What is Walk-Behind tractor, anyway?
It is a 2-wheeled (single-axle) power-plant with an engine on one end and a PTO on the other, which will operate a variety of implements ranging from Tillage tools to Mowers to Snow removal equipment to stationary applications such as wood splitters, chipper/shredders and generators, with a greater selection of implements available as time goes on. Other names for them include Walking tractors, Hand tractors, Two-wheel tractors or Single-axle tractors.
Walk-behind tractors in general are a poorly understood equipment sector for most present-day Americans, and there arecurrently NONE of these tractors made in the USA. This was not always the case; in the 1950s, there were many walk-behind tractor manufacturers operating in the USA: Gravely, ChoreMaster, David Bradley, Frasier, Bolens and even Simplicity used to make them, among other companies.
Currently, most of the world’s production of Walk-behind tractors is in Italy. In many of the mountainous countries of Europe, these small tractors have always been very practical for small farms (and many farms are very small in Europe), especially in steep terrain. Modern Italian Walk-behind tractors differ from their Historical counterparts in several ways:
A. All-Gear Drive (Gravely tractors were gear drive, but the other brands were not)
B. Having a PTO (again, Gravely always had this, but many of the others were designed
for push- or pull-type implements only [plow, disks, cultivator, scraper blade, etc.])
C. Fully Reversible Handlebars to allow Front- OR Rear-PTO operation D. More compact and maneuverable
E. More implements available, easier to change implements