Grillo!!

Funny thing happened on the way home from my 6th, of 7, deliveries to my Big Rain Barrel Account.

Wonder what this could be...

Yep! The Grillo is here!

I was concerned that it was still in the box -Joel at Earth Tools had said it would be “ready to go”… No worries though:

From box… to this in about 20 minutes -including mounting the rotary plow-look at the teeth on that thing! The wheel in the back is for transport, and can also be set a depth gauge. Perspective in this shot is difficult -trust me, this thing is BIG!

Earth Tools does a hell of a job, the tranny was full of grease and oil, and there was even a gallon of diesel in the tank. You could literally have this dropped off at the job site and been “in the dirt” within 20 minutes. Nice! Course I had to try it out. I quick dug up a chunk of the backyard, you know, to test it out 😉 Once I figured out how to shift it and engage the PTO (new square cut gears=rough shifting) enough not to embarrass myself I loaded it up to take out to the Market Garden to play.

The shot at right gives a better sense of the size of this tractor.  The trailer has a 5×8 bed with 2′ sides…   The owner was stoked to see what it could do, so we did a test run in the garden plot with the rotary plow.  Unfortunately, it is still a bit wet, so no pics of that yet.

But, he needed to till under a section of their garden for their onions so we swapped on the tiller implement: changing implements is straight forward -you need a 19mm box end wrench and the ability to dead lift a hundred pounds. It really only takes 2-4 minutes like they claim.

I bought the tiller implement to turn under crops and prep beds for seeding with an Earthway Seeder. Here you can see the fine work it does on precut beds. In the pic, I am going back over my first tilling so you can see the difference. The inital till was perfect for transplanting, the second till leaves an incredibly smooth tilth that an Earthway would be a breeze to push through. I was very pleased and the farm owner was impressed at its precision in working in the planted beds in the background. On these long rows I was glad I got the locking differential: get it pointed straight, lock the diff and you can follow along with one hand -the locked diff keeps it arrow straight. 1st gear is a very slow walk, 2nd gear is a steady/fast walk. 3rd gear (8mph) ripped the tractor out of my hands and engaged the auto kill…

A better shot of the tilth after a second light tilling at it shallowest depth.

Very excited to put this to some real work in this week if the rain holds off. After my initail trials, I think the rotary plow will make a wicked good potato planter- it digs a 10″ wide furrow 8″ deep and throws the soil 18″ to the right. I think I will be able to cut a row, plant it, turn the tractor onto the next row and throw that soil onto the first. MASSIVE time saver. I am stoked!!

About 1 hour in the soil and by eye balling it, I used about a cup of diesel fuel.

I like my new toy.

Will have more posts soon as cut the garden in earnest (it is over 50% quack grass- damn it!) and start planting the 40# of potatoes (Green Mountain and Butte) and 400 onion sets that showed up from Fed-Co today. Saturday I pick up 100#’s of Carola and 50#’s of Yukon Gold. I hope the furrow trick works!

-Rob

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