looking for a tiller

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by KAS, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    Im looking to buy a tiller does anyone have any suggestions?
  2. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    The old Troybilt Horse is excellent. (note sure about the ones made in the last 10 years)

    They started manufacturing these in at least the 1960's. Change the oil in the transmission every few years and the main tiller lasts forever. One could wear out a dozen engines long before the rest of it has significant problems. Not hard to replace engines and I know some people are buying a $99 6.5 hp engine from Harbor Freight when needed. I have seen comments on the Internet of people even mounting a tiny diesel engine to these.

    Look for a used one, not hard to find. New these have always been expensive but worth it. I found one just last fall at a garage sale that was maybe 20 years old but had just had the engine rebuilt and the guy took $250 bucks for it. It would have been a good deal at twice the price.

    There are some spare parts I'd store for SHTF and you'd be good for a decade or more if you had the fuel. A couple belts, reversing disks, spark plugs, filters, spare engine maybe, throttle cable, maybe a tire/tubes and maybe a couples tines

    I had one of these in high school (70's) and made a lot of money tilling gardens around town. I broke sod in hard ground for new gardens, tilled existing gardens, did it all. Never once let me down. Customers were always amazed that the ground after just one or two passes in existing beds and 3-4 passes in new gardens would look like potting soil. I probably put 5-600 hours on my first one in 2-3 years. Sold after college then got another just last year.

    My first one had a 6 hp Tecumseh engine that was fine but the same powertrain was/is also used with 7 and 8 hp engines. My latest one has an 8 hp Briggs and it is good. You can still get parts for 40 year old units (maybe not the older engines).

    I have seen a rear tine Honda that copied the Troybilt concept that might be ok. You definately want rear tines behind powered drive wheels. Heavy is also good, especially in hard soil. My dad had a couple front tine tillers when I was a kid and they were very hard to use - hence why I got a Troy when I wanted to make some money in HS and college.

    Hope that helps.

  3. Harbin

    Harbin Monkey+

    My dad has a Honda tiller that we've beat on for years, so far its held up great and runs like a beast. Each year his garden and my brother's gets bigger, and it cuts through grass pretty well. Its a rear tine machine, not sure of the model number. We till both gardens twice a year, in the fall it turns manure nicely.
  4. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    ok thanks i greatly appreciate it ...
  5. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Been using a Craftsman rear tine tiller the past couple of years. A big improvement over the old front tine unit...but it's still around for a backup.

    Model 29932
    KAS likes this.
  6. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    BCS makes a good line of tillers, and the Troy Built is a good choice as well.

    How big a space are you going to till?
    larryinalabama likes this.
  7. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    about an acre
  8. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama Monkey++

  9. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    +1 on the Troy Built. They have a lifetime guarantee on the running gear. Motor takes four bolts and would change belts while there. Also there is a disc that may need changing--not necessary but nice to have a new one. Have had two front tine tillers and they will beat you to death in hard/rocky ground. Rear tillers will do the job so much more easily.
    ColtCarbine likes this.
  10. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    I would suggest the walk behind tractor with a plow, disks, and other garden helps may be a better choice, BCS as a diesel engine version for extended engine life. These units are used in the Eurozone for truck farms - I'll bet the local dealer has some users you can talk with to see how they have used and any issues they'd had.

    Good luck, I still have 2 feet of snow on my garden...
    KAS likes this.
  11. Harbin

    Harbin Monkey+

    I'm going the route of a used tractor with a few used implements, there are some great deals available. I think this will work best for my situation, because a tractor is easiest to operate after a little practice. My wife loves working in our garden as well, but is 5'1" with a pretty small frame. The idea of her trying to run a walk behind tiller wouldn't go well, but she can easily sit on a tractor and drive around with a 6' tiller or disc setup, or even front end loader. My concern would be if I'm the only one that can use it, what if for some reason I can't? Rear tine tillers are easier to operate than front tine, but they still require some strength- especially if you are tiller a full acre.
    KAS likes this.
  12. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Good idea. I have a little tractor and glad to have it. I got a 4' tiller and it is plenty for an acre. A few comments I posted before about picking one.

    Got a tractor?

    Don't go too small. Consider a size bigger than you think you'll need, especially with a front bucket. Unlikely you'll ever wish it was smaller but if you get the little one you may wish it was bigger. But then that's usually our perspective isn't it?

    KAS likes this.
  13. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    im in the tractor process right now and the wife is fighting me tooth and nail...
    of course im not going the cheapest route eather so she is a little hesitant....
  14. Harbin

    Harbin Monkey+

    When we started, i was looking to go the same route as my neighbor- new kubota, 35hp. Problem was, it was 30k plus. After talking to a couple local farmers, we learned more and are ready to pull the trigger on 68hp diesel john Deere 3020 with a front end loader. The guy we are buying from is including a 6' tiller and a three bottom plow for 8k. This machine will do way more than we could ever need, and hopefully last a long time.

    Just something to consider, you can get way more bang for your buck buying used. We've seen smaller units for a little less, but something like this will easily plow a new field where a smaller machine might struggle.

    Not to derail this thread, but i did consider going gas for quite see time because with a little work you can run them off a gasifier. Just a thought.
  15. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    yes im in the same boat as u ...
    I finaly just got out of dept and now i told the old lady i want a tractor ... but i definatly dont need a 30k one ...

    Im goona go used its just a matter of being patient for me and getting the right one at the right time ... i always want thing rite now ...
  16. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Look at Farm auctions.... many farms are closing down and folks are selling off equipment to help retire or pay bills.... you can save a chunk....
    KAS likes this.
  17. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    KAS likes this.
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