The Husqvarna FT900-CA Tiller
This beast of a front-tine tiller is powered by a 208cc Briggs & Stratton OHV engine, which is well-known for being reliable and problem-free for both starting and operation.
Husqvarna’s FT900 is listed as CARB compliant…meaning that the amount of combusted fuel exhaust coming from the tiller during operation is minimized…but not eliminated…resulting in cleaner air to breathe during tilling. Successful compliance is based on satisfying the regulations set forth by the California Air Resources Board. These rules are currently being enforced in 18 states nationwide… and they are more stringent than the EPA Clean Air guidelines.
Weighing in at 100 pounds, the FT900 is very maneuverable and easy to steer through a garden plot for tilling…and cultivating between rows.
Utilizing an Over Head Valve engine, this tiller unleashes so much power that even the most stubborn and compacted terrain will get chewed up and spit back out as a loose, loamy earth that provides a happy healthy home for your garden plants.
TIP: When working with super compact and rock-hard dirt…like Georgia clay…wet the soil first. It will make life much easier for you and keep the tiller from bouncing around so much.
Being a 4-cycle engine, you can use regular, unleaded gas in the tank…at least 87 octane…and in the oil reservoir, the recommendation is 30W oil…although 10W30 oil can also be used.
The heavy-duty hardened steel tines are adjustable for tilling and cultivating widths of 12 inches, 24 inches, or 26 inches. A downside is that the tine guard width cannot be adjusted.
A depth bar, with a working depth of 6.5 inches, makes it simple to set the amount of soil penetration. There are 7 adjustment increments.
TIP: The depth bar…or drag bar…sometimes won’t stay up when you don’t want to use it so, you may need to adjust it higher to get it out of your way. Also, when operating the tiller in reverse, lift the bar above ground or it may bind and bend in the soil.
The transmission operates in both forward and reverse. Forward rotation is achieved by holding down the lever on the left handlebar. Reverse rotation is controlled by the lever on the right handlebar.
There are removable 5 inch wheels to make it easy moving between the tilling area and the tool shed.
Assembly is simple…basically, you just have to attach the handlebars.
A Few Downsides
The forward lever is on the left handlebar. Since most folks are right-handed, they would like to see this switched to the right handlebar since forward is the direction used most of the time. Some report crossing their hands over to operate the forward lever with their right hand to give their left hand a break.
Sloppy, loose forward and reverse cables. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t like cables on my outdoor equipment just loosely crawling up the handlebars to the forward and reverse levers. So, I suggest using some plastic cable ties to secure them in place to keep them from snagging on you or another object.
The throttle is on the engine. It would be so very convenient to have the throttle on the handlebars within a hand’s reach. But, all is not lost. You can purchase a throttle cable that can be easily installed…just check to make sure it is long enough to reach from the engine to the placement position on the handle.
There is no oil dipstick. The right amount of oil is indicated by the oil reaching the outermost threads after removing the yellow screw-on oil filler plug. An upside, is that the oil drain plug is easily accessible on the front of the engine for carefree oil removal.
My Final Decision?
I still think that this mighty tiller, with its Briggs & Stratton engine is a BEAST! It is a real animal that will cut through hard and rocky ground with little or no effort. It is easy to start…usually taking only one or two pulls on the cord…and, the price is compatible with my pocketbook.
Hence, it is totally worth your while to take a real close look at the Husqvarna FT900-CA tiller.
I am interested in your thoughts on this tiller or any other tiller you might find interesting on my gas tiller review page. Comment below or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim, the Life Long Gardener