Honda MPE has unveiled four-stroke tillers useful for senior gardeners wishing to avoid the often backbreaking work involved in preparing a vegetable patch or reviving a neglected garden bed.
According to Honda MPE, Power Equipment Manager, Ray Briffa, tillers are also finding new homes with people looking for time savings from their power equipment.
"Keen gardeners are adding a tiller to their equipment list in droves," Ray Briffa said. "There has also been an increase in professional garden care contractors who have bought tillers in an effort to further diversify their business and increase their service offerings."
Ray Briffa said that several factors had led to the increase in tiller use. "The consistently dry conditions across many parts of the country means that working the soil can be a difficult and time consuming job, particularly in areas where the soil has a higher clay composition," he said.
"These dry conditions also require more careful planning and maintenance of garden areas by aerating the soil for increased water absorption. In addition, a tiller will slash soil preparation time and help avoid the blisters caused by the shovel and hoe."
Ray Briffa said it was also only a matter of time before the professional garden contractors were adding soil preparation and tilling to their services. "Discerning home and property owners and even body corporates, are increasingly wanting a complete gardencare and maintenance service," Ray Briffa said.
"Whereas a few short years ago it may have been sufficient for a contractor's equipment list to comprise solely of lawnmowers and brushcutters, nowadays those contractors wishing to provide a more complete service also use blowers, hedgecutters, edgers and tillers; it's a trend that I'm sure will continue in the future."
Spanning five models, Honda MPE's tiller range begins with the 31cc Generation II mini four-stroke FG110 and extends to the 240cc FR800, providing a comprehensive model choice for both the home owner and contractor.
The three models FG110, F220 and FR750 are versatile and suitable for use in both domestic and commercial applications. Weighing only 14kgs, the FG110 has an adjustable 300mm tilling width with the ability to till within only a few centimetres of existing plants, making it ideal for raised garden beds and narrow rows.
Additional benefits include fold-over handles for easy storing and transportation, heavy duty debris shield for increased safety and the convenience of a dual direction off/run/off switch.
For those needing additional power for more demanding jobs, the F220 provides a 545mm tine width and features a powerful yet quiet and efficient GXV57, 57cc engine while still remaining lightweight at only 24.4kgs.
Users of the F220, particularly those with larger jobs, will appreciate the comfort and convenience of the multi-step adjustable handlebars and the precision and balance of the model's mid-tine configuration.
For added safety, the F220 also features a deadman clutch, stopping the tine from rotating when the operator disengages the lever. The FR750 widely used by contractors is powered by the 200cc GX200 engine, widely used in a variety of other Honda MPE’s power equipment.
The FR750 has a tine width of 600mm enabling it to efficiently work considerable areas at a time, and features two forward and one reverse gear to better handle a variety of conditions. Performance in tough or virgin soil also benefits from a lockable differential for improved traction.
This tiller is equipped with Honda MPE's Active Rotary System which rotates the tines in opposite directions allowing for better stability, improved ease of use and reduced operator fatigue. Ease of use is also aided by the multi-step, height adjustable handlebars, while a deadman clutch adds to safety.
Honda MPE’s tillers feature fuel efficient advanced four-stroke engines that do away with the need to mix oil and fuel, provide easy-starting, as well as reduced vibration and exhaust emissions.