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ever use a mantis?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Hrock, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. Hrock

    Hrock LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    I have a small bed to put in near a house 4 x 30, my tools would bareley penetrate the soil, its like cement, root bound, thick thatch, will a Mantis rip through this crap.
  2. leadarrows

    leadarrows LawnSite Senior Member
    from N/A
    Messages: 925

    I love my Mantis it's over twenty years old and works very well but I don't know just by your description of the soil conditions how well it might work. Sounds like it might be a little much for such a small machine. Can you rent one too try before you decide too buy?
  3. MMINC

    MMINC LawnSite Member
    from OHIO
    Messages: 7

    A mantis is a great machine for turning mulch and smaller lighter duty work like that, but it is not heavy enough and powerful enough to penetrate hard soil and roots. rent a full size tiller.
  4. Itsgottobegreen

    Itsgottobegreen LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,177

    My mantis does better than the troy built tiller I have (its a restored machine I take to tractor shows, but used it when I can't get my tractor mounted tiller in the space) The mantis will dig hard soil. Just soak it before you start to soften it up. The little mantis tillers have guts. The rest of the mini tillers are a joke.
  5. Ice_Gargoylle

    Ice_Gargoylle LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 60

    id have to agree, it may take a bit longer, but that mantis ROX. i thoguht they were a joke til i used one, man it cleans up.
  6. General Grounds

    General Grounds LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    :blob3: i own a stihl tiller, about the same size as the mantis and i bought it for use when we seed in the fall to scatch up the smaller areas and the thing is great, my guys fight over whose gonna use the tiller. pretty amazing tool. tony
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    I agree with MMINC. The mantis is nice for smaller areas with softer soil. But doesn't really work for what you're describing.

    We bought a Mantis several years ago and these days we maybe bring it out once a year. Otherwise, we rent real rototillers all the time.

    One thing to keep in mind - the mantis is designed to be used by pulling it backwards - toward you. Most people don't realize that and try to go forward, like you would with a regular rototiller. It won't do much doing it that way. It's designed to be pulled backwards - that's what makes it dig in more. Also, the tines can be turned around 180 degrees. On one way, it tills shallow. On another way, it tills much deeper.
  8. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    Great in heavy soils because it applies a lot of energy to a very small area. It sounds like you have roots as your problem. I don't think it will do well there.
  9. Mats

    Mats LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,934

    No, a Mantis won't do it. My guess is, you need a heavy pick to grub out the roots and thatch. Watering it deeply and letting it dry for a day or two will help. Once you go over it with a pick, you'll have your 'cement like soil' broken into clods. Then you can take a Mantis or other small tiller and pulverize those into a nice loose soil.

    I use a Honda mini-tiller and prefer its digging tines over the normal roto-tilling tines to deal with the heavy clay found in my area.
  10. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    Agreed on the mantis not doing it in this case.
    I've had one for years,although a great little piece of equipment they do have their limitations.

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