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Here it is Friday and all of the logistical problems have been cured, the parts I ordered were correct, and my 580 now has a 30" mechanical tiller attached. Thank you all for the support.

With very few problems the hardware was easily attached to the 580 chassis. However, there are a few issues you won't find in the book, the first one being the bushing size for the front of the tiller chassis latches. The bushings used to mount up front using the latches are too big. They are too large in diameter and the result is you'll get the tiller chassis in place under the tractor, but you won't be able to seat the chassis or close the latches. I pulled the chassis out, took the bushings off of the tractor frame, then ground the bushings reducing the diameter by .062 / 1/16". Problem solved.

The next issue to be aware of is the insertion of the lift link running from the hydraulic lift cylinder to the rear yoke mounted inside the chassis. There is only one way to thread this link back to the yoke through the chassis. That method is to lay under the tractor and slide the rod through the chassis from front to back. It would also be helpful to have a second set of hands that can grab the link when it gets back to the yoke or it will fall out and you'll have to start over. (Thanks to my wife.)


I had given thought to buying the Sears/Agri-fab tow behind tiller, or a DR tiller, etc.. After using the tiller I am very, very glad I did NOT buy a tiller of that type. especially knowing that the tine shaft uses shear pins. I had read a lot about shear pin issues with these tillers, and constant replacement would have driven me out of my mind, especially tilling the rocky hard soil I was tilling.

The JD 30" tiller is a beast. The tiller was set to a 4" depth for the first pass and chewed through the hard soil, and lifted not just rocks, but large rocks and small boulders out of the soil with little or no effort other than an occasional screech of the drive belt if the tines hit a very large boulder. The tiller was stopped once, and only once, when a 6" rock became lodged between an outside tine and the tiller housing. I banged it out with another rock and never stopped after that.

My only other surprise was the force generated by the tiller. For those who don't own or haven't used a tiller of this type I'll note that the tiller is offset to the right behind the tractor. This is done so that tilling from right to left, or in a counter clockwise circle as I was, the tractor tire marks are covered by freshly tilled soil. If you look at the photos below you'll see that l live on a fairly steep hill, steepest on the left side at the top.

My first pass was from bottom to top ending up with the first downward pass being from the steepest point on the hill. I did NOT expect the tiller to take over and shoot me down the hill at a very high speed, even with the brakes full on. I almost panicked. The reaction was sudden and uncontrolled and I advise extreme caution to all if you are in a position where down hill tilling will be involved.

At any rate, I changed my rotation to clockwise, climbing the steepest side of the hill and down the not so steep side. Again, I'm very pleased with my purchase, don't have to worry about shear pins, and have an attachment that has cured a problem, and that will last for many years to come.

Hope this helps.
 

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Looks great. On a garden tractor I usually run 1/2 throttle and not to depth on the first pass. When they bite in your correct, you cant find the pto or raise lever fast enough. It makes for a very fast tractor.:laugh:
 

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So, Bob, I'm curious. What was the presence of the ground before you got to this point of tilling. Brush, trees, open grassy-rough--that you wanted to be smoother and easier to mow? Whatever the reason, the outcome is looking good. It looks to be a lot of work to get the ground to the point seen in the images. I can imagine you have lots more to do?

I never used a tiller. Never had a desire. Until I got one included with my 140H3 a few years back. I hooked it up one day because I wanted to experience what they do, and how they perform. For the most, when the tines engaged with the sod covered ground, the 140 lunged forward so fast it like to give me whiplash. It really caught me off-guard. After gathering my wits and taking smaller bites, things went a lot more as I expected. I played around tilling a three-row/10ft area to a point it was almost fluff. The tines on the tiller had seen better days. I'm sure with new tines, it would perform very well.
I've thought about redoing all the lawn at our place, but what a frigging fiasco it would be having pets.
 

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I got my 30" tiller when I bought my 345 20 years ago.Yes on hard ground the tines will grab and take you for a ride.It came in handy when I built my house between the yard,flower beds,and garden.At the 15 year mark I rebuilt it with new tines and bearings.All new again and turns the garden to power.
 

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So, Bob, I'm curious. What was the presence of the ground before you got to this point of tilling. Brush, trees, open grassy-rough--that you wanted to be smoother and easier to mow? Whatever the reason, the outcome is looking good. It looks to be a lot of work to get the ground to the point seen in the images. I can imagine you have lots more to do?

I never used a tiller. Never had a desire. Until I got one included with my 140H3 a few years back. I hooked it up one day because I wanted to experience what they do, and how they perform. For the most, when the tines engaged with the sod covered ground, the 140 lunged forward so fast it like to give me whiplash. It really caught me off-guard. After gathering my wits and taking smaller bites, things went a lot more as I expected. I played around tilling a three-row/10ft area to a point it was almost fluff. The tines on the tiller had seen better days. I'm sure with new tines, it would perform very well.
I've thought about redoing all the lawn at our place, but what a frigging fiasco it would be having pets.
As part of a town project to widen, straighten, and improve the road my yard was used as a staging area for heavy equipment, breaking boulders for stone walls, parking, you name it. During the boulder breaking stage the roots to a large pine were destroyed so it was taken down at the towns expense.

In the end the work done out front was sub par. The ground had turned to the hardness of concrete and was supposed to have been scarified before the contractor dumped and spread loam. It wasn't and the loam was spread thin. They also didn't want to haul away a truck load of gravel, so the contractor spread the gravel on top of the front yard, covered it all with 2" of loam at best, hydro seeded, then called it a done job.

My wife and I fought with the entire front yard trying to make grass grow all summer long. It was like trying to grow hair on my head and the entire lawn failed except where I had spread loam and seeded. I called for a meeting in the yard and the DOT, town, and contractor all agreed the job would be completely redone.

Below are pictures of the destroyed tree being brought down and the rock breaking when the pile was tiny. It eventually engulfed the entire front yard up to 25' high (measured.)
 

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I imagine the right-of-way through the area is w-i-d-e. That was a mess.
 

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I got my 30" tiller when I bought my 345 20 years ago.Yes on hard ground the tines will grab and take you for a ride.It came in handy when I built my house between the yard,flower beds,and garden.At the 15 year mark I rebuilt it with new tines and bearings.All new again and turns the garden to power.
Very nice machine(s) and very, very nice lawn. Be proud of that!
 

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Very nice machine(s) and very, very nice lawn. Be proud of that!
Thanks the yard is a work in progress.The back part where the garden is used to be a hay field.The whole yard is getting plugged,over seeded,and fertilized.
 

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I hope you were well paid for the rework that the contractor did not do right. :greentractorride:
 
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