PTO rotary tillers feature a power take-off shaft that allows implements to draw energy from the engine. The Buhler/Farm King 25 PTO rotary tiller features a PTO-driven heavy-duty oil bath transmission and a side-shift that maintains PTO shaft orientation, minimizing universal joint stress. Land Pride RT 20 Series PTO rotary tillers feature tilling widths of 64 to 72 inches and Sigma rotary tillers feature a PTO clutch that slips until the tiller clears roots or rocks, eliminating frequent stops.
When selecting a PTO rotary tiller, features to consider include size, drive system and durability. Size, heavy or light duty, depends on the type of work being done, such as cultivating and weeding smaller gardens, mixing in compost or fertilizers or pulverizing soil in swaths several feet wide. Among the two most common drive systems, chain drives and gear/shaft drives, the gear drive is usually more durable and requires less maintenance. Durability varies by price and brand, but routine maintenance is key to ensuring the functionality of any PTO rotary tiller
There are three types of rotary tillers: front tine, rear tine and tractor mounted. Front-tine tillers work well for routine garden maintenance, such as weeding and preparing soil for planting. Front-tine tillers often feature a reverse tilling option. Rear-tine tillers are best for larger planting spaces. Rear-tine tillers with forward-rotating tines work well to cultivate, weed and add soil amendments. Counter-rotating tines, on the other hand, provide the additional torque necessary for breaking new ground or digging deeper. Some rear-tine tillers come with dual-rotating tines, enabling both forward and counter rotations depending on the job.