Buying a tiller. Should I go reverse tine?

Hydro556

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Mar 12, 2018
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Mo
I'm buying a 5 foot tiller for my L2501.

Going to be my first real garden.

The ground was formerly pasture for 2 horses we recently sold. It's never been tilled.

Should I get reverse tine or does it matter much.

There should be no issue as far as tree roots and no major rock concerns.
 

Sporto

New member

Equipment
B2601, FDR1660, RTA1258, BB1560, LR1672
Mar 20, 2021
20
19
3
Manitoba Canada
I bought a forward tine, but then we own a property that was also former pasture but could almost double as a gravel pit in places (lots of hidden rocks of various sizes). You can check out the Messick YouTube channel as he has some valid points for tiller selection.
 
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jyoutz

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MX6000 HST open station, FEL, 6’ cutter, forks, 8’ rear blade, 7’ cultivator
Jan 14, 2019
1,302
715
113
Edgewood, New Mexico
I'm buying a 5 foot tiller for my L2501.

Going to be my first real garden.

The ground was formerly pasture for 2 horses we recently sold. It's never been tilled.

Should I get reverse tine or does it matter much.

There should be no issue as far as tree roots and no major rock concerns.
Reverse tine is great for breaking new ground but not as good as forward tine for subsequent tilling of tilled ground and for making a fine seedbed. I would buy a forward tine tiller and break the new ground first with a plow, rippers or disc.
 
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B737

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Lifetime Member

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LX3310
Jun 9, 2019
1,921
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New Jersey
I have forward rotation, when I inevitably hit rocks, objects and stumps, the tiller tends to hop up over them, no drama. It does an incredible job doing new gardens and old...
(full disclosure, I have never used reverse rotation)
 

GreensvilleJay

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BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
5,241
1,808
113
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
I just did a 1/2ac 'formerly no-tilled' for 30 year 'patch'. Last crop was oats,still have jars of seed that I combined.
It was all my 40HP tractor, in 1st ,low could do to pull the subsoiler through. In the 'real' garden I can go 2nd,hi...
After subsoiling, waited 3 days, then ran 3 furrow plow. Again, the tractor told me the ground was 'tough'. Let 3-4 days go by THEN ran the 5" fwd tiller through, wait 2-3 days, run again. The ground is 'reasonable' though it'll need a LOT of compost to get good 'tilthe'.
The deeper you 'chew up' the better the root crops you'll get, like foot long carrots.
 
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ctfjr

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Lifetime Member

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L3800HST
Dec 7, 2009
1,176
1,258
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central ct
Last year I put in a new ~3/4 acre front lawn. I used a reverse rotation unit after running my box blade thru to remove the rocks / roots. The ground hadn't been touched in more than 30 yrs and was really hard.

I was really pleased with the results and certainly had no issues in 2wd pulling the tiller.
 

rc51stierhoff

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Equipment
B2650, MX6000
Sep 13, 2021
755
587
93
Ohio
I have a reverse tine for MX and love it for my tractor and love it…by contrast I a super compact Honda (the little fellas you can carry) walk behind with forward rotation and I have to pull it backwards to get it dig deep enough. I know it is not really same thing but I think the reverse rotation helps ‘dig’ down. That’s all. I like the reverse so much On my Mx that I am thinking about a small one for my B.
 
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Outnumbered

Member

Equipment
Kubota L3901, FEL, BB1260, RCF2060, FDR2572, Titan Forks, Caryall, 5' Tiller
Oct 26, 2019
77
97
18
Moseley, VA
This was my thought when I purchased mine. If the tractor is a gear drive the reverse action tiller would help control the forward motion of the tractor. With a hydro, a forward drive can be best controlled with the drive pedal. I have a hydro and a forward tine tiller and it has worked very well for me on new and previously tilled areas. Hope it helps!
 

Dieseldonato

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Equipment
B7510 hydro, yanmar ym146, cub cadet 1450, 582,782
Mar 15, 2022
718
420
63
Pa
Only ever used forward tine tillers on tractors. Never had one that would push the tractor around, gear drive or hydro. Demoed a rear tine reverse walk behind (self propelled) and it didn't seem to do any better or be any faster then the old craftsman walk behind forward Tiller I have. (It's old as dirt, my pop bought it forever ago) possibly a bit different comparing the tractor vs smaller models. Even the little Honda cultivator/Tiller does pretty well with the drag bar set right.
 
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Shadetree605

Member

Equipment
kubota b2100
May 1, 2022
56
25
18
north little rock, ar
I went with the 4ft titan forward rotation for my b2100 hydro,4wd. the pto hp was right there at the rated hp for the tiller, with it being a hydro, 21 hp engine ?, i needed all the '' push '' i could get to not stall the tractor. one thing i did learn real fast was: how important it is to see a forward or rearward tiller when it hits large rocks or whatever else maybe hiding under ground ?!!. forward rotation will either kick it out the back ?, or bounce over it. where rear tines will find it, keep pushing it up and in front of the tines as you move forward, so in this case..all you are doing is beating the living crap out of your tines. in new unturned soil ?, its a guessing game what you will do with a tiller. with ground that has already be tilled up over the years ?, its a safe bet to use a rear rotation tillers..AS LONG AS YOUR TRACTOR CAN LIFT IT ?, AND PULL IT !.
 
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FrozenInTime

Member

Equipment
BX2370
Mar 25, 2015
48
7
8
ND
LandPride RTR52 on my BX. In my soil it works great but as in the vid, it will pull a lot of trash along. First time use was pasture never turned, went through like butta. On friends place, pretty much the same, EXCEPT, he has rocks. Hit one rock and it bounces like crazy, does not kick it out but pushes along hitting over and over... really wakes me up! My soil is a sandy loam, his more a clay loam. Either one, without rocks/roots, leaves a very nice seedbed with one pass. It's only stalled my BX once, that was last week and was a big/unmovable rock. Has worked great for 10 years now.
 

mikester

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Equipment
M59 TLB
Oct 21, 2017
1,807
693
113
Canada
www.divergentstuff.ca
I'm really surprised by how jumpy these little tractors are. It looks to me like they are trying to operate using high range on an HST and can't control their speeds. I find that my HST low range can easily maintain a slower speed than my old geared tractor and my forward rotation tiller makes a smooth fluffy bed every time. I never see the speed bumps these guys are getting.

I'm using an old Kubota tiller that seems to rotate slower than the tillers used in the video. It's hard to tell but it seems like my tiller spins at less than 540 rpm and these guys are spinning at what looks like faster than 540 rpm. Different gearing?

I was thinking of trading my tiller for a wider 7 foot model. After seeing these guys results I'm questioning how well different brands work.
 
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CGMKCM

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RVT-1100C, ZD323, L4760
Jan 26, 2021
170
72
28
Randolph county N.C.
Not sure how well 20 pto H.P. will do with a 5ft tiller. My old tractor had 25 PTO H.P. and would get bogged down in low 2 when first used in spring.
 

forky

Active member

Equipment
L2501 HST 4X4 8N
Feb 23, 2021
193
182
43
Wisconsin
It sounds like everyone is happy with what they are using.
My dealer recommended the RTA 1258 with the L2501. I'm amazed
how well it works and could not be happier. Even with my heavy soil
it works like a charm in 2wd.