My Dad made extra money for the family when I was a kid by doing small engine repair out of the garage, the upshot of which was that we almost always had whatever motorized lawn implements we needed/wanted. They might not have been new-looking, but we had ’em, and they worked. But there were two lawn/garden machines that we didn’t have, and he always talked about them as if they we magic: the Troy-Bilt roto-tiller and the Ditch Witch.
The Ditch Witch wasn’t part of our fleet mainly because it was tremendously expensive — and we didn’t really have any good reason to dig that many ditches anyway. The roto-tiller, on the other hand, would’ve been extremely handy. Instead of Troy-Bilt’s smooth-running, easy-to-use Horse, we had a crappy open-front-tine type which tore the living mess out of whatever got near it (including me) and was prone to climbing chainlink fences. (Don’t ask.)
I remember when Dad did finally get hold of one. He bought it used, but in great condition. Of course it was in even better condition after he’d pulled it apart and renovated it. The first time I saw him with it, he was tilling the garden out ‘back of his place, and he brought me over and had me put my hand on it and easily guide it single-handedly down a row. It almost operated itself. All that was required on my part was holding the kill-switch and gently guiding it a little every now and then.
Compare this to the start it up, wrangle it into position, then release the clutch and all-hell-breaks-loose experience you normally get with a ’tiller.
I could read you specs and so on, but let me just tell you this: These ’tillers — they make a couple of different models — rule the roost. If you’ve got a sizeable garden, you should seriously consider one. Take some time and visit a dealer. They’re incredible.
Even though I currently live in a relatively urban area — and, consequently, I have a slightly-bigger-than-a-postage-stamp yard which certainly doesn’t require this type of serious machine, I still kept the one Dad had. I’ve considered selling it a couple of times — they hold a lot of their original value and bring quite a bit on the used market — but I just can’t bring myself to. It’s sitting patiently in a storage unit waiting for an opportunity to till a garden, or maybe the underlay for the new walkway I want to put in the (miniscule) backyard.
I won’t tell you about street pricing because it’d depress you, but let’s just say that they cost a little more than my first car did. Thankfully, my first car was purchased a pretty long time ago, and Dad certainly didn’t pay that much for his. Your mileage may vary.