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Old 02-25-2009, 10:27 AM   post #1 of 50
ropari
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Default Anyone Used a 30 Inch Mechanical Tiller?

Just wondering if anyone has used the 30 inch mechanical tillers made in the last 15 years, or so? Any comments on how well you liked it, or not, and how well they work? What tractor did you use it with? Thanks
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:34 PM   post #2 of 50
Sergeant
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Default Re: Anyone Used a 30 Inch Mechanical Tiller?

In the past I used the JD 30inch mech tiller on my JD 240. The 30inch mechanical tiller has not changed since 1988 when the 240 came out. Only thing that has changed is minor parts for attaching it to the 200 & 1992 and after 320,300 and GX300 series tractors. when I used it the tiller worked very well. Breaking new ground with it take's about two passes over the same spot but once Garden is established it will break it in one pass each year. It does a better Job than a walk behind tiller in the first pass. Even better than a troy-bilt horse. My 240 was my traveling tractor I took it from military post to military post with me. So the tractor broke ground with the tiller in many different soil conditions. It did ok even in the Georgia Red clay to the rocky soil in northern New York. So it would do fine Breaking New Ground in Michagan for you.
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:36 PM   post #3 of 50
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Default Re: Anyone Used a 30 Inch Mechanical Tiller?

Sergeant,

Thanks, once again, for the information.

If you remember, I have always been an Ingersoll owner, so I don't know much about these other brands. I recently sold all the Ingy's for funds as too many family members became jobless, and purchased a Simplicity Conquest, to go with the old 1641 Cub I have. However, a while back I bought this JD tiller, in like new condition. I could not find a tractor for it right away...hence ran into the Conquest. I then tried selling the JD tiller for a very fair price, but had no takers at all.

So I am again thinking of finding a JD, and selling the Conquest. With all the JD's out there, I never figured it to be so hard to find a good used one. Man, they get beat to death! Does not appear they hold up like the Cases and Ingersoll's
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Old 02-25-2009, 04:03 PM   post #4 of 50
ropari
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Default Re: Anyone Used a 30 Inch Mechanical Tiller?

Sergeant...another question. I just looked online at a 240. It looks like the attachment lift handle is on the fender??? Hard to tell from a photo, not knowing the tractor. If this is the case, was lifting the tiller hard to do?
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Old 02-25-2009, 05:12 PM   post #5 of 50
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Default Re: Anyone Used a 30 Inch Mechanical Tiller?

The fender lift was spring assisted and you could adjust the spring rather easy on the back of the tractor depending on the weight of the attachment and I think they are some of the best of the 200 series because that is the same tractor frame they used for the 1992 and after 320,300 and GX300 series tractors. They called those paticular 200 series the Tree catcher because the fender lift lever would catch low hanging branches. I really like the look of the 240,245,260,265&285 200 series tractors Because they looked more in line with the 318. The 30inch tiller on a JD is easier to put on the tractor than putting a tiller on the simplicity tractors. pop it into the mower lift mechcanisim and put the belt on and away you go. My 240 was a 6speed gear tractor it was also the very first Deere I bought New. The Tiller was very easy to lift with that tractor more so over the GT242 thru GT275 which are the same as the Sabre and Scotts Garden tractors. That spring assistb on the 240 was almost like have Hydraulic Lift. I sold my 240 to a cousin and he is still using the tiller every year for his Garden and his garden is set up so he can till between the rows so the tiller stay on all spring& summer at his place.. I would suggest trying to fine a Later model 200 series than 1988 thru 1992 which I had. Because my 240 is now 21years old. But here a dealer that shipp around the country that might be a good ploace to look for a Good 200 or 300 series(after 1992) tractor or even look for a used current X500 series tractors http://www.lawnpower.com/usedinventory/
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:18 PM   post #6 of 50
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Default Re: Anyone Used a 30 Inch Mechanical Tiller?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ropari View Post
Just wondering if anyone has used the 30 inch mechanical tillers made in the last 15 years, or so? Any comments on how well you liked it, or not, and how well they work? What tractor did you use it with? Thanks
ropari,
Speaking from my experience this tiller works great behind a X500 as sergeant suggested as a possible tractor. I adapted and older model to fit my tractor as these units brand new from the dealer cost a pretty penny. I found mine on ebay for less than $400 and then I bought all the linkage brand new from deere. In total I paid probably just under half the price of a brand new one in 2008. The only real differences are the under carriage mounting points of the tiller and where the lift rod attaches to the tiller. Everything else is virtually the same. My tiller hasn't given me one problem and I have been breaking up new ground and tilling under organic matter trying to get ready for the spring. I prefer to use this over the disc to get a good soil mix. The only thing I will say is that you will need to add weight on top of the tiller for it to break up new ground efficiently but this tiller has enough power to push my X500 forward once it starts to dig in. I will take pics tomorrow and post for you to see the tiller I used and the mods I made for it to fit my X500.
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:38 AM   post #7 of 50
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Default Re: Anyone Used a 30 Inch Mechanical Tiller?

I am very eager to see how this tiller was mounted to the X500 frame. I bought a used on on ebay over a a year ago and am now getting to mounting it. My local dealer indicated that the linkage is bundled in with the tiller when it is ordered for a specific model. I have just ordered the linkage and should have it next week however I cannot fathom how to do the undercarriage mount without drilling new holes in my frame.

Looking forward to seeing your pics!
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:10 AM   post #8 of 50
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Default Re: Anyone Used a 30 Inch Mechanical Tiller?

Kris,

you can pull up the parts breakdown at Deere's website. then order what is needed. i may take you a couple tries to get everything, but you can do it. you just have to look at the pics of what is needed and compare to what you have. if it shows you need something different from the one you have, order it. even if they look similar believe me they are not!

if you know which tractor it was on before, you can print out a parts list for that model, then simply compare part numbers to teh drawings for the X500.
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:17 AM   post #9 of 50
KrisD_in_WV
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Default Re: Anyone Used a 30 Inch Mechanical Tiller?

Thanks davidg. I think I'm squared away on the linkage parts but mounting it to the under part of the frame is what has me stumped. Is is common for someone to have to drill the frame? I can see another way might be an adapter plate that connects to the existing holes in my frame and then provides another hole to amount the pins for the tiller's frame. Heck, I could fabricate something like that. I guess for me that's the final challenge - getting a hole I can line up with the front mounting points of the tiller frame.
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:09 PM   post #10 of 50
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Default Re: Anyone Used a 30 Inch Mechanical Tiller?

no, one of the parts you need is probably the front mount.

hang tight and let me look it up on the jdparts.deere.com site. you can create a free account there, and pull up the parts breakdown for anything deere makes and most of what they used to make, even if the parts are not available anymore in most cases!
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:12 PM   post #11 of 50
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Default Re: Anyone Used a 30 Inch Mechanical Tiller?

here is the pic of teh frame and mounts for the one to fit the X500.

edit for better pic.
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Last edited by davidg; 02-27-2009 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 02-27-2009, 12:24 PM   post #12 of 50
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Thumbs up Re: Anyone Used a 30 Inch Mechanical Tiller?

Well Kris I'm glad you found this forum. I could not post a link to here at the Garden webs tractor forum since mytractorforum still show up as a spam link over there and they will turn my profile off over there and send me to a disneyland link. midnitetr8n is getting together a parts list of what he needed to mount the tiller with the right JD parts to his X500. Your Deere dealer seems a little lazy to me. It only takes a little leg work and one phone call and he could have gotten the right parts bundle from Deere.
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Last edited by Sergeant; 02-27-2009 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:01 PM   post #13 of 50
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Default Re: Anyone Used a 30 Inch Mechanical Tiller?

I can't help on the mounting, but will throw out there I enjoy my tiller. Stays on my Sabre most of the summer, unless I need to go to sleeve hitch for something. Tilled my neighbors garden last year as he stood by mouth open at the fluffed earth that thing turned out. Awe yes garden season, must get busy!
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:32 PM   post #14 of 50
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Default Re: Anyone Used a 30 Inch Mechanical Tiller?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisD_in_WV View Post
Is is common for someone to have to drill the frame?
KrisD,
No need to drill the frame of your tractor. I have done all my mods for my attachments without having to drill the frame on mine. All mods have been done on the implements/attachments themselves. I wanted to avoid drilling the frame at all cost just in case I ever wanted to trade the X500 in but that idea went out the window after the first 5hrs... I am never getting rid of this tractor. Will only buy a CUT to add to my collection. But attached are pics of the tiller model number that I have also there are three pics of how you will need to alter the mounting clasps/clamps on the tiller. Note that to mount the tiller on the X500 you have to remove the original clasp/clamps and put the new ones on the top of the bracing/cross member the supports the main large pulley on the tiller. I am working on the parts list for you. We are suppose to get rain, this weekend but if you need a pic of the under frame mounting point on the X500 let me know and I will go out and snap a few. oh the pic of the tiller can be found in this thread. Hope it workes. http://www.mytractorforum.com/showth...ht=midnitetr8n
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:54 PM   post #15 of 50
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Default Re: Anyone Used a 30 Inch Mechanical Tiller?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ropari View Post
Sergeant...another question. I just looked online at a 240. It looks like the attachment lift handle is on the fender??? Hard to tell from a photo, not knowing the tractor. If this is the case, was lifting the tiller hard to do?
Ropari,
I can't say enough about the 30" tiller. You definitely need to hang onto it, as it is much easier to find a tractor to fit it than to find a good tiller to fit your tractor! I picked up a heavily used and abused 30" tiller for a whopping $60 a couple years ago. I think I paid more for the linkage to hook it up to my GT225. I've used it mostly in sandy soil, with thick, established bermudagrass. It pulverizes the sod in two or three passes, and fluffs the soil to 3 times its compacted volume. It's reasonable that they're $1500 new, as they are very rugged.
I also found one for my Dad, in much better shape, for around $200. He uses that one with his 265 (same as 240, but with bigger engine and hydro). I think the fender lift is actually a better setup than the conventional lever on my GT series. I'm no Olympian, but on my last physical fitness test I pulled my 200lbs up to that chin-up bar 17 times, so I consider myself in decent shape; and my back gets a bit stiff after an hour of continuously pulling the lever and twisting my lower back with my GT225 (with the spring set for my 44" deck). I think the 240/245/265 tractors with the lift lever on the fender are a better setup. It takes a LOT more strength to lift the tiller than a mower deck, and on this tractor, it is very easy to adjust the spring tension (no tools required). Plus it's a more natural body movement to pull straight up (265) than from a forward quadrant (early GT series). I've never used a tiller with a foot-lift tractor, but I imagine that would be an ideal setup. No--ideal would be a hydraulic lift like on GX series and 320+. When tilling, you typically raise the attachment a lot more often than you do while mowing. So it's important to have a comfortable lift system.
One feature I like about the Deere tiller setup (not that I've used any other brands') is that since you're using the mower lift linkage, you can take advantage of either having it float or lock down. In float mode, if you hit a rock or a large tree root, it will just bounce off. If you've been through the soil a few times and know it's free of hazards, you can lock it down for a pass and go a full six inches down.
There are three linkage kits used to adapt the 30 tiller to the previous generation of belt-driven garden tractors:




BM20325 for the GT242-275 (the ones with Jeep-like plastic fender flares)
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BM21343 for the GT225-245 and GX255
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BM20325 for 240-320, 325-255D, GX325-355
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I would definitely look for a hydrostatic tractor, since sometimes you really need to be able to creep along when tilling hard ground. Some good candidates to look out for which you might find for less than $1,000: 245, 265, GT275. For up to $1500, you might find a GT225, GT235, 285, 320 or 325.

BTW: the problem with selling these tillers is that buyers aren't sure it will fit their tractor. If you decide to abandon the idea of buying a new tractor, and sell it on eBay: offer nationwide shipping (strap it to a pallet and call UPS freight--at buyers' cost), and NAME EACH MODEL IT FITS, if it's still in like-new condition, you should have no problem getting $400 for it. I would think with the recession, people might be even more inclined to have a massive vegetable garden to grow their own food. Just a thought.

Good luck!
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