When you need a lot of power in a compact space, BCS America’s walk-behind tractors deliver. This guide will walk you through operating their equipment, whether you have a Harvester or Professional Series tractor.
Check the engine oil level: Lift up the tractor so that the engine is parallel to the ground. Remove the oil plug/dipstick, located on the left side of the engine near the bottom. Oil should be visible at the top of the filler neck; add 10W-40 oil as needed.
Engaging the Clutch
The clutch should be engaged whenever starting the engine or storing the tractor.
- Close the operator presence control lever — the red lever on the left handle.
- Close the clutch lever, the lever directly below the operator presence lever, and flip up the clip on the clutch lever.
When you let go, both levers should be held closed. This prevents the engine from powering the tractor.
Starting the Engine
- With the clutch engaged, move the power switch, located on top of the left handle, to “On” (green).
- Check the transmission dipstick, located on the left side just behind the battery. If the level is below the marks, add 80W90 gear oil if you have a cone clutch model, or tractor hydraulic fluid/transmission oil if you have a PowerSafe model.
- Move the throttle lever, located on the right handle, to the 3/4 position, up and toward the end of the handle.
- Open the fuel valve (lower lever) and close the choke (upper lever.) Both are located on the engine below the air cleaner.
- Pull the recoil starter handle until you feel resistance. Let the cord reel in, pull the handle out again, then give it a quick pull. The engine should start. Push the choke lever toward the center position. Once the motor has warmed up, the choke can be opened fully.
Engaging the Transmission
Before using the tractor, make sure it will move smoothly in both low gear and reverse.
- Set the throttle to idle speed.
- While holding the clutch lever closed, pull the shift selector rod, located to the left below the handles, to shift into first gear.
- Gently release the clutch lever. The tractor should move forward.
To shift into reverse, close the clutch lever and move the reverse lever, the red lever on the right handle, backward. Gently release the clutch. Keep in mind that the reverse speed will be the same as the forward speed. For this reason, you should shift into low gear before engaging reverse.
Engaging the PTO
Before using the tractor, engage the PTO while in forward and reverse gears. The PTO should not engage while in reverse.
Once the transmission has been shifted into gear, close the clutch lever and push the PTO lever, to the right below the handles, forward.
To change gears, close the clutch lever and move the shift lever through the gates of the shift selector, located on the left side of the tractor. The lower the gear, the more the tines will turn for each revolution of the wheels, which means more chopping action. BCS recommends using the gears for the following tasks:
- First gear – Seed bed preparation and composting
- Second gear – Inter-row cultivation
- Third gear – Mowing
- Fourth gear – Transport
When in fourth gear, the tractor can reach speeds approaching 9 miles per hour, making it too fast to walk behind. For this reason, it should only be used while riding on a sulky or transport trailer.
Setting Tiller Depth
Tiller depth is set by changing the position of the handle on top of the tiller cover. The top two holes are for soft soil and cultivation, while the third is for seed bed preparation.
Changing the Control Position
Always keep the clutch lever closed when adjusting the handles.
To change the height of the handlebars, push down on the control height lever, located in the center below the handles. Once the handles are in a comfortable position, release the lever. When standing with your arms at waist level, the tiller should be above the ground.
To change the offset of the handles, close the offset lever, located on the right handle. Swing the handles into a comfortable position, then release the handle. Working at an offset lets you till unbroken ground without having to walk through the freshly tilled soil from the previous pass.
If you’re using front mount attachments, pop out the shifter and PTO rods from the controls, close the offset lever, and swing the handles around until they’re in front of the engine. Snap the rods back into place.
Getting Parts and Accessories for the BCS Tractor
When you need something for your BCS tractor, go to Shank’s Lawn Equipment. We’re a certified BCS America dealer with factory-trained personnel and a large stock of parts, so we can help you get your tractor back to work as soon as possible. We’re located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, PA. That’s just off route 11, or Exit 10 to Marion if you’re driving on I-81. Not in the area? We ship parts across the U.S. and Canada. Just visit our website, www.ShanksLawn.com.