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  1. #1
    Silver Member ametcalf's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
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    162
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    Central KY
    Tractor
    Kubota BX23

    Default Gear vs chain driven tiller?

    Does anyone have an opinion on a gear driven tiller vs a chain driven tiller?
    My 25+ year old 6' tiller that just gave up had a chain driven drive with a number 80 chain that I changed several times during the course of its life. It wasn't too expensive and relatively easy to change. I am guessing that the gear drives might be tougher but harder to change and more expensive to repair but I don't know. I looked at a Tartar tiller at TSC this afternoon and was impressed by how well built it looked but I don't know much about the gear drives. I would appreciate any advice.
    Thanks, ametcalf
    ametcalf
    All I need to be a better mechanic is a bigger hammer.
    2004 BX23, 72" Landpride finish mower, 48" Howse tiller, Home made brush forks, grapple, and plywood skidplate.
    Allis Chalmers 5040, 6 Bushhog, Boom pole, PHD, Box Grader, Rear Blade, 2 bottom plow
    2000 Crewcab Super Duty F250 Powerstroke Diesel 260k miles

  2. #2
    Silver Member gkh7890's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
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    242
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Tractor
    DK40SE HST

    Default Re: Gear vs chain driven tiller?

    My experience is pretty limited to using a friend's 4' Frontier last summer, which was a chain drive unit. It worked fine but the drive box cover is really thin and it did sustain a dent (I didn't do it) which led to the chain rubbing against it. Just didn't sound to encouraging to me.

    This spring, my FNL & I picked up a 6' KK II. He has a JD 5303 and I have a Kioti DK40SEHST, both have a 6' (72") width so this works well to cover the tracks. Anyhow, he just got to use it in the past 2 weeks. Man, it was awesome!!!

    I've looked over the Tarter and the KK. They look almost identical except the KK has a support tube to the right side (looking towards the back of the tractor) of the gearbox where the Tarter does not. Other than that, they look very similar. I don't think you'll be disappointed w/ a gear unit! Hope this helped a little and good luck!!!

  3. #3
    Gold Member Hematite's Avatar
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    Dutchess Cty, New York

    Default Re: Gear vs chain driven tiller?

    All I know is that my dealer used to rent a top quality chain drive tiller and decided to go with a gear tiller for its replacement.
    2003 Massey Ferguson 2925, 25hp Hydro, 60" shaft drive mower deck, 60" manual blade, 47" shaft drive two stage snow blower.
    2008 New Holland T2310 Deluxe 40hp FWD Boomer, Dual power hydro/ 250TL FEL/ 758C BH/ 105A HD 72" gear tiller, Woods GB72 box scraper, Arrow Material Handling Mighty Max 48" pallet forks.

  4. #4
    Elite Member jonyyuma's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
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    35 miles North of Memphis,TN
    Tractor
    kubota L3000dt, ford 8n1952

    Default Re: Gear vs chain driven tiller?

    If you can afford a gear driven unit, then go for it>> They used to be really a high priced option...Especially if it is used over 50 hrs a year?
    Okay, Legal disclaimer: Old but not senile, definitely do not have the answer to everything!

  5. #5
    Super Member
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    somewhere usa
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    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Gear vs chain driven tiller?

    I doubt it really makes much difference whether you have chain drive or gear drive for tillers. Both work well enough and for the gear drive to be substancially better to last alot longer than the chain drive would require much more precision cut gears and bearings.

    I would consider both chain and gear drive tillers and look at the overall build quality and prices for available equipment to make the best choice.

  6. #6
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Mt Washington, Kentucky
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    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: Gear vs chain driven tiller?

    Depends....WHICH chain drive vs WHICH gear drive?

    My personal preference is towards gear drive, but it's hard to argue the logic of a GOOD chain drive being as good or better than a "bad" gear driven design. There is no "carved in stone rule" that says one is automatically better than the other.

    That said, my (almost) 9 year old KKII 6'er (which is gear driven!) has taken far more abuse in it's life than most owners would put one through in a dozen lifetimes. (Enough to wear out one full set of tines and well on the way to wearing out #2 set) The KKII tillers are among the lowest in price, yet seem by all evidence to be about as tough as some of the most expensive built. The ONLY gear drive failures I know of were the result of use WITHOUT gearbox oil/grease. Probably just about a wash on which (chain v gear) would fail faster without lube....
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  7. #7
    Elite Member jonyyuma's Avatar
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    35 miles North of Memphis,TN
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    kubota L3000dt, ford 8n1952

    Default Re: Gear vs chain driven tiller?

    By you saying it is 9 years old. Have you ever replaced the tines underneith? I thought the Tines would wear out ahead of some of the other parts? I seem to have trouble with bearings on a lot of items ..?
    Okay, Legal disclaimer: Old but not senile, definitely do not have the answer to everything!

  8. #8
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: Gear vs chain driven tiller?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonyyuma View Post
    By you saying it is 9 years old. Have you ever replaced the tines underneith? I thought the Tines would wear out ahead of some of the other parts? I seem to have trouble with bearings on a lot of items ..?

    Yes...It's in my post....I've replaced a full set of tines and the replacement set is probably 1/4 of the way to being worn out. Lotta acres behind this tiller...
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  9. #9
    Gold Member HiTechTed's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
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    296
    Location
    Indiana
    Tractor
    Kubota L3400

    Default Re: Gear vs chain driven tiller?

    I have a Sitrex tiller that is chain driven and it's a beast, plus it's quiet. I just keep it clean and I will change the lube in both the chain box and the gearbox every season, and keep the slip clutch properly adjusted. I guess I'd trust either type as long as it's good quality.

  10. #10
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Gear vs chain driven tiller?

    My chain drive Farm King 42 in. tiller has gone through at least four chains and four sets of tines.

    That said I'm proposing any well designed tiller; wether chain or gear, should preform well within it's design parameters

    Mine got beat about on 50 year old sod that had more rocks than arable dirt. Used to put the tractor in cruise and walk along side picking rocks and throwing them in the bucket. Course it was a small kubota B7100 so this type of operation was feasible.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

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