rotovator help.

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arthur cooke

  • Guest
rotovator help.
« on: February 12, 2008, 12:45 »
Hi, Im arthur, looking for some advice, I have a house, with land, in northern Italy. I'll be moving there as soon as I can, probably next year.
Last year went out in February and came back in November and I'll be doing the same this year, driving out this coming Saturday.

I have five terraces that I dug by spade and this year have decided that it's too much digging, so want to buy a rotovator. Soil is not too bad to dig when nice and damp, during summer does get dry and a bit hard so need to dig early, March I think.
Each terrace is about 40ft long and 20ft wide.
My budget is about €500 to €700 euros, about 500 quid.
I'm probably going to buy it in Italy.
So I'm looking more for specification than a brand.
What horse power?
What digging depth?
Front or back tines?
4 stroke or 2 stroke?
I have to be able to get it down to each terrace, paths are at narrowest about two and a half ft.
Hope that's not too many question to start with.
Thanks.
cheers arthur

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Gwiz

  • Guest
rotovator help.
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2008, 13:30 »
Hello Arthur, welcome to the forums.
Thats quite a lot of digging. I would go for something Honda, and not just engine-wise. They have a very good spares back up, and are very reliable from the start. We have a lot of merry tiller advocates on this forum, myself included, but they are getting old now, and I'm not to sure how you would get on for spares in Italy.
Two stoke machines tend to be a bit gutless for rotovating, and in all honesty, I can't remember the last time I saw a new two stroke rotovator.
I wouldn't worry too much about width, as the tines all tend to come off quite easy ( pins and clips ) and as for digging depth, well, thats all down to personal preference really. There are a lot of cheap makes of rotovator, but some of them are a bit on the flimsy side.
I can look into some honda models that may be suitable for you if you like, or you could just give honda a look at on the web.
Where abouts in london are you? I would have thought that there would be a dealer near you so you could pop along and have a look at the beast's.

ll the best,
Graham.

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arthur cooke

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rotovator help.
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2008, 15:31 »
Hi Gwiz, thanks for that, I looked at a few. What do you think of the FG315?
Don't know of any dealers offhand. I'm in Hackney.
Yeh, I think I do need to have a look, get the feel, may not have time here as I'm off to Italy on Saturday.
cheers arthur

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Gwiz

  • Guest
rotovator help.
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2008, 16:39 »
funny you should ask. I reckon thats a little cracker.
I had a look at one after replying to your post. I have had a very friendly working relationship with my local garden machinery dealer for well over 20 years now. he lets me know whats on the market, whats good, and what is a bag of nails.
The FG135 is a very good machine. he has had no problems with them at all, and he's sold quite a few. with a bit of haggling, i reckon you'd get it for about the £500, so add whatever the exchange rate is. i don't think you could buy a better machine, but you could buy a lot, lot worse.

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arthur cooke

  • Guest
rotovator help.
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2008, 17:18 »
Ah, nice one, I'll see what is available in Italy next week. With a bit of luck they will have mended my phone line and I can get on the net. Ha, I've been waiting 2 years so far.
Thanks for your help.
cheers arthur

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Contadino

  • Experienced Member
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  • Location: Apulia, Italia
  • 201
rotovator help.
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2008, 17:44 »
Hi Arthur,

I'm down in the south, in Puglia.  Your best bet would be to ask at a repairers (negozi dei attretamente agricoltura) for second hand motozappa.  Make sure you get one where you can adjust the number of tines (or zappette) as this means not only will you be able to get down narrower paths between your terraces, but you'll also be able to plant your vegetables closer together.  You'll also be able to get attachments to tend your olives and vines too (rollers, rakes, pumps, etc..)

Mine is a Diesse (http://www.diesseagri.it/) 9 cavalli, but they're local to me, and I expect you'll have difficulty finding one up there.  These things are VERY local here.

Buon lavoro,

Jeremy.

Edit:  Just thought it's worth mentioning - the large supermarkets and ferramente are the worst place to pick up a cheap new rotavator.  They offer no aftersales whatsoever.  I know someone who bought a chainsaw in Auchan, but couldn't figure out how to start it.  When he went back to the shop he got told "We're a supermarket.  Why would we know how to use it?"

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arthur cooke

  • Guest
rotovator help.
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2008, 10:11 »
Hi Contadino, I'm up in the mountains, inland from Sestri Levante, a village called Doga.
I have grape on my terraces, americano and I got a good crop from them last year, too high for olives tho. I do have more terraces than the five but  I'm not going to cultivate them as it's a lot more work than I can handle.
I'm learning Italian, but at my age, nearly 64, It's very slow, but my villagers are really good people, show what to plant and when. toward the end of April last year weather was really good and I thought I'd get my tomatoes in, villagers said no no, too early but I planted anyway, ha, it snowed for 2 days, pomadori, zucchini, dead! As you can see my Italian spelling is not very good.
Im lucky in that all my orto has water on tap, no shortage of water at all. good enough pressure so that this year I'm going to set up an automatic watering system.
The villagers tell me off when I try and plant close together, one of the villagers, Amilio, dug up my zucchini and replanted them at the correct distance apart.
I think there's a place in Sestri that has one, I bought a brush cutter there.  2 stroke petrol one with the engine on the end of the handle, I couldn't get on with the back pack ones.
Amazing to think I'll be there on Sunday, I take 2 days to drive, so starting off on Saturday. Just praying that they've fixed my telephone line which came down 2 anni ago in a storm.
Thanks for your help, hopefully I'll be posting while I'm out there to let you know how I got on.
cheers arthur, (Arturo)

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Contadino

  • Experienced Member
  • ***
  • Location: Apulia, Italia
  • 201
rotovator help.
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2008, 11:13 »
Motozappe are pretty much all 2-stroke benzina or gasolio here.  I don't think I've seen a 4-stroke one.  I look after nearly 6 ha of land and my 2-stroke is man enough for the job.  If you find a diesel one, though, they're heavier and cheaper to run.

64 is govanotte in rural Italy.  My neighbours are late 70's on one side, 86 on the other, and 81 behind and they look after all their land themselves.

Your neighbours are the best source of information and advice, so heed what they say.  It's often plain bizzare, but there's always a reason they do things the way they're done.

Ciao ciao,

Jeremy

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arthur cooke

  • Guest
rotovator help.
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2008, 11:56 »
Much the same in Doga, Amilio is in his late 70s and I can't keep up with him.
I do try and follow their advice, they've been growing for generations and I'm an innercity Londoner, who, until I went out there had never grown anything really, last year was my first whole season and a big learning curve. I did well with fava beans, red onions, zucchini, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage,pumpkins but failed with runner-beans and peas.
This year I hope to do better, also I'm planning to build a chicken run and keep chicken and perhaps some quail next year.
I can't wait to get out there!!!
cheers arthur.



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