Help in Selection of tiller (Mini tiller or Power tiller for Gravelly loam soil)

I am planning to buy a tiller for de-weeding and cultivation in 3 acres of Mango, 6 acres of banana and 6 Acres of Papaya.

My land is Red gravlelly loam soil and am not sure whether Mini tiller / power weeder models works in this. I am talking to dealrers of Oleo-mac / Texas / Crompton Greaves. They are rated between 5 to 9 HP and inidcated cost is between Rs 65,000 to 90,000. One of them says that Mini tiller will  not work properly in gravelly soil while other says it can be managed, but the rotovator blades need to be replaced more frequently. I have enclosed sample photos of my land and mini tiller models.

I have also spoken to a VST power tiller dealer and he is suggesting to go with Power tiller with cultivator option. He is willing to buyback rotovator at cost of around 25,000 and provide cultivator for about 8,000. which works out effectively Rs 1,37,000 (VST Shakti 130 DI - Rs 1,54,700).

In either case, i am planning to avail 40% subsidy on these. I would like have suggestions from this forum

a) Is the mini tiller option feasible for gravelly soil like mine and can i go ahead with this  option? (I would like to minimize farm expenses to minimum at this point)

b) Considering the soil type,is it better to go for Power tiller with cultivator option? Is the additional investment of Rs 70,000 is worth spending? Also, is the buy back amount for rotovator reasonable?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

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Your understanding is correct. Gravelly soil needs frequent replacement of rotovator blades.

If you are not using rotovator, mini tillers comes with single chisel plough. so this takes more time to cultivate. This is the drawback of mini tiller.

Yes. Power tiller is better. But with Power tiller and cultivator maneuverability is difficult. i.e. cultivator is designed to plough straight not curvy profiles. in your case it is needed to plough around mango trees.
Rototvator costs 25K.It is a fair deal.

Since it is only 3 acres you can also consider brush cutter. Stihl Brush cutter of 2.2HP costs 35K and Oleomac costs 28K. 50% Subsidy can be availed from horticulture.

Thank you Sri for your inputs and suggestion.

One clarification from my side. I need mini tiller / Power tiller not only for mango (3 acres) but also  for Papaya (6 acres) and Banana (6 Acres) with spacing of 6 feet.  In this case , can Power tiller with cultivator manoeuvre better between the Papaya / Banana rows or will it be difficult to handle?

If frequent replacement of rotovator blades is the only constraint with Mini Tiller, then can i go ahead with it as i can use it for all my requirements.

Who drives the power tiller? It needs significant amount of strength or skill. Power tiller also has heating up issue. 9 acres needs atleast 10-12 days if it runs for for 6-7 hours a day. If you are buying tiller buy water cooled one.

Rule out mini tiller. it cannot handle so big acreage. You can also think of VST mini tractor.

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I really appreciate your quick feedback and practical suggestions.

I am hoping that the care taker at my farm can pick up the necessary skills quickly to operate the power tiller.

At this point, i will work on water cooled power tiller and may consider tractor in future when my budget permits. Thank you Sri. Really appreciate your support.

You can comfortably go in for a power tiller as it has both options of a rotovator and tiller (single and three tyne).

Do not buy a tiller that is very heavy as its weight will take it down deep into the soil, the soil being loose because of gravel and loam. Also, the person handling the tiller would need to move at a slightly  faster pace as slow movement would  take the tiller/ rotovator deeper into the soil.

TEXAS Lilly and TX 601 are good options. They are light and efficient.

Thank you. I am now looking at Power tiller models from Crompton Greaves, Kirloskar and VST models. Once i get more details on these , will revert back for any further queries. Thanks again.

hi all
hi sreenivas
my requirements are nearly same as yours
did u purchased power tiller? if yes give us ur version and details  :sunglasses: :smiley: ;D :slight_smile: :stuck_out_tongue: ::)

This week I attended a 4 day workshop on agricultural tools, and machines at College of Horticulture at Kerala Agricultural University at Mannuthi, Thrissur. The participants, including several women, had the opportunity to drive a mini-tractor (Kamco Tera Trac 4W). It has standard 3 point hitch and Rotating  output shaft (PTO power). So you can easily attach ploughs and rotavators. The basic machine is 11.5 kW and width of the machine is less than a metre (91.5 cm). Cost is Rs 3.5 lakhs. Attachments like rotavator cost extra (Rs 40000?). They said a basic set of attachments would cost Rs 1 lakh. I feel tillers are hard on the operators and that the costlier mini-tractor is still worth the price (double that of a tiller?). However this minitractor will not work in muddy slush like a paddy field. 

khannae, Sorry for the delayed reply. I am yet to buy Power tiller as i want to have a look at Crompton greaves one and their marketing / service person suggested to have a look at the land before suggesting the tiller & accessories.

Hi Vinod,  Understand that a mini tractor can effectively meet these requirements, but at significant initial cost (1.5 lakhs vs 4 lakhs).  As i wanted to keep my initial investment to minimum as much as possible, i have not looked at this option. 

Three or more farmers can join together and purchase a minitractor. The Central Govt advertizes that costly farm equipment should be purchased by groups and they have some schemes for such collective action. Alternately, just like the shepherd community in Maharashtra who specialized in operating farm machines for rental, rural youth can be encouraged to own, operate farm machines, not only tractors but also harvestors etc. But the rental charges to the farmer should be reasonable and affordable. Maybe the agencies that promote such Machinery rental can fix the maximum rates depending upon the life cycle costs of the farm machinery. It should be less costly than what a farmer would incur, if he buys and operates the machinery himself.

Try this VST Shakti 135DI Ultra Power Tiller. It has 13.0 HP @ 2400 rpm, 673CC & Horizontal 4 stroke single cylinder water cooled diesel engine OHV. For more product info & details:

The disadvantage in operating the tiller is very important as many people lost their legs/life due to mistakes during operating the tillers by walking behind them. Present models of seating system needs to change for more conveniences to riders.

Has any using tiller where rider can sit on the tiller while running it in the field? Their are such tillers.

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Good point. I am also always concerned about critters popping out of the soil tilled ahead aiming at the operator’s legs.

You can find such facility on the VST Shakti’s 135DI Power Tiller. You can check the demo in below video:

All tiller companies provide such facility, but practically it is impossible to sit on it while operating in the field.
Try with Trishul fieldmaster.^AIC^xdm010^YYA^in&pg=video&pn=1&ptb=8F66A5AA-FB21-4A94-9691-56A287E5ACA6&qs=&searchfor=Trishul+farm+master+Agriculture+mini+tractor+YouTube&si=CIuZ7ND3tcoCFRQkaAodrMwBuw&ss=sub&st=kwd&tpr=sbt