- Difference from cultivators
- What type of engine to choose
- Power and dimensions
- What determines the usability
- Branded and third-party body kit
Very soon it will be time to loosen the soil for planting crops. Hand cultivators are not as popular anymore. Walk-behind tractors have a little more power and a much wider range of tasks. We will tell you how to choose a walk-behind tractor and attachments to it, which will facilitate your work in the garden and vegetable garden.
Difference from cultivators
Motoblock is an intermediate link between cultivators and mini-tractors. Roughly speaking, this is a wheel-mounted engine with controls and the ability to adapt to different work tasks. There are really a lot of the latter: the average walk-behind tractor is designed not only for soil cultivation, but also for caring for garden crops, lawns and cleaning the adjacent territories from debris and snow. Extra large specimens also cope with moving heavy loads over short distances..
One should be interested in purchasing such equipment when the size of the cultivated area is from 6-10 acres, where the walk-behind tractor becomes the main assistant and never stands idle. The advantage of a walk-behind tractor is that even powerful units are not a vehicle and do not require registration, but at the same time they replace light tractors in most tasks. The lack of a massive frame also makes it possible to work in greenhouses or in narrow beds.
What type of engine to choose
Two types of power plants are used in walk-behind tractors: four-stroke gasoline internal combustion engines and diesel engines. Regardless of the type of motor, the installation can include gearboxes and dispensers of different configurations. Boxes with four forward and one reverse gears are widespread, more powerful models can have up to six forward gears, and up to two reverse gears..
Diesel engines are preferable in terms of power, as a rule, walk-behind tractors from 10 liters. from. have just such an attitude. Stable performance and economy are additional benefits. However, in the cold season, a diesel walk-behind tractor is put into operation much slower than a gasoline one, and not everyone can handle its maintenance..
Gasoline-fueled ICEs are much smaller and lighter than diesel engines of the same power. This option is optimal for motoblocks of the middle and light class, where high torque is needed and ergonomics of work is important. The device of gasoline engines for motoblocks is typical, often universal power plants are used, which have a full list of available components and consumables for repair.
Regardless of the engine, walk-behind tractors are equipped with different types of cooling systems. In light, low-power models, heat dissipation is carried out by fins on the motor housing. This method is unproductive due to the low speed of movement, which in some units is compensated by a forced blower fan.
From 7-10 yrs. from. The walk-behind tractor must have liquid radiator cooling. The principle of operation and maintenance of this unit is equivalent to automotive systems. This option is always preferable, because many breakdowns occur precisely due to permanent overheating..
Power and dimensions
Motoblocks can be divided into three grades of power and each has some distinctive features.
Light motoblocks do not have a power take-off shaft, and therefore the range of attachments is limited by standard and passive additional devices. Their power rarely exceeds 3.5-4 liters. with., the weight is usually limited to 60-80 kg. Such mechanization is applicable in small areas and for work in greenhouses and greenhouses; of the types of cultivated soil, developed chernozem and sod-podzolic soils are acceptable. Coverage approx.50 cm.
In the middle weight category of motoblocks, there are models with a power plant from 4 to 10 liters. from. This is the most common class of devices designed to work in areas of 10 acres or more. Working widths are 60–80 cm, at least half of the equipment is equipped with a third wheel and an operator’s seat. Such devices are optimal for plowing loamy and dense soils, stage-by-stage cultivation of virgin lands is possible.
Heavy-duty motoblocks have a weight of 300 kg and a capacity of more than 9-10 liters. from. These are real mini-tractors that process a strip 80–100 cm wide and even more in one pass. Due to its heavy weight, such a technique is capable of single-pass plowing of virgin lands and transportation of goods on a trailer weighing up to 1–1.5 tons. Due to the stability and stable operation of the power plant, it only makes sense to equip this class of motoblocks with automatic planters and pickers of root crops.
The power reserve when choosing agricultural machinery is very important, the equipment should not work to wear and tear. Pay also attention to the durability of the power plant, for most motoblocks it ranges from 2.5-4 thousand hours and more. But you may not want to overpay for a super reliable imported motor part..
What determines the usability
Of primary importance in motoblocks of medium and high power is the possibility of a forced differential lock. Without this option, turning in place and driving straight through the plow will be very difficult..
Preference should be given to technology with pedal-lever controls. The presence of cable drives can provoke regular breakdowns during operation. It is imperative to have an emergency lever that blocks the box to stop both the wheels and the PTO shaft..
Some representatives of the middle and heavy class of motoblocks have an on-board electrical network, which can also include a battery and an electric start system. This is a very useful addition, but only if the technique is used regularly. Otherwise, provide for the need for periodic discharge-charging and winter storage of the battery.
You should be comfortable with the technology. The correct balancing on the wheel axle, the presence of an adjustable frame and handles, and for three-wheel variants also the seats and controls play a role here. There are many more details: the noise level, the real pulling ability – everything that determines ergonomics, you will notice when you test using the equipment in the store.
Branded and third-party body kit
The walk-behind tractor itself is not as interesting as the device into which it turns with the installation of additional equipment. The maximum that can be found in the standard configuration is a passive cutter, sometimes there is a shovel blade. The list of so-called passive equipment that does not require a source of rotational motion is quite modest: hillers, weeding machines, harrows, plows with up to three bodies and everything related to soil cultivation.
With the use of active equipment, the range of tasks solved by the walk-behind tractor expands even more. For active equipment, a power take-off shaft is required – splined or pulley-belt. Of the most successful and useful options for such a mounting, one can cite active rotary tillers, rotary mowers, fertilizer spreaders, sprayers, planters and seeders, root crop collectors – all to simplify exhausting field work..
When choosing both active and passive equipment, pay attention to the type of hitch system. For most well-known brands of the CIS and the West, there is an exhaustive range of compatible equipment from the manufacturer. If you find your native equipment is not perfect enough, pay attention to the various adapters or go about making your own adjustable hitch system.
Do not forget about special additional devices: semi-trailers and dump trailers, third wheels, and if you are aimed at all-season use – lugs with a separate axle and differential..