Description of Job
• Using a power rototiller or similar equipment, turn over a garden patch at
the start of a season to prepare it for planting.
• Mix fertilizer, lime, or other garden chemicals into the soil.
• Cut down plants at the end of the season and compost the greens or haul
• Turn over the earth at the end of the growing season to prepare it for the
Have rototiller, will travel.
Many homeowners love to grow their own little patch of tomatoes, green
beans, onions, and flowers. They look great and taste better than anything they’ll
find in the supermarket. (So what if the tomatoes end up costing them several
dollars apiece or if the massive zucchini squash quickly outpace their ability to
eat them, give them away, or use them as doorstops?)
For many gardeners, the most difficult part of the process is tilling the earth:
breaking it up to a depth of six inches to a foot to allow easy planting and faster
growth. Doing it by hand is a major chore, and purchasing a power tiller does not
make sense for the casual gardener.
Your appeal is that you will bring a heavy, commercial rototiller or small
tractor to their property and make quick work of a job that is beyond their abilities, interest, or equipment.
This is a seasonal job, with most of the work coming in the spring; jobs in the fall
will be less common. You’ll need to amortize the cost of the machine and trailer
over a fairly short period of time.
Know the Territory
Tillers come in front-tine, mid-tine, and rear-tine designs; in general, rear-tine
machines are the most powerful, and front-tine devices are more maneuverable.
Mid-tine tillers claim to balance power and maneuverability. Spend the time to
research (and test, if possible) various designs to find the one that suits your
The horsepower of the engine varies; the larger the engine, the more powerful the churning of the earth and the movement of the wheels. Some designs use
the rotating tines themselves to move the machine forward; many commercial
designs apply power to a set of wheels that help pull the heavy device forward
while the tines concentrate on breaking the earth.
Many lawn tractors with a power takeoff can be adapted to add a tiller; they
may have sufficient horsepower to do the job, but may not be as maneuverable as
a special-purpose tiller.