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Walk-behind tractors

Farm with your feet
Photo courtesy of earthtoolsbcs.com

When you need the variety and versatility of implements that a tractor can handle but not the size and cost, consider a two-wheeled walk-behind tractor.

Joel Dufour is the owner of a Kentucky company called Earth Tools. He says the type of landowners that are typically interested in walk-behind tractors have from 1-20 acres.

"For example, many of our customers are market farmers who are growing vegetables for market sale and they’ll have anywhere between half-an-acre and say, two-acres in cultivation. For that kind of a small-scale market farm, a walk-behind tractor’s pretty much all that’s needed," says Dufour. "You don’t need a four-wheel tractor. And if the land owner wants to manage their small acreage for hay, a walk-behind tractor and the implements that are available for it can easily take care of 10-15 acres of hay ground."

Walk-behind tractors are about the size of a large rear-tine tiller. There are 45 different implements for the machine from plows, to mowers, to hay balers, to wood chippers.

Dufour says what’s mind-blowing for a lot of people is how you can run all those different implements when some should be in the front and some in the back of the machine. The key is reversible handlebars.

"So, within 30 seconds, you can reverse the handlebars of the tractor 180-degrees so they swing forward over the engine, and then the tractor simply drives in the opposite direction. All the gears run in both directions on the tractor," says Dufour. "This just makes tremendous amounts of sense when you’re using something like a mower, because now you’re not driving your wheels over the material before you’re mowing it, so you’re not pushing down some of the material."

Prices for walk-behind tractors start around $1,600 for a 6hp machine, up to $5,000 for 18hp.

Learn more about walk-behind tractors and their various implements

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