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Discussion Starter #1
In the continuing saga of my new yard, I've decided perhaps I need a rototiller. I've done part of the yard with a walk-behind and I'm smart enough to know that I won't be doing that to the rest of the yard.

This is a new construction house and while the larger trees and stumps were moved, there are LOTS of roots and limbs underground. I had the walk-behind tiller almost go over me a couple of times from hitting those roots.

And that's the issue - hidden roots and probably rocks. So I'm looking at the 60" T5 Series Phoenix - built by Sicma - Rotary Tiller to use with my 2018 2032R.

Does anyone have actual experience with this one? EA recommended it and I trust their recommendation, but they're also the ones selling it.

Are there any better, perhaps less expensive, options out there?

Thanks for any help or advice.
 

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Depending on how bad your root situation is you may want to consider something with less moving parts to first rip them out like a subsoiler or moldboard plow? May need a larger tractor to actually get through them, I tried a sub soiler with my 2320 once and it was more than the tractor could pull.
 

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In the continuing saga of my new yard, I've decided perhaps I need a rototiller. I've done part of the yard with a walk-behind and I'm smart enough to know that I won't be doing that to the rest of the yard.

This is a new construction house and while the larger trees and stumps were moved, there are LOTS of roots and limbs underground. I had the walk-behind tiller almost go over me a couple of times from hitting those roots.

And that's the issue - hidden roots and probably rocks. So I'm looking at the 60" T5 Series Phoenix - built by Sicma - Rotary Tiller to use with my 2018 2032R.

Does anyone have actual experience with this one? EA recommended it and I trust their recommendation, but they're also the ones selling it.

Are there any better, perhaps less expensive, options out there?

Thanks for any help or advice.
:dunno:if u have hidden roots, rocks, etc, that new tiller is gonna be beat to snot working that dirt for the first time. heck i got 2 dents in my tiller from rocks in my garden, we used to plow it, and used a harrow, and we picked trailer loads of small rocks from it.
if u could borrow someones one bottom plow and turn that dirt over-then maybe use a land scape rake on it? then after that use ur tiller on it. just my 2 cts-ok

have u thought of getting someone in with a power rake to go thru it for u? never seen one in person-but from watching them on u-tube they seem to do a great job. :thumbup1gif: good luck with ur new yard!
 

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I have to agree with BigJim55, tillers and roots don't get along very well, I'm not exactly sure what to suggest you try but a tiller is probably not the right choice until the roots have been taken care of.
 

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Small tree roots don’t seem to be much of an issue for my KK 48” tiller. I don’t recommend trying to till any root over an inch on purpose. But I’ve hit larger and didn’t break anything, even ran a basketball size rock through it once. Put a large dent in the housing, but didn’t break anything. The key to not breaking anything is to have a good working slip clutch.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have a set of discs - round, no teeth - too. Should I run over the yard with those first? I've also got a cultivator. Would they help break up and dig up the roots?

I know this is going to be a multi-pass project. I'm just trying to get knowledgeable advice before I buy something that won't work or that I will tear up quickly. I've already got the 'do something stupid' thing down pretty well. :laugh:

I don't know anyone with a power rake or if I can rent one locally.
 

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if you have a farm store near you they are all closing out their rototillers. I received a flyer from both Tractor Supply and Rural King. They had 48" king Cutters starting at 998$
 

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I cant say a good way to deal with the roots, but I can say that if you borrow someones single bottom plow in an attempt to remove said roots, you will never borrow anything from that person again. Plows are meant for dirt, not much else. The smaller ones, which is what you can pull, will have shear bolts to keep them safe from hitting hard stuff that doesnt move, like rocks and roots. Adjusted properly, you are also likely to damage the coulter.

As to the tiller idea, do you know how big the roots are?
My little 30 hydraulic tiller will run right through 1" roots like they arent even there. I cant believe a bigger tiller wouldnt at least do that.
Since you already have the tractor, maybe just rent a tiller from Sunbelt or somewhere and then buy one later if you need one. My local Sunbelt rents a 60" Frontier.
 

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I would definitely rent from sunbelt for virgin ground. I have the 42" hydraulic for my 345, and I tested our never- tilled ground with it, and it chewed it up - but with more wear and tear than I was willing to accept. 180 bucks at sunbelt to rent for a day, they gave me a JD 665, and it did a wonderful job (I also have the 2018 2032R). At the end of the day, you get to give it back, dents and all. And unless you plan on large tilling jobs annually, it doesn't really make sense to buy a tiller
 

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How rough is the ground? You might be able to get adequate soil prep with the disc alone. Can't hurt to try. Won't dig up the roots, and won't beat up the tractor, or implement, or operator.
 

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It's hard to say from here. Small roots, less than an inch, I'd hit with a tiller that fits behind your tractor. If they are bigger than that it could be trouble. Rocks suck, big rocks suck, little rocks suck to clean up. A skidsteer with a harley rake might be a better option for the first pass.

I added 5 or 6 tri-axles of black dirt to my yard. My issue was rocks and clay. I used a small homemade snowmobile trail groomer to smooth it out after some bobcat work. Then an old bed spring to do the final smoothing/evening. My yard turned out great and haven't had any spots that settled.
 

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I have a somewhat similar situation in my back yard. We had many mature trees removed and I'm trying to get as much grass established as I can before the winter rains since we have some slopes and it's already washed a little.

I decided to try what I have on hand so I made a few passes with the box blade rippers down. It's been a few months since the trees were cut and it's doing a great job of breaking up the soil and pulling the roots out. Then I tilt it back to smooth, and finish up with a rake. Doing small sections at a time since I'm having to water the seed a lot, but its yielding good results thus far.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

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I have a set of discs - round, no teeth - too. Should I run over the yard with those first? I've also got a cultivator. Would they help break up and dig up the roots?

I know this is going to be a multi-pass project. I'm just trying to get knowledgeable advice before I buy something that won't work or that I will tear up quickly. I've already got the 'do something stupid' thing down pretty well. :laugh:

I don't know anyone with a power rake or if I can rent one locally.
I would use the disc first to find the bigger roots and rocks. Remove what you can . A tiller will grind up smaller roots and bigger stuff if is somewhat rotten. It will bounce off large roots and make a hell af a racket. You kinda have to learn what your tiller can handle hitting stuff you shouldn’t. Just make sure the slip clutch is working properly, set it up on the loose side and you shouldn’t break anything.

With that said ,you might be better off hiring someone with the needed equipment to do the tilling than going out and buying or renting something your not going to use after this job.
 

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I'm with Mike Drew. If the roots are buried, leave them alone! Your probably gonna add top soil anyhow so your roots will then be 2 or 3 inches deeper. The $$$ you spend on whatever equipment you plan to buy or rent can be put towards some extra top soil. Bob
 

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I am in the middle of our house building and I am running into similar issues with my yard. It is not horrible but trying to grade three acres while dealing with roots was a headache. I used a pretty big plow and tractor from my dad's farm, a skid loader and a bulldozer as it was a lot for my 1023e to handle alone. Once the grade was pretty good I did have some luck with my 6 row cultivator for the bigger roots once they were loose as it pulled them up and collected them pretty well. Anything deeper than a few inches I left in the ground as I would have been working it for years to get everything out. Still took a lot of time and energy but that was the best thing I found.

Honestly, the bulldozer did a pretty good job collecting all the roots and limbs by itself and then the finish work was pretty much accomplished with my cultivator and a drag harrow. I don't know how much area you have to clean up or your budget but it might be helpful to clear as much as you can with a bulldozer down a few inches and bring in some good fresh dirt. Then the tiller would be effective. Either way good luck!
 

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CoryB;3077440 And that's the issue - hidden roots and probably rocks. So I'm looking at the 60" T5 Series Phoenix - built by Sicma - Rotary Tiller to use with my 2018 2032R. Does anyone have actual experience with this one? EA recommended it and I trust their recommendation said:
I can tell you the Sicma/Phoenix tillers are built like a tank but even a 700 Lb. tiller will bounce around if the roots are big enough. The most important thing is to make sure that slip clutch does what it's supposed to do and no harm will come of your tractor.....and least of all the tiller.
I think a tiller is a worthy investment and a versatile piece of equipment you'll have long after the yard project is completed.
 

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if you have a farm store near you they are all closing out their rototillers. I received a flyer from both Tractor Supply and Rural King. They had 48" king Cutters starting at 998$
I would snap that up in a heartbeat!! Our TSC advertised price is $1215 - on sale!!:nunu:
 

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I cant say a good way to deal with the roots, but I can say that if you borrow someones single bottom plow in an attempt to remove said roots, you will never borrow anything from that person again. Plows are meant for dirt, not much else. The smaller ones, which is what you can pull, will have shear bolts to keep them safe from hitting hard stuff that doesnt move, like rocks and roots. Adjusted properly, you are also likely to damage the coulter.

As to the tiller idea, do you know how big the roots are?
My little 30 hydraulic tiller will run right through 1" roots like they arent even there. I cant believe a bigger tiller wouldnt at least do that.
Since you already have the tractor, maybe just rent a tiller from Sunbelt or somewhere and then buy one later if you need one. My local Sunbelt rents a 60" Frontier.
I own a 30 mechanical tiller I recently used to till 1/2 acre in front of my house. The ground was hard packed by heavy equipment, full of rocks and boulders, and plenty of roots. The roots were small (1-1.5") and there was no issues cutting through them with the tiller at full speed. The rocks and boulders banged around and were spit out the back. Moving slowly was the key to success.

It has also been mentioned that a good clutch is important. The 30 mechanical tiller doesn't have a clutch, but as designed the drive belt will slip. The 30 is a small beast and I'll say the clutch is not just important, but critical.

I did all this with an X580 and can't imagine why a bigger machine with a bigger tiller can't do the same. The pictures below are of some fairly clear ground. The roots and large rocks/boulders were up against the tree line. The tiller is set for a 6" depth.
 

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I also would not recommend the tiller for initial yard work with roots and rocks. Just used my JD647 on food plots that had already been chisel plowed and worked through with cultivators to rip and pull the roots out of ground. Still had a lot of cutting roots that were wrapped around in the tiller
 
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