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  1. #1
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    3,667
    Location
    Grayson County, TX
    Tractor
    Kubota B2710

    Default Disk vs tiller revisited

    Back about Christmas there was thread about when to use a disk vs when to use a tiller. Of my 24 acres I have about 2 acres of bald fill dirt that I need to tear up to get some grass going (if it ever stops raining). I have intended to get a tiller, but because of the incredibly high price of tillers I have been considering a disk. One, because its cheaper, and two, because I could cover ground quicker.

    I will want to incorporate some organic material into the soil, but wouldn't a disk do some of that after going over it a couple of times?

    It seems like I could use the tiller for a garden later on, whereas I might never need the disk again. But the lower cost of the disk to put in the turf is tempting.

    Any thoughts on this subject?


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    94
    Location
    Western New Hampshire, Conn. River Valley
    Tractor
    John Deere 4100 Hydro, Turf Tires

    Default Re: Disk vs tiller revisited

    Alan,

    I've been considering the same thing - whether to get a disk or tiller. Here's what I've found so far:

    For my size tractor (JD4100hydro - 20 hp), the appropriately sized discs don't seem to be very heavy duty - thinner metal blades, frames not as strong, etc - so the disc is more subject to damage. Of course, for large tractors, that's probably not a concern. And of course, maybe I need to look at more discs...

    Discs seem to be better suited to someone who's working larger areas. (like out west, where they farm sections, not acres! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/shocked.gif[/img]) They're faster than tillers at covering ground. Disc's are great for breaking up soil (dirtclods) and work okay for leveling, but don't work well at turning over ground. Tillers will turn over new ground as well as breaking up clods and leave it nice and level. As I understand it, one typically uses a plow to turn the soil, then a disc to break it up and even it. A tiller does both in one pass.

    A tiller mixes soil better. 'nuf said...

    A tiller seems more expensive than a plow and disc together. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/shocked.gif[/img]

    I guess it all comes down to how much area you're working and what you're doing with it. I've been waffling back and forth about which to get, [img]/w3tcompact/icons/blush.gif[/img] and my current decision is to get a tiller. Of course, I haven't got it yet, so the decision is subject to change! (Last week I was all set to get a disc...)
    hth

    Dave Wells



  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    357
    Location
    Northwest Georgia
    Tractor
    Kubota 5400 4x4 with ROPS, canopy, 1001 loader, heavy duty quick release bucket with tooth bar, 280 Bush Hog brush cutter, 6' Bush Hog box blade, 6' Bush Hog plug aerator, 3 point hay spear, 6' Lands

    Default Re: Disk vs tiller revisited

    Allen,

    Guess I have been doing what you want to do. I am converting land to pasture. Before, the land was either covered in trees, rock piles, over growth, etc. I'd first clear the land of what didn't belong there. Second, go over it with a disc a bunch of times. Third, go over it with a box blade to smooth the dirt out. Forth, let it get rained on and packed down. Fifth, throw seed, manure, lime, etc.

    Last year the area looked like crap. Also was very roly poly. It would beat the heck out of me when trying to drive my tractor over the area, and I have a good size tractor.

    This year it's a different story. Tons of green fescue coming up everywhere. The land is very smooth. All the junk is gone. All the work from last year is now worth it.

    I thought about getting a tiller. I thought it would to take a lot longer to cut up the area. I went with a disc instead. Am very happy with my decision.

    Bill Cook


  4. #4
    Super Star Member Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    12,124
    Location
    Lebanon,NH.
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800HST w/Frontloader & CC LTX1046

    Default Re: Disk vs tiller revisited

    Alan,
    True the disk are quicker also cheaper,but you may find more work than a tiller.
    Disk & harrows or something in the line of a rake maybe need for the finish product.
    Do you know of someone thats already setup w/this eqiupment that can rough up the ground for you,and you just finish the 24 acres...cheaper yet.

    Thomas..NH [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    349
    Location
    Peculiar, MO
    Tractor
    B2400 Kubota

    Default Re: Disk vs tiller revisited

    What you said that was importasnt is that you have a big tractor, the size of disk that compacts can handle, are lighter and getting them to cut into the ground a challenage. The disk is designed to perpare the top surface of ground. Don't think the small disks will work like the farm disks. Their weight is very large and allows them to cut into ground. Rent the size of disk, you are looking at and try it out, it may work for you or may not. Anyway you are only out the rental.

    Dan L


  6. #6

    Default Re: Disk vs tiller revisited

    I was looking at a site that sells both tillers and discs and they have hp requirements in the descriptions, but they say it depends on soil type as well. The pricing is about the same on either a tiller or a disc so I am getting the tiller.
    The site is www.easternfarmmachinery.com


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    28
    Location
    Fauquier County, Virginia
    Tractor
    NH TC-40D

    Default Re: Disk vs tiller revisited

    Alan,
    I used a disk a 3-pt. hitch disc behind a TC-40D to break up the 17 acres we have. It was originaly in no till, row crop production so it was clear but needed breaking up to plant for pasture. The disc worked OK but I had to go over the area a couple of times and so it may not be much (if any) faster than a tiller. A light 3-pt. disc works a lot better if you can weight it down (I used concrete blocks) so it digs in. The heavy discs made to pull on the draw bar are $3000.+ and unless you get the transport wheels you have to leave them at the edge of the field or disc eveything to and from. You might want to try renting a tiller and seeing how it is. In my area they rent for $50 a day. The disk worked OK for me but in retrospect a tiller might have been better.
    Bob


  8. #8
    Super Member RobS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    6,235
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Tractor
    John Deere 790

    Default Re: Disk vs tiller revisited

    Wow, those are expensive discs [img]/w3tcompact/icons/shocked.gif[/img] Must be agricultural grade (heavy). I borrowed a similar disc last fall and went over 8 acres three times. It worked very well to smooth the furrows and break up the soil. I doubt the lighter discs commonly found at the farm stores would have worked as well. I hope to rent a tiller this spring for a small garden area. Should be a good comparison... stay tuned [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]


  9. #9
    Super Member JerryG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    7,191
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas
    Tractor
    MF 1440-4 PowerShuttle

    Default Re: Disk vs tiller revisited

    Alan,
    You could look at a field cultivator. You can buy them with 7-9-11 or more shanks. I use one to till my garden after using my moldboard plow. I also use one to smooth out rough ground. They can be had for $550 on up depending on the number of shanks.


  10. #10
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    6,737
    Tractor
    JD 8320 MFWD, JD 6415 MFWD, FEL, and cab, John Deere MFWD 4600, John Deere 4020, John Deere 4430, John Deere 455 mower, Deutz, and Gehl 4610 perkins skidsteer

    Default Re: Disk vs tiller revisited

    Alan,
    What you need is a disc with a hydraulic link. I'm not sure if your tractor will pull one or not. With the hydraulic link then you're going to be hard pressed to get enough soil turnage to make it worthwhile. I see these all the time at farm sales for less than $300. The little ones like you buy at the farm stores that you put weight are not going to do the job for you. With a hydraulic one you will be able to tear the ground up just as good as a tiller and in much less time. I have a 12 foot one that I pull with my JD 4600 and I will match it with the disc against a tiller anytime. When the snow gets off the ground I will show you some areas that I have done with a disc. You just have to disc it from all different directions. Now no doubt a tiller would do it and probably a little better job but for alot more money and time. But, in my opinion, if you can't pull at least a 10 ft. disc with hydraulics you are going to have an awful hard time breaking up the soil with a disc and you'd be better off with a tiller.



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