Before discussing tiller maintenance, it is important to say that, although there are some differences between the various models, this machine has a standard structure. Two long, height-adjustable handles are used to control the forward movement and the rotation of the blades. The internal combustion engine drives a shaft on which the blades are mounted, sometimes with two wheels to facilitate movement. At the end of the blades there are often two safety discs to protect the operator. At the rear (the end where the handles are) there is a rostrum that acts as a brake, sinking into the ground to prevent forward movement, and at the front, there is sometimes a small wheel to make driving the tiller easier.
Another machine that is similar to the rotary tiller is the motor cultivator. The difference between the two machines lies in the positioning of the blades, which in the rotary tiller are mounted on the drive shaft in place of the wheels, while in the motor cultivator they are mounted in a recessed position and the vehicle always stands on its wheels. Given the heavy-duty work that this machine is designed to carry out, good maintenance is essential.