Well, today was the first test of my new 1025R machine's snow plowing acumen. Here are my impressions.
WOW......That's all I can say. Well, not ALL I can say, but I certainly have to start with WOW.......
It was in the mid to upper 20's today here with a 20 plus mph wind and a fall jacket required me to keep turning the blower motor for the heat off as it would get too warm in the cab. Even with the 2 speed blower fan, I didn't need the fan blowing continuously, for sure. I will wear my new "Shirt Jacket" from Duluth Trading as it should be about right. If necessary, I can just hang the Shirt Jacket on the coat hook in the corner of the cab. Plus, Mrs. Bear really hates my old trusty work coat and keeps pleading with me to "retire it".....Not yet, dear, but soon, I promise.
The mirrors on the cab are great and provide real assistance when backing. Plus the mirrors are tucked in and don't stick out when you are walking around the tractor. Their shape provides real good viewing ranges.
Front and rear Windshield wipers are great.
The back up camera is even better. The visibility in the camera is better as the image isn't impacted by shadows and changing light. I give the back up monitor a 100 on a scale of 1 to 100. In fact, I use the monitor much more often than the rear view mirrors already. I can see exactly where my rear carry all platform is in the monitor, which is very handy.
I was so excited to be plowing snow, I forgot to turn on the radio for the first half hour. There is just something "right" about plowing snow to AC/DC.
Overall, the cab was a phenomenal experience. Surprisingly, I have already received several very positive comments from those for whom I plow snow who came out of their homes to see the new rig. Several of them said that they had "Worried about me" being out in the elements for several hours at a time and were glad I was now in a nice, climate controlled environment.
The first to say that was a nice neighbor lady whom I didn't really know well until last winter, when she allowed me to come into her home last winter when my eye lids were frozen in place and the lashes were frozen to one another and my glasses were iced to my face and I had to use a hot paper towel to melt all of the ice. That was the most extreme I have experienced in 25 years of plowing and blowing snow. It also made an impression on my wife which led her to PLEAD with me to just buy the cab. Very glad I did.
Traction without Chains
So far, so good. In fact, I didn't even put the tractor in 4 wheel drive, yet.....I have 300 plus pounds on the carry all plus the weight of the cab, me. etc. Will I need to add chains? Perhaps. But first I will try my "Terra Grip Traction Strips" which are the rubber ones before I move onto the actual chains. We did have a fair amount of ice today and plowing the driveway with the 10 degree grade didn't spin a tire, but snow accumulations were light with just a few inches. I fully expect to see this change over the winter.
The 54" Plow Set Up
Let's just say that it's a good thing I bought a new 54" plow with the set up as the 1025r with the front quick attach hitch is very disappointingly LOW to the ground. I bet my 455 will lift the blade nearly a foot higher than will the 1025r with the front quick hitch. In fact, I couldn't pick up my custom made blade off a pallet with extra 5/4's deck boards under the plow as the lifting height wouldn't clear the pallet height. That's absurd.
That was the only time I was cussing at the set up today as I find the quick attach blade lifting height limitations ridiculous and a major failure on Deere's part, to be honest. My 22 year old lawn tractor has a greater lifting height than this new 1025R SCUT. That's something Deere needs to work on and I strongly suggest they develop a front 3 point hitch for these 1 series ASAP to address these constraints.
I was shocked at how low to the ground the entire plow set up is and I was very disappointed in it's limited lifting height as designed. I can tell you that a Artillian loader Plate and Diverter valve are very likely in my immediate future.
I have to plow with the 54" blade as my custom built 7' 3" wide plow can't angle on the 1025R quick hitch because of the limited lifting height and the low mounting height on the front of the tractor. I plowed with the 7' 3" width plow with the rubber squeege plow edge and top rolling flap for the last 5 years on my 455 and became so used to it, that I could plow snow in driveways and typical residential constrained areas as fast as a pick up truck because of my maneuvering ability to plow snow in both directions very quickly, verses the plow trucks spending all of the time backing up, which doesn't push any snow. So, by having to go back to the 54" plow, I am losing 33 inches of plow clearing width per pass, which is HUGE.
The Artillian set up should allow me.... to most likely resume using my larger plow as I SHOULDN'T have the plow lifting height constraints and plow angling issues with the front frame mounted Quick attach issue. Granted, seat time is fun in the cab, but I feel like my plowing ability has been "neutered" to a large extent because of the drastic reduction in the width of a plowing pass. ....I want the size equipment I have become accustomed to using restored for use ASAP....... ( FYI, I removed from the description my reference to historical actions by Lorena Bobbitt to keep things rated G)......
I had everything down to a science of how many passes to plow each drive and road surfaces and losing 33" puts me back into the "old days" and frankly, I didn't spend this much money to go back to plowing less snow. SO, it looks like a call to Artillian is in the works......I should have just ordered it earlier, but I could successfully plow with my 455 with the larger plow and I wanted to see how the new tractor would handle it. Bottom line, with the front quick attach hitch, it doesn't handle the larger plow.......Live and learn.
If I could use the custom made plow on the 1025R which I have used for the last several years on the 455, I would have felt like today's snow plowing was truly a home run. Instead, I hit a stand up triple..........which is still huge success.
Fortunately, it appears that I can solve this dilemma and I will very soon. My plowing efficiency with the controls will take a little time as I was so used to the levers at the steering wheel for controlling plow operations and now I am on the joy stick, but that issue will be moot when the muscle memory learns the new controls.
Also, I stored the removed FEL on dolly's in my garage and while there is some room, I don't like clutter so putting the FEL back on the tractor and using it to plow snow will also solve the FEL storage issue within the garage. So that is a win / win as well.
The one neighbor, who launched me into the driveway plowing "business" with his request I plow his driveway many years ago, was eager to see my new rig set up. He came outside and looked my tractor all over and he was really impressed. He is a retired executive and truly a great guy with a very lovely wife. They are getting up there is years now and I make sure to take good care of them. I stop buy and take their trash container to the curb and bring it back up later on trash day. I get the mail and take it to their door everyday whenever there is any snow or ice.
I use more snow melt on their 10 degree driveway grade and home entrance area, etc. than I use on all of the other plow customers. I don't want to see these people fall or have any issues as a serious injury could mean losing a great neighbor to a different living facility, and I want to avoid that as long as possible.
He also made a comment about worrying about me sitting out in the elements for 2 or 3 hours at a time like I have for the last many years and was glad to see me in the cab. I noticed he was looking my tractor over closely and finally he pointed at the pivoting safety light and said "Oh, GREAT! I really like the flashing safety light you have used for years as I know where you are in the neighborhood. Also, when I see the reflection of the light in my house, I know my driveway is clear and I can get in and out without any problems."
I asked him if the light bothered him or his wife and he emphatically replied "Oh, heaven's no. We like the light so please don't turn it off or stop using it. It's reassuring to know that we can get in and out safely once I see the light flashing through the windows." I offered to turn it off while in his driveway so I didn't wake them or bother them and he insisted that I keep using the light.
He was also very impressed with all of my LED lighting for plowing. He said "You light up the roadway like a jumbo jet landing at the airport", he commented......So, I continue to have a big fan in this neighbor. He did ask me if I would mind telling him what the entire rig cost and when i told him, he looked surprised, but said "It certainly is very, very nice." I agree.
I plan to make Go Pro video's of my plowing so I can post them. Since I spend a lot of time also plowing the private roads and cul de sac, I was plowing in High and at WOT most of the time. If my larger plow worked on this configuration, I would have been like .........Really in my element and happy as a John Deere Scut Owner can be while doing things which require wearing clothing.........