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Time for Tines?

Depending on the speed at which you run your engine, each of your tines is passing through the soil between 250 and 290 times per minute!  Given the abrasiveness of sand and stone, it's little wonder that your tines get thinner and narrower as time goes on. 

Worn tines affect performance of your tiller in two ways: 

  1. The tiller will not dig as deeply. 
  2. The tiller will not chop garden residues and cover crops. 

The problem is how to determine when it's time to invest in a new set of tines.  Part of the answer is determined by your use of the tiller.  If the machine is used to shallowly cultivate between rows, it can tolerate more wear than when the tiller is used for seedbed preparation and power composting. 

To check the condition of your tines, turn the engine off, tip up the tiller, and examine the very end of the tines.  When the "blunt" edge width measures 1/4" to 3/8", a new set is probably required.  If the tines become so worn that they are pointed, the tiller will not perform acceptably--you'll be aerating instead of tilling!

For the most part, tines need to be replaced as a set (or kit)--not individually.  They typically wear evenly, and the only exception would be the center tines in machines that were used in stony conditions.  Tine kits also include the necessary hardware to install the tines.  Please see Service Bulletin 3-1 for more information.  

There are two styles of available tines:  Universal (U) and Rental (R)How-To Videos are available for both Universal and Rental tine replacement.  Universal tines come standard on all new tillers.  Rental tines are an optional version, sometimes purchased after the original tines have worn down.  Rental tines are wider, thicker, and more resistant to wear.  They are a good choice for establishing new beds and lawn renovation.  Because of their thinner, more knife-like design, the universal tines are more effective than rental tines when power composting cover crops and garden residues.  As a result, the universal tines are more popular for general gardening purposes. 

To determine the replacement tine kit you need, simply measure the width of your tiller.  The following list will help you identify the tine kit appropriate for your particular unit.  The 'U' stands for Universal tines and the 'R' stands for Rental.  

  • 18'' Tiller:  T18U or T18R
  • 20" Tiller:  T20U or T20R
  • 26" Tiller:  T26U or T26R
  • 30" Tiller:  T30U or T30R
  • 33'' Tiller:  T33W (for all versions except model 750) or T33R (for model 750)

These tines kits are available for purchase through your local BCS dealer

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