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.
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.
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!
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!!
Good grief... now if we can just get this male Golden Retriever out of the limelight for once! Jeez!!
Yeah, I see you there...
Other odds and ends
- 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.
- I purchased new clevis pins. The ones that were in it before were too long and came into contact with the tiller's driveshaft.
- 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.
- 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.