Prepare the soil to provide a healthy home to plants.

How to Use a Troy-Bilt Pony Tiller

by Keith Dooley

The Pony tiller from Troy-Bilt features a rear tine design to make preparing soil in the landscape or garden easier. Troy-Bilt Pony tillers include such features as one-hand operation, bolo tines, 16-inch tilling width, 13-inch tires and a 250cc engine to power through difficult ground. Learning to use the Pony tiller requires a basic understanding of the machine so that it is operated in a safe manner.

Prepare the Pony tiller for operation. Make sure the spark plug wire is securely connected to the spark plug. Add gasoline to the fuel tank, located on top of the engine. Check the oil level with the dipstick located in the oil fill tube on the side of the engine. Verify that the safety guards are in place and no visible parts are missing.

Start the tiller by placing the gear lever, located by the left handle bar, in the "engaged" position. Place the depth regulator lever, located on the rear tine guard, all the way down in the "travel" position. Do not hold the hand controls and place the throttle in the "fast" position. Push the primer on the engine and pull the starter cord to start the engine. Turn the key on models equipped with an electric starter. Allow the engine to warm and gradually move the throttle from choke to "choke off" or "run.".

Move the Pony tiller to the desired tilling location. Pull the clutch control levers located below the handle bars up toward the handle bars. Hold the levers up to propel the tiller forward. Let the tiller do the work as you walk behind and slightly to the side. Release the clutch control levers to stop the forward progress of the Pony tiller.

Turn the tiller, when necessary, by slowing the forward speed. Lift the tiller tines out of the ground by lifting up on the handle bars. Apply outward pressure on the handle bars opposite of the direction you want to turn. For example, turn left by apply outward pressure against the right handle bar.

Stop the tiller by releasing the forward clutch control levers. Move the throttle control on tillers with a recoil starter to the "stop" position. For electric key start models, turn the key to the "off" position.

Items you will need

  • Gasoline
  • Oil
  • Brush
  • Garden hose
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection


  • Avoid digging too deeply on one pass. Use multiple passes and allow the weight of the Pony tiller to work the ground and till deeper on successive passes.
  • Clean the tines of the tiller thoroughly to prevent rust. Use a brush and running water from a garden hose to rinse away dirt and debris.


  • Wear safety glasses and gloves for protection while working with the tiller.

About the Author

Keith Dooley has done work in the field of landscaping and design for more than 10 years. He has implemented his own designs, as well as pulled from techniques learned through studies, creating many landscapes for others to enjoy.He has also maintained lawns, athletic fields, town parks, large gardens and game fields.

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