Did you Know? You Can Also Use Ag Implements with ATVs-2Juan Aldaz
Powered Tillage (Rototillers)
Rototillers are an excellent power implement to equip with your compact tractor in that they will work in a variety of conditions, depending on how they are set up.
Chain vs Shaft Driven – Rototillers are set up according to the outside width of your tractor tires. Many compact and sub-compact tractors will be equipped with a 48” rototiller. When you’re operating this small a tiller, it’s best to use a Chain driven type because of cost, and reliability. When you get up into larger rototillers, it’s wise to consider a shaft driven tiller, but smaller tillers with shaft drives will have smaller gears and teeth in the gears, making them actually inferior in some cases to a chain driven tiller.
Knife Spacing – Rototillers can pulverize the soil thoroughly. This looks nice when you first do it, but it can actually work against you in the long run because you’ve pulverized the soil so much that when it rains, the soil will compact and become too tight; not to mention, subject it to runoff and erosion. The greater number of knives you have, the more pulverized your soil will be. It’s often better to limit the number of knives so as to reduce the shear layer in the subsoil, and have a somewhat coarser surface. You can further adjust how coarse you till using the back gate of the tiller set low, and reducing your ground speed as you pass through the work.
Shear Pins and Slip Clutches – Ideally, your tiller will be set up with both. If your tiller is not set up with shear pins on the drive shaft, it is very important to keep your slip clutch free and lubricated so that if the tiller jams, it will ‘slip’ and not transfer the energy back to the tractor, or forward to the drive mechanism, causing breakage.
Some other implements you might consider for your Compact Tractor include:
Bed Shaper – the bed shaper is an excellent fit for the compact tractor where a farmer is growing crops on raised beds. This can make a lot easier and faster to harvest some crops like potatoes or Cassabe (also known as Tapioca, or Yucca).
|Pictured left – a bed shaper set up for a Compact Tractor
Pictured right – a bed shaper on a larger tractor which is also equipped with a tiller so as to accomplish both pulverizing, and shaping in one pass
Remember: the whole point of having a machine is GET ALL the possible work DONE BY the machine. Here you can see a sub-compact tractor with a potato digger (PTO powered).
Field Cultivator and Harrows
This image shows a field cultivator suitable for a compact tractor. Equipped with the proper shovels for the job, they can be very effective at finishing seedbeds, cultivating in a growing crop, and other duties as the tines can be adjusted or removed according to the task. In this picture, you have a field cultivator set up on an ATV.
Trailing Disks and Plows
When using an ATV or Gator, you can do a number of field activities on the farm. Maximize the value in the Compact Tractor you purchase with the correct matching of attachments for your farm’s needs.
Here’s an image of a disk plow being pulled by an ATV. To get the proper tillage action, note the ballast weight (red) on the back of the ATV. Also, in this example, the disks are serrated so as to cut better.
Here is an example of a drawn offset disk which can provide very good disturbance of the soil, and hitches to the ATV as opposed to a 3-point connection as you find on a Compact Tractor.
You can even set up a Gator or ATV to pull a moldboard plow, as is pictured here. A hydraulic pump, powered by the battery, allows for raising and lowering the plow into the ground.