Forward versus reverse tine rotary tillers

In this video, you’ll learn about forward versus reverse tine rotary tillers so you can decide which one is right for you.

In this video, we’ll use a John Deere 3043D Compact Utility Tractor (US CA) and a Frontier RT3062 Rotary Tiller (US CA) that features forward rotating tines. We’ll also use a Frontier RT3062R Rotary Tiller (US CA) with reverse rotating tines, so we can compare the results we get with each style of rotary tiller. And to complete each equipment package, we’ve added a 300E Loader (US CA) and a 49-inch materials bucket.

Forward and reverse tine rotary tillers operate exactly as described. Forward rotating tines, like those on the RT3062, rotate forward on the shaft in the same direction the tractor is traveling. Reverse rotating tines, like those on the RT3062R, rotate on the shaft in the opposite direction the tractor is traveling. Consequently, a tiller with reverse rotating tines requires a bit more horsepower to get the job done. But the reverse action makes tilling into harder surfaces easier.

Aside from that, attaching and operating these two machines are exactly the same.

Step #1 – Forward tine rotary tiller

Okay. Let’s get started by attaching the RT3062 using the iMatchTM Quick Hitch (US CA) we added to our package. As always, you just keeps your eye on the top hook and everything else falls into place. Then close the locking levers and lower the tiller to the ground. Then attach the PTO shaft and safety chain, raise the parking stand, and you’re ready to go.

We’re using this RT3062 rotary tiller in some pretty rough ground. The topsoil is only a few inches thick. It’s dry, it’s hard, and there’s some scrub vegetation.

Despite all that, the RT3062 does a good job of tilling the soil with the skid shoes set at 3-inches. Our operator, Digger Dan – the Tractor-Drivin’ Man –  will make a couple side-by-side passes so we have a good, wide swath to look at.

Step #2 – Reverse tine rotary tiller

Now let’s move on to the RT3062R with reverse rotating tines. We put it in the same ground, right next to the area where we used the RT3062 with forward rotating tines. Dan made a couple passes on the same ground with the skid shoes set at 3-inches so we can get a good, side-by-side comparison.

So take a look. Side-by-side, with the ground tilled by the RT3062 with forward rotating tines on the right. And the ground tilled by the RT3062R with reverse rotating tines on the left. And you can see the difference.

The ground tilled by the RT3062 has a little finer texture, but it only reached 2-inches in tillage depth with one pass.

The ground tilled by the RT3060R appears to have a rougher texture to it. But the tillage depth went all the way to 3-inches in one pass, which could account for the slightly rougher texture. We also note the rear forming tailgate was in the same position on both tillers. So the tailgate could be adjusted to keep the soil in the tiller longer for a finer finish.

So, forward versus reverse tine rotary tillers. Which style is right for you? It will depend on your soil profile, how you adjust the tiller’s skid shoes and tailgate and to some degree, your tractor’s horsepower. And don’t forget, you’ll probably go over your tilled ground multiple times to get the soil’s texture just the way you want it.

Frontier has more than 400 implements and attachments that are available only from your John Deere dealer, the place to go for advice and equipment.

Always read the Operator’s Manual before operating any piece of equipment and follow all operating and safety instructions.

And remember, for implements that help turn your tractor into the workhorse it was built to be, think Frontier and your John Deere dealer.


Helpful Links:

Frontier Tillage Equipment (US CA)

John Deere Tractors (US CA)

John Deere Loaders (US CA)

John Deere iMatchTM (US CA)

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