Got my new 1025r TLB last week and had to go out and dig over the weekend.
It will definitely take practice, but the 12" bucket tore through the ground without any problems. The ground is good Virginia soil on top of some clay. It had rained a bunch all week which probably helped as well.
Prior to purchase, I watched a several videos and it seemed that the 260 struggled a bit when digging, so I also bought the 8" scoop. Now I'm thinking that the 16" bucket is on the wish list.
A great tip I read somewhere was to lower the RPMs. That helped me be in better control. Dealer said if I did that, I had to watch the engine temperature.
I had no problems with the hydraulic hose under foot. It has enough play so that it now rests out of the way. I may get a bungee to hold it firmly.
I really like the size of the backhoe - could probably dig faster with something bigger but it fits perfectly in my garage and under the deck where the digging-for-the-patio will occur.