View Full Version : roto-tillers

05-19-2000, 08:15 AM
I want to buy a VERY heavy-duty roto-tiller, walk behind, probably 20-24 inches wide, maybe more. I was going to buy Troy built; are they the strongest? What will really stand up to the beatings of a rough crew?

05-19-2000, 07:12 PM
BCS tillers are commercial cuty tough. Me i bought a Honda...wish I had a BCS.

05-19-2000, 07:53 PM
Got a Troy Built Horse 7 hp.Great tiller...but its an older one about 10 years..But not sure of the newer ones..Troy Built..why did you do this...I don't think they are made like they used to be...Just my thoughts<p>----------<br>John <br>

05-19-2000, 09:00 PM
We have a BCS/7hp and it's ok. I don't use it that much, so it doesn't have to be that great. The handles seem a little weak though.

10-05-2002, 01:35 AM
I have a BCS 830 and it is a great tiller but expensive, $2900.00 and not the best for breaking new ground. Counter rotating tines are best for breaking new ground.

Replacing tines, especially the center ones, is really important for any tiller. A lot of tillers will work well as long as the tines are in good shape. I have to replace the center tines about every 50 hours on my tiller. The rest of the tines will last longer, but when in doubt, replace them. The expense is nothing compared to the agravation of a tiller not digging and cutting properly.

Barreto makes a huge heavy duty tiller, but it will set you back about $4500.00 and frankly, after having rented one, I don't think it is worth it. One nice feature though is that you can switch it from forward to counter-rotating tines with the flip of a lever.

I don't think any one tiller will do it all. You have to find a happy medium or buy a couple of tillers. I use my BCS 90% of the time. I use a 6.5 hp Craftsman rear tine for tight areas and for hard ground... then run over it with the BCS to break it up really fine.

A Barreto would be deadly on a hillside due to it being top heavy. A BCS has a low center of gravity and is stable in all kinds of terrain.

When all else fails I rent a machine and let it take the abuse of a really messy job.

10-05-2002, 07:23 AM
Troybuilt went out of biz. They have been taken over and everything is the same now as far as suppliers and parts. But, the older stuff is heavier duty than the new stuff. If your looking at getting a troybuilt get an older Horse. I have one we got new in the early 80's and it still handles whatever I need, whenever I need it.

Tony Harrell
10-06-2002, 09:25 AM
I have a Troy Built super bronco (6.5 Intec engine). It's great for tilling ground that's previously been broken but, it's terrible at breaking new ground. Counter rotating tines are what's needed for breaking new ground. Those MTD or Husky models are very affordable and do a great job at breaking new ground. Like was said, if you can find an older Horse model by Troy Built, it's a great tiller. To explain the reason why the other Troy Built models are not good at new ground; the tines run in the same direction as the wheels and run twice the speed. When the tines take a bite, the machine can leap into the air (thank goodness for OPC). New ground can be broken but, you have to make many incremental passes to do so.

10-06-2002, 09:56 AM
I just bought an MTD rear tine tiller at Home Depot for $650. I've used it 4 times and it does a great job. I will only use it for small jobs and only about 4 or 5 times a year. I can't imagine spending over a grand for a tiller.

10-06-2002, 06:17 PM
It depends on rather you want a rear tine or mid tine application. I prefer mid tine as opposed to rear tine because you have more accessibility up close and personal w/structures, I.e, houses, fences where corners are concerned and they take up much less room on the ole trailer. I like the Maxim 5 h/p, it is virtually "bullet proof". If there is a lot of tilliage that needs to be done then here comes the 3 point hitch behind my tractor to the rescue.

10-06-2002, 06:43 PM
As stated earlier, I would recommend an older Troy-built Horse. They are one of the best you can find. Good luck.

10-07-2002, 12:24 AM
If I were to buy one, it would probably be a BCS. I have rented them several times and I feel they are heavy duty. Since they are so expensive, I usually just rent.

Although I have no experience with any of their different attatchments, BCS makes a power sweeper, mower, and snow thrower. The handle bars flip around accordingly.

It's also nice to have front-tine for tight areas such as this:

10-07-2002, 03:25 PM
Originally posted by 65hoss
Troybuilt went out of biz. They have been taken over and everything is the same now as far as suppliers and parts. But, the older stuff is heavier duty than the new stuff. If your looking at getting a troybuilt get an older Horse. I have one we got new in the early 80's and it still handles whatever I need, whenever I need it.

I got a steal on a Horse from the early 80's for $550. Before I bought this one, I saw one at a garage sale for $250 (with orginal engine). I went home to get my checkbook. On the way back to the garage sale I saw my neighbor going down the street with the tiller in his truck....OUCH!! Used ones are out there, just have to search. The orginal 8hp has been replaced with a 6hp (on the one that I bought). It's a little tough breaking new ground, but rototilling my garden it works well. If I buy again, I would go with a Troybilt Horse. But like mentioned above, I would shop for an older one.


10-07-2002, 08:33 PM
Once it runs, I will be the owner of a Rototiller. A 1947 Model B7rs.
It is huge, heavy and a two-stroke to boot!

As for todays tillers, Go with a BCS. Back it up with a Mantis.

10-07-2002, 08:55 PM
I had a troy and sold it and bought a used roto-hoe best tiller that I have used!

10-07-2002, 09:16 PM
if you're gonna cut turf and roots, get one that has counter-rotating tines......like an older troy-bilt or an EarthQuake 'Grizzly' only $850 delivered....

click here (http://www.ardisam.com/pages/rototillers/5050.html)

otherwise rear tine tillers will porpoise and are very hard to control..


Tony Harrell
10-08-2002, 06:19 AM
"Gardenway" was the corporate name for Troybuilt. They manufactured another line of tillers with their corp. name on them. They were black and had counter rotating blades. That Earthquake looks real similar to them. Don't know it that line went to MTD when they bought Troybuilt, anybody else know?

10-08-2002, 09:33 AM
they are very similar, these are made by Ardisam (http://www.ardisam.com/) they make a number of different products out of Wisconsin

10-08-2002, 02:39 PM
I use a 1967 Gravely model L with a Rotary Plow for all of the tilling work that I do. It works great! "The Rotary Plow prepares a seedbed ready for planting in just one pass. There is no raking, discing or other operations needed. The soil is turned as it is plowed,
pulverized from top to bottom of the furrow. It mulches and works ground cover into the soil evenly for greater humus content. In hard soil the plow goes to 5 inches
deep, in soft soil it goes 7 inches deep and cuts a furrow 8 inches wide. It leaves no hardpan to drain away moisture and nutrients. Makes a perfect seedbed without
destroying the soil structure necessary for a productive garden." (1973 Gravely sales folder). The rotary plow is a Gravely attachment that goes on the front of the walk behind. As with all of the older Gravely attachments it has a slip clutch built into the attachment to prevent damage to the transmission or engine.


10-12-2002, 09:10 PM
There is a rotary plow available for BCS tillers. It goes on as a rear attachment. It is almost like an auger in design, with really powerful blades. It will till a foot wide and a foot deep... In one pass from what I understand. It is available From Earth Tools. The make is Berta, in Italy.

The website is called BCS Small Farm Equipment

10-13-2002, 08:00 AM
if you want the toughest and strongest on the market, check out Barretto (http://www.barretomfg.com/) they are hydraulic, serious tillers, but you pay for it!!!

10-13-2002, 03:37 PM
I have only used a Baretto once, so It would be good to hear from others who have more experience with them. But my feeling is that the Baretto is too slow for the money. Built like a tank, yes, but I think a 16 horse machine should have more than a 20 inch till path, and accomplish more per hour than the average 8 horse tiller, but it doesn't. And they cost around $4500.00

It is built like a Rhinocerous, but works at a Snail's pace.

I would really like to hear from others who have used Barettos. They Look like they should be great machines... But I just didn't get $4500.00 worth of effective tilling from the one I used. But it was a rental and maybe it needed new tines.

Probably a good machine for certain dry, hard, rocky jobs... but I would not want to use a Baretto on a daily basis.

Baretto pros: Rugged, heavy-duty, tine direction can be reversed with the flip of a lever (very nice feature)

Baretto cons: top heavy (can't be used on hills), too slow for the available horsepower, Slow transport speed. The 16 horsepower don't seem to come out at the tines.

ONCE AGAIN... I have only used a Baretto once... so I would like to hear other opinions.