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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sick of our Craftsman 17" tiller, the drive chain has broke and I'm waiting on parts again.

We have a large garden and the Craftsman can't handle it. I have not seen a BCS up close, the dealer is over 50 miles away. Can some one tell me how a 718 or 722 compares with a Big Red? I'm debating if its worth buying a tiller with no local dealer to support it. Big Reds are around but, I'm not sure if its enough quality for heavy use?
 

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Are you referring to the Troy Bilt Big Red Horse? If so then it is an excellent machine, very high quality, rugged, time tested design. An older Horse is a good used option, parts are easy to get and much less money. However, the BCS is on a completely different level of quality (and price) as they are a rental grade machine and are really more of a two wheel tractor like an old Gravely. The best tiller ever made though IMHO was the Howard Rotovator, made in England, good luck finding one though.

Joe
 

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Get the Horse, time tested.

IMHO, the BCS is unknown, compared to the Horse.

Good luck gettin' a BCS part, Horse parts are like small block Chevy.

The BCS is like a Bentley. :dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, I'm thinking about a Troy-Bilt Big Red. BCS two wheel tractors are tempting though, I just wish I had a dealer close by. I don't see parts being an issue, I have to order Craftsman parts anyway and wait at least a week.

I don't know if there are better chain drive machines out there, but my Craftsman 7 hp did not last long. It wouldn't be so bad if you didn't have to take the whole thing apart to replace the drive chain. Of course it breaks right when I need it. I need something more durable.

Maybe a TB Big Red will work for us.
 

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20 years ago I wanted a Big Red, and I got "stuck" with a Big Black!! :crybaby:



20 years of gardening, and 0 parts replaced, except for one belt!! :fing32:

This model came with the abrasion resistant tines factory installed.

The tines are still usable, but, new ones are on my shelf!

40X100 garden, nothing else.



It came with everything shown, plus wheel weights, and the hiller-plow, they are still in the un-opened boxes!! :bananapow

It had an hourmeter, but the lithium battery died after 15 years. The starter battery is still original (it is non-functional), I jump start it each spring, then pull start it each use.

I drain the gas each fall, then change the oil.

Maybe I will try a BCS, after this one wears out, if BCS is still in business!!

:biglaugh:
 

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Farmer
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I happen to love tillers and my wife says, how many tillers do you need. I have two BCS, a 201( 5hp) and is used for tilling or weeding after the garden has already been tilled by either a BCS 605 that has been repowered with a 16HP BS Vanguard. This is a great machine and tills better than any other machine. You can parts easily online or most dealers. I also have a Troybilt 7HP with a Tecumseh motor. The Troybilt is a monster and will tell up rocks, fence, trees, anything it runs into. Yes, I have hit the fence. The Troybilt has no safety devices on it and my wife would like to see it go. Conclusion: They are both great tillers, for the price the TroyBilt is a great machine and you can find a pretty good one for $600 in good shape. (Mine has extra tines and orginal tires and wheels as extras) Tires are are ribbed. The BCS is an expensive machine, good one will be close to $1800 and up. There are a lot of attachments for the BCS. If your budget is $2000 then buy the BCS.
 

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Chestnut Hollow
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I have used Gravely rotary plows, old Troy Bilts and currently own a newer MTD built Troy Bilt and have also used a BCS. The original Troy Bilt was a better machine, better balanced and easier to operate. The current Troy has a 10hp Tecumseh with a throwaway carburetor . If you have level ground with long rows then the new model would be just fine. The BCS is a beast and goes about the same depth as the Troy but is heavier and the more expensive models have clutch steering. If I was going to buy a tiller for a large garden plot it would be the BCS. If I was going to upgrade my current situation then it would be a 3 pt hitch Tiller for my Kubota.I would not buy another TroyI used the Gravely for years for a garden and it performed well for initial plot preparation - not so handy to cultivate with. I now own a cultivator attachment for the Gravely to see if that will assist . The new Trot machine has handlebars that only have 2 position for adjustment unlike their older machines. That is a real problem- I am 5'11 and the bars are too high- I have considered bending them but am afraid it will weaken them. These are my opinions based on my soil, my slopes, my age and my strength. Yours are probably different.
 

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Joe
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I personally would never buy a new Troy Bilt (MTD) tiller. I would only buy a Garden Way built Troy.
I've looked at BCS tillers but having never used one I can't comment.
 

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My Troy built is officially forty years old today. I don't think a new one would last forty months... Look around for an old machine It will be the best investment you'll ever make... FB.
 

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Chestnut Hollow
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Wow- 40 years for a tiller. I still use my Gravely I bought in 1976, how many other brands can say they lasted that long. Too bad none of us can afford that kind of quality any longer or I think many companies would still be producing equipment that would be passed down. I know some of the larger tractors and implements have similar histories.
 

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I use a 1985 Troy Bilt that still works great after all these years. It was made by garden way before MTD ruined the name.
 

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I got my '81 TroyBilt Horse in '92. I have used it extensively. I also till other gardens for cash. It was paid for the second year.

Two years ago I repowered with HF Greyhoud 6.5HP engine. Very simple to do. Starts on 1 or 2 pulls. This winter I will replace the bearings in the shaft as it is making some noise now. Easy to work on. Common bearings and seals. PTO attachments are limited. PTO available after '80 or '81. Adjustable handlebars.

The BCS is a fine machine. Assortment of implements. If I gardened for a living, I would get one of those. Adjustable handlebars are great. I'm 6' 6".

I have a Gravely two wheeler. Handlebars do not adjust. I use a sulky and sit down to mow, snow plow and haul with the cart.

I say go with the TroyBilt. Very tough!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I've been researching these "two wheel tractors" from Italy a lot lately. After seeing them first hand its a no brainer. I don't want a used gamble, so I'm looking new.

A new Big Red is not cheap at all, at $2600 its actually about the same price as a Grillo 85D that has an industrial Honda, all gear drive, a slick differential equipped axle, fully adjustable handle bars that go up and down plus side to side. So, you can rotate the bars for walking beside the machine. The BCS have the same features plus an instant reverse lever, but for the refinement you pay a good bit more.

Comparing prices and features I think the Grillo G107D is the best deal for me. Its just under a BCS 853 in ability, but its about $1,000 less for just the tractor. With attachments the no steering brake 739 BCS will run me at least $1300 more than a Grillo set up. The Grillo tiller is more to my liking too. I figure the 11hp 107D would make more sense, I could spend the $1000 on a brush mower and still be under the cost of the 853. I've talked to people who own both brands, they are well liked. Either way, I'm going to deal with Earth Tools or one of their dealers. I rather deal with a properly set up machine.

I could get an older Troy-Bilt but, I use my tiller weekly most of the year plus I'll get more attachments for a Grillo. I don't need another unknown piece of used equipment. I have plenty to keep repairing already.

I have a good Kubota L4330 tractor with a rototiller, hipper/row maker, disc, bush hog, bottom plow, cultivators, subsoiler, middle buster, box blade, back blade etc. But, I use the walk behind tiller to cultivate in the tight spots and I have multiple raised beds and other things to cultivate. If things keep going as planed I'll have a solid market garden operation. I'm getting my rows tighter so the tractor can't get in as much now. I'm also mixing in soil builders as I can, enlarging the garden areas more every year. Its enjoyable to me.
 
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