Home-grown vegetables are the feather in any farmer’s cap, and backyard space filled abundantly with bluebells, dahlias, and geraniums is a sure sign of a keen gardener. Maybe you’re a builder or landscaper and you need access to freshly turned soil.
Whatever your reason, if you’re dealing with a large amount of land or plot then a tiller for your ATV is going to change your world (and more importantly, your backyard).
There are so many benefits to tilling soil before planting, you’d be a fool not to include this essential step when preparing your land, but walk-behind tillers are both time and energy-consuming which is an understandable deterrent. Editor's Note: Check out our detailed article on top oil for 5.7 Hemi here.
ATV tillers, also known as pull-behind tillers amongst many other names, are a great way to speed up the process whilst also saving your tired muscles. They’re able to cultivate the earth by penetrating its surface using tines or discs, which allows far more nutrients and water to seep down to the roots of your plants and help them flourish.
If you’re in a hurry to prepare your plot for planting before the growing season starts, check out our top pick to see which we’ve chosen as our favorite ATV tiller.
The buyer’s guide section will go into further detail about the criteria we used to measure what makes an ATV tiller a good choice, and will explain what you need to look out for when making a purchase.
Top 5 Best ATV Tillers
OUR TOP PICK
Famously known for their development of the lawn sweeper, Agri-Fab has become a leading brand in the lawn and garden attachments industry since their inception in 1975. Keep an eye out for other Agri-Fab machines on this list, but our top pick is the 450308 because of its excellent design and overall performance.
One of the things we love about the Agri-Fab 450308 is that it’s universal, so you can use it with any type of vehicle. It features a universal pin hitch which means that in addition to your ATV, you can mount this tow-behind tiller to tractors so you can choose to rent it out if you want to. The hitch is also ISO shock absorbent which results in smoother tilling.
You can adjust the height between 1.5 and 5.5 inches in depth for further flexibility, and the tines rotate in a forward direction so that you can use the tiller behind any front engine tractor for farms and larger areas.
Powered by a reliable Briggs and Stratton engine, this Agri-Fab tow-behind tiller is designed for heavy-duty use and can tear through even the toughest soil with its 6 one-piece tines which are 11 inches in diameter.
Another great bonus feature of this tiller is that it includes a depth stake so you can achieve consistent tilling results, and it doesn’t require a sleeve hitch when used with a tractor, as these can be expensive to purchase separately.
- Universal use
- ISO shock absorbing hitch
- Depth stake included
- Unit does not come with engine oil
Brinly-Hardy Co. has been designing innovative, high-quality products for over 180 years, and although technology has evolved over the years, their commitment to amazing performance has remained throughout. The Brinley SA40BH is a 40-inch spike aerator that’s perfect for tilling and cultivating tough areas of soil, and they’re so confident in it’s quality, it comes backed with a 2-year warranty.
There are 10 tine stars which measure 8 inches in diameter and feature 12 spike tips for effective soil penetration up to 2 inches deep. The tines are manufactured using galvanized steel for extra durability and to reduce the chance of rusting even after use in all seasons. The nylon spacers between each one also ensure maximum strength for tilling.
The tine axle is made of 5/8 inches of solid steel, and the all-steel construction enhances the heavy-duty nature of this equipment. Additionally, a rigid weight tray can handle another 110 lbs of further weight for even deeper digging.
But it’s not all strength and no speed: with this tow-behind spike aerator you can complete larger jobs in less time thanks to the independent rotation of each tine star, which continues as you turn your vehicle so you won’t have to listen out for the dreaded “you missed a spot!” while you work.
A universal hitch allows you to attach this pull-behind tiller to almost any vehicle from ATVs to tractors. It’s also easy to assemble and comes with detailed instructions and a full breakdown of parts.
- Universal hitch so can be used with any vehicle
- 40-inch width
- Excellent value for money
- Less effective if weight tray isn’t utilized
Yep, it’s another fine offering from Agri-Fab - we told you to keep an eye out for more! The 450544 spike aerator is the most affordable Agri-Fab option we’ve included in this list, but it still does a good job of tilling lower-maintenance spaces.
It’s 40 inches in width and has a weight tray above the tines which can hold up to 100 pounds to further enhance the tilling power. It features 10 galvanized spike discs that were manufactured using steel, which is less than the previous model we featured from this brand, but it still ensures effective aeration throughout the soil.
The folding hitch allows for easy storage when not in use, and it’s both easy to assemble and care for for anyone who wants a more low-maintenance piece of machinery. If there do happen to be any problems, you’ve covered by a 3-year limited warranty.
- 7-inch flat free tires for smoother transport
- Weight tray for up to 100 pounds extra weight
- Fewer number of galvanized spikes
If you’re working with a smaller space and don’t love the thought of paying top dollar for a machine that won’t get quite as much use, then the Craftsman CMXGZBF7124336 tow spike aerator is a great, affordable choice.
It’s smaller than the other options in this list at only 36 inches in width, although this is still a large area to cover in one go. This affords you greater maneuverability when tilling your desired area and means it can be easily stored when not in use for protection against the elements.
The 10-gauge steel frame is incredibly durable, however, so it will last a long time despite it’s more affordable price, proving that high-quality can be found without a high price tag.
Like other models, it includes a weight tray for added pressure during tilling, but this can only hold up to 80 pounds which is less than other models. It also only has 9 star-shaped spikes, but they break up the soil effectively and are able to dig fairly deep.
- Easy to handle
- Universal hitch pin
- Easy to set up and assemble
- Not suitable for larger areas or densely packed, tough soil
- Works more effectively when soil is slightly dampened
We thought we’d round off our list with another Agri-Fab tiller for good measure. The Agri-Fab 450299 tow plug aerator is perfect for anyone who needs a machine that’s capable of tilling larger areas of soil. It spans a total of 48 inches in width which means you won’t need to make as many turns as you’re tilling.
This amazing piece of equipment will leave your backyard lawn looking healthier than ever. It features 32 self-sharpening, galvanized knives to make light work of tearing up even the toughest soil, and it can also pull plugs up to 3 inches deep.
A weight tray makes it even more effective and can hold up to 175 pounds for deeper soil penetration. It’s perfect for repeated use due to its durability, and it will continue to perform well season after season.
Even someone completely new to tilling would be able to get to grips with this easy-to-use machine. It’s designed to offer a smooth tilling experience with flat free tires, and the cantilever transport handle allows you to raise and lower the equipment with equal ease.
- 32 galvanized knives
- Universal hitch
- 3-year warranty
- Installation instructions could be more detailed
Best ATV Tillers Buying Guide
Being able to successfully grow a variety of crops and plants relies on more than just nourishment and careful care throughout their lifetime; it actually starts at the very beginning - with your patch of soil. Even in the smallest garden, cultivating your soil is an essential step in any growing process.
The purpose of cultivating or tilling a plot of land is to break through the surface of the soil and shift it around so it’s less compact. This aerates the earth and will make sure that all the nutrients and water your plants need are easily able to reach the roots and seeds.
Skipping this step may seem tempting, especially if you don’t have an ATV tiller to help you with it, but if you choose not to properly cultivate your plot your plants will struggle to sustain themselves due to it being harder for the air, nutrients, and water to penetrate the soil.
Why do I need one?
Of course, you can manage without an ATV tiller and still cultivate your soil by turning over the topsoil with garden tools such as a shovel or spading fork. However, this can be back-breaking work, and when you’re working with larger plots of land and a greater amount of soil it can be a seriously time-consuming job.
ATV tillers are a great attachment which makes this process a lot simpler, and considering how laborious it is to do by hand, they will undoubtedly save you a lot of time and effort.
Push or pull?
It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves when coming up to an unfamiliar door, but it also applies to the decision of which type of tiller will work best for your needs.
The two main types available for consumer purchase are: a walk-behind (push) tiller or a pull behind (pull) tiller. As you might have already guessed, the difference is in the direction in which they’re towed.
You can get either a front tine or a rear-tine push tiller, but these require more manual labor than a tiller you can attach to your ATV.
Front tine tillers allow you to navigate around obstacles whilst still being able to till the surrounding area, making them a great choice for smaller spaces, whereas rear-tine tillers are better suited for use in larger areas. Their engine is located at the front with their tines at the rear, and they can rotate in either direction depending on the model. Comparably, front tine tillers have their tines in the front and their engine located above them, with tines that rotate in a forward direction.
Pull behind tillers are undoubtedly a much better choice than either type of push tiller, especially when it comes to big, open areas and for large jobs. Their heavy-duty tines make light work of rougher terrains and rocky soil, saving you (and your back!) the effort.
Furthermore, tow-behind tillers don’t waste any energy having to propel itself forward in the way walk-behind tillers require, leaving the full power of their engine to be spent on turning the tiles. This means they cover more ground in less time, and your own level of fitness is irrelevant as your ATV does all the work for you!
ATV tillers are large pieces of equipment and they don’t come cheap, so it’s important to make the correct decision when it comes to buying one. No pressure!
As with any piece of equipment, it’s important to know what you’re going to be using your ATV tiller for when you’re deciding which one to purchase, as this will influence what sort of price range you’re looking at.
However, just because an ATV tiller is more expensive does not necessarily mean it’s a high-quality piece of equipment, and it’s possible to find just as capable tillers for a much more affordable price.
The space you’re working with
Another all-important consideration when you’re purchasing a new ATV tiller is the size of the space you’re planning on tilling, as you’ll need to think about the dimensions of the tiller in order to make sure you choose the right size for your intended area.
If you end up purchasing a tiller with a small tiling width it’ll take you a considerable amount of time to complete a larger area, whereas a tiller that’s too wide will make it hard to reach certain areas and may even be too wide to fit the space.
As well as the size of your space, you’ll want to consider the type of soil you’re going to be working with. There’s no point spending huge amounts on a heavy duty ATV tiller if you’re planning on using it for your soft-soiled, small backyard as a less powerful tiller will do an effective job just as well.
However, if your intended area contains rocky, compacted soil or a high clay content, a heavy-duty ATV tiller is going to be a more practical option as it will do a better job of tilling hard ground. Rocky soil also has a habit of sending smaller rocks and debris flying, so you’ll want to choose a tiller that’s been manufactured using durable materials.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need to prepare soil for tilling?
No matter how powerful your ATV tiller is, preparing your soil will make it a lot easier. This will prevent your tines from getting clogged or damaged as you till.
How do you prepare soil for tilling?
You should start by removing any weeds, plants, or sod, making sure that you’ve got all the roots. You can pull these out either by hands or with a shovel. It can also be beneficial to get rid of larger rocks and stones, as although your tiller may be able to cope with them clearing these obstructions will make it a lot smoother.
How do you attach your tiller to your ATV?
Usually, your tiller will attach to your ATV via a hitch. A pin-style hitch is one of the most common types of hitch you’ll find on tow-behind tillers, as these are practically universal and allow you to mount your tiller to almost any vehicle.