Rear tine tiller to process a dry, hard 2” layer of Georgia red clay

gp4jesusgp4jesus Posts: 1,549
Title about says it all. Would it work?! I feel like a prospector as the stuff is HARD! I’m tired of chipping at it w/a pick axe a little at a time w/my bad shoulder and tendinitis in both elbows.

Putting in an 18’ X 33’ above ground pool and the site need a little “fine tuning” of the leveling. Hafta skim about 2” from one end tapering to zero to the other. I’ve done the big part. One side was ~2 FEET high than the other.

Thanks for your input. Tony
Samsung 60" UN60ES6100 LED
Outlaw Audio 976 Pre/Pro
Samsung BDP, Dish Rcvr, Xbox, Phillips CD chgr

Canare 14 ga - LCR tweeters inside*; CC outside
BJC 10 ga - LCR mids, inside* & out
8 ga Powerline - LR woofers, inside* & out
*soldered

LR: tri-amped RTi A7 w/Rotels. Woofers - 980BX; M&T - 981
CC: Rotel RB985 -> tri-amped CSi A6
5 Audio Pro Subs: 1 B1.39: an Evidence at each corner
Surrounds: Rotel 981 -> AR 12 ga -> RTi A3
Power Conditioning & Distribution:
3 dedicated 20A feeds; APC H15; 4 Furman Miniport 20s

Comments

  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 17,518
    buy a load of dirt or sand :smile: seems that would be the easiest.
  • JstasJstas Posts: 14,247
    I have a 5 HP front tine tiller that I use for that specific purpose. A rear tine is usually more powerful so I'd imagine it'd be better at it than mine and mine works great!

    However, for hard packed clay, I'd wet the clay down a bit so that the tines will bite and dig in to the soft top otherwise they might just skid and scrape for a bit before you can get into the clay at the depth you want.

    But I've used mine to cut into hard packed loam, sandy clay, silty clay and cut through root systems of plants that I've removed. Roots are a colossal pain in the rear but they are the most difficult thing I've tried to shred through with it, worse than clay.

    Keep your hose handy, though, if your clay is like the silty clay we have here in South Jersey, it retains moisture and will cake readily on the tines if you try to dig too deep too soon. A long screw driver to poke the clumps off and a stream of water from the hose will clean it up fairly easily, though.
    Expert Moron Extraordinaire

    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!
  • shawn474shawn474 Posts: 3,134
    Rear tine will beat you up, but will work great. I THOUGHT I was sore manually tilling areas of my yard......rented a rear tine and it threw me around like a rag doll. It was well worth it but be prepared to feel it in the morning!!!!!
    Shawn
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  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 14,617
    Man, I'd rent a Bobcat.

    Tom
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  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 1,691
    01myv2pjatmc.jpg
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  • Dennis GardnerDennis Gardner Posts: 4,898
    You have to soak it! I beat myself up trying to till dry soil.
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  • VR3VR3 Posts: 24,022
    I'm with the bobcat idea!
    - Not Tom

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • JstasJstas Posts: 14,247
    Advice when using tillers...let the machine do the work. If you try to manhandle it the machine will kick your butt. If you try to force it to work faster and dig too deep too quick, it will kick your butt.

    I've worked with mine for an entire bday. Yeah, I was tires but honestly, slinging my chainsaw cutting up downed trees for an entire day is harder on me than the tiller is.

    Expert Moron Extraordinaire

    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!
  • BlueBirdMusicBlueBirdMusic Registered User Posts: 1,311
    If there is anything harder to handle than a front tine tiller, it would be a stump grinder. My neighbor once rented a stump grinder after having 6-7 large pine trees cut down. I wish I had taken a video. His butt was handed to him. He never made any progress in grinding. Took it back and called a professional.
    If the telephone doesn't ring ......... it's me
    Harry / Marietta Georgia
  • msgmsg Posts: 6,147
    edited June 5
    Here's another one - a one-man auger. In clay. Near a tree.

    I rented one once when I was rebuilding some fence a couple of years ago. Damn near corkscrewed myself when I hit roots. For some reason the exhaust was vented upward on that model, too, right into the face of the operator. A nice touch no doubt intended to heighten the masochistic euphoria.

    Took it back and just used my heavy post hole digger again, which ended up working better and faster once I found my technique and rhythm.
    Post edited by msg on
    I disabled signatures.
  • george danielgeorge daniel Posts: 12,086
    Bobcat or Troybuilt horse
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,573
    VR3 wrote: »
    I'm with the bobcat idea!

    or explosives.
  • VR3VR3 Posts: 24,022
    Yes!!
    - Not Tom

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 26,573
    edited June 5
    As @Jstas said, the thing about the rear tine tillers is -- let the tiller do the work. We have a very old (ancient) TroyBilt "Pony" that had belonged to my father-in-law. Remember the classic, old-school TroyBilt (GardenWay) ads and literature? Remember [edit] "Dean Leith, Jr.", who was their sales & marketing guy? -- sort of the Drew A Kaplan of TroyBilt ;) ? The manual says to use one hand to guide the tiller.

    r4xq5zccwl71.png

    Heck, even ladies could run one! ;)

    odgz9slj4u5m.png

    Now, I will admit, that it does get interesting when (not if -- at least in New England) one encounters a large-ish rock or tree root, but the tiller usually kind of climbs up and over it. Conversely, if one tries to control the tiller, the tiller ends up controlling one. :|

    izl1onk1ropw.png
  • gp4jesusgp4jesus Posts: 1,549
    Jstas wrote: »
    However, for hard packed clay, I'd wet the clay down a bit so that the tines will bite and dig in to the soft top otherwise they might just skid and scrape for a bit before you can get into the clay at the depth you want.
    Not questioning your advice, the person from whom I’m renting for $65 a day, $35 less than his competitors and MUCH closer said not after a rain though, it seems, you’re suggesting slightly damp? I’m doing the moisture control? Ok😊
    Jstas wrote: »
    But I've used mine to cut into hard packed loam, sandy clay, silty clay...
    an itty, bitty tiny bit of sand, a LOTTA clay
    Jstas wrote: »
    Keep your hose handy, though, if your clay is like the silty clay we have here in South Jersey, it retains moisture and will cake readily on the tines if you try to dig too deep too soon. A long screw driver to poke the clumps off and a stream of water from the hose will clean it up fairly easily, though.
    Me thinks you’re talkin’ about GA clay which, BTW, seems to be similar (texture) though not the same (red) as N Jersey clay in the Watchung Mtns - shades of yellow & green.

    Any thanks for the thorough answer. I’m now more confident I’m heading in the right direction.

    Thanks, Tony

    PS: BTW what exit? I grew up ~20 minutes SE of Morristown on the northern slope of the northern Watchung mountain

    Samsung 60" UN60ES6100 LED
    Outlaw Audio 976 Pre/Pro
    Samsung BDP, Dish Rcvr, Xbox, Phillips CD chgr

    Canare 14 ga - LCR tweeters inside*; CC outside
    BJC 10 ga - LCR mids, inside* & out
    8 ga Powerline - LR woofers, inside* & out
    *soldered

    LR: tri-amped RTi A7 w/Rotels. Woofers - 980BX; M&T - 981
    CC: Rotel RB985 -> tri-amped CSi A6
    5 Audio Pro Subs: 1 B1.39: an Evidence at each corner
    Surrounds: Rotel 981 -> AR 12 ga -> RTi A3
    Power Conditioning & Distribution:
    3 dedicated 20A feeds; APC H15; 4 Furman Miniport 20s
  • gp4jesusgp4jesus Posts: 1,549
    edited June 5
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    buy a load of dirt or sand :smile: seems that would be the easiest.
    easiest I agree but a no-no according to the pros.

    YT install videos by three different people say “...the base site surface leveling mustn’t vary more than one inch from one side to the other.” Like a wise EQ operator, “...you fix by removing, never adding.” And that’s before you place the support brackets - they can’t vary more than 1/2”, checking and re-checking level and symmetry repeatedly. “measure twice cut once”

    They’re followed by sand then a cloth liner. Finally THE liner that holds the water gets placed.

    Thanks for your willingness to help.
    Samsung 60" UN60ES6100 LED
    Outlaw Audio 976 Pre/Pro
    Samsung BDP, Dish Rcvr, Xbox, Phillips CD chgr

    Canare 14 ga - LCR tweeters inside*; CC outside
    BJC 10 ga - LCR mids, inside* & out
    8 ga Powerline - LR woofers, inside* & out
    *soldered

    LR: tri-amped RTi A7 w/Rotels. Woofers - 980BX; M&T - 981
    CC: Rotel RB985 -> tri-amped CSi A6
    5 Audio Pro Subs: 1 B1.39: an Evidence at each corner
    Surrounds: Rotel 981 -> AR 12 ga -> RTi A3
    Power Conditioning & Distribution:
    3 dedicated 20A feeds; APC H15; 4 Furman Miniport 20s
  • gp4jesusgp4jesus Posts: 1,549
    edited June 5
    A HUGH thanks to all for your interest & ideas
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    VR3 wrote: »
    I'm with the bobcat idea!

    or explosives.
    Explosives would be a blast - oh sorry about the pun 😂 To recall why I started this thread as it’s members possess a wealth of information & experience. I THINK a tiller is a faster way to shave the last 2-3 inches from about 60% of an 18’ X 33’ pool site. I want to be sure this won’t make more work, add more time and physical pain - I forgot to mention arthritis flare-ups in my left thumb & knee.

    Already did the “Bobcat thing.” Two Saturdays ago, I spent $502 to rent and operate a (different brand but similar to) Bobcat* (model TL8) to level the Pool space that totals about 25’ X 45’ from a two FOOT slope to a varying 2-3 inches.
    *can’t remember the brand but uses two joysticks - easier to use

    An update: Right now my backyard is basically a dust bowl; mud pit after a rain. Read on to, hopefully, get the big picture.

    I’ve chipped away on the pool-specific site for ~2-3 very tedious hours a day almost every day for the past 11 days. Still have about 3/4 of the remaining chippin’ to do

    Meanwhile I‘m researching, designing but yet to start construction on remainder of the space most of which must be complete to power the pool’s pump:
    1. a lower 16’ X 40’ deck against the back of the house w/a 3/4 bath & a bar. The “Bar” contains the “backyard” sub power panel, sound system controls*, a fridge, sink, and multiple phone charging ports all under a 12’ X 40’ tin roof cover w/4 speakers*.
    2. an upper deck that surrounds the pool about 3/4 around adjoining the lower deck
    3. a drainage system that carries splash, backwash, & rain water** away from the house and pool.
    *used AVR, adding a Bluetooth module driving a Parasound HCA-855 to Atrium 55
    **prior to my grading, a small, but too much for me, percentage of rain water tended to flow towards the house***. Over 99% of all backyard water must follow suit
    *** that end of the crawl space tends to be moist compared to the middle and front - hope to fix w/this project🤔

    I’m neither a carpenter nor a civil engineer and lack the tools and skills for both but I’m willing to and I have watched YT vids, pick the brains of others (think lower deck and covering) to make my twilight years more fun.

    Another update: I do possess the skills and tools for the sound and electrical - today I placed the cable for the sub panel - not connected at either end yet

    Again a HUGH thanks to all for your interest, ideas, and reading this far.
    Samsung 60" UN60ES6100 LED
    Outlaw Audio 976 Pre/Pro
    Samsung BDP, Dish Rcvr, Xbox, Phillips CD chgr

    Canare 14 ga - LCR tweeters inside*; CC outside
    BJC 10 ga - LCR mids, inside* & out
    8 ga Powerline - LR woofers, inside* & out
    *soldered

    LR: tri-amped RTi A7 w/Rotels. Woofers - 980BX; M&T - 981
    CC: Rotel RB985 -> tri-amped CSi A6
    5 Audio Pro Subs: 1 B1.39: an Evidence at each corner
    Surrounds: Rotel 981 -> AR 12 ga -> RTi A3
    Power Conditioning & Distribution:
    3 dedicated 20A feeds; APC H15; 4 Furman Miniport 20s
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