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A little off topic.....Tillers

Post in 'The Gear' started by mking7, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. mking7

    mking7 Burning Hunk

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    West, TX
    Looking to buy my first tiller. Been borrowing one but am ready to invest in my own. Any tips? I want a good one, one that will last a while and I'd rather spend a few extra bucks than regret what I didn't get. Rear tine is what I'm looking at. I like Honda motors on my power equipment but not a deal breaker.

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  2. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    smokinj likes this.
  3. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I have the next model down. I been having a guy come in once a year with a bottom plow just to turn all my straw and leaves under. May not need that anymore.
  4. Clarkbug

    Clarkbug Minister of Fire

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    I would actually try and find one of the old Troy-Bilt tillers if you can. The Horse model is probably the most common, and works for small and large gardens. They can be a handful to get turned around, but are well made and pretty bombproof as long as you take basic care of them. I picked one up off of CL for less than $200, and it needed a little tinkering. But I figure that it will outlast me at the rate I use it.

    The tiller above is a little to steep for my blood, but Im also not much of a fan of the MTD-built equipment.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  5. chipsoflyin

    chipsoflyin Member

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    nw ohio
    check out a company called earth tools out of kentucky, they have bcs and grillo tillers that last a lifetime and then some.The newer troy builts except for the "horse" are not what they used to be.
  6. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Generally i would agree that thew new troy bilt stuff is junk compared to the old stuff...but this is a well made unit that isnt your typical box store model.
  7. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Mine came right out of the box store in 2006. So far, changed the oil twice and filled the gas tank serval dozen times. Garden is now 5000 sqft. Over 500 quarts canned...;)
  8. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Tillers are one of those things that you need to use twice per year pretty hard. I hate renting or borrowing so I bought one last year, a big craftsman rear rine with 8hp. It works just fine and was much cheaper than horse type stuff. Some sort of MTD type megabrand produced I'm sure but that's okay.
  9. chazcarr

    chazcarr Feeling the Heat

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    Wolcott, CT
    I use an older Honda motor powered Mantis Tiller.
    Laugh if you want. For my 400 sq foot garden it works wonders.
    ScotO and smokinj like this.
  10. Freeheat

    Freeheat Minister of Fire

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    I have a honda fg110 , Its a micro tiller but wow !! I have a small garden and within 10- 20 mins I'm readt to go, Less than 20 lbs and fits in the back seat of the car.
    ScotO likes this.
  11. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    Mount Cheaha Alabama
    I've got the Cub cadet RT65. After I shopped long and hard for a tiller and bought a used Troy-Built Horse from my neighbor's AG store.
    I took the TB horse home and it only had forward rotation which will basically just jump over anything hard. My fault for not testing it before buying.
    I called him later that afternoon and he gladly swapped it back for the new Cub with forward(nice for dressing tilled beds) and reverse(deep ground breaking) tines.

    Not sure if other manufacter's use pinned tines. Makes it real easy to remove the tines and cut off roots that wind up around them.
  12. mecreature

    mecreature Minister of Fire

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    indiana
    I use a craftsman 5 hp front tine. Its probably 10 yrs old.
    I have right around 2500 sq ft. I have no problem with it.
    I always run it one way then the other (crisscross).

    I like soil that is not busted up to fine.


    to put it in perspective

    the old man down the road used one of these
    till he was 90.
    [​IMG]

    I finally convinced him to let me run my tiller
    over his garden at least once to start the season. He let me
    He still ran this HiWheel down the rows a couple times a week.
    He had at least 5000 sq ft to turn.
    He outlived his sons and daughters by 20 yrs
  13. iskiatomic

    iskiatomic Minister of Fire

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    I am very fortunate to have a tiller given to me. Troy Buit Horse, with a 7hp Kohler. It's a 1977, and a beast. The kinda funny story is my dad who passed in 1987, actually used this tiller at the house I grew up in. I have all original paper work, bill of sale, owners maunual etc. In the day is $750 delivered, today they are around two grand. It has not run in about 4-5 years, did the basic stuff, cleaned the carb, sanded the rust off the magnet on the flywheel, changed all fluids, and she fired right up. Sweet machine and fond memories.


    KC
    MasterMech, ScotO, chazcarr and 2 others like this.
  14. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    KC, your tiller is one year older than ours. I also think your engine is not the original as they used Techumseh engines then. I put an 8 hp Kohler on when the old motor petered out.
  16. Butcher

    Butcher Minister of Fire

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    I had to replace my 35 year old TSC Husky rear tine tiller several years ago with a Cub Cadet rear tine tiller. I love the Honda engine on the new one and the fact that I can make the tines go forward or reverse. It is not however as well built as my old one with a 3 speed Pearles tranny. I make life easier on my tillers by usin my tractor first what with almost 7500 square feet of garden space but what the hell huh?
  17. Boog

    Boog Minister of Fire

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    I originally had one of the older large Troybuilts, 1980's vintage. It was stollen off my property in the 90's and I replaced it with a Craftsman rear-tine counter-rotating machine. I love it, and having run both over a variety of soil conditions, I honestly think the Sear's machine is better. Easier to control and does a better job, although does not till quite as deep as the old Troybuilt.

    Stihl MS191T
    Stihl MS250 C-BE
    Stihl MS440 Magnum - 20/24/28" bars
    70's 20 lb Sotz "Monster Maul" splitter, other lesser wimpy devices for small stuff.
    80's Charmaster wood/oil forced air furnace
    25 acres mixed Ohio hardwoods: Red/White/Pin Oak, Smooth/Shag Hickory, Beech, Cherry, Maple, Ironwood, dying/dead Ash.
    Sell my big logs as timber and burn the rest. Plant native Oaks, Black Walnuts, Evergreens where I've tread.
  18. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    I have the craftsman 8hp, about 10 years old. It worked pretty good on mine and a few other small gardens. Counter rotating rear tine. Think they are about 600 bucks now. Tilling for a buddy last spring, I slipped and put all the weight on the handle as I faceplanted. Snapped the handle off, of course, was planning on selling it. Need to get it welded it and CL it for $250. My 200 sqft garden soil's improved to the point I can easily hand-dig it now. When I got started it was rocky, nasty clay.
    ailanthus likes this.
  19. Benchwrench

    Benchwrench Member

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    If you want and need the very best in tillers on the planet, pony up and buy a BCS you will not regret it. A person has to see one and work one in person to appreciate this level of quality machinery. It's like a walk behind tractor in a way. With all the bells and even a whistle.
    I had a 12 hp. BCS 852 and wish I never sold it, (don't have any sunlight for a garden and the animals will eat what I plant anyway). Yes, they have smaller versions but the man tillers are around 10 hp and up.
    If you are serious about tilling, this is what the professionals use. To get an idea regarding attachments, one attachment is a seat on wheels so the tiller can "drive" you back and forth to your destination! It's for 4th gear use, 4th will make you run without the seat even just above idle.
    There are an abundance of attachments including wheel weights, snow thrower, mower, sickle bar, roller broom, and a chipper/shredder. It will own any soil.
    Made in Italy, the BCS line up is not for your average home owner, it's for farmers. Pick up a catalog and be ready to drool !
  20. Biglumber

    Biglumber Member

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    Loc:
    Colorado
    I bought a lightly used troybilt pony(circa 1982) 20 years ago. Unit runs great. Does everything I ask.I think I have 150 bucks in it.
    I'm sold on the older troybilts. You may want to look into the horse, does what the pony does only faster.
    I have no idea on the new tillers troybilt or other brands, seems like a lot of stamped steel in the important components.

    Peace
    mking7 likes this.
  21. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Agreed 100% with Benchwrench. BCS is the "new" Gravely. Like the fact that it's much more than a tiller too.

    WARNING: Those looking to pinch pennies need not apply.

    http://www.bcsamerica.com/what.cqs
  22. ailanthus

    ailanthus Feeling the Heat

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    I've been looking for a used tiller with a larger engine - I might be interested if you can send me some more specs / pics at some point.
  23. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    No problem!
  24. Larry in OK

    Larry in OK Member

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    NE Oklahoma
    I've got 3 tillers that I use for different purposes. A 50" PTO drive I pull behind my tractor. An old Montgomery Wards machine that is actually made of parts from 5 or six different machines now and a little Mantis 2 stroke job. each one fills a different niche and I wouldn't want to be with out any of them.
  25. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    At lot of folks laugh at the Mantis. Then they try it. They're still laughing but it's different than before. ;)

    Stihl's MM series is a damn good little tiller too.
    chazcarr likes this.

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