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  1. #1
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    Oliver 880, Ford 8N, Ford 9N, Farmall Super C, MF 205, Ford 4400 FEL, Ford 4500 FEL/BH, Cat D-6 Dozer(1957)

    Default Modify walk behind roto tiller

    Has anyone rigged a walk behind front tine tiller to the front of a small garden tractor. I want to keep my planted rows under 28 inches and I am having trouble finding a mower with less than a 30" wheel base.wide foot print. I have a large garden and I am at the point that I can't cultivate the weeds by using my one of several walk behinds. I tried to hook up a skulley behind a Husky rear tiner with a 7 HP engine but I think it did some damage to the tranny. I was thinking either hooking up the rear of a bicycle and pedal assist the pulling of the front tines or getting the rear of a small moped to do the heavy work. All my small garden tractors have a 36" wheel base. Did anyone ever manufacture a 3 wheel lawnmower where the drive unit utilized a single rear wheel?

    Next question: I usually get seed potatoes that are about the size of ping pong balls, but this year I could only find them the size of big potatoes. I realize that you can cut them into pieces as long as each has an "eye". Some where back I was told you had to treat the cut surface with ?roteene or some other fungicidal? Any words of wisdom?

    Look at my post in "BUILD IT YOUR SELF" for some details about my particular garden.

    Thank You....I have already started 16 flats of seeds in the basement @ 72 plants per. Wife let me use living room bay window for temp green house.
    DocRocky
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -img_0132-jpg   -img_0133-jpg  

  2. #2
    Super Member
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    Default Re: Modify walk behind roto tiller

    Get a Troy Built (such as the "Horse"), a BCS, a Grillo, or a Gravley. All of those are 2 wheel tractors which have heavy enough transmissions to pull a sulky and wont compact the ground anywhere near what a mower would.

    Aaron Z
    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
    Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

  3. #3
    Silver Member djdicetn's Avatar
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    2012 Gravely Pro Turn 152

    Default Re: Modify walk behind roto tiller

    Quote Originally Posted by docrocky View Post
    Has anyone rigged a walk behind front tine tiller to the front of a small garden tractor. I want to keep my planted rows under 28 inches and I am having trouble finding a mower with less than a 30" wheel base.wide foot print. I have a large garden and I am at the point that I can't cultivate the weeds by using my one of several walk behinds. I tried to hook up a skulley behind a Husky rear tiner with a 7 HP engine but I think it did some damage to the tranny. I was thinking either hooking up the rear of a bicycle and pedal assist the pulling of the front tines or getting the rear of a small moped to do the heavy work. All my small garden tractors have a 36" wheel base. Did anyone ever manufacture a 3 wheel lawnmower where the drive unit utilized a single rear wheel?

    Next question: I usually get seed potatoes that are about the size of ping pong balls, but this year I could only find them the size of big potatoes. I realize that you can cut them into pieces as long as each has an "eye". Some where back I was told you had to treat the cut surface with ?roteene or some other fungicidal? Any words of wisdom?

    Look at my post in "BUILD IT YOUR SELF" for some details about my particular garden.

    Thank You....I have already started 16 flats of seeds in the basement @ 72 plants per. Wife let me use living room bay window for temp green house.
    DocRocky
    docrocky,
    With the way that a front tine tiller "beats you to death" when tilling an area for gardening, I really can't see haow you could "attach it" to any rideable machine where it(the tiller) wouldn't jump all over the place. I cannot envision what you are trying to accomplish. I had a 25' X 50' garden that I "tilled", etc. with a Lowe's front-tine tiller. I'm a polio survivor and it got to be too much for me physically. So, I built some rasied garden beds out of Western Cedar and still get a fairly decent vegetable yield out of a very "manageable" area. See my attached pictures. I recommend you consider a similar alternative if you can't control the weeds any other way.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -img_0223-jpg   -img_0224-jpg   -img_0225-jpg   -img_0227-jpg  

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modify walk behind roto tiller

    With the way that a front tine tiller "beats you to death" when tilling an area for gardening
    The first couple of times I used a front tine tiller, I would have agreed with you. And then I learned how you're supposed to do it, and it's very simple and easy. When our Dad was getting on in years, one of my brothers bought him a really nice rear tine self-propelled tiller since Dad always had a big vegetable garden. I think Dad tried it once and went back to his old front tine tiller; said it was easier to use. Having owned both, I can now understand why Dad preferred his old tiller.

    Incidentally, I, too, am a polio survivor, although I know from spending 6 weeks once, one week another time, and many visits to, and a couple of surgeries in, the "Crippled Children's Hospital" in Oklahoma City that I was very lucky compared to most.
    Bird

  5. #5
    Silver Member djdicetn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modify walk behind roto tiller

    Quote Originally Posted by Bird View Post
    The first couple of times I used a front tine tiller, I would have agreed with you. And then I learned how you're supposed to do it, and it's very simple and easy. When our Dad was getting on in years, one of my brothers bought him a really nice rear tine self-propelled tiller since Dad always had a big vegetable garden. I think Dad tried it once and went back to his old front tine tiller; said it was easier to use. Having owned both, I can now understand why Dad preferred his old tiller.

    Incidentally, I, too, am a polio survivor, although I know from spending 6 weeks once, one week another time, and many visits to, and a couple of surgeries in, the "Crippled Children's Hospital" in Oklahoma City that I was very lucky compared to most.
    Bird,
    Small world, isn't it???? Do you suffer from Post Polio Syndrome(assuming, like me, that the polio only affected the development of the muscle system in one of your legs)?? When I hit about 50-yrs-old I started experiencing severe muscle fatigue in "what used to be the STRONG leg". After some research(and a distant relative with the same problem) I learned that this condition referred to as PPS(Post Polio Syndrome) in essence described the fatigue problem simply as the strong leg doing twice the work and carrying twice the load all those years had in effect made my "polio affected leg" 50-yrs-old and my "strong leg" 100-yrs-old. The muscle system was basically "plum wore out" and exercise, etc. would not help because the muscle system just wasn't up to the task anymore. About that time, the Segway Human Transporter became available to the public(I'm sure you've heard of/seen them). They're a two wheel platform with a upright "stick" that when you stand on them they "self-balance" and when you shift your weight forward they move forward and vice versa, with a simple turning mechanism that allows two-wheel zero turn radius properties. My wife bought me one for Christmas in 2004 and it has "changed my life".....and made me "mobile" again!!!
    On the front-tine tiller......obviously you don't have red clay soil in Texas like we do here in Middle Tennessee(and LOTS of limestone within that). Tilling a new area for gardening is horendous and even ongoing annual re-tilling wears you out!!!! When the PPS set in I "had to" give up tilling that 25' x 50' area!!!
    P.S.
    What do you think about those raised garden boxes I built??? Got the plans from a website that sold a kit for the same 3 boxes for $800. I built them for < $100 in materials in about two hours(the "garden mix" soil to fill them up cost more than that....about $140). When I retire, I'm thinking about building them for extra income and selling them for about $500 a kit. Watcha think????

  6. #6
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modify walk behind roto tiller

    As far as the PPS, there are times when I wonder if it's starting, when my balance isn't really good, and when my legs feel so tired, and other times, I think I'm just imagining it because I'm getting older, weaker, and tired. But I guess the simple answer is that I don't really think I've been affected by PPS, yet anyway. The polio affected my left leg. The biggest problem was the left foot drawing up so I started walking on the toes of that foot, and at times it would go numb for no apparent reason and I'd fall. That would go away in a few minutes and I'd be up and going again. I actually had the polio when I was 22 months old, completely paralyzed for awhile, and Dad said the doctor just told them, "He's gonna die." They didn't even know what polio was back then. But I recovered and the problem with the left leg and foot became quite apparent when I was 5 years old. So my folks started taking me to the hospital regularly as an outpatient. And that's when the doctors told my parents it was polio that I had as a baby. They first tried exercises that Mother had to make me do at least twice a day every day. When that didn't help, after a couple of years, I wore a shoe with a brace almost up to my knee. Another couple of years, and when I was 9 was when I went into the hospital and they took the leaders (actually I guess tendons) out of the top of my foot (haven't been able to wiggle the toes on that foot since), and supposedly used some goat tendons to splice/lengthen the Achilles tendon. 51 stitches in my left foot.

    Fortunately, both legs were the same length. I have never, and will never, be able to raise the left foot as much as the right at the ankle, and the diameter of my left leg has always been an inch or two smaller than the right leg.

    Now that's never kept me from doing whatever I wanted to do, but the number 2 doctor at the city's health department (Dr. Wharton) was determined to not allow me to become a police officer. He said I'd want a disability pension before I put in the 20 years required for a long service pension. After being turned down 3 times by him, I got an appointment for 1:30 p.m. one day with the head man in the health department. Talk about luck, on the way there, I had the radio on in the car and the news mentioned that head man (Dr. Bass) was given some kind of man of the year award, or such, at a luncheon that day. When I arrived and his secretary said he wasn't back from lunch yet, it dawned on me where he was. So when he arrived and I was ushered into his office, I walked right up, reached across the desk to shake his and congratulated him on the award he had just received. After a couple of questions, he looked at Dr. Wharton and said, "Oh, let's give him a chance." I'm sure that's the only reason I became a police officer.

    And incidentally, I retired on long service pension just short of 25 years, not disability, so I have to pay income tax.

    As for your raised beds, they look great, but I have no idea what the market would be for such kits.
    Bird

  7. #7
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    2003 Kioti DK45, 1978 Case 580C Backhoe loader/ 1952 Ford 8N, 1965 & 1966 12HP Cub Cadet by International

    Default Re: Modify walk behind roto tiller

    I also had polio as a child and now have post-polio syndrome. I currently have a Troy-Built Horse and before that, several 2 wheel Gravely's. I am still able to walk but at 65 my legs are getting weaker-that's why I sold the Gravely's. Gravely's were built by Studebaker and the transmissions were ruggeder than most pickup trucks. I had a wooden trailer that went behind the Gravely which was rated for 1200 lbs. Gravely made both a front tine tiller attachment and a "rotary plow" but they are a beast to use. I had sulkies which were OK for mowing on level ground but there is no way I would try to control the tiller from the seat of a sulky. Gravely recommends using a dual wheel setup when riding their sulky. For one thing the gearing is a little fast when you run the motor at speed enough to adequately pulverize the soil. The Horse is a rear tine tiller and while I think it would hold up to pulling a sulky it would still be a chore to hold it up off the ground and turn at the end of rows. It's hard enough when you're standing. The Horse is pretty smooth and can be controlled by one hand in previously tilled soil when walking along beside it.

    You might look at an old 12 HP Cub Cadet (Models 124, 126) from back in the days when International built them. Mid 60's tractors have a 27" wide rear wheel base and a low range that lets you really slow down. I have moved a 3/4 ton truck around the yard with mine and it doesn't even strain the 12 horsepower! Cub made a tiller that mounted right to the rear of the tractor and is raised and lowered from the seat. If that would work for your situation, I think you would be real happy with one. I have a couple that I use to haul trailers. I also have a rear tiller but haven't used it.

    A word about post-polio. A few years ago I went to a clinic in Framingham, Massachusetts and had a three day evaluation with Doctors and physical and occupational therapists. Only about 50% of those who had polio experience PPS and the only way to diagnose it is to eliminate all other causes of weakening muscles and fatigue-there is no specific test for it. Polio originally affected the motor neurons that control the muscles, not the muscles themselves. Even many of those folks like myself who were nearly completely paralyzed eventually recovered a lot of function as the neurons that were left picked up some of the function of those that were destroyed by polio. Problem is that as we age, these neurons die off even in normal people and polio survivors have far fewer to start and those have been overworked. When you lose 60% of them the muscle no longer can get signals enough to work. Eating high protein meals and stopping activity before you are fatigued can prolong your ability to function. Check the web for further info.

    Good luck with a tiller.

  8. #8
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modify walk behind roto tiller

    Eating high protein meals and stopping activity before you are fatigued can prolong your ability to function. Check the web for further info.
    Yep, I've read a lot about it. As some used to say about exercise "Use it or lose it," but they say for PPS "Conserve it to preserve it." But as you say, there's really no way of knowing whether you have PPS except by eliminating all the other possibilities. I don't know whether or not I'm affected by PPS. I do know that I'm getting weaker and weaker all the time, and my balance is gradually getting worse. But is that PPS, or just age? I don't know, and I guess I really don't care since there isn't any cure for either age or PPS.
    Bird

  9. #9
    Silver Member djdicetn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modify walk behind roto tiller

    Quote Originally Posted by nhblacksmith View Post
    I also had polio as a child and now have post-polio syndrome. I currently have a Troy-Built Horse and before that, several 2 wheel Gravely's. I am still able to walk but at 65 my legs are getting weaker-that's why I sold the Gravely's. Gravely's were built by Studebaker and the transmissions were ruggeder than most pickup trucks. I had a wooden trailer that went behind the Gravely which was rated for 1200 lbs. Gravely made both a front tine tiller attachment and a "rotary plow" but they are a beast to use. I had sulkies which were OK for mowing on level ground but there is no way I would try to control the tiller from the seat of a sulky. Gravely recommends using a dual wheel setup when riding their sulky. For one thing the gearing is a little fast when you run the motor at speed enough to adequately pulverize the soil. The Horse is a rear tine tiller and while I think it would hold up to pulling a sulky it would still be a chore to hold it up off the ground and turn at the end of rows. It's hard enough when you're standing. The Horse is pretty smooth and can be controlled by one hand in previously tilled soil when walking along beside it.

    You might look at an old 12 HP Cub Cadet (Models 124, 126) from back in the days when International built them. Mid 60's tractors have a 27" wide rear wheel base and a low range that lets you really slow down. I have moved a 3/4 ton truck around the yard with mine and it doesn't even strain the 12 horsepower! Cub made a tiller that mounted right to the rear of the tractor and is raised and lowered from the seat. If that would work for your situation, I think you would be real happy with one. I have a couple that I use to haul trailers. I also have a rear tiller but haven't used it.

    A word about post-polio. A few years ago I went to a clinic in Framingham, Massachusetts and had a three day evaluation with Doctors and physical and occupational therapists. Only about 50% of those who had polio experience PPS and the only way to diagnose it is to eliminate all other causes of weakening muscles and fatigue-there is no specific test for it. Polio originally affected the motor neurons that control the muscles, not the muscles themselves. Even many of those folks like myself who were nearly completely paralyzed eventually recovered a lot of function as the neurons that were left picked up some of the function of those that were destroyed by polio. Problem is that as we age, these neurons die off even in normal people and polio survivors have far fewer to start and those have been overworked. When you lose 60% of them the muscle no longer can get signals enough to work. Eating high protein meals and stopping activity before you are fatigued can prolong your ability to function. Check the web for further info.

    Good luck with a tiller.
    nhblacksmith,
    That sounded like some VERY GOOD advice to the OP regarding some solutions for his tiller dilemma!!! You, me & user Bird being three users on this forum all sharing a history as polio survivors is very interesting. In me, the right leg muscle system basically never "developed", like the unaffected leg, the right leg was 3/4" shorter than the left and the right foot developed what's referred to a a vulgate hindfoot(where the heel is a large "ball" and the heel bone points downward rather than towards the back). If either you or user Bird can "stand in one spot" for extended periods(don't worry about "balancing", the Segway takes care of that) I strongly advise you to find a nearby Segway dealer and try one. Compared to the little "electric scooters"(covered by Medicaid/Medicare), the Segway I2 self-balancing human transporter will nothing short of "change your life"!!! I have had one for 8 years and my wife's "puppies are crying" at the malls and I'm still ready to shop some more:0) I have a "discontinued" model P133 that in 2004 retailed for $3,995 and I got it during a "buy a Segway for Christmas" sale at the Nashville dealer for $2,595. The current i2 models are a little bigger than mine(mine is recommended for a person 200lbs or smaller), they have a lithium/ion rechargable battery(mine is a metal/hydride which takes longer to charge and doesn't have quite the distance of a LI battery) and currently are considerably more expensive(the bigger i2 were $4500 in 2004 and are now more like $6000). And they are NOT covered by medical insurance(or Medicaid/Medicare). But I can honestly tell you that with the improvement in my quality of life I would "gladly" pay $6,000 for one today!! They are "maintenance free" and the only cost I have occurred was having my metal/hydride batteries rebuilt last year(after 7 years) which cost me $630. Since I cannot "normally" walk more than 2 city blocks without PPS setting in, but can "glide" for miles(up to 6 hours on a single charge) it's a no-brainer that the cost was worth the benefit. The new i2 with the lithium/ion battery has a range of 24 miles on a single overnight charge!! Believe me, if you can find a dealer at the link: Segway The leader in personal, green transportation near enough to go check one out(a LOT of metropolis areas....like here in Nashville, TN have companies or Segway dealers that offer "Segway tours") after you have "glided" one time you won't want to be without one.

  10. #10
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Modify walk behind roto tiller

    You talk about going to the mall, and my wife loves to go to the Grapevine Mills Outlet Mall, and of course I frequently go with her. The security personnel in that mall are running around on Segways. I'm sure they're great for some, but can't see one as being practical for me because "standing in one spot" for more than a few minutes is worse than walking. I think you obviously had more severe effects from the polio than I did. I spend a lot of time sitting on a bench in the mall while my wife is in the stores.

    I had my right knee replaced two and a half years ago. Maybe that being the strong leg made it overworked?? I don't know. After having it replaced, I bought a recumbent bike, and with only moderate resistance dialed in, I'd use it for 30 minutes to an hour. Now, with the same amount of resistance, two minutes is getting a little tough.

    Last October, my wife and I and my wife's sister went to the State Fair of Texas. Her sister is one day older than I am and my wife is 4 years younger than we are. Generally speaking, they are both in worse health than I am, but they both seemed to do better staying on their feet at the Fair than I did. I have since bought one of those walkers with a seat; marvelous piece of equipment, although I've only used it about 3 times so far.

    Overall, I still get around OK. A couple of days ago, I spent 2 hours mowing, edging, and trimming our yard and one next door with my Stihl string trimmer and my Toro ZTR. I can handle that, but I was flat worn out when I finished.

    This morning, I took our little Chihuahua to the park, as I frequently do. It's usually 30 to 45 minutes, but this morning we stayed an hour. That's walking trails through the woods very slowly with lots of stops while she sniffs and smells of everything. I do use my Bubba Stik (walking cane), but after an hour of that, I was worn out again.

    As I've said before, I had very minor effects from polio compared to so many. But now, at age 73, either age or PPS is gaining on me. But since I never expected to live this long anyway, I've got no complaints.
    Bird

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