Tiller Tryouts

I picked up my new tiller last week. Just in time to give it a shakedown run through the garden before a series of toad stranglers beset our hilltop. First impression was this is very cool! My previous craftsman tiller was a bouncy, noisy and top heavy. It had seen better days having been my dad’s old machine. The old craftsmans tines seemed to gently fold into the soil like it was asking permission to intrude. It was more of a bread kneading than tilling.

It would be fair to say that the new machine is rude! It was steady, quiet, centered and did not seek permission to slice through the soil. It left a beautiful seed bed in its wake on areas that had previously been worked.

But what kind of test would it have been if I hadn’t tried it on previously untilled ground. Our soils are predominately clay and rock. I have tried several different tillers on our “virgin” ground. They all preformed like they were on asphalt or a gravel lot.

The first pass sliced through the top soil (all one and a half inches of it) and grabbed maybe an inch of the clay. It tended to want to run away from me at the onset. The second pass it hunkered down and ate some clay. I was very pleased with the results after second pass it had tilled to a uniform 7 inches with a very good blending of the sod and clay. To be fair to my old machine I have to say that if it had new tines it would still have bounced across the clay. It just lacked weight and was geared too gently.

I really liked the handle bars ability to swivel to either side. After a little practice it made turning to make the next pass easy. Mostly I liked this feature because it allows me to till right next to a fence. I ran under our bean arch and could easily maneuver through its length without once making a course correction or tearing into the panels. It also was more comfortable working on a slight slope.

The third gear is rifrigging-diculous! I made the mistake of trying this gear while still at full throttle. Thank god for safety features like a kill switch grip. At a low throttle setting in third I damn near had to jog to keep up.

I feel better about having invested in the BCS.

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4 Comments

  1. Ron said,

    March 18, 2012 at 8:09 AM

    Sounds like it's a good machine, glad to hear it. Probably the most annoying aspect of mine is that it has one-speed – sloooooooow. I'd like a faster speed for going over already-worked ground prior to planting. Or even just for maneuvering the thing.

  2. karl said,

    March 18, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    wow, congratulations.

  3. Robin said,

    March 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    Awesome! I'm so glad you like it! I can hardly wait to try ours out.

  4. Ed said,

    March 18, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    Money well spent! If I didn't have such a small garden, I would trade in 'Bouncing Betty' on one in a heartbeat.


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