What about tractor tillers?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by DW, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. DW

    DW plains of Colorado Supporter

    Messages:
    4,042
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    plains of Colorado
    I'm thinking we need an easier way than my hubby beating himself up with a big rented tiller but know nothing about these. We have an old IH w/3pt. I think HP is 30. We also have a good riding mower...don't know if something is available for them or not. I just did a quick search and the price on the tillers for tractor was unbelieveable! Need to keep searching. Any info.and/or suggestions welcome. Thanks!
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

    Messages:
    7,102
    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Location:
    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    I saw one a man made useing the tines from a tiller that he towed behind the lawn tractor, it had a 6 horse engine, 2 wheels and would push the lawn tractor around slowly while tilling, there were height adjustments on it also so he could tow it without soil contact.
     

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    They are not cheap and not all are really all that tough. Side shift is nice mine hasn't got it (6 foot Douglas-now Buhler) but it is the toughest I've seen/owned. Cost me 3000 and that was a deal. I had a Sovema from Italy, bought it new and it leaked more than my dog could on a visit to the neighbors! I'd avoid it and Befco unless you have light soil.
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    Messages:
    10,854
    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Zone 7
    Tractor tillers are pricey and the cheaper ones are not reliable particularly if abused. Here is a simple tool that would fit your tractor and if you make multiple passes will work the ground to where it is manageable for gardening.
    If you search around you should find one of these cheap
    http://www.worksaver.com/product/cultivator.html
     
  5. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    932
    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Location:
    South West MI
    I have a 5" unknown brand but it's red. I paid 500$ for it used about 6 years ago so shop around. Turns dirt to dust

    mikell
     
  6. Runners

    Runners A real Quack!

    Messages:
    327
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Location:
    Near Callands, Virginia
    I got an AT20 - Farm CO or something like that. A 48" PTO driven unit.

    Other than every bolt was loose except the side case, it's done a pretty good job on the 1st pass through fields that haven't been plowed in 18 years. The second pass left it ready to plant.

    I burned 2 tanks of fuel making 2 passes over 6 acres, or about 10 hrs of tractor time. We have Ciecel soil type - a silty clay that is easiest to work when slightly damp, cracks when dry and quickly turns into rivers of flowing mud during heavy down pours.

    The tiller worked down 7-8 inches, AFTER I took off the side depth gauges. I had to stop 2x to replace or tighten loose nuts and bolts - the second time was kinda hairy, the pto gear case came completely loose, all 4 bolts either turned loose or sheared off. I replaced the 4 with drilled bolt heads so I could wire them together - and that kept it all nice and tight.

    In my "package deal" (30 hp diesel and implements), the cost of the tiller was about $1500.

    I cannot "rent" a tractor to plow, disk and finish racking WHEN I need it, when the ground is able to be prepared for working. So, I figured, if the tiller/rotary plow didn't work in the fields, it'd probably work pretty good for the garden and rows of berries. No, it doesn't work as deep as I'd like, 8" - but the idea of just 2 passes and ready to plant ... we'll see how good the roots do. :D

    I was impressed how it managed to dig up and chop up roots from briar bushes, some of those things were 3" round, and it kicked them up to the surface, along with a rock now and then.

    IF the stuff I'm planting roots well, I'll go with a tiller/rotary plow again, that's the only real concern I have. The unit worked pretty good in my opinion.
     
  7. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    Runners I'm sold on tillers doing a great job, the shallow tillage isn't a huge problem. Part of the system is to have a deep running subsoil shank to rip (disrupt) the subsoil for drainage and rooting. Mine has a "mole" attachment to run sub-surface drainage channels.
     
  8. Runners

    Runners A real Quack!

    Messages:
    327
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Location:
    Near Callands, Virginia
    I'd like to add an interesting note - all the heavy rain we've had lately really worried me.

    Our driveway splits 12 acres, 6 on each side. One side is all tilled and planted, the other is waiting for dryer weather.

    Over the weekend, and again this morning, we got LOTS and LOTS of rain :waa: I was expecting to see the usual gullys and washouts through the newly plowed & raked field.
    Instead, I saw moving water on the unplowed/tilled side and the tilled side soaking up all that rain like a huge sponge - no erosion at all!

    I KNOW from experience, a regular plowed, disked and raked field is compacted to the point the tractor tires only sink in an inch. In this tilled field, the tires were sinking in 2-4 inches - so the soil is really 'fluffed up'. I really like that for broadcast seeding.

    Growing up on a 250 acre farm (and leasing 100s more), we plowed and disked more than my back ever liked. :eek: Even with our White 270's fantastic seat, I still remember strapping myself down (seatbelt) and preparing for the roughest ride in my life - disking! A few hours of that, and your back felt like a worn out accordian. To make matters worse, the darn over/under drive kept overheating and you'd be stuck in direct drive.

    After all that bouncing around, banging your head on the roll bar, stopping to pick up fallen tools (from the "locked" tool box), and trying to adjust the seat's travel so it wouldn't bottom out or top out (really bone crunching stuff!) - tilling/rotary plowing sure was a pleasure! :D

    I actually lost my bottle of water once - something I wouldn't dream of carrying on that White 270...

    Now to find a good cup holder for a tractor... maybe a small cooler job...
    It was so EASY tilling, I could probably work the other field under the stars some evening.
     
  9. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

    Messages:
    14,743
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Back in the USA
    Probably the best tiller made is a Kuhn. It's the Mack truck of tillers. They make models that range in size from 3'6" to a 13' wide model that will handle over a 100hp. All except the smallest are gear driven and the ability to offset the unit to cover the tire track is available. It's like anything else. You pay for what you get. The Kuhns have a quite a few options available including forged tines that can pulverize hard soils. Some have gear boxes to change the speed of the tines relative to the PTO. Others have an option to drive another PTO driven device behind the tiller.
     
  10. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,275
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    Old IHC tractors did not come from the factory with 3ph. So, kinda curious what you got exactly..... :)

    For tilling, you need a real SLOW low gear. Many older tractors do not have this - so be aware. If your IHC has a working TA, then it would be fine.

    --->Paul
     
  11. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,858
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2002
    Location:
    central idaho republic
    Growing up we had a 60" Howard roto-vator [guess that was their way of saying tiller] and used a 60 horse JD to pull it through our soil which had very little if any rock in it. needless to say traveling in a field of any size took major patience in low gear and a 60 inch coverage per round..... 10 acres took forever to akid it seemed, no wonder dad always had me run the thing in the field and he got to do the garden and other peoples gardens....

    My cousin had the same howrd and then he bought a Long from england too.... which took less power in the same soil.

    The major expense was those tines that wear out at just the wrong time...like when you got about half a day in the field left and not enough replacements to fill out the whole machine..... so you get to wait while they are ordered in.... then it takes 2 days to change everythingout or so it seemed....

    Are they worth it? as long as a person takes the practice of shallow tillage first, then dropping a couple inches in 10 days or so, then going over the field a third time to the final depth, it probably is the best way to till a feild..... cost wise, it may be better to plow, disk and harrow to get the best depth on the first pass.... cause a person still needs to harrow after tilling with a power tiller anyway each time.... so 4 passes instead of 6..... but weeds are destroyed with the tiller and resown it seems with plowing. For gardens, the big tractor tillers that go deep are a gardeners dream.... on the flip side. most gardens are a nightmare for using one in..... we never did have a fence around our xgarden plot.... had enouhg hounds the deer stayed clear, and only lost the corn to the cows every 3 rd year.

    William