Hello all - I'm in need of a tiller. In my search I found an Earthquake Front tine tiller with a Briggs engine (model 3365B). Does anyone have any good or bad experiences with these tillers?
I confess that I've never used any product made by Earthquake. On the other hand, I can tell you that I have used front tine tillers, mid tine tillers and rear tine tillers during the many years of my gardening experience. So far, I've never met a front tine tiller that I liked.
Every front-tine tiller I have used was a handful to control unless it was buried in deep, loose soil that was free of any roots, stones or debris of any kind. Usually it only took about two minutes time before I was already hating the machine to the point where I wanted to pour gasoline over it and watch it incinerate. By a huge margin, rear tine tillers have it all over any front tine unit, in my humble opinion.
But, I do understand budgets and if your's is small and your garden is small, then a front-tine tiller beats using a shovel any day of the week. If you have never used a front-tine tiller before, then be prepared for a pretty good physical workout, especially if you are breaking new ground.
I have to agree w/ Kompressor on the front tine tillers. I have a small(14") western auto front tine that has worked well simply because it isn't big enough to cause much trouble. The big front tines can be a bear to wrestle with in hard, rocky ground and don't even think of trying to break sod with it. I recently picked up an old troybilt horse rear tine because our garden is much larger than the one we had previously and I like to till lots of shredded leaves in it over the winter.My SIL has a sears CRT rear tine, but it doesn't work well for tilling in the leaves, the horse is FRT. If your garden is small a small front tine would probably work well.
Front tine tillers can be a bear until you learn to use them. I grew with horse drawn walk behind equipment and Front tine tillers work the same way, controlled by pressure on the handles. I am still using a 1968 Merry Tiller. Much more convenient than a rear tine. Can get into tighter spaces, take off the outside tines and cultivate narrow rows, lay off furrows, make lists (till row attachment) etc. If you work with the machine rather than try to wrestle it, front tine tillers are great. You can also break ground deeper than a rear tine with similar horsepower.
Ardisam offers 4 models of front tine tiller as well as rear tine and mini tillers. The Earth Quake brand has been around for a long time, but never achieved much market share at least in this area. They are gear drive which have proven problematic on other brands in the past. For me chain drive is the only way to go in a front tine tiller.