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Important Things You Need To Know Before Arranging Rotavator Hire

An attachment specifically designed for tractors, rotavators are used primarily to loosen soil, remove weeds and prepare surfaces for planting flowerbeds, plants and vegetable plots. Implemented across the agricultural, landscaping, hardening and lawn cure industries to excellent effect, a rotavator is an essential piece of machinery across several agricultural industries. Rotavators are powered either by diesel, petrol or electricity, helping to churn and aerate soil prior to the area being seeded, by using a series of blades that twist apart and break up the soil.

Choosing A Rotavator

When it comes to choosing your rotavator, the first decision you must make is deciding upon the appropriate power supply. Rotavators are available in three different variations, each defined by their power supply; manual, electric or petrol. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the types of rotavators, paying close attention to their functions, benefits and drawbacks.


Much more difficult to operate than other models, with the need for additional effort and strength, manual rotavators are powered by the operator. Requiring less maintenance than other rotavator models, a manual solution is highly cost-effective, but it’s important to remember that manual rotavators will require strength and control during operation, to ensure the work is completed effectively, with the blades unable to turn the soil as they should if not applied with the necessary force. Manual rotavators will likely take up the most amount of time too, particularly if you have a large garden or surface area to cover, but as an advantage, you won't have to worry about your power supply, reducing the need for interruptions or refuelling.


Available in both corded and cordless solutions, electric rotavators are suitable for almost any garden or surface area, no matter the size. Cordless rotavators are quite costly, however, so if this is your chosen method, you will need to consider this in your budget. Electric rotavators are designed to rotate the blades using the power supply, assisting you in operations, and reducing effort and potential muscle strains in the process.


Fuelled by, you guessed it, petrol, these kinds of rotavators are known to pack a real punch. Particularly effective for areas with a lot of soil that needs attention, petrol rotavators will typically cost more to hire, require more maintenance and use an expensive amount of fuel to boot. However, this is balanced out by the effectiveness, with petrol rotavators far more capable of completing the necessary work without hassle, effort or delay.

Preparing The Area

Before you can use your rotavator on your soil, there are a few steps you must take to ensure the surface is prepared, safe and ready for rotavating. Below, we outline the necessary steps one should take to prepare the surface area for rotavating.

Check Soil Moisture

Before you can even consider using your rotavator, you must first ensure you have inspected your soil for moisture levels, particularly in the case of soil that hasn’t been compacted or tilled either recently or previously at all. Rotavators work effectively on sandy, dry soil on almost every occasion, whereas soils high in clay behave differently when they are wet compared to when they are dry. Clay soil will become very hard when dry, which would make using a rotavator and/or tiller highly difficult, with machinery unlikely to chip away from the first few inches of soil. In equal measure, soil that is too wet will clod when tilled, which becomes like rocks when dry, ruining the soul until the next winter’s weather softens them again.

It’s important to water your soil for several hours, for three or four days leading up to the rotavating/tilling, particularly in the case of soil that hasn’t been rotated before. Always check the soil has drained enough to be tilled, which can be carried out simply by picking up a handful of soil and squeezing it into a ball. If the ball of soil is easy to break apart with one finger, it is suitable for rotavating.

Remove Weeds

Before any rotavating work can begin, an essential step in preparing the area effectively is to remove any weeds a few days in advance. Attempting to rotate land that is covered in weeds will cause further issues down the line, as they will get caught in the rotavator’s tines and spread across your plot of land.

Operate Tiller Safely

Operating your rotavator and tillers can be highly dangerous, particularly if the equipment is used improperly or incorrectly, with safety precautions and procedures necessary to reduce the risk of incident or injury. Always keep your hands and feet away from the tines, wear gloves and ear protection, and always operate the machinery slowly with precision.

Control Rotavator

Rotavators are known to buck and gyrate during operation, with a natural response to use your physical strength to help control the rotavator, but this will only serve to tire you out and potentially lead to muscle injuries. Instead, it’s important that you stay relaxed when using your rotavator, allowing it to jump when it hits something hard on the surface, before gently guiding it back on track. This is a particularly common issue when rotating and tilling the new ground, so ensurer you push down on the rotavator's handlebars to control your rotavator properly.

Rotavate In Strips

It’s important to rotavate your land in strips, each one slightly overlapping the previous strip ever so slightly as you move on to the next. You should make two or three passes over each strip, and repeat the process at right angles to the original rotavated strips, trying not to dip any deeper than two to three inches on the first pass.

How To Use A Rotavator

Preparing your surfaces successfully will depend on the effective and correct use of your rotavator, which requires strength, precision and a steady hand, particularly for manual rotavators. Below, we run through the method of successfully rotating your soil:

● Always rotavate your surface during spring or autumn when the ground is softer.

● Kill and remove all weeds with a proprietary weedkiller.

● Wait a few weeks after weedkilling before growing any fruits or vegetables.

● You should consider clearing the ground of grass using a turf cutter, to reduce inconsistencies on the ground surface.

● Check the surface for softness – neither too soft nor too hard is acceptable. Your surface must be soft enough for tines to dig in and rotavating to begin.

● Repeat this process 2-3 times in different directions.

● If creating a flowerbed, add compost/manure and use the rotavator to mix in with your soil.

Rocket Rentals - Plant & Tool Hire Across Slimbridge

At Rocket Rentals, we are members of the Construction Plant-hire Association, the Road Haulage Association, QAS approved and met the requirements of the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme, proving our great quality service and products we deliver to our clients.

Tool hire is a great way to get a vital piece of equipment for a short amount of time, without having to buy expensive machinery that might be out of the price range for your business. Tool hire is often cheaper than buying, especially if you only need a tool for a short period of time or on a project you’ll not need the tool for again. If you’re looking for reliable tool hire, we have a vast range of equipment available for you to hire for a variety of purposes. Get in touch today.

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