Fowler Gyrotiller at Newby 2012 - IMG 8464

170hp Fowler Gyrotiller at the Newby Hall Vintage Rally 2012

Fowler Gyrotiller rotors - IMG 4887

A view of the twin rotors of the 80 hp Gyrotiller

The Fowler Gyrotiller was a fore runer of the power harrow or rotavator, buit by John Fowler & Co. of Leeds from the 1920's. Several models were produced, and most early machines were used by ploughing contractors for breaking up virgin land, as they would grub up small bushes and trees. They were hugely expensive and thirsty, and a number are believed to have been sold on Hire purchase like the steam engines. Others were operated by a Fowler subsidiary, on a contract hire basis, at a rate per acre.


The Gyrotiller was invented by a Norman Storey in Porto Rico, a Sugar cane plantation estate manger. Charles Henry Fowler agreed a exclusive licensing deal with Storey for use of the patented design, in 1925.

225 hp / 170 hp GyrotillerEdit

The First machine left the factory in October 1927 for the West Indies. early machines had 225hp Ricardo petrol engines, but they were replaced by MAN diesels of 170 hp or 150 hp that used a lot less fuel. The tractor looked similar to the early Holt tractors built by Ruston and Hornsby for the army during WW I under licence, with tracks and a front 'steering' wheel. An example survives and has been shown at Great Dorset Steam Fair - photo here

Only one example survives, which is now back in full working order after being in storage fora number of years. The identy of the machine is rather confused with Fowler id plates for another machine and a registration number that is believed to be from a sister machine operated by its owners during its working life. -

The early machines were superseded by the later models mounted on crawler tractors.

Gyrotiller 80 hpEdit

Fowler no. 20102 - 80 hp Gyrotiller at Carrington 2010 -IMG 4439

Fowler no. 20102 a 80 hp Gyrotiller of 1933 from the Robert Crawford collection on display at the Carrington Steam and Tractor Rally 2010

Main article: Fowler Gyrotiller 80 hp

Fitted with a 80 hp 6-cylinder Fowler-Sanders engine

Gyrotiller 40 hpEdit

Main article: Fowler Gyrotiller 40 hp

Based on the Fowler 4/40 crawler tractor which had a 4-cylinder 40 hp Fowler-Sanders engine fitted

Gyrotiller 30 hpEdit

Main article: Fowler Gyrotiller 30 hp

Based on the Fowler 3/30 crawler tractor


Companies using Gyrotillers in the UK included;


At least 5 Gryrotillers survive in the UK

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