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Tool Talk Discussion Forum

Rear fine tiller question

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05-31-2013 19:49:23

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Didn't want to high jack the other thread.

I have a Troybuilt Bronco. I got it for a song or I would be mad - I really don't like it. It is too small and light to be able to hold itself down and go deep without going over the garden 14 times progressively deeper. Doing that is just like over working a field - first rain and you have a concrete crust.

Could I fill the drive tires to help it out? If I filled them with washer fluid I might get a little weight there. They won't hold much, so maybe I should make a set of wheel weights for it. There has to be a way that I could weigh it down. With this hard clay soil it just takes off running (it was before they did the counter rotating tines).

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06-05-2013 07:01:24

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 Re: Rear fine tiller question in reply to notjustair, 05-31-2013 19:49:23  
+1 to what Billy NY said...

People just have unrealistic expectations from watching TV commercials and listening to other people's exaggerations about how easy their tillers are to use.

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36 coupe

06-04-2013 17:52:57

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 Re: Rear fine tiller question in reply to notjustair, 05-31-2013 19:49:23  
I used my tiller on ground that had been plowed and harrowed.The last 3 years I have hired a tractor tiller.The ground is ready to plant after the tractor tiller.Now I use the tiller to keep the weeds down.The front tine tiller is worthless.Our garden gets smaller every year.I use a BCS tiller now.Its well worn but the price a new one is too much.I have to replace the gas lines.The crap gas has hardened them up.Ethanol gas is destroying small engines.

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06-03-2013 17:58:10

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 Re: Rear fine tiller question in reply to notjustair, 05-31-2013 19:49:23  
They do work better in plowed and prepped ground. Do you have the sod point on it? Makes a BIG difference on how it acts. Sod point is a hook, about an inch and a half long, that bolts with one bolt, to the bottom (depth setting) rail of the tiller. It provides a little stability, and hooks onto sod roots, slowing the tiller down, to allow it to dig deeper.

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Billy NY

06-03-2013 07:46:25

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 Re: Rear fine tiller question in reply to notjustair, 05-31-2013 19:49:23  
Soil that has not been prepared like if it is still in sod, or just too dry, we get that here, can be tough on a walk behind tiller. Unless you are in sandy or easily worked soil, starting from scratch in either sod or dry/hard soil is tough to deal with. I prefer to moldboard plow mine and another smaller patch I cannot plow, I literally had to soak the area to help soften it up this year it was so dry, I did not get to tilling it last fall, was sick, add some rocks under foot, can be a bumpy ride! This patch I have worked for years now, but started out as thin top soil over clay/gravel fill that was in grass, part of the lawn, had to take it in layers, with the depth setting and not too much throttle on the troy bilt horse. Both of those, throttle and depth need to be adjusted right to work these soils, you go full depth at full throttle, in hard or sod bound soil, forget it, thats why they have those guards on them, so when it takes off and turns over you don't knock off the carb LOL ! You likely know about this, but I always mention the above, I find that the horse with a K161 Kohler, 7hp, is the perfect engine in a horse, I can get the right torque value and tine speed for starting off in sod or working soil when its dry, both which I hate even considering doing.

On the other side of this, and the troy bilt tiller was called a power composter, you work one of these in deep organic matter/soils, its real easy, we have a patch that was a pile of manure, but now deep like in several feet of it, that I started planting a garden on, at our other place, tiller with worn out tines, a TB horse with the 8HP magnum kohler, does an excellent job in no time.

The bottom line is creating a garden area with easily worked soils, there is no way around that with a walk behind rear tine tiller. It makes the task so much easier, even if you have to excavate out the unsuitable material and replace with thick organic matter and the right amount of other desirable soils.

I have basket ball and larger size rocks in one patch, then it gets hard when dry, clay/loam/silt/topsoil, not bad, but after plowing first, I got most of the rocks up, soil turned, loose enough to got full depth and just have to watch out for more rocks, same patch I did start from scratch after 10 years in sod, and it was progressively a pain in the @ss, just given the soil type, it had been worked for many years before it sat idle with a TB horse, and was always not so easy and wears tines out, finally got a plow and plowed in the fall, then spring, then use the tiller, so much easier.

I do have a TB junior, never tried the one in the middle, but it would seem both are too light too fool with in unworked soils, I have a friend who worked in Gardenway's proving grounds, he'd tell you about the same thing. The only other suggestion is to play with depth and throttle, that is the only way I've been successful on unworked soils, or you need the heavier/larger tiller, like the horse. I got the junior for resale or to try for cultivating, no way it would suffice for primary tillage here.

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06-01-2013 14:06:38

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 Re: Rear fine tiller question in reply to notjustair, 05-31-2013 19:49:23  
third party image

third party image

third party image

I use a different kind of "rear tine tiller", old Simplicitys with cultivator sweeps. By fall plowing the ground works great in the spring. I made a "paraplow" that loosens the soil 7 or 8" deep the first time over.

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06-01-2013 12:17:35

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 Re: Rear fine tiller question in reply to notjustair, 05-31-2013 19:49:23  
That is pretty much the nature of ANY rear tine tiller. I bought a used TroyBilt Horse at auction several years ago. I learned REAL quick that you DO NOT attempt to go full depth the first time over. In fact, it takes several passes to progressively get to full depth.

I wore that Horse completely out, so I replaced it with a brand new Craftsman rear tine tiller. It behaves exactly the same as the TroyBilt.

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06-01-2013 08:04:21

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 Re: Rear fine tiller question in reply to notjustair, 05-31-2013 19:49:23  
Yep the little ones are jokes and good for cultivating or in sandy soils. Now the Horse model that is a different story they will dig and dig deep. Ya if you start out with sod you have to go over it 2 or 3 times or more to cut up the roots and go deep but you pretty much have to do that with any machine

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06-01-2013 06:23:09

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 Re: Rear fine tiller question in reply to notjustair, 05-31-2013 19:49:23  
I have an old snapper that will rotate in either direction - depending on how the belt is placed. The destructions say counter rotation is for breaking up sod or very hard ground. Forward rotation leaves it fluffed up real nice.

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06-01-2013 04:41:45

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 Re: Rear fine tiller question in reply to notjustair, 05-31-2013 19:49:23  
You could weight it down, but then you risk busting it. IMO the Horse model, the old one, was the only Troybilt worth owner for tilling. The lighter models do make cultivating rigs though.

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George Marsh

05-31-2013 20:07:41

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 Re: Rear fine tiller question in reply to notjustair, 05-31-2013 19:49:23  
My troy pony is rear tine and is not counter rotating. Hit something and it jumps out of the ground. I don't think there is much one can do with this type of tiller. Only good for already tilled ground.

There wouldn't be this problem if your tiller was counter rotating.

I have a 30 inch John Deere tiller that is counter rotating and on a JD 275. Love it. George

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