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Simpleton7016

Rototiller/earthmover

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Simpleton7016
Guys, guys, guys....do I ever have a tractor story to tell from this weekend. I am sure I am not the first member to have tried this and there are probably dozens of posts about this very subject in the archives....but I have not seen it mentioned in my brief tenure as a member, so I am going to share it anyway. It's funny, I continue to get very excited about tasks that these 30 year old machines can do and the unique uses for the various attachments. In the winter, I was this excited about my new snowthrower which was, in fact, able to throw snow nearly over my ranch home. I thought Lloyd may have been exaggerating a bit to 'make the sale', but to him I do owe a big apology....it did throw the snow over the roof! Then, during the dead months of March and April, I got the electrolysis tank up and running with the help of members. Another very exciting moment because no more sanding!! Then in the spring, I got to try out the revitalizer and Vacuum collector. Again, they both worked better that I could have possibly imagined. (there were some kinks along the way, but both are 100% operational now) Well, this weekend I tried out my rototiller on a new garden. The rototiller was not new to me as I have used it for several years....but this was a new garden to me because we moved. I chronicled my disappontment in this attachment in previous posts, but I think I was terribly mistaken. Though I still think it works better going backward than forwards, I found a secret. More on that later. First, a little bit about the garden before I tore it up. Over the years, I think the previous owners always added new soil to the center of the garden...so it developed a VERY significant 'crown'. I LOVE gardening as does my wife, but I was not looking forward to going out and flattening that crown out. I tried to explain to her how much work it was and that I would spend the better part of the day just moving dirt. My plan of attack was to loosen up the soil with the tiller then move the loose stuff, and repeat until I got it nice and level. Last week, I moved a much of dirt from the garden to some low areas in the lawn and dug by hand (with out loosening the soil)...it was vary labor intensive and arduous. Here is the before picture:

Now, this last winter I made several spontaneous purchases. One of them was a set of AG tires and rims. Dave offered them to me, I declined, then I changed my mind and got them. I was up and working around the house by 7:00 on Saturday morning and had to find some things to do before firing up the 916. We vetted this topic a few weeks ago and I think the consensus was that 9:00 is about the earliest that courteous neighbors ought to fire up their machines. Soooo, in part to make good use of my time and in part because i did not want to see a new toy go to waste, I threw the AG's on the 916 and attached the rototiller. At 9:00, I fired her up and drove it into the garden to loosen the dirt. I did not immediately realize how big of a difference the AG tires made over the turf tires until I threw the Hydro in reverse. In the past and with turf tires, the tractor would push the rototiller backwards and get stuck after about a foot. But lo and behold, I witnessed the dawn of a new era with the AG's on. With the newfound traction, I was puching the chewed up dirt and churning tiller several feet! Soon, I figured out that when the tractor did get stuck, I could just raise the lift-lever ever so slightly and those tires would pull me free. And not long after, I figured out that I could drop the churning tines in the earth at one end, put the throttle in full reverse, and control my speed with nothing more than the manual lift lever. In addition to tilling, I was moving HUGE amounts of soil and effectively killing two birds with one stone. IT WAS SO SWEET!!! I eseentially turned a half-days work into about one-hour of work. I don't know how I managed all these years with turf tires. So here is a picture of the completed garden. I am sorry, I wish I could give you some action shots, but I would have had to go inside and ask my wife. For one, she thinks my tractor hobby is silly and second, I was filthy and she would have read me the riot act for tracking dirt in her clean house. But without exaggerating, I would say that using the rototiller as a pseudo-plow, I was able to move about a wheelbarrow full of earth with each pass. The dirt was being pushed over the top of the deck of the rototiller and the pulley was actually throwing the dirt at me in my seat. My hair was full be the end. And the tiller and tractor did not seem to suffer at all. I had to clean each real well when I was done, but they seem no worse for the wear. And much like snowblowing, it sure is cool hearing that governor kick in! Also, I had the AG tires installed for going forward! Next year, I will reverse them and it may be the case that I will not have to feather the lift lever at all! Maybe she will just push it all in one pass without ever lifting the tines out of the dirt. Of course, once I had the garden level, I finished it off with a forward pass to give it that nice finished look. Sorry, I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was just having so much fun! I am still amazed at how easy my job became because of this. Just thought I would share my findings.

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cwm1276
I have done the same thing to move dirt with my tiller, with the turf tires and wanting to move dirt, I would just leave the chains on from the snowblower. My dad and I even dug a trench across a gravel driveway for a new tube, it was at least 18"-24" deep and 36" across pushing the gravel to one side of the driveway. Also the manual lift is better for this as it gives you more precise lift control to just keep the tires from spinning the hydro lift I can not control as precisely.

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