Earthquake front or rear tine tiller?

SprigOfTheLivingDead

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Alright folks, I need a tiller this spring. I've gone back and forth about front vs rear tine tiller, but the cost of a rear tine is honestly a hard pill to swallow given everything else going on in my life. That being said, what do you have and do you love it or hate it? I'm worried that a front tine tiller just might not have the oompf to really get the job done. I see people use those front tines and it's shaking them all over, whereas it feels a rear tine might be a little smoother activity and one that can just be a bit more versatile. My friends have jokingly said "let's be honest, you don't have the mass to control a front tine", so I'm coming around to the fact that a rear tine is needed

My usage will be tilling multiple garden areas, flattening some bumpy trail sections, but I would love to also take it to spots on my property that are screwed up with thistle and just tilling that in on a regular basis to expose those roots to sun, etc....

So, anyone out there buy a front tine and regret it? Buy a rear tine and have sighed many sighs of relief for doing such? I just want to make sure if I make this decision that I make it for the right reasons. I bought an Earthquake powerhead for augering stuff for my tree farm and really love it, so I'm looking at this rear tine right now

Victory™ Rear Tine Tiller with 212cc Viper® Engine
 

seedcorn

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Advice free, you get what you pay for.....:old

Grew up using front tine tillers. Wouldn’t own one to use-although a used one sitting in my shed that my father Fixed up for me. First $70 this spring and it will be somewhere else.....

Rear tine is the only way I’ll ever go. Why?
1). They do not beat you to death tilling.
2). Make sure it tills forward and backward. Backward is for HARD dirt or sod. Forward for nice loose soil.
3). IF you ever want to sell it, resale value.

Rented an Earthquake before I bought one. HATED IT! IF you can, try before buying.

I have a Cub Cadet and a MTD. Except for color and label, no difference. Love them both.

Personal opinion, stay away from Tecumseh engines. Kohler or B/S engines only. I did look at a Honda. Too pricey for me. Center mounted tines-so no opinion but Honda makes great small engines.
 

SprigOfTheLivingDead

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Thank you @seedcorn. I know nothing about tillers, so I really appreciate the thoughts. I have not looked at Cub Cadet before as I've never owned their stuff, but also hadn't ever heard people rave about them for actual hard work. I've had the general opinion that they're for a low need home owner.

Thanks for your heads-up on the Earthquake. Do you recall what made you not happy with it?
 

seedcorn

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It was either a forward till or reverse till only. Don’t remember if it had a tendency to walk or bury itself in my sand. Also thought it was under powered. Way too long ago. MTD owns/makes Cub Cadet. Unless dealership is the deciding factor, I’d go with MTD paint.
Things to check, how easy to change oil or any fluids. Type of motor. Warranty, the obvious. Who makes, services Viper engine. Parts? Look at thickness of tines. Question, just pulling a handle to change tine direction. MTD, you take it out of gear, then change. Easy on transmission. Tell dealer you want to try out first.
 
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Dirtmechanic

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Reverse till if you want to go deep. The pulling wheels help but a forward only can and will jump out of the ground pretty roughly. Or you till over and over and over, 1 or 2 inches at the time. Go try to find parts first. If you can find steady and ready support then go for it.
 

SprigOfTheLivingDead

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It was either a forward till or reverse till only. Don’t remember if it had a tendency to walk or bury itself in my sand. Also thought it was under powered. Way too long ago. MTD owns/makes Cub Cadet. Unless dealership is the deciding factor, I’d go with MTD paint.
Things to check, how easy to change oil or any fluids. Type of motor. Warranty, the obvious. Who makes, services Viper engine. Parts? Look at thickness of tines. Question, just pulling a handle to change tine direction. MTD, you take it out of gear, then change. Easy on transmission. Tell dealer you want to try out first.
When I was struggling to change the drive belt on my Husqvarna mower this summer I was cursing myself for being way too excited about getting the mower and not doing any homework on how easy some of the very necessary maintenance would be. That drive belt was HORRID!!!
 

thistlebloom

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Seed made some excellent points.
I have a very old rear tine Troybilt. It's at least 32 years old, can't remember which kid was a baby when I bought it.
It's the only tiller I've ever used so I can't give comparisons. I like it though, and I like that I can walk off to the side out of the tilled soil and keep one hand on it. That would be in garden soil, not untilled rough ground.
Dh did change out the engine a few years back and put a Honda engine on it. The original was a Tecumseh I think.
It's been a solid machine and has a million hours on it.

We have two Cub Cadet machines, a walk behind string trimmer, which was an excellent addition to the tool arsenal, and a CC riding mower that we just bought last year, so far so good, but we haven't had it long enough for a real evaluation. I wouldn't be afraid of buying Cub Cadet again from our experience.
 

seedcorn

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Troybilt made indestructible machines-tanks of the garden. That @thistlebloom could wear a motor out, is a testament to how much it was used. Didn’t realize they had Tecumseh motors. That would cause me to pass......

For me, the 2 items that get worked hard on tillers are the transmission and the gear box. Once gear box goes, they are never the same.
 
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