2019 1023E ...my first 50 hours
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Thread: 2019 1023E ...my first 50 hours

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    MacCool's Avatar
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    2019 1023E ...my first 50 hours

    What a great machine. I bought this in May, primarily because I had a few landscape jobs I needed done that I’d never do unless I rented a tractor of some kind from the hardware store about a mile down the road. Naturally, once got the tractor, I found that I actually had dozens of such jobs, and now 50 hours later, I find that I have barely scratched the surface of what I actually want done. My property is about 2.5 acres on one of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes in the Brainerd Lakes area (where the movie Fargo took place. No...not everybody talks like Marge Gundersen, but I do know people that talk that way). About 1/3 of it is wooded, and about 1/3 of it is lawn that I have to mow. The mowing is done by a Z445, didn’t even get a mower for the 1023E. The ZTR likely does a better job in about 1/3 the time with less yard damage. Over the last 30 years, we just let the woods grow, and they overgrew substantially. The tractor’s main job was going to be reclamation of those woods as well as fixing up the yard (bare spots, low spots, etc). Shortly after getting the tractor, we had a windstorm and lost a couple of 30-foot spruces. My wife decided that they should all come down (12 in all) since the were all half-dead. That tree work increased the tractor’s work load by a lot.

    After shopping a couple of other brands, I went to the John Deere dealer 5 miles down the road — a great guy I’ve dealt with many times before— assuming that I was going to buy a 1025R like everyone else. He had several on the lot and the pricing was good. But as we discussed what I was going to use it for, it became apparent that I didn’t need the features that separate the 1025R from the 1023E. No mowing, no tiller, no box blade, and nothing that is PTO-driven. I found armrests to be just another thing to get in the way, and my belly is not of a size that requires a tilt steering wheel to be comfortable. The 1025R would have cost me about $3000 more just to get those few things that I didn’t really need. There’s a horsepower difference, but as I’ve read many times on this forum, horsepower in a tractor is kind of irrelevant. If you run out of power, it just means you’re trying to work too fast. At no point in any of my little tasks have I run out of power. I’ve run out of traction, but not power. I really kind of wanted a backhoe, but just wanted it...didn’t really need it. In 50 hours, I haven’t really found anything that I would have used it for. Still...they’re so cool that I do have a small amount of regret.

    About 80% of what I use this tractor for is carrying things. I’ve moved 20 yards of black dirt (have another 10 yards coming today) and 3 yards of crushed rock, as well as 5 or 6 trailer loads of brush, and several trees and tree stumps. Both bucket and forks...incredibly useful. The rest of it has been grading and leveling, and pulling. My 15 foot logging chain has uprooted dozens of wild bushes and ugly sumacs, and has pulled several 30-foot spruces over by the roots. My trusty old $100 Ryobi 16 inch chainsaw has had a tremendous workout, and I generally have at least two chains at the hardware store getting sharpened at any given time.

    In that 50 hours, the tractor has performed flawlessly. Starts every time, runs great. Doesn’t overheat. I checked the oil once..it looked fine. I’ll probably change it and the fuel filters here pretty soon when I do the “50-hour/end-of-season maintenance”. I’d likely switch the oil to a 0-W-something for the upcoming Minnesota winter. I don’t know if I’ll be moving much snow with the thing (snowblower on my old LX277) but I’d want to be prepared for that. I view the oil change primarily as an opportunity to do that, but also to change the filter to something better than the dangerous and notoriously crappy Fram-made OEM filter. IMHO, that OEM filter poses far more danger to the longevity of that engine than letting the oil go to 200 hours. The hydraulic oil and filter/screen....I don’t know. I bought a block heater/adapter, and if I have the dealer install that I’ll probably have him do the hydraulic stuff, but I may skip that part as the block heater install looks simple enough that I may do that myself, and I’m not convinced that a 50-hour hydraulic service is necessary. I realize that’s a controversial topic, but I’m inclined to follow John Deere’s recommendations.

    All-in-all, in 50 hours, I have found this 1023E to be far more useful than I thought I would. It is a serious piece of machinery for a residential homeowner like me. It’s not more tractor than I need but I haven’t found it wanting for capability for any task that I needed done. If I ever get to the point where I need a box blade or a tiller, or some other kind of PTO-driven doo-dad, I might have to consider trading it for a 1025R, or maybe a 2025R, but my need for a tiller is highly unlikely and would only happen if somehow, for some reason, I decided to take up gardening when and if I ever retire. In the meantime, I have a rather elaborate irrigation system and ground-engagement has a high potential for being counter-productive (and expensive).
    Last edited by MacCool; 08-10-2019 at 08:01 AM.

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    Kbar's Avatar
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    Congrats on your new green machine. Iím in the same boat as you and feel immensly fortunate to have mine. Saw in your sig you got a ratchet rake. Howís it doing for ya?
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    MacCool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kbar View Post
    Congrats on your new green machine. I’m in the same boat as you and feel immensly fortunate to have mine. Saw in your sig you got a ratchet rake. How’s it doing for ya?
    Brush clearing...it works great. On one side section of my yard adjoining the neighbor, I have a very tangled and neglected buffer. Many mature aspens, birch, boxelder trees, along with many half-dead sumacs, and tons of dead sticks, old leaves, vines, saplings, and trash bushes. I even stumbled across a pile of old bricks and dumped mortar from when they built our house 32 years ago. I don’t know how I could have gotten all that crap out of there without back-dragging the Ratchet Rake. The trash bushes I yanked out with a logging chain around the base. The rest it, especially the saplings, clear nicely with the Ratchet Rake.

    When they delivered the Ratchet Rake, it came unboxed and unwrapped with the straps etc just taped to the rake....just the bare implement sitting in the middle of my driveway (sucker is heavy!). I thought “jeeze, it will get all scratched and dented” I looked it over and there wasn’t a mark on it. After weeks of hard use, the thing still looks brand new and it hasn’t done anything untoward to my bucket. I conclude that I must not be using it hard enough. It is a very robust piece of steel.

    The other thing I’ve been using it for has been smoothing out the area where we took out 9 dead/dying spruce trees. Some I uprooted, but most of the stumps were ground. Spruce have a very shallow root system with no tap root, but the feeders can go our several feet. I’ve been using the Ratchet Rake to hook those roots. If it doesn’t yank them out altogether, it at least gets them to the surface so I can hook them with a choker and put them. For the leaves/sticks/brush, I just backdrag in float mode and control the aggressive-ness with the angle of the bucket. For the roots, I actually apply varying amounts of down-force. It’s a balance....too much down-force and I lose front wheel traction. Not enough down-force and it’s less likely to pull the bigger roots. It’s made even more tricky by the fact that there’s a lawn irrigation trunk in there somewhere that can be damaged either by the Ratchet Rake itself, or by a root that I happen to be pulling out. My lawn sprinkler guy is happy that I bought a tractor and is thrilled by the Ratchet Rake in particular.

    Once the roots are out, the Ratchet Rake has been great for leveling. I have 10 yards of black dirt coming and I’ll use it for spreading, leveling, and smoothing before fall planting the grass seed. Then I’ll have to dig the holes for the 10 white pines that my wife wants planted there. The size of those trees she buys (seedlings vs saplings vs actual trees) will determine the attachment I buy/rent for planting them. She has her eye on planting 3-4 foot trees.

    I vacillated between Ratchet Rake and Piranha bar...even had the Piranha bar on order. But BXpanded’s long delivery time pushed me toward canceling and buying the Ratchet Rake (which was at my door in two days). I’m relieved it did...the RR has been more useful for this particular set of jobs than the Piranha bar would have been. I will probably still end up getting the Piranha bar when I dig out the yard next to the deck for a patio. My sprinkler guy just smiled when I told him that.
    Last edited by MacCool; 08-11-2019 at 08:33 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacCool View Post
    What a great machine. I bought this in May, primarily because I had a few landscape jobs I needed done that Iíd never do unless I rented a tractor of some kind from the hardware store about a mile down the road. Naturally, once got the tractor, I found that I actually had dozens of such jobs, and now 50 hours later, I find that I have barely scratched the surface of what I actually want done.
    I was just thinking something similar today. I've had my 1025R for 11 months and if I'm outside, it's close. If I'm building something, my forks are a worktable. If I'm removing stumps, my backhoe saves my back. The backhoe is is great for planting new trees too. And the loader moves firewood, gravel, bricks, soil, sand and mulch. Like you, I considered renting a machine when needed, but I can't imagine a week without my tractor at this point. It's amazing what you can get done with one of these little tractors around. Today I am at my 106 hour mark, what a blessing this machine has been to me and my family. Enjoy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuburbanTractor View Post
    I was just thinking something similar today. I've had my 1025R for 11 months and if I'm outside, it's close. If I'm building something, my forks are a worktable. If I'm removing stumps, my backhoe saves my back. The backhoe is is great for planting new trees too. And the loader moves firewood, gravel, bricks, soil, sand and mulch. Like you, I considered renting a machine when needed, but I can't imagine a week without my tractor at this point. It's amazing what you can get done with one of these little tractors around. Today I am at my 106 hour mark, what a blessing this machine has been to me and my family. Enjoy!
    Yeh, today I put a block heater on the thing because, well...Minnesota. I donít know for sure what Iíll use the thing for in a Minnesota winter, but I want to be prepared because Iím already using it for jobs I never knew I needed done.
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    My 1023e drives my bush hog better than my old Ford 8n did. I've had no issues with the rear PTO or the mid PTO for the 54D MMM and I have about 3 acres of grass to cut. I don't believe you will have any issues if you want a tiller.
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    MacCool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lhunter View Post
    My 1023e drives my bush hog better than my old Ford 8n did. I've had no issues with the rear PTO or the mid PTO for the 54D MMM and I have about 3 acres of grass to cut. I don't believe you will have any issues if you want a tiller.
    Yeh, in 50 hours I still haven't seen anything I'd need or want any PTO-driven devices for, but from what I read around here, the 1023E PTO horsepower is sufficiently robust for most things, certainly should be fine for my residential grounds management needs if something ever came up.
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    Dr Kubar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lhunter View Post
    My 1023e drives my bush hog better than my old Ford 8n did. I've had no issues with the rear PTO or the mid PTO for the 54D MMM and I have about 3 acres of grass to cut. I don't believe you will have any issues if you want a tiller.
    I agree. This spring, I tilled garden spots for a couple of neighbors. Halfway through the second one, there was an audience watching from the sidelines. They couldn't believe that the 1025 did the job so quickly and easily.
    2016 X739, 2018 1025R, 60HC mmm Auto Conn, FEL, BH, Frontier Forks, Woods finish mower, CF Box Blade, Taylor Way TP 923 Rotary Tiller, County Line Landscape Rake, County Line Auger, Ratchet Rake, Ken's Bolt-on Hooks and Differential Pedal, and a few home-made contraptions to attach.
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