Let's talk 3pt tillers and brush hogs
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Thread: Let's talk 3pt tillers and brush hogs

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    JDSwan87's Avatar
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    Let's talk 3pt tillers and brush hogs

    So I'm in the market for a 3pt tiller and brush hog to use on my 12 acres. My 3038E has 30 PTO HP and it's 58" wide.

    Tiller: forward or counter rotating tines? Slip clutch or shear pin? Gear (preferred) or chain drive? I would like grease-able bearings and I would like it to be serviceable. I will be tilling up 5-8 small food plots less than 1/8 acre each and will also be tilling up a garden once a year. No idea on brand...

    Brush hog: needed for cutting trails and keeping them cut. Will NOT be used to cut the grass (I have a mower for that). Slip clutch or shear pin? What's a "stump jumper?" Brand? What else to look for in a brush hog? Should I get a finish mower instead??

    New or used works for me but I don't want something I will be constantly fixing...

    Budget: $2000-$3000 enough for both?... flexible but not unlimited

    Thanks everyone!!

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    I don't have nay brand/model recommendations for you but two things:

    Slip clutches vs. Shear pins. The shear pin is a much simpler concept. Something gets hung up and the pin (usually a grade 2 bolt) simply shears off. The drawback is that if you hit enough "stuff", you can go through a box of them in a couple of hours and they take a couple of minutes to replace. The slip clutch takes some fine tuning to get it set right and you have to re-tune it every now and then if it's been sitting. If they're set right, you hit something and there is a momentary jolt and then you continue on with what your doing. So *IF* you get the slip clutch set right, you end up doing less work. But, you do need to get it set right.

    Your "stumpjumper" is a feature. Usually it's around disc underneath the mower. It's purpose is to allow the rotating arm to ride up and over a stump or rock if you run over one. You can buy one aftermarket for most brands/models if you find a rotary cutter that doesn't have it.
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    Tractor Tim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDSwan87 View Post
    So I'm in the market for a 3pt tiller and brush hog to use on my 12 acres. My 3038E has 30 PTO HP and it's 58" wide.

    Tiller: forward or counter rotating tines? Slip clutch or shear pin? Gear (preferred) or chain drive? I would like grease-able bearings and I would like it to be serviceable. I will be tilling up 5-8 small food plots less than 1/8 acre each and will also be tilling up a garden once a year. No idea on brand...

    Brush hog: needed for cutting trails and keeping them cut. Will NOT be used to cut the grass (I have a mower for that). Slip clutch or shear pin? What's a "stump jumper?" Brand? What else to look for in a brush hog? Should I get a finish mower instead??

    New or used works for me but I don't want something I will be constantly fixing...

    Budget: $2000-$3000 enough for both?... flexible but not unlimited

    Thanks everyone!!
    I would recommend a King Kutter 5' or 6' tiller. Very cost effective, and I haven't seen even one negative comment on GTT about a King Kutter tiller. They use gear drive, and slip clutch. The forward rotation works fine. Reverse rotation would be fine as well. Honestly, I don't think it matters. I just don't see any reason to spend any more than the cost of a King Kutter. You can find them used on Craigslist if you are patient, or willing to drive to get it. When looking new, the 5' is significantly cheaper than the 6'. Your tractor would handle either one without an issue.
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    If you have rocks, a forward [traditional] tiller is your friend since it will throw it out the back, rather than jam it.
    If you don't have rocks [none here where I am now, just clay], then you probably won't care.
    King Kutter has a video touting the virtues of reverse tillers.... But they love to sell both.
    (I have their 7ft forward myself, I bought it for the gear drive & slip clutch)
    After doing the first field, I learned I didn't have any rocks
    Never lived in a place that was "rockless" before... feels weird, but I am not complaining!

    My previous tilling was done with a Gravely, back in the mid-70's/80's

    My rotary cutter is a Woods [ok, the finish mower is also].
    That is the brand I knew growing up, so saw no reason to change as I had never seen one "go bad" unless it was neglected.
    The same could probably be said for other brands, but this is what I had experience with.

    As in all things with gears, lube is your salvation, lube early, lube often.
    BigJim55, Tractor Tim and JDSwan87 like this.

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    I bought a Hawnkline Tiller from a local ag store called Bomgaard's. It's built by Behlen and is just like what Tractor Supply offered. It came with the slip clutch and was on sale for $1400. My County Line Brush Hog was from TSC and cost $749 on sale. It did not have the slipper clutch so I bought one. It's true it does take a little setup to get right, but I feel it was money well spend. The Tiller is gear drive and seems very well built. Made in the USA to boot. Same with the brush hog. I'm only at 4' wide and behind a 1026R. If I were to offer any advise I'd make sure the implement you buy is quick hitch compatible. Investing in quality equipment that's easy to hook up will help you use it for many years.

    -636
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    For average non commercial homeowner use, I think KingKutter/CountyLine from Tractor Supply is the way to go. My tiller and brush hog are from there and I have been VERY happy with both. 🏼
    Jamie

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