NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Rotavator with plough & till attachments - a little advice needed  (Read 5602 times)

Dreich Pete

  • Joined Jan 2014
  • Aberdeenshire
OK, so the recently purchased Kubota TF60 rotavator isn't quite working out as anticipated/hoped, and not just because I broke it on the first day - that is at least sorted now.

There are two problems, although I suspect one has a rather simpler solution than I'm considering.

1. When trying to simply rotavate, the blades aren't digging into the earth enough to make more than a slight scrape, and when they do dig in a little more, the power drops off and the engine dies. I hadn't cut the grass so I thought it might have been because the blades/cylinder were getting snagged but that isn't the case now that I've scraped down to soil.

2. The plough and till attachments hook onto the front of the machine and you then put it into reverse. However, I haven't been able to get the tines/blades to bit into the earth and move forwards (or backwards). At first I thought it was because they just weren't adjusted correctly, but looking at the set up from the side makes me think that the rotavator cylinder blades (which are then acting like a set of front wheels) are weighing the machine down in the wrong direction, and because they aren't spinning when it's in reverse, I think they are acting like a non turning wheel and basically being a drag. I also have problem No.1 when I do get it to start moving (without really digging in).

Oh, and just before the engine dies, there is a grinding noise from the engine/gearbox/drive belt area. The toothed belt looks brand new and isn't stripped, the power drive to the blades is a notched cog rather than clutch, so I'm thinking; something inside the gearbox or power loss in the engine - although it will drive the whole machine along even with the blades turning, until there is some extra strain on the system.

Help!
Voss Electric Fence

Dreich Pete

  • Joined Jan 2014
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Rotavator with plough & till attachments - a little advice needed
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2014, 10:31:02 am »
Oops! I meant to say that I think the simple solution to the blades being a non-turning wheel when the machine is moving (especially in reverse) is to remove the whole blade/cylinder system. The downside to this is that it involves a fair few bolts, a drive belt or two, and would mean that you can't switch between rotavator and plough set up in under half an hour, but perhaps I'm just too used to domestic DIY multi-purpose machines being designed for quick change whereas this is definitely more towards the allotment end of the scale.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Rotavator with plough & till attachments - a little advice needed
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2014, 11:49:15 am »
Is this a new machine or second hand?  If the latter has the engine been set up wrong?  That grinding noise sounds very significant and needs exploring.  If it's new and under guarantee then take it back.

What exactly are you trying to rotavate with it?  If it's unturned turf then it will be too heavy going for it so the blades will stop and the engine will die.  If it is turf, then plough it first.  If it's just compacted earth then you will have to go over it several times, gradually working deeper and deeper - it won't be able to get to your full depth straight away.
Have you tried it on earth which is already deeply cultivated to see if it will work on that? That way you could see if it's carburation or similar, or the ground itself which is causing some of your problems.

For the rotavators we have had, we find you have to pull back on the handles as you move forwards, gradually letting the tines dig deeper and deeper.  You can never just let the machine govern its own forward speed. The whole process is quite a wrestling match.

As well as a tractor operated rotavator, we also have a medium sized one (never could remember its make) and a mini Mantis - the Mantis has always been a total pain.  The original one seized when it ran out of fuel (2 stroke) so they replaced it with a 4 stroke, but we have never been able to get the fuel supply totally reliable, and even starting the wretched thing can take forever (I love it for between-row work though).  The larger one is problem free other than that it does get stuff like couch roots wrapped around the axle and tines and that has to be chopped out every few rows.  Neither of the self motivated machines likes stony ground - either they ping the stones back at your ankles at high speed, or the engine stops, but suddenly, not dying off as yours is doing.

Sorry - none of this is probably much use for your problems........
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Rotavator with plough & till attachments - a little advice needed
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2014, 12:07:51 pm »
I Had a honda f600 2 wheel tractor(without the 'dying' problem).

1. Mine wouldnt rotovate into compacted soil and grass - I had to dig a trench and give it an edge to 'bite' at. It would just bounce along the top.

2. I had to swap to wheels to try any attachments other then just rotovating - didnt have a plough but thats how I have seen them being used.

3. the draw bar at the back was mising off mine originally - thats what I had to push down on to stop the rotovator just taking me away with it.

The grinding doesnt sound good  :roflanim:
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit. :innocent:

Dreich Pete

  • Joined Jan 2014
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Rotavator with plough & till attachments - a little advice needed
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2014, 11:11:51 pm »
I bought the old machine based on it having the attachments and it being big & powerful enough to manage the work without me wrestling it all the time. My knee and elbow just can't take that much effort as demonstrated by today's fence post replacing.

Maybe I can try the 1st trench option.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Rotavator with plough & till attachments - a little advice needed
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2014, 07:28:20 am »
Our little 6HP Ariens needs a heck of a pull back to get it started digging Dreich Pete. The speed of the tynes can be altered and the outer tynes can be removed to reduce the effort. I would make sure you have oil in the transfer box. Ours was dry and made grinding noises. The shaft seals wear out easily and need regular replacement. The oil is hypoy 90, but a dodge often used is to put grease in. This makes the box run very hot though, to the extent that water boils off it!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Rotavator with plough & till attachments - a little advice needed
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2014, 11:31:15 am »
Mr Fleecewife attacked our annoying Mantis today and found a problem which could be relevant to your machine Dreich Pete.  Its problem was that it wouldn't start, then when it did it died as soon as we opened the throttle - clearly a carburation prob.

When he delved into the depths of the carb he found a very narrow oilway which was almost completely gunged up.  We run a number of ancient motorbikes, plus various other machinery and older vehicles, so we are aware that modern lead-free fuel is totally unsuitable for them.  In fact it's unsuitable for anything but new cars.  Currently unleaded petrol contains 5% alcohol, and next year this is to be increased to 10% in straight unleaded, but left at 5% in super unleaded.

The alcohol added is hygroscopic so attracts water, which builds up in the fuel as the system breathes.  This water corrodes any metal components of the fuel system, and even eats away at plastic fuel lines.  The gunge produced is what will block up oil pipes and fuel lines, carb jets and so on.  Mr Fleecewife told me about a Tiger Moth carb which was so badly affected by corrosion that it was well on the way to disintegrating.

Lead free petrol is well known to be particularly bad for garden machinery engines.  It may be that your machine has a problem with the build-up of water in the fuel, corrosion in the fuel system, blocking of fuel lines and consequently your engine is not getting fuel through.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2014, 11:33:58 am by Fleecewife »
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

 

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