Whether you want to do some minor landscaping or turn your back yard into a garden, Troy Bilt makes a tiller that fits your needs. However, with multiple lines spanning 12 models, finding the right tiller can be confusing. Here’s what you need to know to get the right tiller for your next landscaping or gardening project.

How Features Affect Performance

Tine Direction

Forward rotating: The blades move in the same direction as the wheels. This pushes through soft soil with ease. Forward rotating tillers are a good choice if you’re preparing already tilled ground.

Counter-rotating: The blades move in the opposite direction of the wheels. This helps them cut deep into unplowed soil. They also don’t transfer as much vibration to the handle when cutting through heavy clay or rocks.

Dual direction: The Mustang Dual Direction tiller can switch between forward and counter-rotating the tines. This lets you choose between heavy ground turning or working tilled soil.

Tine Shape

Troy Bilt’s bolo tines have a unique shape that captures dirt as it’s sliced, chopping and turning each clump before being dropped on the ground. All tillers except the Ranger FT have these tines.

Tine Placement

Front-mounted tines work best for previously tilled soil, picking up and turning dirt with little effort. The Ranger FT, Colt FT and Colt FT XP are front tine tillers. All other Troy Bilt tillers have rear-mounted tines. This helps the tines dig into packed down soil, making them the best choice for difficult jobs.

“Just One Hand” Operation

Troy-Bilt designs their tillers to be used with one hand on the controls. This lets you walk alongside the tiller, staying out of the path of the dirt. It also keeps you from compacting the freshly turned soil with your feet.

Tilling Width

A wider width reduces the time it takes to make new garden plots, while a narrow width tiller can easily pass between plants. Some models have adjustable width tines for both jobs.

Gearing

Forward rotating tines push the tiller along automatically, so there’s no drive system required for the wheels. Most Troy Bilt counter-rotating models have a single speed transmission that matches wheel speed to tine speed. Power reverse helps pull the tiller out when it gets stuck, and makes the tiller easier to maneuver. The Big Red and Horse have multiple gears to match the tiller speed with the ground condition and your walking speed.

Tine Drive

The Colt FT and FT XP use a chain drive, and the Ranger has a light duty gearbox. All other tillers have a heavy-duty gearbox with a limited lifetime warranty.

Engine

Most Troy-Bilt tillers are powered by the company’s own line of residential engines. Pro Line tillers use Honda’s GC residential engine, while the Pony, Horse and Big Red use Briggs & Stratton commercial engines.

Models

There are a lot of similarities between model lines, which makes it hard to find the right model for your needs. This breakdown pairs similar models, noting their different features for apples-to-apples comparisons.

Unless otherwise noted, these tillers are powered by a 208cc Troy Bilt engine and have rear mounted tines.

Ranger FT
– 140cc Troy Bilt engine
– 7 inch adjustable depth, adjustable width up to 24 inches
– Front-mounted forward rotating tines

Colt FT and FT XP
– The Colt FT comes with a folding handle.
– 13/22/24 inch tilling width
– Front mounted forward rotating tines
– Chain drive
– 7-inch depth

Bronco CRT
– Counter-rotating blades
– 6 inch tilling depth, up to 14 inch tilling width

Super Bronco CRT, Mustang Dual-Direction Rear Tine and Pro-Line CRT
– Counter-rotating blades
– Mustang can switch between counter and forward rotating tines
– Pro-Line powered by a Honda GC160 engine
– 7 inches deep, 16 inch width
– Power reverse
– Front bumper

Pony, Pony ES and Pro-Line FRT
– Pony and Pony powered by a 250cc Briggs & Stratton commercial engine
– Pony ES comes with electric start
– Pro-Line powered by a Honda GC160 engine
– 7 inch tilling depth, 16 inch width
– Forward rotating tines
– Front bumper
– Power reverse

Horse and Big Red
– 306cc Briggs & Stratton
– 4 forward and 2 reverse speeds
– Big Red transmission has a neutral to run the tines in place
– 7 inch tilling depth, 20 inch width
– Forward rotating tines
– Front bumper

We Cover All Your Lawn and Garden Equipment Needs

Shank’s Lawn Equipment carries most major equipment brands including Troy Bilt, Honda and Mantis. We also service everything we sell, and we have a massive warehouse full of OEM parts. That means we can help you keep your tiller running long after the sale. If you’re looking for new equipment, or need help with your current tiller, visit us at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. Need parts or accessories? We ship across the United States and Canada. To see what we offer, visit www.shankslawn.com.