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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm new to this group. just bought a 186D (4wd w/ loader) and looking for advice on sizing for a 3pt tiller and disc harrow. Does anyone have experience with 4' tiller vs 5', and with 5' disc vs 6'? I'm breaking new ground for a food plot. Soil is all mowed sod, no roots or big rocks, mostly level. Northeast OH, so mixture of clay. Not hard packed.
Thanks for any advice!
 

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Welcome to the forum Jon. I have no advise for you, I'm afraid, but we do have a swell group of folks here that will surely help you out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would recommend 4' tiller and really think a 4' tandem disc. You might get by with a 5 footer but I think it would be to much.
Thanks winston. I don't have much experience with a PTO tiller. Having trouble finding a 4' to rent, but can find a 5'. Wondering if it's a matter of just driving slower to allow the tiller to work longer? Are there other considerations here? Appreciate your experience.
 

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Thanks winston. I don't have much experience with a PTO tiller. Having trouble finding a 4' to rent, but can find a 5'. Wondering if it's a matter of just driving slower to allow the tiller to work longer? Are there other considerations here? Appreciate your experience.
Not sure your part of the USA, soil is different from areas just 50 miles away.

PTO tiller requires work from the engine powertrain. A pull along notched disc harrow has no PTO involvement and solely depends on the power of the tractor to move forward as the harrow cuts the soil.

There are a few things to try for finding a notched disc harrow.
1. Tractor Supply
tractorsupply.com

2. ASC
www.agrisupply.com

3. Rural King
www.ruralking.com

4. Farm & Fleet
farmandfleet.com

5. Fleet and Farm (not the same as before)
www.fleetfarm.com

6. Family Farm & Home
www.familyfarmandhome.com

7. Northern Tool
northerntool.com

And then your local Co-op and feed stores.

Plus, Home Depot to help keep prices down.

I have a King Kutter. It's in my signature. It's for a tractor the size of a JD850 or a Ford 8N. KK makes a compact version and a flip-over just for your machine size.
King Kutter. Disk Harrows

A YM186 is a SCUT (sub-compact utility tractor). It has the Hp of the larger riding mowers, but built more durable.

Don't get me wrong, SCUT machines can turns the soil.


Now, a YM1610 is a tad small than your YM186. See how it does with a PTO tiller here ...
 
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Renting a 5 footer would be ok in my book. It would sure let you know if your tractor could handle it. I would think you could take lighter passes and lessen the load. Probably would not want to do it with a rental tiller but I have read of people removing tines to lessen the load.
 

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Thanks winston. I don't have much experience with a PTO tiller. Having trouble finding a 4' to rent, but can find a 5'. Wondering if it's a matter of just driving slower to allow the tiller to work longer? Are there other considerations here? Appreciate your experience.
Not exactly. Let me give a simple example I got into. I have a 31 HP NAA that turns a 5' tiller just fine. The problem is the newer equipment, rotary tiller, was not even a loose thought in 1953. The 4 speed tranny has too fast a ground speed to produce a good garden till. I found the NAA would go into a governor shuffle in low gear. Severe surging with the governor resulting in washboarding the till. 8"in some areas. 2"in others. Completely unacceptable. I made some heavy compromises for several years to get by. I would set up the tiller and tractor for 540 PTO, then use the position control to make 2"deep tills. It took 4-5 passes to do a reasonable job. It was always a hit and miss for everything to come together. Doing 5-6 garden plots required a lot of time and effort, and still wound up with non uniform tills. Too fine, too coarse, too cloddy, too wet, too dry. A couple of years ago I acquired a 1970 model 4000, 55 HP and 8 speed H/L tranny. Started over from scratch. Set 540 PTO with independent PTO on 4000. Set gearing at 1st gear low range. Made 1 full pass through overgrown garden from last year. Till depth was 8-10 inches of loose dirt, measured with stick ruler. All brown color. No visible weeds. Till was pretty much perfect. Finely divided soil with little dusting. No clods at all.

1 pass of 1 acre garden plot took 25 minutes. No adjustments, no do overs. Great looking and ready for planting. Pocket $75-$100. Burn 1-1/2 gal fuel. Compare with NAA. 4-5 passes with 2" cuts took 3-1/2 hours to get ready for direct planting. Pocket $50 as something not always suiting. Burn 4-5 gal of gas. If all the equipment is matched to provide reasonable throughput, the results can be truely amazing for a system. I could not believe that tilling 10 ea 1 acre gardens in a day was even possible, much less pocketing $1000 for the effort. I have learned over the years that matching the correct equipment with the job can make or break the effort.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not exactly. Let me give a simple example I got into. I have a 31 HP NAA that turns a 5' tiller just fine. The problem is the newer equipment, rotary tiller, was not even a loose thought in 1953. The 4 speed tranny has too fast a ground speed to produce a good garden till. I found the NAA would go into a governor shuffle in low gear. Severe surging with the governor resulting in washboarding the till. 8"in some areas. 2"in others. Completely unacceptable. I made some heavy compromises for several years to get by. I would set up the tiller and tractor for 540 PTO, then use the position control to make 2"deep tills. It took 4-5 passes to do a reasonable job. It was always a hit and miss for everything to come together. Doing 5-6 garden plots required a lot of time and effort, and still wound up with non uniform tills. Too fine, too coarse, too cloddy, too wet, too dry. A couple of years ago I acquired a 1970 model 4000, 55 HP and 8 speed H/L tranny. Started over from scratch. Set 540 PTO with independent PTO on 4000. Set gearing at 1st gear low range. Made 1 full pass through overgrown garden from last year. Till depth was 8-10 inches of loose dirt, measured with stick ruler. All brown color. No visible weeds. Till was pretty much perfect. Finely divided soil with little dusting. No clods at all.

1 pass of 1 acre garden plot took 25 minutes. No adjustments, no do overs. Great looking and ready for planting. Pocket $75-$100. Burn 1-1/2 gal fuel. Compare with NAA. 4-5 passes with 2" cuts took 3-1/2 hours to get ready for direct planting. Pocket $50 as something not always suiting. Burn 4-5 gal of gas. If all the equipment is matched to provide reasonable throughput, the results can be truely amazing for a system. I could not believe that tilling 10 ea 1 acre gardens in a day was even possible, much less pocketing $1000 for the effort. I have learned over the years that matching the correct equipment with the job can make or break the effort.
Thanks for that insight, Ed. Very helpful. It creates another question, if you could humor me. My YM186D has 9 forward gears. I'm wondering about renting a 5' tiller to try it out, just to see if it's too much for my tractor (rental places don't have a 4' tiller). At my PTO rpm's, in low gear, the tractor moves less than 1 mph, so I'm thinking the tiller could have lots of time to work. On the other hand, as you said, a 4 ft tiller might drastically increase my speed. Since I'm just doing a personal food plot, and not looking at a financial return, I might be okay with taking a little longer to till, since that means I can rent a 5' tiller instead of buying a 4' tiller. Here's the question: do I run the risk of damaging my tractor or the tiller by trying this? Or would the tiller simply not spin at the speed I want?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Renting a 5 footer would be ok in my book. It would sure let you know if your tractor could handle it. I would think you could take lighter passes and lessen the load. Probably would not want to do it with a rental tiller but I have read of people removing tines to lessen the load.
Thanks Winston. You're reading my mind. If the 5' rental tiller works, then I don't have to buy a 4' tiller and can just rent for $100 once or twice a year. But if the 5' rental tiller does NOT work, then I know I need to buy a 4' tiller. Question: Which do you find better for breaking new ground - a tiller or a disc?
 

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I use a turning plow for new ground. A tiller after that. The tiller will do it on it's own. Just much easier on my tiller. The ground you are breaking makes a lot of difference in just how it goes. A disc will break new ground but you would probably need weights and numerous passes.
71353
71354
 

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Thanks for that insight, Ed. Very helpful. It creates another question, if you could humor me. My YM186D has 9 forward gears. I'm wondering about renting a 5' tiller to try it out, just to see if it's too much for my tractor (rental places don't have a 4' tiller). At my PTO rpm's, in low gear, the tractor moves less than 1 mph, so I'm thinking the tiller could have lots of time to work. On the other hand, as you said, a 4 ft tiller might drastically increase my speed. Since I'm just doing a personal food plot, and not looking at a financial return, I might be okay with taking a little longer to till, since that means I can rent a 5' tiller instead of buying a 4' tiller. Here's the question: do I run the risk of damaging my tractor or the tiller by trying this? Or would the tiller simply not spin at the speed I want?
I kind of jumped the gun. When looking for a tiller, there were no 4 footers here available to try. I bought a 5 foot King Kutter for $1800 on the advice of 2 local dealers that 25 Hp would run a 5 footer with no peoblems. I was sick for awhile as I made the investmment to make some extra cash while it was costing. me money over the traditional plow and disc. primarily in time and fuel. with the additional tranny speeds you should be fine with a 5 footer, but you can rent one to make sure. probably wasting time with a 4 footer.

FYI. There 2 completely diffrrent types of rotary tillers you neew to be aware of. Models like the King Kutter are all gear drive in an oil bath and supposedly take lower Hp to operate. You can reverse the gearbox and change it to a reverse tine tilling with extra Hp requirement. The second class are chain drive units which take a little more Hp but easy repairs.About $300 difference in initial cost. Read up on the different styles, pros and cons prior to shopping. I have not seen a chain drive that is reversible.Go informed, unlike what I did expecting a sales guy to know what he was peddling.

I finally got back on the right track after much frustration. Make double sure whichever tiller you are looking aft has a slip clutch bolted on the PTO shagft at the tiller gearbox.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I use a turning plow for new ground. A tiller after that. The tiller will do it on it's own. Just much easier on my tiller. The ground you are breaking makes a lot of difference in just how it goes. A disc will break new ground but you would probably need weights and numerous passes. View attachment 71353 View attachment 71354
Thanks Winston. What's your equipment combo in those pics? Can't make out your model number.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I kind of jumped the gun. When looking for a tiller, there were no 4 footers here available to try. I bought a 5 foot King Kutter for $1800 on the advice of 2 local dealers that 25 Hp would run a 5 footer with no peoblems. I was sick for awhile as I made the investmment to make some extra cash while it was costing. me money over the traditional plow and disc. primarily in time and fuel. with the additional tranny speeds you should be fine with a 5 footer, but you can rent one to make sure. probably wasting time with a 4 footer.

FYI. There 2 completely diffrrent types of rotary tillers you neew to be aware of. Models like the King Kutter are all gear drive in an oil bath and supposedly take lower Hp to operate. You can reverse the gearbox and change it to a reverse tine tilling with extra Hp requirement. The second class are chain drive units which take a little more Hp but easy repairs.About $300 difference in initial cost. Read up on the different styles, pros and cons prior to shopping. I have not seen a chain drive that is reversible.Go informed, unlike what I did expecting a sales guy to know what he was peddling.

I finally got back on the right track after much frustration. Make double sure whichever tiller you are looking aft has a slip clutch bolted on the PTO shagft at the tiller gearbox.
Great advice Ed. I appreciate the heads up. I've been researching and still can't decide on the chain vs gear choice. Out of curiosity, what equipment combo did you end up with when you say you "got back on track"?
 

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My old tractor was a 2002D Yanmar, 20 pto hp. That is an old two disc Dearborn turning plow. Really to large for the tractor. The tiller is a Yanmar RS300n, 51". A pretty good match for the tractor.

For what it is worth you can over till. Depending on moisture content you can just make powder out of the ground. Not recommended to do that.
 

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Great advice Ed. I appreciate the heads up. I've been researching and still can't decide on the chain vs gear choice. Out of curiosity, what equipment combo did you end up with when you say you "got back on track"?
I found a 1970 Ford 4000 ,55 Hp diesel with very low actual hours, 2117, that was in excellent mechanical shape but poor sheet metal. Farmer was asking $4950, but after 3 hours of negotiating I loaded it on the trailer at $3,300 for the 10 hour trip home. I was using a standard mechanical rating sheet for good and bad items andsetting a value for any deficiency. I started with an avg price of a 50 yr old 4000 with no FEL at $5500. After going over the entire tractor in detail I knew where every leak and loose nut was located. The farmer was veey pleasant and we chatted tge whooe time. When done, he asked if I would have walked away if I did not get my price. I gave him a definate YES. I piece of equipment has a certain value between buyer and seller. I knew I would have to spend money on tires, oil and filters that had to be factored in to ownership costs.
The fellow amused me. After all the talk he comes out and tells me his main 100 Hp tractor broke down and he needed $3250 very quickly for repairs and a rental for hay season. We had a big laugh and parted friends that had hammered out a win-win deal for both from complete different perspectives.

Getting back on track was having a tractor and implements with a reasonable size match to perform well at a favorable cost. The 4000 will run a 7 ft tiller with ease, but there is no reason for going to a larger size. As long as the tilled are covers the tire tracks you are in good shape. Instead of a marginal system with the NAA that could only do 3 gardens per day with the tiller at a heafty fuel and time expense that limited income to $150/ day. I would up with equipment that complements eac other at a fraction of retail costs that gives me the capability of tilling up to 15 gardens a day if I can find the work, with essestially zero rework. that can bring in potentiallly $1500 per day while maintaining optimal fuel usage. All the new, okd matched equipment is completely paid for in 4 full days of tilling, then goes to 100% profit column. The 2 bottom plow, 6 ft disc, springtooth and cutting disc have been put in covered storage. The tiller does everything I need to do with a zero time penalty.
 
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My old tractor was a 2002D Yanmar, 20 pto hp. That is an old two disc Dearborn turning plow. Really to large for the tractor. The tiller is a Yanmar RS300n, 51". A pretty good match for the tractor.

For what it is worth you can over till. Depending on moisture content you can just make powder out of the ground. Not recommended to do that.
My FIL tends to overtill. Do not really understand. Making fine dust turns the soil to hard oncrete the first rain.I line up a set of plots to til then factor in the soil type, moisture content and type of till the gardener wants. I shoot for finely divided soil with minimal dusting and fee clods. I set the tiller at 540 and adjust griund speed to get results ready for planting.. A little hit or miss but works well for me. Most are happy they can plant immediately and the bonuses indicate they are pleased.
 
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