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  1. #11
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    375
    Location
    Prosper, TX
    Tractor
    ZD323-60 and JD JX75 currently. Previous: L3800 HST w/ BH77, JD301-A , JD450C Dozer, JD 330, JD F525, Ford 4000, Farmall H

    Default Re: Buying a rototiller

    I have to agree with the posts here to buy a TroyBuilt Horse. I have used my father in laws Horse that I think is from the 60's and it works great. I am no expert, but once you learn how to run it, it will do just about anything you want it to. It is slow though. I rented a rear tine White brand from the local rental shop, about 4 mi down the road, instead of driving the hour to my father in laws. The rear tine White was a joke. It had a hard time breaking up a previous tilled garden. I guess I am just trying to say that all rear tines are not created equal and if you want a walk behind, spend the money and buy a Horse. They are also small enough to get into tight areas. I also put flower beds all around my house with the Horse. Good luck.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    172
    Location
    Texas
    Tractor
    Ford 1700

    Default Re: Buying a rototiller

    Better late than...

    I recently happened into a Troy-Bilt Pro-Line tiller with the 6.75hp B&S engine. This is a single speed (forward and reverse) model with the counter-rotating tines, and a 16" width.

    The best part... I got it at Lowes for $200 off their regular price. It was a retun, and marked down because of that, but it still had the tags on the engine, no dirt on the tires, nor any missing paint on the tines! I talked to the dept manager and he said it had been returned because the cutomer really wanted the full-blown, multi-speed model. This one had all the paperwork and full warranty, so... for $600+tax, I gave it a new home.

    I have no trouble tilling virgin sod (bermuda), with this little guy, other than a bit of wheel-spin on the first pass if I let the tines dig too deep.

    It did not buck, twist or jump. Is it a replacement for my 60" tractor tiller? Nope... but for small, narrow projects, it's just right... for me.


  3. #13

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    127
    Location
    KY

    Default Re: Buying a rototiller

    I've got a Honda with counter rotating tines.It's awesome and truly a one handed operation.

  4. #14
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    1,422
    Location
    East Texas, USA
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L4740, B2400 and F2680

    Default Re: Buying a rototiller

    I'd agree with most of the posters who recommend a tow behind tiller. Just about any tow behind beats the **** out of a walk behind especially since you say your ground is hard packed and there's little cost difference between the two.

    I first tilled my garden using a 30-year old Troybilt that I inherited from my M-I-L. I have a hardpan layer just below the surface. The Troybilt got the job done but I have never been so beat up in my life and that heavy ol' sucker was really hard to turn at the end of a row. It was a wrestling match. When I got my tractor, one of the first attachments I got was a PTO tiller. What a joy to use. Tilling the ground every year and adding compost takes no time at all, and all without getting a workout. Even the broken up "hardpan" rocks are getting smaller every year. The Troybilt is relegated to the back of the shed, never to be used again. I do use an el cheapo 14" walk behind to weed between the rows but that's all.

    I'm not familiar with your tractor but if there's any way to get a tow behind tiller of any type behind it, go for it. Even if you have to make 2 or 3 passes to get it tilled down to full depth, it's no great hardship. Let the tractor do the work. Your body will appreciate it.

  5. #15
    Gold Member FamilyFarm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    476
    Location
    Crane, MO
    Tractor
    Kubota L4740HST, Kubota RTV 1140 Camo

    Default Re: Buying a rototiller

    If possible, I would hire someone with a tractor and tiller to break up the ground for you, then spend your $$ on a Troy, BCS, Honda or other well-built rear tine tiller. For that size area, you will find that is all you need and it is easier to work in many aspects due to smaller size. I have a 42 inch tiller behind my kubota and a BCS rear tine tiller also. Buying the LandPride 42" was a real blessing, but I use the small tiller once everything is planted to keep the soil turned between the rows. Prior to the LandPride, I used the BCS to break up soil for a garden (formerly part of my lawn). It had small rocks and hard soil, but found it still worked, just slowly. That was a small garden. Now, tilling a 1/3 acre spot, I'd hate to try to that with the BCS!

  6. #16
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    19,193
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Buying a rototiller

    Having it done with a proper machine is good advice. One could also look at rental equipment and then purchase a walk behind for futher use.

    Getting some humus mixed in with the clay will help for future tilling.

    Sears used to have a rear mounted tiller with it's own engine. I had one and it worked well but nothing like the one on my little kubota.

    Have you considered raised beds with imported soil. This may be an easier alternative as clay is clay and reverts to hardpan quickly.

    Egon

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    421
    Location
    East Central Mo
    Tractor
    TC40 16LA FEL w-QT & 758c BH

    Default Re: Buying a rototiller

    salinas:

    <font color="blue">I would rather overbuy than get something too light. </font>

    Not mentioned in this thread is the suggestion that you buy a "real" two wheel tractor. I had two old Gravelies with 8 implements from 3 mowers (sickle, brush hog, 48" finish) to tiller &amp; rotary plow through dozer blade. I sold these some months ago preparatory to purchasing a BSC tractor. The BSC (and the older Gravelies) is not just a tiller (Troybuilts are one note machines-although the older larger Troybuilts were good enough for tilling), but you can cut a 10"-12" deep furrow and make raised beds with a rotary plow, get 4 or 5 different types of mowers, 48" cleaning brushes, snow blowers, chipper/shredders etc. as well as use it as a "power plant" for driving pumps, generators, etc. etc. since it has a PTO. And, it only takes 30 seconds or so to switch implements. And, get this, you can even get a hay baler and a tedder for it. I've seen the BCS run the hay baler and it pops out 50 pound bales real nice. The BSC can mount a bunch of different engines, including a diesel if you want. They can be had with different tire options (including a tracked attachment for the wheels, wheel weights, etc) They are REAL tractors, 3 and 4 geared speeds, etc., not a one note deal like Troybuilts. Look at the 850 models.

    You will spend more, but you will have something that is as flexible and "do anything" as a CUT, but designed for smaller properties. The site I am referring you to earthtools is run by a guy who has been selling (and using) these for years. I will be buying mine from him.

    JEH

    PS The BSC is a more modern design than the older Gravely L models which is why I am changing (BCS has free wheeling differential-and diff lock- for sharper turns, individual brakes for each wheel, reversible - and adjustable - handles so PTO can stick out front, or rear) and is almost as well made. The engines are "modern" so you will need more horsepower (the old gravelies would move 1000+ lbs with 6.6 hp). But for a modern piece of equipment they are solid. The only thing the BSC doesn't have is clutchless shuttle shift (which the gravely had) These are made in Italy and used by small farmers in Europe.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    421
    Location
    East Central Mo
    Tractor
    TC40 16LA FEL w-QT & 758c BH

    Default Re: Buying a rototiller

    tlphlps:

    Was going to send PM, but you not accepting PMs. Anyway, question, in your post you refer to BCS as a tiller. Which model do you have? The larger models are so much more than just a tiller (see my post above). Did your dealer not have all the various implements (and the many other implements that are being imported from Europe for these machines) to turn them into a "do it all" machine.

    JEH

  9. #19
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    284
    Location
    Southern NH
    Tractor
    Kubota B7610

    Default Re: Buying a rototiller

    "clay is clay and reverts to hardpan quickly"

    I had clay when I lived in Calfornia for a few years, and I'm right back to it now that I'm living in Virginia - different color here but same issues, i.e., sucking muck when wet, virtual concrete when dry. Oh for the rocky, sandy, soil of New England again!

    Any opinions on how to amend clay soil for lawns and is it any different for a garden? (In CA the yard was sodded, different issue.) I'm thinking for the lawn, which is a former pasture, that I can progressively (over years, that is) aerate and top-dress with sand and compost a couple times per year. Think it will work (I'm patient) or should I need to till in amendments? I have areas of hardpan that were disturbed during construction where I'm having a hard time getting grass established. And I'm not sure what to use for amendments for a garden with clay soil. Any opinions appreciated.

    Bill

    ps - wish I had kept my Troy-Bilt Horse. I traded it for partial payment to the landscaper in CA. He fried it in the first week of use after I had used it with care for years. I agree with the comments that the bigger Troy-Bilts are better. Mine was a 8HP Horse. Yes, they can buck when breaking ground, but the trick is to ride with it, keeping a light touch. You CAN'T FORCE a machine with that much power and weight - you guide it. Even a good stiff bounce isn't really a big deal when you get the hang of it. And no soreness either.

  10. #20
    Gold Member FamilyFarm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    476
    Location
    Crane, MO
    Tractor
    Kubota L4740HST, Kubota RTV 1140 Camo

    Default Re: Buying a rototiller

    I have one of the smaller units. I believe it is called a 716 Plus, although I'd have to go to the barn and look to be sure. I have used it for so many years, I don't pay any attention to the model number anymore. I have owned it for about 10 years and have nothing but praise for it. I've never had one single problem.
    When I purchased it, it was overkill for the small in-town garden I had, but I appreciate quality products and did some research. I obviously got the tiller, but didn't need other implements. When we moved to our county place, I needed the kubota for many uses. I considered the sickle mower attachment for the BCS, but at $700 or so, I decided against it. For a few more $$, I bought a DR Trimmer and a Bush Hog for the tractor - for my uses, those 2 gave me much more than the sickle mower would have. My BCS is too small to run alot of the implements available for the larger BCS units, but it is still perfect for garden use as mentioned before and small enough to use in smaller situations like breaking up flower beds.
    By the way, I did use the BCS alone to turn a spot of yard into a garden years ago. It wasn't near as difficult as you would think to go from grass, rocks and hard soil to fluffy 8-10 inch deep soil for gardening.
    Blessings to all!
    Terry

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