Farm & Ranch Living
Anew kid on the block, Tilmor Tractors rolled out its take on the Model G in late 2019. The tractor features a mechanical transmission, which project leader and fourth-generation family farmer Lydell Steiner says “allows us to work at a constant speed, and we don’t lose power through hydraulics.
“We’ve designed it in such a way to keep it very simple, with most of the filters and things very accessible, so if there’s a problem it can be worked on in local repair shops.”
Made for use on smaller acreage, by market gardeners and the like, the Tilmor tractor can work several hundred acres, but Lydell estimates its sweet spot is between 10 and 30. It offers excellent visibility and lots of space under the belly for a midmount toolbar, which allows the tractor to get into tighter spaces.
A wide range of tools—everything from a tender plant hoe to a basket weeder—is available on the Tilmor website ( tilmor.com). The tractor itself starts at $23,500, but there is another, less expensive option: the Power Ox. Starting at $2,000 and built specifically for in-row cultivation, this two-wheel walkbehind tractor pulls planting and weeding tools, with 11.5 inches of ground clearance to go over crops. The tool is a hit with Jason Weston, a Washington state producer with a mixed vegetable farm and nursery.
In a recent YouTube video, Jason noted the efficiency of the Power Ox. “What would have taken you four guys, five guys, two days to do,” he says, “you’re done in 20 minutes. It’s that big of a difference. We estimate since we switched over to mechanical cultivating, we’re saving upward of $500 a week during our peak season in the summer.... When you can send one guy out there and they can weed 75 rows of garlic in 25 minutes, that’s money right there in your pocket.”
Jon Detweiler, who manages Venture Heritage Farm in Dalton, Ohio, incorporates compost using the Tilmor Power Ox.