BCS vs. Goldoni 2-wheel tractor?

nygardener(z6 New York)November 22, 2009

I'm planning to buy a 2-wheel tractor for breaking ground on, tilling, and cultivating beds for a small (one acre or less; maybe eventually two acres) market garden. I'll also be mowing between the beds using a sickle-bar mower, and occasional other stuff like snowblowing and transporting buckets of manure. Any thoughts on BCS vs. Goldoni? The Goldoni rep told me they're heavier-duty machines, but I don't know whether that's true, or if it's even an advantage. Has anyone had experience using both?

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canguy(British Columbia)

This is the first I have heard of Goldoni. These type of implements seem popular in Italy.
Do they have a reliable dealer network in North America? This was a big issue for BCS in the early years. They are probably good products but service is more important than bells and whistles.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 12:54PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Goldoni two-wheel tractors are sold in the US by OESCO, in Conway, Massachusetts. That's not a wide network, but reasonably close to where I am.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 8:29PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

One clear difference is that the Goldonis weigh about twice as much as BCS. They also have vibration-absorbing handlebars. Do you BCS users find that you wish the machines were heavier, or less bone-jarring?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 8:35PM
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woodywoodchuck(Wake Forest, NC 7)

IÂve had my BCS 718 for a few years (5 maybe?) now and ready for its 4th set of tines, it gets a lot of use in NC hard clay with granite. I have a 1,200 sq ft vegetable garden with at least twenty, 4Â by 10Â to 20Â plots of flowers and other vegetables around the yard. Has been a while since I actually kept count and I add one or two every year.

I never noticed any Âbone jarring issues, it has always been really smooth. A little heavier when doing first till of virgin ground would be nice. Not a huge problem though, it just takes me a few extra passes. When working my regular garden not a problem. I think if it were any heavier it might be more of an issue in regular use. For my uses it has been great. Balances nicely for transport around the yard with the 18" tiller. High gear is a bit fast and will give you a workout jogging to keeping up with it!

I did install the wheel spacers, for running dual wheels, and run single tires. For my terrain the wheel base was too narrow. The tires were originally just inside the tilled track and I get better traction when they are just to the outside of it. I will be getting an extra set of wheels, to run duals, when I get a few extra bucks. On side hills it tends to get top heavy when one wheel dips into the tilled track, which is always the down hill one. I found this last year while preparing to open up a new section of garden, on a slope.

Never heard of Goldoni so have nothing to compare them to.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 2:59PM
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farmerboybill

Hey NYgardener,

As Canguy mentioned, the ability to get parts is important. That being said, many of the BCS dealers don't know much about the machines, at least in my area. I buy all my parts from a dealer in Kentucky.

I have an 850 with 30 inch tiller and had a 730 with 26 inch tiller that I just replaced with a 605. The 730 was a touch light in some situations, but it was easily maneuverable due to it's light weight. The 850 has never seemed light for me. Of course, I have wheel weights and can add up to 200 lbs to it when necessary. I wouldn't want a big, clumsy lunker that didn't allow me to take weight off when not needed. The newer model BCS's offer cushion absorbing handlebars.

The nicest thing about my 850 is the differential and steering brakes. Smaller machines don't need it as much, but differential makes a large machine manageable. Do the Goldonis offer differential? If not, I wouldn't look at 'em twice.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 10:50PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

They do offer differential, and their high-end model has two PTO speeds. Sounds like the extra weight and "heavy-duty" construction could cut both ways.

I'm leaning toward BCS Â will check out the Goldonis in Massachusetts if I get a chance.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 3:47PM
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farmerboybill

Hey NYgardener,

Another thing to the advantage of BCS I forgot to mention is the prevalence of used equipment. They aren't as common as a Troy Bilt, Gravely, Ariens, etc, but they have been sold in the US for over 30 years. There's a fair amount of opportunities to buy a used machine at a considerable discount compared to new. I have lots of BCS equipment and have only ever bought 1 tiller box new. In fact, I have a bunch of BCS stuff to sell right now.

Bill in WI

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 6:26PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Good points, Woody and Bill  thanks for the ideas and experiences.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 4:09PM
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dirtdigging101(7 - NC)

i have a troy bilt hourse tiller, and a few years ago i was going to upgrade to a bcs but did not, instead i went to no till. i have one half acre in raised beds from 20 to 50 feet in length and 4' wide at the base with sloped sides and they are mulched al the time. to establish the bbeds i hired a tractor to plow and disc the land then used a shovel to form the beds mu paths are 2' wide and mulched with leaves and lawn clippings. if i was to buy any machiner right now it would be a used straw blower. bales of straw here are 3 dollars a bale and it improves the soil. part of my reason for what i did was cost it was low cost. no boards for sides wasy to form the beds and easy to maintain, mbiggest chore is to haul the straw and spread it. think about it and read what others are doing.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 4:42PM
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dirtdigging101(7 - NC)

here is the viedio that was part of my conversion

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2865701754864235132#

Here is a link that might be useful: raised bed permaculture

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 7:11PM
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farmerboybill

Hey woodywoodchuck,

Shoot me an email at farmerboybill at gmail dot com. I may have a spare set of tires to sell you.

Bill

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 7:07PM
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