How to Use a Rotavator - Correctly and Safely


How to use a rotavator: There’s nothing more frustrating than a tired old lawn or a flower bed that just won’t perform. It could be that the soil is just too compact, but the thought of breaking it up and turning it over with a fork is daunting, unless of course, you have one of these.

This is a rotavator and you can hire them from Speedy, the UK’s number one hire company.

A couple of good things to remember when hiring from Speedy, all our hire equipment is checked, tested, cleaned and serviced before every hire and will all come ready to go. You will also notice a folder attached to your hire product, these are safety and operating instructions, please make sure you read these before you begin your job.

Before you use the rotavator it’s really important that you wear the correct PPE, eye protection, safety boots and gloves are essential and we’d also recommend using ear defenders, and any PPE you do require can be purchased from Speedy.

Speedy Top Tip! Please Watch our How-To Use a Rotavator Video below:


This rotavator makes light work of breaking up compacted soil and turning it over bringing all of the nutrients to the surface and improving drainage, the benefits this can have on your new lawn or flower bed are huge.

This machine runs off normal unleaded petrol and refuelling it up can be done by removing the cap here and filling up the tank. After use, the engine can get really hot, so if you need to refuel, you should always allow the engine to cool down, as refuelling when the engine is hot can be really dangerous.

All of the controls for this rotavator can be found on the handlebar, and although it looks complicated it’s actually really easy to use. This lever is your on and off control, in order to start the machine you will need to turn it to the on position, when you are done with the rotavator putting it into the off position will cut the engine.

This is your parking brake, pulling this will lock the wheels and stop the rotavator from moving.

On the handle you will find this red lever, this is a safety switch. This will need to be compressed in order to operate the machine, releasing this lever will stop the blades from spinning and the rotavator from moving.

This rotavator works a little bit like a car, it has a clutch and gears, this trigger here will lift the flywheel up, essentially the equivalent to pressing the clutch pedal in your car and will allow you to select a gear, but don’t worry as this only has two gears, forwards or reverse which can be activated by moving this gear selector here either backwards or forwards. Once you have selected your gear you will need to release your grip on the clutch trigger and the machine will move in the direction you’ve have selected.

This small silver lever here is the throttle control. Down for fast, back up for slow.

Once you have the rotavator into position and you’re ready to start rotavating, you will need to compress the clutch again, but this time use this gear stick here which is for the blades. When you release the clutch, the machine will drive forwards and the blades will begin spinning.

So now you know how to use it lets take it outside and fire it up.

To begin with you will need to open the fuel lines by sliding the fuel cut off lever to the right. Then you will need to activate the choke by sliding it to the left. Now you can pull the start cord. Don’t worry if it doesn't start straight away, as it might take a couple of pulls. Once the engine has started slide the choke lever back to the right.

And then away you go.

And don’t forget to keep children and pets well clear when operating this equipment.

If you have any issues with any of the products you hire from Speedy, just give your local Service Centre a call, as we are always available to help, and remember to always check the safety and operating guidance before you use any hire product.


Ready for more DIY tips?

Thank you for reading our Speedy Services blog, we hope you found this how to use a rotavator guide and video useful. Want to find out how to use a rotavator to rotavate your garden then check out our How to Rotavate your Garden blog.

Plus, there’s plenty more tips and how-to-guides where this came from please visit our skills and project page.

You’ll find all the power tools and hire equipment you need right here, why not start planning your next DIY project today and open a Speedy account online or instore for all your tool hire needs.


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