April 2021


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Fri, 2 Apr 2021 12:55:10 -0400
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Gino <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, Mar 15, 10:13 AM
to vtvegandberry
I am in need of a new walk behind tiller and I understand that BCS machines
have a PTO that runs countless attachments. If you own one or have used
one, what has been your experience, with which model, and with any
particular attachments you have used?
Gino Palmeri
*Vermont Elderberry*
*www.vermontelderberry.com <http://www.vermontelderberry.com/>*

Justin Rich <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, Mar 15, 10:22 AM
to me
hey Gino,

Not what you were asking, but we have a ~35 yr old BCS with a tiller,
sickle bar mower (might be a rotary mower - it's at my father in law's
house and I've never even seen it), and snow blower attachment that we
don't use anymore.  It could use some TLC with the motor (it's very hard to
start but I've almost always been able to get it running) but it's seen
relatively little use in its lifetime.  We'd sell it for pretty cheap, like
$500 for the package.


Boots Wardinski <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, Mar 15, 10:24 AM
to me
If you get a bcs, make sure you have a mechanic that works on them. Some
will work on the engine but not the rest of it. Parts can be difficult to
obtain. That said I have been happy with mine. Fortunately there is someone
close that works  on them and sells equipment.

Evening Song Farm
Mon, Mar 15, 10:28 AM
to me
Hi Gino, we have a BCS 853 that we use mostly with a 30inch power harrow
for preparing beds in our high tunnels.  BCS are very well built and
reliable.  Depending on what you're using it for, I'd recommend a power
harrow over a rotary tiller.  It makes a better seedbed with much better
depth control, so you don't have to churn up your soil and create the
conditions for degradation of soil structure with repeated use over 5+
years. We usually set our power harrow so that it skims the top inch or two
of the soil, and it leaves us a wonderful rolled seedbed to plant into.
It's a big beefy machine...takes a little more strength to maneuver than an
old troy-bilt tiller.

Neat to learn about your elderberry farm, our vegetable farm has grown
about 50 bushes of Coomer and Berryhill for the past 5 years.  We
love them!  Would love to stay in touch to trade notes on best practices
for elder management.

Long Days Farm <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, Mar 15, 10:34 AM
to me
We have a Grillo G110 (gasoline) 13 hp.  It is way more user friendly than
our old G107D which in turn was better than our ancient rope start BCS that
we got used 20 years ago.  There are a wide variety of implements that are
compatible across BCS and Grillo.

Joel at Earth Tools is your man.  Call him and tell him what you need to
do.   But do it soon.  They are very busy in the spring.  He convinced us
that Grillo would be easier  than BCS for us to maintain ourselves but we
were still able to use our old BCS implements.   We have a Grillo tiller,
Berta rotary plow, flail mower, and sickle bar.   We had a Biagoli spud
digger and cultivator and did not find them useful.   We have friends who
have a power harrow and I think they are pleased with it.

I would not use the rotary plow for primary tillage of large areas.  It
cuts a narrow swath, is hard on your body, and the cutting tips wear out
quickly in rocky soil.  The flail mower is great.   We use it to mow edges,
mow cover crops, chop up corn stalks and asparagus foliage, etc


Manns Hill <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, Mar 15, 10:47 AM
to me
We have an 853 and a 739
Flail mower
Rinaldi power harrow
Rotary plow
The machines are both great / reliable
The power harrow and the rotary plow get the most use in our applications
Purchased from Earth Tools though we try to purchase as much as possible
Joel at Earth Tools is amazing. Worth breaking the buy local rule for. You
will want his support if you buy a machine.
Good luck!

Nathan Hammer <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, Mar 15, 11:16 AM
to me
If I remember correctly I have used the 730 series. It really depends on
what you are tilling. If you are not going into sod and are doing about an
acre or less they are great. They create smaller beds than a tractor which
can be both helpful and a hindrance depending on the situation. They just
bounce on hard ground and rocks and don't make a great seeding bed in those
situations, but they are heavier than other walk behinds so don't bounce as
much. I think of them as specific small farm tools. I haven't used them for
anything other than rototilling. I appreciate that you can rotate the
handle so you don't have to walk in the row you are making. That said, if
there are rocks or hard ground the machine definitely pulled me around some
times. I am 6'4" and 180ish lbs. One thing I did like a lot about it was
that when I had the option of a tractor and a BCS and I was only doing 1 or
two beds or tilling it made a lot more sense to just run the BCS for a
couple of minutes instead of what can sometimes seem like a pain getting
the tractor equipment all hooked up. I also was not as concerned about
compaction when using the BCS.

All that said, I have only ever used them for two year stretches on
different farms and don't know how long they hold up for longer than that.
They are pretty beefy but there are some weak points that tend to break if

I don't know if that is helpful at all.

Nathan Hammer
Firefly Fields

John and Joy Primmer <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, Mar 15, 7:49 PM
to me
Hi Gino,
We use a BCS 850. It's 25 years old, and replaced the engine once.  I think
the comparable model now is the 853.  We have a 1 1/2 acre market garden.
 The BCS is the only tractor we have.  We till, plow, harrow, flail mow,
haul a cart ( up to 1/2 ton a firm ground), snow plow and snow blow with
it.    Not sure what your needs are but I highly recommend   Earth Tools
<https://www.earthtools.com/> .  Great folks, really great service.  Out of
Kentucky but they have walked us through many repairs.  They also carry
Grillo walk behind tractors.  Earth Tools carries BCS implements but also
other Italian brands that are much more rugged.

Sweet Roots Farm <[log in to unmask]>
Mar 15, 2021, 10:23 PM
to me
I managed a 2 acre operation using primarily a BCS. We had an 853 and a
750. We used all kinds of attachments - tiller, rotary plow, power harrow,
flail mower, compost spreader etc.
Our farm was run primarily by average stature women and everyone was
trained on the BCS. Some of the implements are very heavy and a bit awkward
but once you get used to it, it's great. The machine is a workhorse!
Earth Tools is a great resource. They are super knowledgeable.
Happy to share more info if you want.
Good luck!


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