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Choosing the best Tiller

I originally wrote this in early August 2020 but the Derecho changed the routine. I have since started using the tiller this Spring of 2021 and it started on the first try. Another great testimonial.

It is never been my policy to run down someone else in order to build another up. My purpose for this blog is nothing more than to inform people about the best tiller that I have found. If you are searching and want to know about a quality product, I hope to direct you in the right direction. I started gardening at a young age. I had my first garden at age 5. It was two narrow strips on each side of a sidewalk on the way to an outhouse. In the town I grew up in we had an unreliable water supply, so pretty much everyone in the mid-60s still had an outhouse in their backyard. My folks helped me prepare that garden then kept helping me work it up and the older I got the bigger the gardens. When we moved to a different location and I got my first tiller I was 16. It was a small used front-end tiller that was sure a lot easier than hand digging everything to get ready in the spring. Of course when things get easier I tend to take on more tasks, The garden expanded and expanded as much soil and water as I could find. I sold that tiller when I moved to Iowa after college. Then begins the long quest for the perfect tiller. My first one in Iowa was a very old rear tine tiller that I got cheap. I then spent a fortune getting it repaired it worked okay but moved very very slowly. At that time I had over two acres of gardens and it just couldn't keep up. I finally purchased a brand new 7 horsepower Troy-Bilt Horse tiller with the Hiller furrower attachment. I made monthly payments but it was a gem. For many years it worked up starting at 2 acres then 3 acres and then 4 acres and I used it to cultivate the whole season. I got it in the fall of 1988 and it lasted past the year 2000 with only minor repairs. Eventually it needed lots of stuff and I started searching. All this time my now deceased friend Mark Fox kept telling me I needed to get a BCS tiller. I looked and they seemed so expensive. I went back and bought a new Troy-Bilt and they were no longer the same type they were in the 1980’s and it couldn't compete and bound up all the weeds if they were more than an inch tall. I became frustrated, seals broke and it would leak oil. I thought maybe this one was fluke so bought another one and it was the same. I won't begin to mention all the brands of tillers but it was probably over a dozen that I purchased trying to find something that would do the job. In 2004 we purchased a small Kubota tractor with tiller attachment and that became what I worked up the plots with at the seasons beginning. This caused me to expand even more and increased to the current 15 Acres so the tillers that I purchased after 2004 just needed to be able to cultivate between the close rows particularly the corn. I like to plant the corn in close rows for good pollination. Being a somewhat a frugal person I kept looking for the most economical tiller. Well, the reason I'm writing this article is I have spent thousands of dollars and got very little for my money. Finally I decided I couldn't continue to lose the corn crop each year because I couldn't keep up with the weeds. In January of 2018 I succumbed to finally purchasing a BCS tiller. I had looked at them for several years when I was at garden shows doing programs. I just couldn't justify the money thinking it would just be another thing that would not work. The tiller was shipped to a dealer in Iowa City a slightly more than an hours drive. At the time I thought was a good distance to go. Little did I know a month later I would be going to Iowa City everyday, as that was the summer that Linda was in the hospital the whole summer and so I never really got to use new tiller. I remember bringing it home starting it up tilling about 50 feet thinking to myself while this works pretty good, there has to be a catch. Now, I kept thinking that I know it's not going to last. That summer my worker Ethan used it and said wow it works pretty cool. In 2019 when we had frequent hospital visits Ethan used the tiller all summer again. It seemed a little too complicated mechanically from my non-mechanical mind. Well here comes 2020 and I decided I spent that money I need to figure this machine before another year goes by. Planting time this spring and I was home every day because of Covid so I took it out in an empty spot to try it out. Pretty soon I was sold on it as it really isn't all that complicated at all. Turn the on -off switch and open close on the gas and the safety features on the handlebars are probably a good idea and that caused me the most frustration to get it started. My problem is one of stubbornness and I didn’t read the directions on the decal on the machine and did not have the safety feature engaged on the handlebars. Once I did that it started easily. I have used it frequently this year and it starts and runs like a dream and the job that it does is just phenomenal. In mid July When I fall behind I saw several sections of corn with weeds( a mixture of velvetleaf, foxtail, red root and lambs quarters) nearly waist high. My first thought was hook up the mower on the tractor and just mow them off and put the corn out of its misery. Then I decided I would go between the rows with the BCS tiller. Being a person who tries to get as much done in a few hours as possible I put it in 2nd gear went down the first row where it tilled up the weeds but it kept getting the big weeds hung up on the lever that engages the tiller. At the end of that five hundred foot row I wasn't a happy camper because it's a big machine and it kept dragging me to one side where those would get hung up. I thought of calling the company and saying your engineers need to look at this feature it was chopping up the weeds but I was exhausted. For some brief moment I was overcome with a burst of intelligence and thought I would put it in first gear. It moves really slow and I'm an impatient person so that was a challenge but I thought I would try. I then went down the next row with no problems and it chopped up those waist-high weeds and I could get super close to the corn and cut down on any extra hand weeding. My frustration immediately turned to happiness. I realize this is the perfect tiller someone is going to use for large-scale production. I did not purchase the largest one that I probably should have for the size of my operation. I offer this testimony for those out there looking for a machine that is of quality and works well and may first be turned off by the high price. I appear to be off the pathway of having to buy a new tiller every year and even though this one was 3 times the price I had been paying for at the local stores it has done a real job and done it well and is still in excellent shape. I have had the tines literally wear out on other models after 1 season. The blog is not long enough to list all of the issues I used to have with the other tillers. I still have a small front end tiller that I use occasionally but less and less. If the weeds are less than 2 inches tall it is okay, other than that it causes major issues.


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