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I've been itching to get the big beast of a tiller out from the back of the garage to do a little tilling. I put it on shortly after I bought the tractor but this was my first real use of it. This thing will either punish you if you don't know how to install it, or, fit together smoothly and make you feel rather demoralized after you figure out correct the procedure.
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I've now made a little checklist of what needs to be done chronologically so that there's no trying fitting squares through circles if you catch my drift. To move this beast around anywhere, it pretty much always has to be connected up to the tractor or chained to the bucket as there's no way you're picking it up. It's unbelievable how durable they made equipment like this back then; it feels like it's almost half the weight of the tractor.

Impressions of the operation

The biggest takeaway is that it's surprisingly very smooth- much more than I would've expected. I have not ever used a tiller on any tractor before so this was my first time. You have in mind a walk-behind tiller that has no other goal in mind but to wear you out as much and as quickly as possible, but this couldn't further from that. I was expecting a rough ride, lots of vibrations felt through the seat and the entire machine, constant attention to the lift lever... thoughts that I'm beating the machine up, etc. You engage it, drop it into the soil and you hardly know you're tilling. Amazing. It does not 'control' the tractor like I was expecting it to and toss it around with the feeling that you're really beating up the machine. The RPM's remained pretty steady and didn't see to faze it much. Granted, I wasn't tilling hard-pan here but the garden area hadn't been tilled since last summer. If you do hit a pesky hidden tree root or a big rock, that is when you do feel it and it will bump you in the seat depending on the size of it.

Control

Being that it's a hydrostatic machine and it has all the hydraulics, there's lots of control which is great. You have control over everything right at your finger tips to make instant adjustments. Speaking of sneaky tree roots, I kept my finger on the lift lever constantly in case I inevitably hit those one or two that I knew were out there.

This thing rocks!

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Well, fortunately not literally as explained above. This does however absolutely beat using a walk-behind tiller tenfold, you gotta try it. It's like using a push mower your entire life and then trying out a riding mower in comparison. Tilling is typically a grueling task but this is like cheating in comparison.

Yeah, but maneuverability?

The con would be that it's not very maneuverable. It's just like using a riding mower to cut your lawn and then having to bring out the walk-behind after or beforehand to trim the areas you couldn't get to with the bigger machine; same concept with the tiller and tractor combo. If you have wide open space with lots of room to turn around, then you're set.

Okay, on to some action pics!!

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Good grief... now if we can just get this male Golden Retriever out of the limelight for once! Jeez!!
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Yeah, I see you there...

Other odds and ends

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  • It is a ways from being high on the priority list, but I plan to redo the tiller. It was missing the "Bolens" decal on the back so I threw on a new one of those on for fun in the meantime.

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  • I purchased new clevis pins. The ones that were in it before were too long and came into contact with the tiller's driveshaft.

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  • I ordered a hydraulic CAT-0 top link from Agristore that should be showing up soon. Once I get it installed, I'll post some pictures and video of it in action. It should work pretty awesome with the Gannon.

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  • I bought an OEM Kohler spark arrestor insert made for the CH series and had the exhaust slightly widened at the opening and fit it.
 

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A Little Off Plumb
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Nice to see you using your beautiful tractor for one of the jobs it was made for - proves they can still look very nice and earn their keep.

I think in the fourth picture I saw a smudge of dirt on the seat :D :D .

Thanks for sharing.

An 1886 all dressed up in her Sunday best

Still earning its keep somewhere out west

It shows that tractors can look nice and still work

If you treat it with respect and enjoy the perk

Of owning and caring for a tractor that was built to last

And not wear out like a lot of the new ones do fast
 

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I'm surprised that you decided to get it dirty! And yes those tillers work very nice. One thing I found is on the gear driven tractors, the tiller won't push you around.
Even put a couple scratches in it too while mounting the driveshaft.

Yup, the tillers work nice.

That's a beautiful machine Austen,thanks for sharing
Thanks!

Nice to see you using your beautiful tractor for one of the jobs it was made for - proves they can still look very nice and earn their keep.

I think in the fourth picture I saw a smudge of dirt on the seat :D :D .

Thanks for sharing.

An 1886 all dressed up in her Sunday best

Still earning its keep somewhere out west

It shows that tractors can look nice and still work

If you treat it with respect and enjoy the perk

Of owning and caring for a tractor that was built to last

And not wear out like a lot of the new ones do fast
Love it!! :thumbs: :thumbs:
 

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Working a real small area for a larger tractor, especially with a loader on it. Been better off with a GOOD walk behind for that area. I use a self powered 32" tiller behind a G16XT but in a much larger area and before planting. Will no be dropping the bar mower off the BCS and putting the tiller on to do the planted garden to kill weeds. That is a real nice looking tractor and loader set up but don't care for those rear wheel. Look to fake for my taste. Nice painted stock would be better in my opinion. Years supply of gas invested in them. To each his own and glad your happy with it. :(
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Working a real small area for a larger tractor, especially with a loader on it. Been better off with a GOOD walk behind for that area. I use a self powered 32" tiller behind a G16XT but in a much larger area and before planting. Will no be dropping the bar mower off the BCS and putting the tiller on to do the planted garden to kill weeds. That is a real nice looking tractor and loader set up but don't care for those rear wheel. Look to fake for my taste. Nice painted stock would be better in my opinion. Years supply of gas invested in them. To each his own and glad your happy with it. :(
Yup, we do have a couple of walk behind tillers that are more adequate to this garden size but I felt like trying out the tiller attachment today.

For sure, I respect that, it's a custom and is most definitely not for everybody.
 

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The neighbor saw me using the 1050 with my tiller , He just stood there shaking his head . walks up and ask were did get that ? I tell him . and he was like i went one , I laught and said " get in line " They don't sell them at the big box stores . And then heres it comes " Can i borrow it " . well you now what came next.

Patrick.
 

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Mark J.
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I can't believe you got it all dirty!!!!!!

I hope you cleaned it before you put her away!!

I tried my tiller on my Cub 1811 for the first time this year as well. I felt like I was cheating! After 15 minutes I was done and drinking a beer!

These machines were made to be used and it's a lot of fun as well!
 

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Nice looking rig. If you ever get that in some dry sod you will know what tilling is about but with the hydro is almost like cheating.
 

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Very nice setup. I remember when you first got it. I loved tilling with my 1886 very smooth and plenty of power and control.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The neighbor saw me using the 1050 with my tiller , He just stood there shaking his head . walks up and ask were did get that ? I tell him . and he was like i went one , I laught and said " get in line " They don't sell them at the big box stores . And then heres it comes " Can i borrow it " . well you now what came next.

Patrick.
Haha, I'll bet! ;-)

I can't believe you got it all dirty!!!!!!

I hope you cleaned it before you put her away!!
You know, I get the most enjoyment out of my machines by using them so inevitably they're going to see some wear and tear, but yes, they definitely do get cleaned up and cared for as that it just as important. :thumbs:

I tried my tiller on my Cub 1811 for the first time this year as well. I felt like I was cheating! After 15 minutes I was done and drinking a beer!

These machines were made to be used and it's a lot of fun as well!
It sure does feel like cheating, doesn't it! I'll bet your Cub does a great job at tilling too. A fun task it is. :)

Looks like you had a fun day!
Definitely. Any day with the Bolens is a fun day. :thumbs:

Nice looking rig. If you ever get that in some dry sod you will know what tilling is about but with the hydro is almost like cheating.
I'll bet! I can imagine tilling harder terrain would make for a rougher ride. I look forward to trying it out in more places in the future.

Very nice setup. I remember when you first got it. I loved tilling with my 1886 very smooth and plenty of power and control.
Thanks, Husky, it sure is a lot of fun. These large frames are very good at the task.

Yup, that was a wonderful day I will not forget. :thumbs:

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Thanks guys.
 

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Austen, You got to stop posting those pictures, it's like porn!!! :D

Man that thing is awesome!! Got the same tiller, used it before the tear down and it purrs!! Still not complete with my 1886, but getting there. Picked up a 1988 Craftsman II GT18, she is sweet too, but a runner.

Good luck with yours!!
B
 
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