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Do You Know This About Tractor Cultivators?

We want to teach you all about the various types of cultivators.

What are they and what do they do? Now you will know.

And as a quick aside --- we are here to help you purchase a new tractor, parts and implements when the time is right.

Let’s get to the details.


A cultivator is any of several types of farm implements used for secondary tillage.

One sense of the name refers to frames with teeth (also called shanks) that pierce the soil as they are dragged through it linearly. Another sense refers to machines that use rotary motion of disks or teeth to accomplish a similar result.

Cultivator Usage

The rotary tiller is a principal example. Cultivators stir and pulverize the soil, either before planting (to aerate the soil and prepare a smooth, loose seedbed) or after the crop has begun growing (to kill weeds—controlled disturbance of the topsoil close to the crop plants kills the surrounding weeds by uprooting them, burying their leaves to disrupt their photosynthesis or a combination of both).

Unlike a harrow, which disturbs the entire surface of the soil, cultivators are designed to disturb the soil in careful patterns --- sparing the crop plants --- but disrupting the weeds.

Toothed-typed Cultivators

Toothed-type cultivators are often similar in form to chisel plows --- but their goals are different.

Cultivator's teeth work near the surface, usually for weed control. Chisel plow shanks work deep beneath the surface --- breaking up hardpan. Cultivating also takes much less power per shank when compared to chisel plowing.

Small-toothed cultivators pushed or pulled by a single person are used as garden tools for small-scale gardening --- such as for the household's own use or for small market gardens.

Similarly sized rotary tillers combine the functions of harrow and cultivator into one multipurpose machine.

Cultivator Operations

Cultivators are usually either self-propelled or drawn as an attachment behind either a two-wheel tractor or four-wheel tractor.

For two-wheel tractors --- they are usually rigidly fixed and powered via couplings to the tractors' transmission.

For four-wheel tractors --- they are usually attached by means of a three-point hitch and driven by a power take-off (PTO).

Drawbar hookup is also still commonly used worldwide.

Draft-animal power is sometimes still used today. This is somewhat common in developing nations --- although rare in more industrialized economies.

Hopefully, this brief article has helped you better understand cultivators and how they work.

If you need any further help or have any questions about tractors, implements, or anything else equipment-related, please contact your dealer, local mechanic, or call us at 602-734-9944. Please ask about our current new and used tractor supply.

If you are looking for old, vintage, classic, or new tractor parts, send us a part request.

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