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  1. #1
    Elite Member woodlandfarms's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
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    4,093
    Location
    Los Angeles / SW Washington
    Tractor
    PowerTrac 1850

    Default The tale of the roto-tiler

    Thought you guys would get a laugh at my expense....

    Flash back to 38 years ago and my folks bought a Mongomery Wards roto-tiller. Brand new. My parents where those mother earth reader types, and decided to lower the grocery bill (which given my fathers paycheck he probably couldn't afford anyway) and start a 1/2 acre garden. Another element to all of this is while my father was raised in a farm setting, some things just sort of missed him. Also, my family was against anything gas powered if a human could do it. We cut firewood by hand, with the old 2 man buck saws. Neighbors always commented, but man was I in great shape in high school.

    OK, back to the story. We got the machine home, started it up and my father started to till. It worked, not well, but better than using a shovel, and soon I found myself every year behind this machine, getting the snot knocked out of me.

    Well, flash forward to last year and my father sells his farm and sends me some gear. One thing in the truck is the old tiller. I get a carb kit, do a quick rebuild and it runs as good as new. So off to the garden we go. And it shakes and shakes and shakes and just doesn't like the clay soil we have.

    So towards the end of the 1st pass I decide to just give the machine the once over. Maybe I can sharpen the tines to help...

    It takes a moment to let the vision of the tines sink in. Something is not right. The more I stare the more I realize the **** I have been through with this machine has been for naught. It is clear that the dealer back in 78 installed the two outboard tines holders on backwards. If only all 4 had been backwards then I think we would have caught on. I called my dad to make sure he had never removed them, he had not. Well. the old bolts were more than rusted on. I cut them off, swapped left for right and started it again.. WOW, what a difference. They **** I went through with that machine for so many years. And now it works like it should...

    Anyway... Stories....
    Power-Trac 1850, grapple, hoe, 90" mower, 72" box blade

  2. #2
    Veteran Member jimgerken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    1,631
    Location
    Minnesota
    Tractor
    John Deere 3720

    Default Re: The tale of the roto-tiler

    If you look carefully you can probably still read the sticker that says something like
    "Set up and serviced by (local dealers name here)" . I always laugh when I see those stickers. Getting the stickers on is their first priority.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member chim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    1,772
    Location
    Lancaster County, PA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3200, Ford 1210

    Default Re: The tale of the roto-tiler

    Don't feel so bad. Here's one I fessed up to 10 years ago. Scroll down to post #7:

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/b...-2120-4x4.html

  4. #4
    Veteran Member yelbike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,407
    Location
    Near Winnipeg, Mb, Canada
    Tractor
    John Deere 2305, 2320,Z465

    Default Re: The tale of the roto-tiler

    Quote Originally Posted by woodlandfarms View Post
    Thought you guys would get a laugh at my expense....

    Flash back to 38 years ago and my folks bought a Mongomery Wards roto-tiller. Brand new. My parents where those mother earth reader types, and decided to lower the grocery bill (which given my fathers paycheck he probably couldn't afford anyway) and start a 1/2 acre garden. Another element to all of this is while my father was raised in a farm setting, some things just sort of missed him. Also, my family was against anything gas powered if a human could do it. We cut firewood by hand, with the old 2 man buck saws. Neighbors always commented, but man was I in great shape in high school.

    OK, back to the story. We got the machine home, started it up and my father started to till. It worked, not well, but better than using a shovel, and soon I found myself every year behind this machine, getting the snot knocked out of me.

    Well, flash forward to last year and my father sells his farm and sends me some gear. One thing in the truck is the old tiller. I get a carb kit, do a quick rebuild and it runs as good as new. So off to the garden we go. And it shakes and shakes and shakes and just doesn't like the clay soil we have.

    So towards the end of the 1st pass I decide to just give the machine the once over. Maybe I can sharpen the tines to help...

    It takes a moment to let the vision of the tines sink in. Something is not right. The more I stare the more I realize the **** I have been through with this machine has been for naught. It is clear that the dealer back in 78 installed the two outboard tines holders on backwards. If only all 4 had been backwards then I think we would have caught on. I called my dad to make sure he had never removed them, he had not. Well. the old bolts were more than rusted on. I cut them off, swapped left for right and started it again.. WOW, what a difference. They **** I went through with that machine for so many years. And now it works like it should...

    Anyway... Stories....
    Hurry up and put it back and see if you can get back to your ol' high school shape!!!
    Carefull what you aim for, Aim for nothing and you will achieve it with amazing accuracy.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    759
    Location
    Trent Hills, ON
    Tractor
    Kioti DK40SE HST

    Default Re: The tale of the roto-tiler

    I'm going to go look at my tiller tonight!
    2011 DK40SE HST

  6. #6
    Silver Member missingstexas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    199
    Location
    Jennings, LA
    Tractor
    Kubota ZD 326-RP

    Default

    You know what's funny in your story to me is about 5 years ago I needed to borrow a tiller for a small job of moving a few yards of dirt for a project. My brother has a relatively nice craftsman rear tine unit that is only a yr or two old at the time. Well his is booked for the entire month that I was trying to borrow it and my boss over hears me complaining that how convenient it is his stuff is always busy when I need a favor. Boss offers up his. It's a 1970's model monkey ward. This thing is made of lead filled iron heaviest beast I've ever seen. It sweats pure weight. I get it out of the truck and start it up and try to start using it. It does two things; dig deep (like water well deep) or drag my scrawny arse across the yard with both feet dragging behind. I gave up after about 3 hours of effort and just used a shovel and garden how. He still laughs at me when we talk about the ordeal. I will be scarred for life.
    Kubota ZD326 RP - Rear Discharge 60".

  7. #7
    Elite Member Baby Grand's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    3,519
    Location
    Windsor, CT.
    Tractor
    L3240GST, B2320HST, B5100D & G5200H

    Default Re: The tale of the roto-tiler

    Quote Originally Posted by woodlandfarms View Post

    <snip>

    Also, my family was against anything gas powered if a human could do it. We cut firewood by hand, with the old 2 man buck saws. Neighbors always commented, but man was I in great shape in high school.


    <snip>
    Your folks must be related to my folks. Pops had one of those helical bladed push lawn mowers ... with a grass catcher dragging behind it. Man I cursed that *%*%^*^&$* thing. Soon as I moved out he bought a Toro gas job.
    That's the problem with trouble.
    It always starts out as such fun."
    - Randall Brown

  8. #8
    Super Member JDgreen227's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    7,686
    Location
    Central Michigan
    Tractor
    4210 MFWD Ehydro--'89 JD 318

    Default Re: The tale of the roto-tiler

    Maybe 15 years ago I took the tines off my front tine tiller so I could clean the wire and vines wrapped around them, and when I put them back on it wouldn't dig worth a (bleep) but it was easy to fix once I realized what was going on....but had it been that way since new I might have duplicated your experience. Thanks for sharing it, made me laugh and laugh.
    Rather than worry about the things you want but don't have, be grateful for the things you don't want and don't have.

    I didn't plan to do much of anything today, but by noon I was almost half done.

  9. #9
    Elite Member woodlandfarms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    4,093
    Location
    Los Angeles / SW Washington
    Tractor
    PowerTrac 1850

    Default Re: The tale of the roto-tiler

    One note I did not add, the tines on the outside are nice and sharp, with paint still on them... The backsides have dents and wear from all the years of being run wrong....
    Power-Trac 1850, grapple, hoe, 90" mower, 72" box blade

  10. #10
    Super Member JDgreen227's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
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    7,686
    Location
    Central Michigan
    Tractor
    4210 MFWD Ehydro--'89 JD 318

    Default Re: The tale of the roto-tiler

    I remember seeing ad copy for front tine roto tillers that claimed "self-sharpening tines" but most likely that was for tines installed the proper way. There are those who claim a rear tine tiller is superior over a front tine but in my experience the front tine tiller excels in digging rocks out of a seedbed. My '89 Rally (American Yard machines) has pulled out thousands of rocks as deep as 10-12 inches and as large as grapefruits from my garden plot. There is NO WAY a rear tine tiller can produce that kind of digging power unless it is a 3 point type.
    Rather than worry about the things you want but don't have, be grateful for the things you don't want and don't have.

    I didn't plan to do much of anything today, but by noon I was almost half done.

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