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Not Happy With My Rototiller


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#1 machinist OFFLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2013 - 01:31 PM

I had no experience using a mounted tiller before the one I just rebuilt. It works like it is supposed to work, I guess. But it seems to me like a very s-l-o-w process.

After spending a total of about 2 hours in the gardens with the tiller, I have one sort of chopped up about 3" deep, and half of another patch.each being about 30 feet wide X 80 feet long. It normally takes me about an hour and a half to plow ALL THREE patches that size, and going about 5" deep. Another 1 1/2 hours with the disk will have it in seedbed condition. From what I've seen so far with the tiller, I would spend a couple days getting to that point with it, and pulling the guts out of the tractor all the way.

The problem is not the rototiller, it is simply the wrong choice of implement for this HARD red-clay-and-rock mixture that we call dirt around here. The ground is plenty moist, too. I have a 4th small patch that is very much improved soil, with some silty loam added to it where the tiller does a great job. But most anything would work in that soil.

I'm going back to my moldboard plow and disc so I can get the work over with in a timely manner. I guess the rototiller will be consigned to the shed until I find somebody that wants it worse than I do. I don't know what to do with it. I had very high hopes for this and am very disappointed with the performance after the work and expense of rebuilding it. I haven't decided about the 3 point hitch yet, but I'm not in love with that either, and the rototiller is all I have to use with the 3 pt. with the sleeve hitch adapter.

Really, the 448 tractor rebuild I did this winter was primarily for using the rototiller, since I had no luck using the 3 point hitch for anything else. Guess I have an expensive monument to my ignorance here. I have a mower deck for the 448, but I'd be insane to try to mow these steep hills with it. I have to be very careful going from one garden to another, because of the danger of turning over.

Really bummed out.


Edited by machinist, March 30, 2013 - 01:33 PM.

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#2 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2013 - 02:07 PM

The Case tillers seem to turn much slower than my Massey 4250 tiller.  I think a faster turning set of times would improve your situation.  I couldn't get by without my tiller.  That tiller should bring a good price for your efforts if you decide to sell it.  If you prefer sleeve hitch, you could sell the 3 point & easily fashion a sleeve hitch assembly.


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#3 dropped82 ONLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2013 - 03:56 PM

That answers my question about turning to Case all around. I have been happy with the 31 JD tiller. I would assume that tiller is hydraulic driven. Would it be possible to swap the hydro motor for say a faster spinning one? Weren't the bigger snowcasters hydro driven? Those seem to have a good reputation. I wonder if the hydro motor would fit? Or maybe its the same. Would be worth looking into.

Eric

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#4 John@Reliable OFFLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2013 - 04:20 PM

Could change the gears but, considering the design hasn't changed in 50 years .......................... :smilewink:

Maybe the real problem is the soil? Most tillers were never for virgin soil, but a tool to turn over workable soil.

Timing is everything (to wet/dry). Biggest problem with Case tillers is speed, and the lack of a flow control valve on tractor to control

ground speed, the "sweet spot".


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#5 dropped82 ONLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2013 - 04:52 PM

Could change the gears but, considering the design hasn't changed in 50 years .......................... :smilewink:



Good point. Also if you change gears you lose turning torque and greater load on the power plant which in turn could have the opposite effect and slow it down more. Is there a relief valve in the PTO to adjust the pressure. I read that the system will produce 2000psi but the lift only sees 575psi. What does the PTO see? Maybe a way to swap the relief valve and turn it up a bit? I'm not real educated on Case's yet but always look for ways to turn up the power a bit. Or even an adjustable relief (like a flow control) to add on for more control on speed.

Eric

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#6 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2013 - 05:34 PM

Look at what you are trying to do. Are you just breaking up the soil? Is it wet? Then the plow is going to be faster. If you do like I do and add a couple of inches of manure over the top when it is dry and want it uniformly blended then a tiller is better. In my area, I won't have dry enough soil until mid May. I really like a tiller for turning in my green manure crop on fallow ground. Take your time before you sell anything. Good Luck, Rick


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#7 machinist OFFLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2013 - 05:35 PM

I'm not knocking the tiller here. It is slow, but like John said, it isn't intended to break new ground. Mine has been cultivated for several years, but it is HARD red clay, despite the tons of horse manure, composted wood chips, cover crops, straw mulch, crop residues, chicken house cleanings, and what-all that I have plowed under out there. I think it might work like I would normally use a disk after plowing and mellowing with a rain or two. And, a load of sand and another load of gypsum would help.

I'm pretty sure I read that the tiller would see 2,500 PSI, and that the Hydraulic motor would develop up to 12 HP. It is strong, but this clay is bad news.

We used to live near Kokomo (Sharpsville), IN. That black muck in Howard County would work just dandy with this tiller when the moisture is right, like John said. Wait until a hot, dry August and you'll have a problem.

I'm just whining about my bad judgement.

The same tractor will take a 10" Brinly plow through there in high gear fast enough to throw dirt 2 feet past where it should. Yes, it is wet, but not too wet to plow. This is terraced high ground and has good drainage and fair percolation, but it is still red clay.

I just expected way too much from the rototiller, and now I have a tractor/tiller combination that I spent $2,260 on (rebuild + original cost) and I don't have a single useful implement for it. Have a mower deck, but our lot is so steep I can't mow with a high wheel tractor. Have to use a low profile rider, and a weedeater for the worst of it. Also have a front blade, but that is useless on a gravel driveway--just digs big holes in it unless you drag it backwards. I have a rear blade that is even worse about digging big holes. I think I can fix that, however, by modifying the blade to tilt forward quite a bit.

I need to think hard about this before my wife finds out. ;)

Edited by machinist, March 30, 2013 - 05:59 PM.

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#8 machinist OFFLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2013 - 05:54 PM

Some snocasters were hydraulic, but I think most of them were belt drive from the front pto pulley? The hydraulic drive stuff is TOUGH. No reason to think otherwise. But it was quite expensive new, too. I read somewhere that Case had some hydraulic powered decks, too. All good stuff.

The soil is my problem. Nothing wrong with the tiller except it is the wrong tool for this dirt. It might work just fine with 50 HP on it, though. :)

Edited by machinist, March 30, 2013 - 06:03 PM.


#9 dropped82 ONLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2013 - 06:11 PM

You could always send that combo up here to brownsburg. I would take good care of it lol. Seriously though, that does stink. I know you also mentioned the 3pt wasn't the greatest for implements do to lift limits. What about selling off the tiller and getting a snow caster or something. Turn it into something you could get good seat time out of. Keep the 3pt and get a weight box for it. I would imagine that tiller will bring a good dollar or two. Enough to re-purpose that tractor.

I think 50hp would be great. At least the hot rod side of me thinks that.

Eric

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Edited by dropped82, March 30, 2013 - 06:19 PM.

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#10 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2013 - 06:37 PM

Does your snow plow have shoes?  They make a huge difference on gravel driveways.


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#11 bja105 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2013 - 07:21 PM

I had a similar experience with the tiller on my Bolens.  One garden is in red clay, and that tiller just beat me up while not accomplishing much.  It was better in the other garden's black silt, but not enough to keep it.  I do fine with a plow and spring tooth harrow.

 

You are right about the sand, though.  I put a ton of course sand on my peanut patch last year, and it made it much looser.  I can get a triaxle load for about $350, that will go a long way to permanently altering my soil.


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#12 HowardsMF155 ONLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2013 - 07:31 PM

I understand that you were hoping to simply make one pass with the tiller on your garden from last year?  What about plowing first, then tilling?  That might get you to where the single pass with the tiller will then chop up and mix everything you just plowed?  Might also be faster than discing.


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#13 machinist OFFLINE  

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Posted March 30, 2013 - 07:53 PM

dropped82,
You get snow up there, but we get ICE, from about Columbus on south. We only had enough snow to get my blade out this year ONCE, and that melted off the next day. I'll find something to do with the tractor. Maybe the tiller actually would be good to stir in some manure, but I always plowed it down, trying to make dirt out of this stuff down deeper.

boyscout,
The blade was as-built by Case with 2" diameter round skids. They sunk in the gravel and let it dig. This year, I made some discs 4" diameter X 1/4" thick, and used my 50 ton jack press to turn them into bowls about 1/2" deep inside. I welded those on the bottom of the old skids that were worn out, hoping they would help. Nope. It still digs, but now it makes 2 grooves about 4" wide where the skids are. It would take some pretty big skis, it seems to me, to make this work. I'll get back to that problem. I'm thinking that I need to tilt the blade forward with an adjustable pivot. The blade has a pivot held with springs in case it hits something. All I need to do is remove the springs and fab an adjustable bracket.

Howard,
Yes, that is what I had hoped to do. I think I'll try plowing as usual, disking goes fast, then let it lay for a while and add some manure. When planting time is near, go through it with the tiller to get rid of whatever weeds sprouted and work in the manure. That would depend on getting the manure when I want it, which is iffy.

The 3 point hitch has terrible sway problems, even with sway chains. I saw a solution on another forum, but it requires that i take it all apart make longer pivot pins on the tractor end of the lift arms, then you can add a real (adjustable length) sway bar, diagonally, from the RIGHT side pivot pin back to the LEFT side lift arm. What the heck. I've had this thing apart several times now.

Edited by machinist, March 30, 2013 - 08:05 PM.

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