I have had a BCS rototiller for about 10 years now. I bought it used
and it was about 15+ years old when I purchased it. It had an ACME
8hp Italian engine when I bought it (Wind the rope around the pulley
and pull it off motor not a wimpy self recoiling pull starter). After
two years the engine quit when I loaned it to a mechanically
challenged friend. I purchased a Briggs&Stratton engine replacement
kit from a BCS dealer and a 13hp Honda engine from EBAY. The specs
said they should work together although not specifically listed as a
"match" they fit together perfectly. Delivery on the parts was very
slow. But BCS did have what I needed for my rototiller that predated
their recorded model numbers. My model is so old that it has a
"granny bar" going between the two handles. The BCS dealer had never
seen this "Feature" before. I like the granny bar for applying a
little "English" to maneuver the tiller with my hips instead of doing
all the steering with my hands, arms and shoulders.
The 13hp honda may seem like overkill but it has some great advantages
the least of which is easy starting! The Honda is great because I can
run the engine very slow and slow down the tines for breaking soil and
speed the throttle back up for subsequent passes. The high torque
with slow tine rotation makes breaking tough soil much more
manageable. The tines running at high speed do a beautiful job of
prepping the soil and working half backed compost into the soil.
I purchased the used BCS to break a big 30% grade western Oregon heavy
clay hill into terraces. For this the BCS did a fantastic job but I
have definitely taken some bruises in the process. Most of the time
when I was breaking ground I would run only two of the four tines.
This made the job much easier on me. After a couple of years of
terracing I would use all four tines for soil preparation.
I have since moved to central Oregon with volcanic soil and a lot of
2" to 12" diameter rocks. The BCS still does a good job breaking new
ground with two of the four tines and is easy to control. It will
occasionally lurch on me when I hit a big rock but there aren't any
tillers I am aware of that won't. I keep the differential locked while
breaking soil and this keeps the BCS from really taking off on me.
With the wheel differential unlocked the tiller can hit a tough spot
with one wheel and take off double time on the other wheel. When
prepping already broken ground the unlocked differential makes
maneuvering much much easier. It is a very nice feature.
I have a friend with horses and free aged manure. The BCS does a
wonderful job at mixing the aged manure in. I have 5 acres now and a
pull behind tiller for my lawn tractor would be preferable (but I say
this without ever having used one).
A couple of complaints I have about my tiller that would not keep me
from buying another BCS are:
1) The new clutch that came with the engine kit is too heavy and
sticks shut after a winters storage. The only way to unstick the
clutch is to remove the motor and oil the clutch cones. The clutch
problem is noted in one of BCS's tech bulletins. The old very capable
lighter clutch that never slipped on me did not have this problem.
2) Swapping from 2 tines to 4 tines requires unfastening and
refastening 8 bolts. This is a slow process even with an air ratchet
and an extension. An impact wrench won't work. It would not be very
hard to engineer a quick disconnect system for the outside pair of
tines but I haven't gotten the motivation too do so yet.
My BCS monster is a great tiller that really impresses the neighbors.
The attachments are too expensive for my budget so I have never
purchase any of them. A new BCS tractor with a complete set of
attachments approaches the price of a new subcompact car. Too rich
for my blood but the investment in the used tractor and the expense of
the new Honda motor have definitely proved themselves to be a good