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  1. #1
    Veteran Member jimg's Avatar
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    Default Review of a Caroni FL1400 tiller

    I recently aquired a new Caroni tiller (FL1400) from ASC in NC and
    thought a review might be of interest to perspective tiller buyers:

    First, Caroni has a very good webite which has a fair
    amount of free info available: http://www.caroni-spa.com
    Its worth the time to visit.

    The unit came unassembled in 4 pieces (tiller, drive line, clutch shield and hitch frame) strapped to a wooden pallet. A packet of documentation (owners manual, parts list and warranty) w/ top link pin was tie wrapped to the tiller. I opted to p/u at the freight depot to save some money. The
    pallet fit easily on my 1/2t P/U and was loaded w/ a fork lift. I unloaded on the other end w/ my tractor. The tiller shipping weight was listed at 500lbs. All of the h/w for assembly and use was attached to the tiller frame. ASC also filled the gear boxes prior to shipment.

    The first order of business, after unloading, was to move the tiller to a work area closer to the shop. I did this by roughly setting the hitch points and moving it w/ the tractor 3 pt hitch. I set the skid shoes to the deepest depth and set the unit on bricks so only the shoes contacted them. This
    allows the tines to rotate freely which is essential to ease installation of the drive line.

    Next I removed the hitch frame (necessary) and attached the clutch shield. The shield is rather large and oval, the long side being parallel to the tiller frame. The shield has a rather large access hatch on top which gives plenty of room to secure the drive line and adjust the clutch. Once the shield was installed I set the hitch frame back in place. Doing so deformed the shield somewhat and also covers most of the access hatch. With the hitch frame in place its possible to adjust the clutch but not the drive line/tiller shaft attachement. The deformation though doesn't limit clutch rotate so, for now, I don't see this as a problem.

    The next order of business was to attached the drive line -- a Eurocardan unit w/ clutch. The clutch shield is also Eurocardan. The tractor end of the drive line is a push button type connector and the tiller end is a split connector held in place by a pair of bolts. I had to spread the connector a bit before it would fit on the tiller's splined shaft. The tractor was backed into place, connected to the tiller (after replacing the hitch frame) and the drive line was installed and marked. I took the shield off the drive line for trimming, cleanup and grease. I think its best to cut both drive line and shield if theyre apart. It makes for a neater cut job and you can completely clean the old grease off which is now full of metal filings.

    With the drive line cut and back together I attached it to the tiller, replaced the hitch frame (again!) and hooked the tiller to tractor. I then adjusted the chain tensioner as per the intructions and checked to make sure the gear boxes really had oil in them.

    Assembling/adjusting the machine isn't at all difficult and easily doable in a couple hours. I had never trimmed a drive line before and took extra time to make sure I got it right. Having a stationary cutoff saw to trim the drive line would be very helpful. My drive line had hard spots which I think it would have been difficult to cut w/ a hand held power saw. (I used an abrasive cut off saw.) I trimmed the shield on my table saw. You'll also need some bigger metric size wrenchs and sockets. For my machine I needed 17, 19 and 24mm.

    After finishing assembly/adjusting I only had a short amt of time to run a rough check and did a single row on untilled soil. The ground was *very* hard w/ many rocks which made the going SLOW! The slip clutch was too loose and needed to be adjusted a bit tighter. Before trying to till this area again I'm planning to rip it. I think that will help quite a bit not that I can go faster but so the tiller can work on looser ground w/ hopefully fewer rocks.

    This past Sat. I was able to nearly finish tilling the main part of the garden. This section has been garden for a number of years and the tiller went thru it easily. The only hitch was hitting a couple basketball size rocks. The tiller doesnt appear to ride up over bigger stones but rather attmepts to dig its way thru...which obviously doesn't work...the tiller JuMpS around w/ great force...the first time wasn't pleasant. From my limited experience I think its best to go very slowly to avoid unnecessary wear to tiller, tractor and operator esp in areas you haven't done before. BTW I had the tines set to half depth. I did experiment a little w/ adjusting the rear gate. The results looked basically the same. Maybe in very rocky soil it will make a difference to have the gate all the way up so rocks don't cylce so long in the tiller. Otherwise the bed didn't look different w/ gate up or down.

    I'm planning to use this attachment for gardening and restoring my lawn. I think its going to be a huge time saver! I'm sure the Caroni isn't radically different than any other tiller in its class and this write up should apply in part or whole to others as well.



  2. #2
    Veteran Member jimg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of a Caroni FL1400 tiller

    I just finished tilling my garden which involved both new and existing ground. The entire space is about 40'x75' on a slight incline. The job took a bit more than 5 tractor hours. Before beginning I figured that the existing space would be pretty quick and the time would need to be spent opening new ground. That assumption was mostly correct. In all I pulled out 5 stones that were 2' round or bigger and uncounted smaller rocks (mostly football size). The new soil was also *very* hard. The tiller and tractor handled the job pretty well though. The drag gate is key to keeping the tiller from launching rocks! Keeping it properly adjusted is an important safety consideration. Also having the ability to creep is essential! The other thing Id mention is when the tiller cant dislodge a rock it tends to jump around. I'm thinking though I could mitigate this some by backing off on the slip clutch.

    While I did rip prior to tilling there were still *alot* of rocks. I would highly recommend ripping if your ground is rocky or very hard.

    I feel that this whole affair was a good measure of the toughness of the tiller. It came thru easily w/ only a minor dent on the gate. While not as sharp as when it was new the tines are still in pretty good shape esp considering all the rocks! Ill be interested to see how it fairs thru several seasons. For the money I think the Caroni was a very good buy! It was far less expensive than any other tiller I could find in that class and size.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Review of a Caroni FL1400 tiller

    Jimg. Thanks for this description of your Caroni Tiller. I had heard of them, but have never seen one. You state that it was much less than most you saw, but how much was it, if you don't mind saying. I'm planning to get one, and I think it may be the CCM, 49" for $1000 as soon as I feel I can spend the money. Sounds like the Caroni can do the job well enough and that it will probably stand up for a while. Thanks again for the post. John

  4. #4
    Veteran Member jimg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of a Caroni FL1400 tiller

    I shopped around and studied for several months and wound up buying from ASC in NC. If I recall correctly it cost right around $1054 delivered. Thats for a 56" machine, Eurocardan drive line w/ slip clutch. I chose ASC not only for price but parts avilability. They're a (the?) Caroni distributor and stock a full line of parts.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Review of a Caroni FL1400 tiller

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( If I recall correctly it cost right around $1054 delivered. )</font>Sounds like an excellent price Jim. If you have any pics of the tiller on your tractor, doing something, I'd love to see them. Heck, any tractor pics are good! John

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    MH744

    Default Re: Review of a Caroni FL1400 tiller

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( I chose ASC not only for price but parts avilability. They're a (the?) Caroni distributor and stock a full line of parts. )</font>

    Yes, ASC are a distributor of Caroni. But ASC are distributing same items products from different countries. For ex., it's a rumor that ASC is about to bring Turkay Tillers which are also known as CCM tillers.. By the way, nowadays, some more manufacturers just entered the tiller market and theirs too are good.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    HayDR's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of a Caroni FL1400 tiller

    The rumor about Turkay Tarim selling via ASC is 100% false. CCM tillers are sold by dealers we authorize and none other.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member jimg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Review of a Caroni FL1400 tiller

    Sorry, no pics...no digital camera.

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