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Tiller 101
#98358 February 21st, 2007 at 04:34 PM
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Would someone please give me a quick education on tillers? I actually went and talked to a salesman and he just started into his sales pitch, and well, I didn't bring my boots, if ya know what I mean. wink :p

Anyway, here are my needs: I have several medium sized flower beds and a small garden that is still "growing." My soil is extremely sandy and I'm working lots of organic matter into it. (Would really like something other than a shovel for that.) My hubby thinks he is mechanically inclined and loves to "fix" things, but he ran our lawn mower for 3 years without adding any oil to it. He finally stopped using it when it started smoking and died. Something that requires low maintance and is reliable would be nice.

What engines are good/bad? Any brands I should be leery of? What is a good tilling depth? What sort of horsepower am I looking for? Please enlighten me!

Thanks,
Sarah

Re: Tiller 101
#98359 February 21st, 2007 at 05:20 PM
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I can't offer much advice, since I am not the tiller user here...But I do have one of those small row tillers I just love and do operate it. Our big tiller is a rear tined one...And it requires less work and tills better then the front tined ones. So if you are going to buy one, get a rear tined one.

Re: Tiller 101
#98360 February 21st, 2007 at 05:54 PM
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Okay, it's a great start! A rear-tined would be less work and do a better job. Always good to know.

Re: Tiller 101
#98361 February 22nd, 2007 at 01:09 AM
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Front tines are cheaper and are propelled forward by the tines themselves.

Rear tine come 2 different way, Forward rotating and counter rotating. As far as I know the wheels on all rear tine tillers are powered.

Forword rotating spin the same way as the wheels in a forward motion, Counter rotating spin in the opposite direction.

I have used all 3 types. The front tines tillers are good for working in corners, rear tine tillers can only get within about 2 feet from the corner.

I currently have 2 Troy-bilt tillers, a Pony and a Horse.

The Pony has a 5 HP Briggs and Stratton motor, and can till 16" wide and to a depth of 8". The Horse has a 8 HP Briggs and can till 20" wide and a depth of 8".

Before I bought the Pony I borrowed a Rear tine Craftsman and was not impressed at all it was a counter rotating model, and all it did was bury itself.

As far as the Troy-Bilts. I bought the Pony for $300, it is a 1978 model, and the Horse for $150, it is a 1981 model, got a great deal on both (New the Pony is about $1000, and the Horse is about $1900.) The older Horse models normally came with a 6 HP Tecumseh motor, but some were sold with the 8 HP electric start.

Now I'm not a Tiller salesman, but I really like the Older Troy-Bilt tillers. If you keep looking you can find a good deal on a used tiller, both on mine needed some work, but it was well worth it to me. I will be able to pass both of these down to my grandson.

I also bought a Hiller/Furrower attachment for the back of the tiller, it will fit either one. I used it to plant my potatoes the other day and was highly impressed with it. It will plow a furrow 8" wide and 8" deep. I also bought a used Dozer blade for the front of the Horse, but haven't had a chance to use it yet.

Re: Tiller 101
#98362 February 22nd, 2007 at 02:35 AM
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Thanks for the great lesson, Amigatec! You did a great job and didn't use the phrases: "pretty girl like yourself" or "can I talk to your husband about this?" or "oh, you're really gonna need something with power because there isn't anything around here but cement-like clay." (Nevermind the fact that this whole area is a giant sand-pit.) or some other irritating money-grubbing remark.

I was wondering about attachments, glad to see that at least the ones for the troy-bilts work well.

Thanks again,
Sarah

Re: Tiller 101
#98363 February 22nd, 2007 at 03:02 AM
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They used to advertise the Troy-bilt by walking along beside it and tilling. Well you really can do that!!.

My Pony can be a workout, I like it for light tilling and cultivating. But the Horse has the right name, I like it for getting in there and tearing up the ground, the hardest part is turning it around at the end of the row. It will even till running in high gear. The horse has 4 forward speeds and 2 reverse. I HIGHLY recommend reverse on any tiller. It has saved me a few times.

The Older Troy-Bilt were build by Gardenway, but after 2001 all Troy's are built by MTD, and are not of the same quality as the older ones.

Just shop around you may just find a good deal on one. Check the want ads, or a local mower shop.

When I was told the Horse was only $150 and it had electric start I jumped all over it. I have spent about another $100 on it, but it is well worth it. I bought the blade used for $170 and Hiller for $35.

Re: Tiller 101
#98364 February 22nd, 2007 at 06:03 AM
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Sarah, I have the Honda Mini-Tiller/Cultivator and I love it! Duh

Re: Tiller 101
#98365 February 22nd, 2007 at 12:48 PM
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Some small tillers even come with an electric motor. I would like to get a Mantis.

If you interested you may be able rent one and try it out, or maybe borrow one and see if it is the right size. I am a pretty big guy, and both my tillers can be a good workout.

One problem I have with my little Pony is, it is a bit on the light side, and if it digs to deep in my clay soil, it can pull up along. The natural tendency is to push down on the handle, but that is wrong thing to do. It will lift the wheels off the ground, and it will start to 'run on the tines' pulling you along with it. One of the reason for the powered wheels is to hold the tiller back, but with the wheels off the ground that doesn't work.

I don't dare let go, the older tillers don't have a 'dead man control', most new tillers have a lever you squeeze to engage the wheels, but mine doesn't, it has a rod that you to push in. ALL newer tillers and lawn mowers have some type of 'dead man control' on them now.

Re: Tiller 101
#98366 February 22nd, 2007 at 02:28 PM
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Well, my hubby went out to "walmart" last night because we needed printer paper. He came home with a tiller for me! This is what he got for me. Someone had bought it, used it, and returned it 'cause they "didn't like it". (That happens a LOT around here people don't want to rent them, or own them, just "borrow" from the store.) So my hubby talked them down to $150. It ain't no troy bilt, that's for sure.

Re: Tiller 101
#98367 February 22nd, 2007 at 02:47 PM
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Looks good to me. Well it "is" a Troy-bilt in a way, Bolens is built by the same company that builts the Troy's. MTD.

I understand what you mean about people not wanting to buy something, people are always finding some way to cheat the system.

I am sure you will be very happy with it!!!

Good luck with your new toy!!!

Re: Tiller 101
#98368 February 22nd, 2007 at 03:53 PM
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Thanks, I just need to find some manure so we can till that in. It better not rain like they're saying 'cause I'm not gonna be able to till...

Re: Tiller 101
#98369 February 22nd, 2007 at 05:35 PM
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Wow, Sarah, that's a wonderful tiller you have there and you must have a real "sweetheart" thumbup I've tried hers and it does everything my Honda can do - it's just not RED!!! laugh laugh laugh wink

Re: Tiller 101
#98370 February 22nd, 2007 at 05:47 PM
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Thanks Patches. I was really surprised, he's usually a REALLY bad liar. But I think he thought about going to lowes on his way to walmart (and then forgot walmart altogether). He is a real sweety. I'm glad that you guys like it--it would've been horrible if you would've said Bolens are terrible!

Re: Tiller 101
#98371 February 22nd, 2007 at 06:00 PM
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Wow! Great husband you have! I think I will put that on my list of "wants"...

Dianna

Re: Tiller 101
#98372 February 22nd, 2007 at 06:30 PM
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Dianna, let me rephrase, my hubby CAN be a sweety when he feels like it. Good luck with finding one that is genuinely sweet all the time!

Re: Tiller 101
#98373 February 22nd, 2007 at 06:55 PM
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Sarah, I already have a husband like that. All I need to do is to mention that I would like one and I think he would have it here in two shakes of a lamb's tail. I am spoiled rotten...

My aunt's favorite saying about me is, "Whatever Baby wants, Baby gets!" since Jim and I have been together... shocked laugh shocked

Re: Tiller 101
#98374 February 22nd, 2007 at 07:42 PM
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He may have just tired of all the little hints, like "Honey I sure would like one of these, and if you don't buy it for me, you will live to regret it".

My wife is like that, she can burn a hole through you with that look.

Re: Tiller 101
#98375 February 22nd, 2007 at 10:10 PM
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We all can't be as lucky as you, Dianna! laugh Amigatec, surely you aren't mocking me? laugh Actually I dig up my garden several times a year, and thoroughly enjoy it. Good exercise. He doesn't like the neighbors knowing that I dig up the garden, while watching the kids, while he takes a 4-5 hour nap in the house. laugh wink

Re: Tiller 101
#98376 March 5th, 2007 at 10:27 PM
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Grandpa next door has an ancient front tine tiller . He usually has one of the boys do the tilling and I am glad . I know that I want my own tiller for the someday that grandpa is no longer around to borrow his . I appreciate the posts everyone made on them and that also gives me more to go on as well when I go to get mine . Thanks a bunch . Oh , by the way the boys will appreciate it too cause they will still be the ones to run it for me . LOL .

Re: Tiller 101
#98377 March 6th, 2007 at 01:13 AM
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I could post more on tillers if your interested, things like different brands of motors etc.

BTW where in Oklahoma are you? I live in Haskell.

Re: Tiller 101
#98378 March 9th, 2007 at 01:22 AM
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For those that are looking for a cheap little mini tiller Tractor Supply has then on sale for $150!!

I have a raincheck for mine.

Re: Tiller 101
#98379 March 9th, 2007 at 03:07 AM
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What brand is it there Pat??

I love my Ryobi!!
Gosh, that thing has been soooooo much
fun since I got it... grinnnn grinnnn grinnnn grinnnn grinnnn

Re: Tiller 101
#98380 March 9th, 2007 at 03:22 AM
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Murry I think.

Re: Tiller 101
#98381 March 9th, 2007 at 10:13 AM
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Wow, that's really a good price. Duh but I could check it out. Perhaps they have one in St. Louis. wink

Re: Tiller 101
#98382 March 18th, 2007 at 09:18 PM
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Here's my collection.

[Linked Image]
Father, Son, and Junior


[Linked Image]
Troy-bilt Horse


[Linked Image]
Troy-bilt pony

[Linked Image]
Murry Mini-Tiller

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