MACHINERY & EQUIPMENT
Scale Appropriate Systems
When used properly, machinery can serve an as extension of your own body, providing the necessary power for a variety of tasks. Soil working machinery, post-harvest equipment, and a variety of other powered devices can greatly increase the efficiency of a small farm.
Determining the appropriate scale for your equipment may be the most essential step when integrating mechanical systems into your farm. The required equipment will depend on the intended use of the equipment is and amount of land under cultivation. For many small farms, a walk-behind tractor and a handful of useful implements is the only machinery needed, while others decide a 4WD tractor is an essential tool.
It is important to project to where you want to be with your scale in order to avoid rapidly outgrowing purchased equipment. By anticipating future growth, it may be possible to save money and headache that would be caused by undersized equipment. Conversely, it is important to realize that excessively sized equipment will not be without disadvantages, from increased soil compaction to difficulties accomplishing tasks on a smaller piece of ground.
BCS is the largest manufacturer of two-wheeled, walk-behind tractors in Europe. These versatile machines feature a variety of implements that serve several functions on the small farm. Their all-gear driven engine provides durability and reliability, while providing enough power to perform any of the tasks a small farm requires. Sleek and compact, the BCS walk-behind tractor is easy and enjoyable to use.
With several models featuring different sizes and horsepower, BCS walk-behind tractors can be used on any size farm. With tiller boxes ranging from 18-33", they fit perfectly into the 30" bed system. Wheel extensions allow the wheel base to straddle beds to enable the use of cultivators, root crop harvesters, and other implements without disturbing the beds. Bed formers are available that form and level 30" wide beds with a single pass. The handle can be rotated to enable front- or rear-mounted attachments, as well as provide offset operation to avoid walking on freshly worked soil. These machines can also be used for several other chores, such as splitting and chipping wood, snowblowing, haying, and mowing.
While most walk-behind machinery is designed with a single-purpose in mind, BCS walk-behind tractors are built to eliminate the need for more than one power unit. The large line of attachments means a single power unit can serve a variety of functions, thus reducing the need for more expensive equipment. Efficiency is key on small farms, and BCS focuses on providing the most efficient, functional tractors available.
Click here to visit BCS America - a great source of information regarding BCS models and implements.
Click here to visit Earth Tools, the largest importer of BCS equipment in the USA. Not only do they offer a variety of models and implements, but they are also extremely knowledgeable and skilled at service and repair.
AK Small Engine Repair is a distributor of BCS equipment and is located near to the Four Season Tools warehouse. Any equipment purchased through AK Small Engine Repair at the same time as a FST tunnel can be included with the tunnel shipment. They can be contacted at 573-378-6339.
In some instances, a four-wheeled tractor makes more sense. Whether the amount of ground is too large to manage with a walk-behind tractor, or if there are additional tasks that need to be accomplished that cannot be managed by a walk-behind machine. There are many great resources that offer valuable information on how to select the right tractor, considering factors like size, make, features, expected usage, new vs. used, and comfort. When considering scale specific equipment, it is important to ask the right questions to make sure the equipment is suited to your needs. This resource, from the University of Georgia attempts to lay out some of the sizing considerations for tractors.
From barrel washers and processing lines to refrigeration units and forklifts, there are several pieces of machinery or equipment that make the post-harvest handling process efficient and safe. FST has worked with with farmers and engineers around the country to develop unique tools, such as small-scale root and bubble washers or data collection and logging systems.