Roto-Tiller IV

Well, yesterday I bought yet another roto-tiller after the beast from China proved useless in tight places. This time, it’s a Troy-Bilt Super Bronco. It’s a rear-tined tiller like the Chinese monster but it’s four or five times lighter and a lot smaller for ease of use in tighter places. First impressions:

  • the box needs handles… at nearly 200 pounds it’s just hard to get fingers under it or to take hold of corners,
  • the assembly instructions don’t match perfectly. My machine was free-wheeling in the box,
  • handles are a little flimsy for the weight of the machine. One needs to take care in manoeuvring,
  • gasoline engine is pretty standard except no priming bulb can be seen,
  • one dangerous step in assembly involves control-cables which are colour coded but the manual is black and white and the manual spells out the words. I checked the part numbers just to be certain, and
  • it was shipped with oil in a bag. I will check all fluids to be sure.

Today’s adventure involved two steps: getting the box out of the SUV and onto a utility cart. I used a rope to slide the box out as far as I could and then pried it up to put a couple of 1-inch boards underneath to slide it further. When it was near the tipping point, I rolled the cart up close and blocked the wheels. The box easily tipped onto the cart. I then slid the box further out on the cart. At the end I lowered the heavy end of the box onto the cart and slid the box back a bit on the cart. I probably should have used a different method for lowering the box as it was rather hard on my back… I assembled the handles and controls after removing the cardboard from a wooden platform and reading the fine manuals. There were no surprises except for a lack of “zoom”. The PDF is out there

I’ll record the model and serial numbers for future reference as the one on the shroud is likely to be defaced sooner or later. Most likely, I will fire this thing up this afternoon. I doubt I will have the five hours of break-in on it this planting season as I mostly have 10000 square feet of garden to do. The rest of the yard was done in previous years by the Chinese tiller.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.

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5 Responses to Roto-Tiller IV

  1. Grece says:

    I done tilled my 1/4 acre with my 33″ tiller and tractor. No sweating required by me, drinking beer and getting some tanning done in the process.

    I do find it humorous that you bought an American tiller.

  2. Well, I checked out the fluids. Axles need grease because one pulls a connecting pin to let the turn freely. That’s the only way to roll the machine around by human power. The transmission had oil. Specs are Mobil 1 synthetic gear oil. That stuff can handle high temperatures. The included 20oz bag fit the crankcase nicely.

    Tiller started easily once I moved the choke to the right position. I guess I don’t read pictures well. It’s so quiet! I wasn’t sure it was running… Anyway, it steers very well on level ground. You need to lift gently on the handles to corner. Shreds roots well. It’s plantable after one pass but I will do two. Effort? One drop of sweat for half the garden. That’s mostly because there was a chilly wind and I wore a Nylon jacket… Tiller moves about 1 ft/s and cuts 16″ wide. It’s just a toy compared to the Chinese monster but it’s nice for getting close to things I care about. I was able to dodge fruit trees and an anthill with no problems.

  3. Grece wrote, “10000 square feet? You are such a liar, at most it is 1000 square feet if that”.

    Well, it’s roughly a 100X100 square and a couple of strips for flower and fruit. According to the survey the lot is 1.4 acre, just a bit less than 61000 ft^2. So, TLW thinks I’m due this little bit of Heaven.

  4. Grece says:

    the beast from China proved useless

    Here is the most truthful comment out of Roberts hypocritical mouth ever.

    10000 square feet? You are such a liar, at most it is 1000 square feet if that. If you tilled up 10000 square feet, you would be taking up at least 20% of your property and we both know that’s not going to happen.

    Why not go with an electric tiller? Its green and lowers your carbon-footprint Robert??There is no need to rip up your entire property, just build a few beds about 30′ in length and 18″ wide and just add plant nutrition once a week.

  5. DrLoser says:

    Well, yesterday I bought yet another roto-tiller after the beast from China proved useless in tight places.

    Have you considered purchasing a single consumer item that actually works, Robert?

    You’re two strikes down on roto-tillers, whether Sears-Roebuck or PRC.

    How are you doing on light bulbs? Still surviving on whale oil?

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