Iíve been checking into getting me a tiller for my 444. I donít have a holding valve, also donít have front or rear weights. Iím assuming front weight is really mandatory for safety? Holding valve or rears reallly needed?
I don't know about front weights, but I have wheel weight and tires are full of washerfluid, I have a holding valve, but what you really want is a flow-control valve, so you can controll the speed of tractor. I fell it made the biggest difference: for what it worth.
I definitely like front weight when the tiller is lifted. It doesn't matter when the tiller is in the ground. Front weight could be a simple as 25-40 lbs suspended off the front of the chassis ... it does not take much. Full on 150 lb kits are great, but not really necessary. Helps both steering control and the likelihood of unhappy wheelies.
The tilling I've done without holding valves did indeed result in the tiller pushing the tractor.
I would prioritize a holding valve, then try it out.
If you are not able to control the tractor comfortably (I think most users are OK with this), then consider stepping up to include a flow control valve, which really allows you to 'set and forget' the travel speed at very low speeds, or fine tune it steadily along the way.
Sort of depends I suppose on how much you are doing. A 20x40 plot would be a whole lot different than an acre. I use the 4223 or 7020 for tilling, which are both super easy to modulate with the foot pedal control. But if I was using a 400/4000 and doing a lot of space, I would be looking for the flow control to ease the burden of constantly tweaking the travel control.
I have both a 448 and a 646 and use the 646 for tilling exclusively. The foot control travel is much easier to use than the hand travel as when you are tilling hard packed ground you need a hand free for adjusting tiller height and speed on the fly. Some weight on the front end is definately required or you will be doing wheel stands, the tillers are very heavy
As Gean said you want a flow control valve. That said I have done a lot of tilling with my 224-78 without a flow control valve. But there is a lot of fiddling with the travel control lever to try and maintain a steady speed.
I got by for a long time without the front weights, the biggest issue was needing a lighter touch on the travel lever to keep from pulling wheelies.
Hmmm hmmmm and hmmm again. I would like have a flow control and holding valve. Neither of these items seem to be readily available. Rear weights seem to be available, but in 100lbs per side locally at least. I’ve been thinking about how to get weight on the front. A weight box is ideal but I also don’t see those for sale. Haven’t come up with a great idea yet.
Thanks everyone for the advice and keep it coming. In the meantime, I’ve got to get my Troy built horse going. Next project I guess.
Don't let perfect be the enemy of getting things done. I've tilled both with my old 220 and with my 446, didn't have any extra weight in the back or front. Our garden is small, about 36x30ft. First of all, I did not till with the tines going backward, so no wheelies. The 220 seemed a little underpowered, but I went extra slowly, also because I really wanted to till as deep as possible, being the first time to till our garden, so the sleeve hitch was down to the max. Mind you, I did turn the soil over with the Brinly plow first. Going slow, inch at at time, and deep, got the soil finely tilled and mixed in manure, and IMHO in great shape for the garden. At first I had turf tires, which did not work! Subsequently I installed AG tires and it was much better.
I have to say that it was a little easier with the 446, especially after I got AG tires for it. But still, I always go with the Brinly moldboard plow first, then tiller tines going forward, deep and slow. I've seen videos on youtube with some dudes tilling pretty fast with their magical new diesel JDs, on dry, unplowed ground. My tilling was nothing like that, but I got the garden in great shape for planting.
I now have weights, and ag tires on the 446, and will most likely use them in the spring, but I'd say if you want a garden, just do it, the things you're missing are not show stoppers and in time you'll get them.
Hmmm hmmmm and hmmm again. I would like have a flow control and holding valve. Neither of these items seem to be readily available. Rear weights seem to be available, but in 100lbs per side locally at least. Iíve been thinking about how to get weight on the front. A weight box is ideal but I also donít see those for sale. Havenít come up with a great idea yet.
Thanks everyone for the advice and keep it coming. In the meantime, Iíve got to get my Troy built horse going. Next project I guess.
There are a number of past posts about front weight. I had 3 JD 40 pound suitcase and an old mule I modified to hold the weights. Others have done similar with old barbell weights, or made a box.
Just like Gordy, I kept it simple. Bent up a steel box, filled it with lead tire balancing weights [melted them right in the box], capped it and added handles. 148 pounds with the mule bracket, so it can be lifted on and off by hand. Total investment was probably less than 20 bucks [not counting the decal].003.jpg004.jpg