Plowing is one of the mandatory agricultural activities and is carried out in early spring and late fall. Thanks to this procedure, the earth is saturated with oxygen, most of the weeds are removed and the duration of snow cover is significantly increased. And if you can completely dispense with several beds with an ordinary shovel, you can’t do without the use of mechanized equipment to process even a small summer garden or a potato field . And in this case, a walk-behind tractor comes to the rescue - a universal multi-functional unit, which is an indispensable assistant for summer residents and owners of farmland.
How to choose a walk-behind tractor?
Motoblocks are multidisciplinary devices and are capable of performing dozens of different operations. With their help, you can not only plow the land, but also plant vegetables, weed plants, spud potatoes, harvest and mow grass. In addition to agricultural applications, motoblocks are widely used for collecting snow and garbage, transporting various goods weighing up to half a ton, and also as a snowmobile and mini tractor. In addition, some high-tech models are equipped with a special shaft, on which additional attachments are installed, which allows you to cut firewood, pump water and even provide owners with electricity.
Thus, when choosing a walk-behind tractor, you need to consider what other functions besides plowing the site will be assigned to the unit.
The second selection criterion after functionality is engine power. On this basis, aggregates are divided into light, medium and heavy. Light and medium models have a household purpose and have a weight of 50 to 100 kg. They are equipped with engines of 4-8 liters. with. and have, as a rule, 2 forward and one reverse gears. Units of low power, having a width equal to 70-80 cm, are quite suitable for processing plots with an area of not more than 15 acres. Motoblocks equipped with an average power engine of 7-8 liters. with. and a width of 90 cm, are designed for larger work and are able to service areas from 15 to 40 acres.
The heavy class is represented by models with a powerful engine of 9 or more horsepower , they are used in fields up to 1-1.5 ha. The working width of such units is 100 cm, and the weight exceeds 100 kg. Such models are often equipped with a diesel engine and are characterized by good traction, high engine life and low diesel consumption. However, at an air temperature of 2 degrees or lower, diesel engines start slightly worse than gasoline engines and warm up longer. Therefore, if you need to not only dig up the garden, but also remove the snow, then it is better to purchase a gasoline model.
In the case of using a walk-behind tractor as a self-propelled device or tractor for transportation of goods, you should choose models with a wheel diameter of at least 45 cm. For this purpose, it is also better to choose a tread for the deep one. If the walk-behind tractor will be used only for plowing, then an additional purchase of lugs and a plow will be needed. Despite the fact that most units have a pair of cutters as standard, their strength is often not enough for heavy soils and virgin lands. Therefore, you need to preoccupy yourself with the purchase of additional attachments.
How to prepare for work?
Preparation of the unit for work includes the installation of lugs, as well as hanging and adjusting the plow.
- Installation of lugs. These devices are metal wheels with a diameter of up to 60 cm and a width of 17-20 cm. Thinner specimens are also on sale, but it is not recommended to buy them. This is due to the fact that it is very difficult to make an even furrow with thin hooks: the walk-behind tractor will chat in different directions and deal with it under such conditions is quite problematic. In order to install the lugs, the unit is placed on a flat platform, unscrew the native wheels with rubber tires and remove the hubs.
Hooks of the hooks are put on the drive axis, fastened with the help of studs and cotted.
The hubs of the hooks are slightly longer than usual, therefore their use leads to an increase in the gauge, which makes the walk-behind tractor more stable. After the hubs are securely mounted, the lugs are mounted on them. When mounting metal wheels, make sure that the tread tapers forward. It is advisable to choose the hooks in such a way that after hanging them, the total weight of the unit is more than 70 kg. Otherwise, the machine will slip and the processing will turn out to be uneven and of poor quality. In case of acquiring too light lugs, it is necessary to take care of additional weighting of the structure. To do this, you can purchase a set of additional loads, the installation of which will provide the desired weight.
- Installation and regulation of the plow. The plow is fixed by means of couplers, which are attached to the unit with the help of a king pin. Coupling the hitch and the unit is recommended to do with a backlash of 5-6 degrees. If you fix the plow motionless, then when plowing it will begin to wind the walk-behind tractor from side to side, which is caused by the uneven impact of soil on it. When connecting the hitch to the plow, tightening the nuts to the end is not recommended. This is due to the fact that there is an adjustment process ahead, during which they will have to be tightened and weakened more than once.
To perform the adjustment, it is necessary to install the unit on bricks or boards stacked on top of each other. The height of such a design should be equal to the depth of plowing and be 20-25 cm. The lugs should be fixed, thereby ensuring the walk-behind tractor is completely motionless. Then the plow is positioned so that the field board lies all its length on the ground. The plow stance should be located strictly perpendicular to the ground and parallel to the inner end of the hook.
Then, the slope angle of the field board is adjusted, while the distance from the nose of the plow (ploughshare) to the heel should correspond to 3 cm. If you neglect the tilt adjustment, the plow will burrow into the ground during operation, the engine will overheat and you will have to stop working. Next, adjust the track width. To do this, the right edge of the share is put in line with the inside of the right lug.
The soil at this location will be cut absolutely evenly, and it will become easier to control the unit.
- Unit start up. Before starting a gasoline or diesel engine, it is necessary to check the oil level and fill the fuel tank. Two-stroke gasoline models run on a mixture of gasoline and engine oil, while powerful four-stroke models “consume” pure A-92 and A-95 gasoline. When refueling the walk-behind tractor with diesel fuel, the temperature regime should be taken into account and fill in winter diesel fuel in the cold season. Also, before starting, you should check the functionality of the steering wheel, gas, reverse and clutch, after which you can start.
To turn on the gas engine equipped with a manual starter, open the valve on the fuel tank and set the suction lever to the “Start” mode. Then, not including the ignition, 3 to 5 movements of the starter are performed, after which the ignition is turned on and the engine is started. As soon as the engine starts, the choke is immediately transferred to the "Operation" mode. On motoblocks equipped with an electric starter, starting the motor is even easier. To do this, just turn on the ignition, while the electric pump pumps fuel into the carburetor and the engine starts.
Before starting a diesel engine, all air in the system is expelled by an electric starter, and after diesel fuel takes its place, the engine is started. If the motor is equipped with a manual starter, then simply open the diesel fuel supply valve, set the gas and press the decompressor. Then make a few strokes starter, the decompressor falls into place and the engine starts.
How to plow?
In order to plow the site correctly, it must be well prepared. To do this, a cord is pulled along its border for a landmark, which is especially recommended for people who will plow the garden for the first time. This is due to the fact that during operation the plow leads slightly to the right, which is why, without appropriate dexterity, it will be difficult to make an even row.
When plowing the second and all subsequent rows, the aggregate wheel will go along the already formed furrow , and the cord will no longer be needed. Then you should manually collect large stones, uproot stumps and remove snags. After the site is prepared, and the engine is started, it includes speed and begin to plow.
The second is considered to be the optimal speed for the operation of the walk-behind tractor; however, when changing the depth of plowing or when moving to a different type of soil, the first can be used.
The first furrow is recommended to be held in low gear, due to the need to form the initial row smoothly and accurately. Indeed, in the future it will be he who will serve as a guide for all subsequent furrows. After passing the first row, the plowing depth is checked: it must be within 20 cm. Then the walk-behind tractor is deployed, the right lug is set into the furrow, the 1st speed is turned on and they go in the opposite direction, making sure that the metal wheel does not extend beyond the furrow. If everything is done correctly, the earthen ridge will be located at a distance of 10 cm from the previous one.
If you need to plow a small area, you can do without a plow. The standard equipment for motoblocks includes saber-shaped milling cutters, with the help of which the processing of lands of any complexity and composition, including virgin and rocky soils, is carried out. In addition to plowing, milling cutters are used to mix the soil when fertilizing, to remove weeds and loosening the soil.
If you want to improve the quality of plowing, then work is carried out using a transport and arable module. To do this, the plow is attached not to the walk-behind tractor itself, but to the adapter frame. Due to the presence of an intermediate link between the plow and the unit, the impact on the walk-behind tractor is significantly reduced, and plowing is more easy and safe. In addition, the speed of the walk-behind tractor noticeably increases. And if with traditional plowing it is 5 km / h, then in the case of using an adapter it increases to 10 km / h. However, in comparison with the traditional method of fixing the plow, when using this method, the overall maneuverability of the unit is lost, which, however, is noticeable only in small and cramped areas, with an abundance of cultivated plants growing along the edges. If the work is carried out on a large potato field, then using an adapter is very convenient.
Plowing a garden can be done in several ways.
- Fell down. When using this method, work starts from the center of the site. Having reached its edge, the unit is deployed, the right lug is put into the furrow and moves back to the center. The crest of the earth at the same time turns out to be quite large. The advantage of this digging technique is the fact that if there is snow on the site, it does not melt for a long time and gets saturated with moisture.
There are no special minuses in the method, which makes it the most common and popular among most farmers.
- I did it. In this case, the movement begins on the right side of the site. Having reached the end of the row, the walk-behind tractor is distilled to the left edge of the plot and moved in the opposite direction. Thus plow the entire site until the rows meet. Using this method allows the plow to turn the soil over and fill it with previously applied fertilizers.
- In the winter. Plowing the garden with a walk-behind tractor is carried out twice a year: in spring, immediately before planting crops, and in autumn after the last harvest. Especially important is the autumn processing. It allows you to completely destroy the weeds and effectively loosens the soil. This contributes to normal air exchange, provides complete drainage and prevents mold and pathogens from appearing. The time of autumn plowing depends on the weather conditions in the region, however, it is always carried out before the first frost.
Advantages and disadvantages of a mechanical plow
The use of a walk-behind tractor when plowing and leveling a site has a number of undeniable advantages over manual processing.
- Using the unit allows you to perform work with special quality, in a short time and with a minimum of labor.
- Due to the versatility of motoblocks, there is the possibility of several more agricultural procedures, such as loosening the soil, removing weeds and fertilizing.
- With mechanized plowing, the depth of the furrows is much greater than with manual digging with a shovel. In addition, the soil is processed more evenly, because of which its general condition is noticeably improved. This is due to the normalization of air exchange, free access of oxygen and more effective soil moisture during rainfall.
- According to the observations of experienced farmers, the yield in the fields plowed with the help of a walk-behind tractor doubles.
However, along with the obvious advantages, mechanized plowing still has drawbacks. These include the impossibility of using technology on all-deep rooted. In such cases, exclusively manual removal of long rhizomes is required.
In addition, with the annual use of the deep plowing method, the loss of natural fertility of the upper soil layer is observed, due to which the land needs to be fertilized or periodically rest.
In order for the work with the walk-behind tractor to be easy and the tillage to be effective, a number of simple recommendations must be followed.
- Plots up to 6 acres are best treated with cultivators. But if you decide to use a walk-behind tractor, then instead of a plow you should put saber-shaped or shoulder-shaped milling cutters.
- It is recommended to use a mounted plow when plowing fields with an area of more than 1 ha. However, the edges of areas and places with complex geometries are also best treated with milling cutters.
- In the process, it is necessary to carefully monitor the condition of the equipment and to prevent the leakage of oil from the transmission. Otherwise, harmful liquid will get into the treated soil and cause its partial pollution.
- When plowing virgin lands, as well as when processing stony and clay soils, it is necessary to use weighting agents. Otherwise, there is a great risk that the walk-behind tractor will start jumping over the virgin lands and deep plowing will require a lot of effort.
- When using mills it is recommended to equip their ends with protective disks. This will reduce the likelihood of cultivation of adjacent lands and will allow plowing strictly along the boundaries of the site.
- To reduce the load on hearing, it is necessary to use special headphones or earplugs, and to partially neutralize vibration, wear gloves. In addition, when performing plowing, it is necessary to move from the leeward side, which will minimize the harmful effects of exhaust gases. If you have to plow in a large greenhouse, you should ensure good ventilation of the room. To do this, open all windows and doors, as well as periodically turn off the engine and ventilate the greenhouse.
- Refueling the fuel tank, as well as replacing the engine oil, should only be done with the engine turned off. In this case, it is advisable to pass the fuel through a funnel with a special filter.
- It is strictly forbidden to operate the walk-behind tractor near an open flame and wipe it with a cloth dipped in gasoline.
Plowing the site with the help of a walk-behind tractor helps to greatly facilitate the process of soil cultivation, improves the general condition of the soil, increases productivity and significantly reduces the time of work.
About plowing the earth with a walk-behind tractor, see the video below.