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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
O.k, what brand an size of tillers you guys have?

I currently own a 48" meletti gear drive.... Good tiller but really could use something in the 60" range.

Have a few brands picked out for an upgrade, just curious if there is any brand gunna get more mentions than other brands amongst us:unknown:

Seems like a loaded question, but pretty sure with all the members there is bound to be some variety in the tiller brands:tongue:
 

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If you stay with Deere, they will probably be Italian made by Sicma or Machieo. We sell the Sicma, Phoenix, First Choice, Tarter and Hawkline brands. Ken Sweet
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree Ken, I have gone over the deere 647-681 tillers and then the phoenix/sicma.

The only real difference is paint and decals.... deere is just green phoenix/sicmas.

The same with there frontier line machieo, machisio 'sp'? or just simply that brand but green with "frontier" decals.
 

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I agree Ken, I have gone over the deere 647-681 tillers and then the phoenix/sicma.

The only real difference is paint and decals.... deere is just green phoenix/sicmas.

The same with there frontier line machieo, machisio 'sp'? or just simply that brand but green with "frontier" decals.
There may be one other difference, Price for Green Paint/Powder Coat. Several years ago, I could get Sicma/First Choice/Phoenix in Green color and now I can't. Just thinking that maybe they got a contract with Deere and they won't let them sell Green any longer?? Ken Sweet
 

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Tough call.....I WAS in the market a couple years ago. Luckily I found a deal I couldnt pass up on a Sovema...BUT, if I were buying new I had it down to one of these two:
-KKII From TSC
-Reverse Rotation Land Pride
My head wanted the LP RTR, wallet said go KKII @ TSC.
Last year I saw the Frontier and was very impressed with the build quality.

I cant honestly comment on the "green" pricing, but I know on the snowblowers for example, I can get the Frontier for the same as I paid my "OEM Painted" version. Given the choice of Red or Green for the same price, I woulda much prefered the Green one. So that being said, I wouldnt eliminate the JD/Frontier bassed on price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not eliminating anything , just keep coming back to few brands for an upgrade tiller. Sorta look'n for input on who's run'n what and how they like it...

Not all the way sold on reverse rotation tillers... mostly cause' of the price, why should they be more:unknown:

Funny you mention the KK-II. But due to lack of suppliers around here anymore, Its a mail order deal for me or a four hour drive one way to obtain one. They have a long reputation of being a die hard tiller. That was the tiller I kept ending back at

Tarter seems to be picking up the slack for KK, but fairly new still but seem to have a good reputation and time will tell.

I should have mentioned Im leaning towards gear drive over chain drive. I use a tiller ALOT, 15-20'ish acres a year altogether counting all gardens and field tilling. I have not had to adjust or replace the gears in the melletti ever, and I got it used. BUT, some darn good names in tillers use a chain.

My head wants a green sicma or 'deere 665' even though not gear
My wallet say kk-II, tarter or sicma/phoenix without deere propaganda all over it:laugh:
 

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Not all the way sold on reverse rotation tillers... mostly cause' of the price, why should they be more:unknown:
I feel the same...They SHOULDNT be more money, but my guess is because the competition is pretty limited in the Reverse Rotation market, they feel they can charge what they want. It really suprises me KK or Tarter hasnt come out with a Reverse Rotation machine yet.

Tarter seems to be picking up the slack for KK, but fairly new still but seem to have a good reputation and time will tell.
I've been wondering what people felt about the Tarter units, I've seen them at TSC, but havent heard any reports. Overall impression without having the KK and Tarter side by side is they appear to be of similar construction.

I should have mentioned Im leaning towards gear drive over chain drive. I use a tiller ALOT, 15-20'ish acres a year altogether counting all gardens and field tilling. I have not had to adjust or replace the gears in the melletti ever, and I got it used. BUT, some darn good names in tillers use a chain.

My head wants a green sicma or 'deere 665' even though not gear
My wallet say kk-II, tarter or sicma/phoenix without deere propaganda all over it:laugh:
I was leaning towards Gear as well...ended up with a Chain drive. Overall, I dont have anything to compare it to as this is my first "big tiller"..But I cant say I notice a difference...I check the chain every spring and she's always A1. Part of me wonders if the whole Gear vs Chain debate is more marketing then anything.
 

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I've been wondering what people felt about the Tarter units, I've seen them at TSC, but havent heard any reports. Overall impression without having the KK and Tarter side by side is they appear to be of similar construction.
We have been selling the Tarter for 3 years with 0 problems. I still like the Phoenix/First Choice/Sicma. Just a little more money. Ken Sweet
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks spudland dave, Thats Useful imput:D

According to a local implement dealer, tarter dose offer a reverse/forward rotation unit. Its chain driven 'weird' and is priced a little higher than the other tarters....I know of nobody that runs one ether.

I can see higher price on a unit that can be made to work both directions, as there WOULD be a little more to it.

I have been sorta going over the chain/gear thang'....Landpride offers NONE with gear and they obviously do not put there name on junk, same with the deere 647-681 line of tillers along with most of there frontier brand also...

With top name brand "commercial use" branded tillers using chain drives, I might be a convert....eventually:laugh:
 

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Not all the way sold on reverse rotation tillers... mostly cause' of the price, why should they be more:unknown:
Not sure what you mean by "price"? I have a LandPride reverse rotation. I believe I paid around $2200 for mine. Yeah sure I could have maybe saved a couple hundred going with something else, but now that I have owned and used it, I couldn't begin to image having something else. Once you use a reverse rotation you will not even consider going back. I can go from a complete soded lawn to a perfect seed bed in an a single pass. All the sod is at the bottom and all the loose seedbed is at the top. These are great machines.
 

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Not sure what you mean by "price"?
Like for like, the Reverse rotation unit is quite a few bucks more then "normal" rotation..
For example, its much more expensive to get a LP RTR12-XX then the RTA12-XX..same machine, only difference is rotation of the tines.

Everybody I talk to echo your statements Randy...heard so many good things, thats mostly why I wanted a reverse rotation one myself. When I do landscaping with my power rake, I can see the "reverse rotation" action...and it does work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
In the case of the reverse rotation tiller, I think they want people to think its a manufacturing feat of magic..... and charge for something as simple as changing the pinion gear location in the top box and some sifting rods before the end gate:thumbsdown:

I tilled a piece of an old, tired alfalfa field ONCE for a yard after being burned down with a spray mix of round-up and curtail then being mowed down by the client. It was pushing half acre in size, big yardexpantion altogether.

Just by creeping along in first low, the finish from my out of date meletti forward turn, 4 tines per flange tiller had a seedbed ready.

Yea, Had little residue on top but the client was completely happy with the end result....fine ground seed bed. He was seeding and rolling the next day.

I have been around reverse rotations, they do work good. I just think they get 'oversold' and over priced for what they are.

Did play with the idea of putting 'sifting rods' on my tiller to match the reverse tiller magic though....:lol:
 

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Not to hijack the thread...BTDT...But if you guys want to do Yard Seedbed Prep, you havent lived life until you try a Power Rake.
:soapbox:
Speaking of PR's...theres another "Feat of mechanical magic" price scheme..8k for one just doesnt hold water other then the fact its a tool aimed mostly at contractors...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
10-4.. loud an clear..... 8 grand for a naked look'n tiller???:nunu:

Same applies for backwards spinning tillers...:nunu:

Would love to have a power rake.... would prolly own one but even used the price is a joke.

I have done a few yard seedbed preps... Not enough to really to justify a sole investment into one

Tiller better for me, over the whole scope of applications used for.:D
 

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We sell the Phoenix/Sicma T10R-58GE 58 inch reverse rotation tiller for $2750. Nice units and gear drive and #5 drive line. 712 lbs. Ken Sweet
 

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I've got a 40" Woods "Estate Series" tiller. Chain drive, slip clutch.

At the time I got it, I was caught up in the Great American Pastime of the "Race to the Bottom" which refers to quality and price. I wanted to re-work some lawn areas, so I thought a little tiller that would fit behind my B21 (13.5 HP at the PTO) would be fine. This was the smallest width I could get. An over frugal moment to be sure...

About 6 seconds after I engaged the ground for the 1st time, the tiller "found" a burred brick from building construction. This dented the top rear square channel for the tiller, and put a bend in the gate. It was nice to get that 1st "ding" experience out of the way :laugh:.

It cost about $1200 new in 2000 when I got it. Shame on Woods for making a low cost tiller, but I guess calling it the "Estate Series" was the secret warning. It would be great for use behind a 500 or 700 series garden tractor for use with areas that had already been prepped to some degree. That would be areas with no hidden bricks or big rocks.

I've been beating the daylights out of it tilling up an old rail road ballast area used for access during construction of the house, and it's holding up OK. It's hard to tell if the "six second brick" just got a lucky cheap shot or not. The slip clutch is the key there. With the low HP of the B21, and (presumably) the fragile nature of its PTO, the tiller and tractor have been protected on many occasions. I have stalled the tractor out before (that was my clue to get with the program and tweak the slip clutch annually) and both survived.

I would not dare put this on the 4520 and shoot 50 HP to it, slip clutch or not.

So guess what, once again it comes down to what are you doing (virgin prep work, tilling up old railroad ballast, tiling your garden site) and what your tractor has going for it (13 vs. 50 HP).

The "doesn't cover the wheels" is OK since this is lawn prep work. I could offset it if it was a problem. For me, the savings on the implement, amount of use thus far and narrow width are an acceptable trade off.

In the "If I knew then what I know now" department, I'd definitely still go with the slip clutch. I'd go width of the tires on the tractor. Tractor PTO under 25HP I'd go chain, above I'd go gear. Just a gut feel. When comparing comparable units, the heavier one would be better. And finally, be aware of the "Race to the Bottom" problem, no matter how much the implement brochures try to justify it. Although that said, I'd rather have a narrow good tiller than a wide bad one, there's just too much stuff to pick up lurking under the ground.

I used to make fun of the various companies brochures where they had pictures of backhoes digging. My scoffing phrase was "Anyone can dig in loam." Well, I'd also say "Anyone can till in loam." Once again, what are you going to do and how often are you going to do it?

Oh my, I've written another book...

Pete
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks double 'E' pete..

Yes, slip clutch no doubt. I too have stalled my tractor with a slip clutch, use'ta not bother with check'n them till I killed the tractor one day awhile back.

With a 60 incher, I will have well covered tracks, my 790 is narrowed to 48 inches:grin:

I have a woods dealer locally, The owner of the outfit sells other color tractors, and landpride stuff too, not that brands are an issue, its the attitude of the salesmanship......

I will just say I was soured back when I was look'n for a new tractor and why I own a deere.

Woods has crossed my mind, pretty sure I could get one elts where and prolly a little better deal than you know where.
 

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TSC change

Thought I would revive this old thread to let everyone know that TSC has changed their supplier for the 48" sub compact tiller. On their website they show and have posted the manual for a king kutter model. I ordered one and received a tarter unit. The big difference is the tarter is a chain drive and the king kutter was a gear drive. The biggest problem was that the chain drive case called for 00 grease. I could not find 00 grease anywhere and had to order it online. Finally got it going and it seems to work well.

Went with the TSC unit because of price, $1499.00, and once I finish prepping this 100 X 60 foot area I will have very little else for it to do. Would have liked a green JD unit but just could not justify the higher price for my small needs. Guess I will eventually get over the orange color. :unknown:

Rich Baxter
 

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The "Yellow" tillers at the local TSC have a made by Behlen sticker. I've never seen the Red "Sub-Compact" on the lot. The manual online is still King Kutter also.

-636
 
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