Things to consider before purchasing a tiller

Below is a list of things we recommend you consider before buying your next tiller:

1. What type of soil will you be tilling?

This is the single most important thing you need to consider before purchasing your tiller or cultivator. If the soil you are tilling is hard, rocky or hasn’t been cultivated before, we strongly recommend you purchase a tiller with counter rotating tines. If the soil is loose, sandy and easy to dig, you should purchase a front tine tiller.

2. Are you tilling established garden beds or breaking virgin ground?

Established garden beds are better cultivated using a small front tine tiller.  You can purchase tiller attachments for some brush cutters, alternatively a lightweight, small front tine tiller would be suitable for the average home garden bed.  Hard, virgin ground, is better cultivated with a larger, more powerful tiller, with counter rotating tines.

3. Do you need a rear tine or a front tine tiller?

As the name suggests, front tine tillers have their tines located in the front of the tiller.  Rear tine tillers have their tines located at the rear end of the tiller. Front tine tillers generally have a larger working width and a deeper working depth than their rear tine counter parts. Front tine tillers are more suitable for softer soils which have been cultivated before.  Rear tine tillers are better for harder ground or for establishing garden beds or vegetable beds in areas which have not been cultivated before.

4. How often will you use the tiller?

If you are an avid home gardener, or grow allot of you own vegetables, we recommend purchasing a more heavy duty tiller for more frequent use.  Unfortunately, the longer the period of time between soil cultivation, the harder the ground can become.  Accordingly, if you don’t want to purchase a larger rear tine tiller first up, we recommend hiring one to do the hard work and break the ground.  You can then purchase a smaller tiller to keep on top of the work. We recommend a large, heavy duty, semi commercial, front tine or rear tine tiller for hobby farmers who will use the tiller often and for cultivating larger areas.

5. Do you need a tiller with counter rotating tines?

A tiller with counter rotating tines, is simply a tiller with tines which can rotate in a forward or backwards direction.  Counter rotating tillers are normally self propelled tillers.  You can place the tiller in a forward gear and the tines in reverse.  This assists the tines to really dig into the soil, helping to break up hard or rocky ground.  We strongly recommend you purchase a tiller with counter rotating tines for virgin ground.

6. Do you need a self propelled tiller?

Tillers can be very heavy and cumbersome.  Some of the larger tillers even have a counterweight attached to them to assist you when tilling harder ground.  We strongly recommend that if you are considering purchasing a wider and heavier front tine tiller or rear tine tiller, you purchase one with a self propelled featured. Self propelled tillers are much easier to use and manoeuvre. Most front tine tillers rely on the forward motion of the tines to pull the tiller through the soil. Before you purchase a front tine tiller, make sure that you are happy with this form of self propulsion. Most rear tine, counter rotating tillers have large wheels and a separate gearbox which make them very easy to manoeuvre.

7. How easy is it to transport and manoeuvre the tiller?

As a general rule of the thumb, the larger the tiller you purchase, the larger the area you will need.  Tillers are generally very heavy pieces of equipment weighing up to 100 kilograms.  Make sure you try before you buy.  Ask the sales person to start the tiller and have a feel of pushing or steering it around. Make sure you are happy with the feel of the tiller.

8. What cultivating width do you require?

The larger the area you intend to cultivate, the wider the tiller should be. Wider tillers will ensure you get the job done quickly. We strongly recommend that hobby farmers consider purchasing a wide tiller.  A narrower, smaller and lighter tiller is better suited to the home gardener for turning soil and establishing smaller vegetable patches.

9. What working depth do you need?

Not all tillers will till soil to the same depth.  Make sure you know what working depth you need prior to purchasing the tiller. As a general rule of thumb, front tine tillers have a deeper working depth than rear tine tillers.

10, What weight of tiller would you be comfortable with?

As discussed above, heavier tillers can be hard to operate in smaller yards or confined areas. Make sure you try before you buy.  Move the tiller around the showroom, make sure you can comfortably turn the tiller around and manoeuvre it. If you will be needing to carry the tiller up or down steps or from area to another, make sure you can pick it up.

We hope the above information was helpful and will assit you to make an informed choice when buying your next tiller.  If you have any questions in relation to the above information, please don’t hesitate to call or email us.



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