros and cons of using this tool.

Advantages of the motorized cultivator


Due to their size and simplicity, they represent an ideal ally for the farmer, making various farm tasks easier and faster. You can work in large places with the least effort and optimal finish. They are light and resistant, ideal for prolonged work.


A variety of farm implements or implements can be attached to perform other yard care activities such as breaking, fluffing, fertilizing, seeding and watering.

trailer or semitrailer

It can be used to transport bags of rice, grains, chemicals and other supplies. Also, this addition allows the operator to handle the machine sitting.

● Brush cutters / brush cutters
● Lawnmower
● Seeders
● Plows
● Planters
● Irrigation pumps
● Snow plows
● Leaf sweeper

tractor with trailer

tractor with trailer


It is an economical alternative to the tractor, in addition, it is very simple to use and requires the least effort for the operator, in many cases the motor cultivators They can be handled sitting down. It can be carried from one place to another without much effort with the help of a van.

Disadvantages of the motorized cultivator


In small or complicated areas, the motor cultivator do not have access.


A protection or safety system must be designed since the strawberries of the motor cultivator They generally pick up small stones that can hurt the operator.

constant maintenance

The tallest weeds can often wrap around the strawberries, to unclog them you must remove them manually with the engine off.

hardened earth

Although using the motor cultivator you optimize processes, the soil is hardened at a certain depth.

related trades

Due to its versatility, this tool It can be used by a wide variety of workers, including gardeners, horticulturists, ranchers, botanists, farmers, lawnmowers, farmers and peasants.

Tips for choosing a motorized cultivator

When choosing a motor cultivatorThe first questions you should ask yourself are:

1) Front or rear cutters? For hard and more compact terrain, choose rear cutters.
2) What kind of motor do you need? As we have seen before, the type of engine is very important. Use diesel for wide terrain, gasoline for medium or small terrain and electric for the smallest terrain.
3) What is the width of the motor cultivator? It depends on the size of the crop you are going to work. This way you will achieve optimal work and avoid surprises in spaces narrower than the design width of the motor cultivator.
4) What type of brakes do you require? For motor cultivators who are semi-professionals or professionals, who are going to climb slopes or turn frequently, make sure they have good brakes.
5) What wheels are ideal? Take into account that the width between wheels can never be greater than the width of the cutters or you will lose the work done.

maintenance tips

Among the basic maintenance we can name:

● Periodically check the condition of the engine (oil, filter and cooling).
● Take care that the mechanical joints of the transmission are in good condition.
● Check that the gears are well lubricated.
● Keep blades sharp and in top condition.
● Verify that the strawberries are not clogged with weeds or any other element that could cause an accident.
● Clean in a general way to avoid excessive corrosion.
● Review of screws, bolts, nuts to replace or tighten what is necessary.
● Change worn parts.
● Sand and paint when necessary.
● Store indoors to avoid damage from rain and other climatic events.

The motor cultivator is a tool practical, versatile and manageable that cannot be missing in agricultural work. Choosing the right one will be easier for you taking into account the previous points, it all depends on the budget and the use that is going to be given to it.

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