Revised 8 April, 2009


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Dr. von Meyenburg also licensed his patent to Siemens-Schuckert-Werke of Berlin, Germany. Siemens an electrical manufacturer built their first "boden frasen" using an electric motor and a long extension cord in 1911. The farmers did not like this ideal and was abandoned.


Siemens then replaced the electric motor with a gasoline engine and the rotary tiller brought the small-scale farmer into the Twentieth Century.

In 1923 the following article appeared in Scientific American magazine.

Scientific American
December, 1923 __________________________________________
Chewing Up the Soil for Better Crops
  On the American market today there are several different manufactures of garden tractors, and now from England comes the description of one which differs radically from the American variety in that the soil is worked by a revolving member called a miller, instead of by the common toothed cultivating attachment. The function of the miller is to chew up the soil, mixing, lightening and incorporating it thoroughly with the fertilizer that has already been spread over it.

  The rototiller is driven by a two-cycle, 8 to 10 horsepower engine. Lubrication is provided by mixing the oils with the gasoline in the tank, as in small engines used on motorboats. The engine cooled by means of a radiator of two gallons capacity and by a fan running on ballbearings. Ignition is by high-tension magneto. As in the case of the garden tractor, the controls are led to the handlebars. The motor is equipped with an aircleaner working on the labyrinth principle.

  The bull-wheel shaft is driven by a steel worm working on a phosphorbronze worm wheel. The gears are of hardened nickel steel and run in an oil-bath. Two speeds are provided for, the high speed corresponding to over 1-1/2 miles per hour and the low speed being 3/4 mile per hour with engine funning at 14000 r.p.m. The bull-wheels are 18 inches in diameter and the extreme width over all, without the regular 36-inch miller, is 24 inches.

  The miller is driven by a bevel pinion and crown wheel enclosed in an extension of the gear-box, and which forms part of the body, and these run in oil. The miller drive is independent of that of the bullwheels, permitting the rototiller to be moved. The latter revolves at 150 r.p.m. and carries twenty coil springs on whose extremities are fitted twenty coil semi-circular hooks of steel. These are the tools which attack the soil. The total weight of the machine is 650 pounds and its height is 37 inches.

  One of the most satisfactory qualities of this cultivating device is its low speed. In order to do good work a garden tractor should not be geared so as to run as fast as three miles per hour - a speed at which the control of the tools is erratic, especially in rough or lumpy soil, therefore the low speed of the rototiller is an advantage.

1923 8-hp Siemens Gartenfrase

Siemens used both 2-cycle and 4-cycle petrol engines. They made both 4-wheel tractors and 2-wheel walk behind rotary cultivators.

1912 Siemens
1932 Siemens K5 1932 Siemens K5 with tool bar and wheel extensions

The Siemens K5 was the first "Boden Frasen" or Rototiller that C. W. Kelsey imported into the United States.


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Around 1932 Siemens decided to sell off its cultivator division and focus on its electrical applications. You see their commercials on the television. Mr. Eberhard Bungartz of Munich, Germany a trailer manufacturer purchased the division in 1934 with all patents, parts, and machinery and went into production using the Bungartz name

By this time only the 2-wheel cultivators was still being made. In 1953 Bungartz started making 4-wheel diesel tractors the T-5 with a Hatz single cylinder diesel engine and T-6 with a 3-cylinder MWM diesel engine. These tractor featured 90-degree steering lock.

Universal Tractor Corporation of New York started importing Bungartz machinery in 1960. This appears to be the first time since 1939 that Bungartz's were imported into the United States. Universal Tractor sold a full line of Bungartz equipment, up to 40 implements and attachments were offered, some made by Universal Tractor.

Around 1964 Bungartz joined with Karl Peschke to form the Bungartz & Peschke company. They went out of business around 1974 due to poor business.

T-6 Tilltrac
Engine: MWM Model AKD10Z 3-cylinder diesel
Speed: 7 Forward, 3 Reverse *
The T-6 will handle a 2-bottom plow or Bungartz Rototrac T-650 50" PTO powered rototiller.
T-5 Tilltrac
Engine: Hatz Model 89FGE 14 h.p. air-cooled single-cylinder deisel
Speed: 10 Forward, 3 Reverse *
The T-5 could be equipped with 28" to 48" field type tillers
L-5 Cropmaster
Engine: Hatz Model 89FGE 14 h.p. air-cooled single-cylinder diesel
Speed: 6 Forward, 1 Reverse *
The L-5 could be used with a single wheel sulky (shown)
H1 Weasel
Engine: Fichtel & Sachs 4.5 h.p. gasoline
Speed: 1 Forward no Reverse
16" miller, Single Wheel, weighs 115 lbs.
FRN-FRN/K Tillman
Engine: Wisconsin AENL 9.2 h.p. gasoline
FRN Speed: 3 Forward, 1 Reverse
22" Miller
FRN/K Speed: 6 Forward, 2 Reverse
28" Miller
Riding sulky available for both models
Independent PTO and Reversable operation
EL-5 Tillking
Engine: Wisconsin AGN 12.5 h.p. gasoline
Speed: 7 Forward, 3 Reverse, 1 Crawler
Riding sulky available for both models
Independent PTO and Reversable operation
Track adjustable two-wheel sulky
* Specifications given by the 1960 Red Book differ from Universal Tractor ads in it.

I have only came across one Siemens K5 and one each Bungartz T-5 4-wheel tractor a walk-behand rototiller in the U.S.


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This one wheel motor cultivator is owned by Mr. Albert Eychenne of France.

Agria owned by Mr. Albert Eychenne, photo by A. Charles

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German Links and Vendors

For additional information on German machinery contact
Michiel Hooijberg

For Bungartz Parts Contact:
Holter Maschinenhandel
Thomas Bachmaier GmbH
Habichtweg 3-5
Postfach 1229
33758 Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock
Phone: 05207-910013
Fax: 05207-918912

Agria Gartenfräsen (Kräutermopeds)


For more information order my new book:

The Rototiller in America

You can ordered the book directly from the publisher,
Infinity Publishing, website,
a Print On Demand (POD) publisher.

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Copyrighted 1998-2009 Donald A.Jones

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