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Complete newbie, never owned anything other than lawn tractors. I just began doing some research on tractors - we're moving to a new home on 5 ac the end of this month and I'll have about 3 ac of grass to mow and lots of work where a loader and backhoe will come in handy as we landscape/work the property. I'll need to move gravel/mulch/dirt - dig some holes, etc.

It is listed as a 2012, but, I believe the tractor was made in 2012 and is a year 1 model 2013,...

1 owner, 300 hours, H120 loader, quick disconnects and the cab option.
I don't know if they have written maintenance records or not, supposedly maintenance was just performed on it.
The ask price is $14k, I'm 4 hours away - looking for a heads up on what to look for and what's a reasonable offer to make on it if everything checks out.

Anything to be worried about in particular for a year 1 tractor? My guess is that any year 1 issues were fixed under warranty or earlier in the life of the machine.

Appreciate the advice!
Thanks,
Greg
 

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For its age, the 300 hours to me is almost unbelievably low. Lots of folks put that many on in under 2 years, just taking care of residential property like you describe, especially using it for mowing. Maybe it was just a tractor shed queen; maybe it was laid up with problems. As far as routine service, in 300 hours there are only 2 scheduled per the owner's manual, if the owner went completely by hours - 50 and 200. I'd hope the owner has some records showing annual services as well.

You mentioned your need for mowing 3 acres, but not whether this tractor comes with a mower. Does it, or will you be adding one yourself? And does a tractor with a cab fit into what needs mowing at your new place? Things like lots of trees with low limbs to consider.
 

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Get the serial number, call the dealer and make sure that there is not an outstanding balance on any loans. There shouldn't be at that age, but I'd want to make sure first. There's also a lot you can learn from the serial number / vin:

 

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I sold my 2013 1025R six years ago for $15,000 with loader and rear blade with less hours than that. Shop around. I think that is too high. You can buy a new one for not much more. As for whether it is a 2012 or 2013, it does not matter. I bought a 4066R in December 2014 that I thought was a 2015, but it turned out to be a 2014, manufactured in November 2014. Tractor model years are not something to worry about.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #5
For its age, the 300 hours to me is almost unbelievably low. Lots of folks put that many on in under 2 years, just taking care of residential property like you describe, especially using it for mowing. Maybe it was just a tractor shed queen; maybe it was laid up with problems. As far as routine service, in 300 hours there are only 2 scheduled per the owner's manual, if the owner went completely by hours - 50 and 200. I'd hope the owner has some records showing annual services as well.

You mentioned your need for mowing 3 acres, but not whether this tractor comes with a mower. Does it, or will you be adding one yourself? And does a tractor with a cab fit into what needs mowing at your new place? Things like lots of trees with low limbs to consider.
60" deck
I have not eyeballed how many limbs I'm going to need to dodge - we'll be visiting the property again tomorrow, I'll look around - thank you!
 

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FWIW the best deals are ones where both parties think they got a good deal.

I was also a newbie late last summer when I bought a '15 1025R with 39 hours for $16K. It came with the H120, a MMM, and a bagger (which I tossed). I thought I got a good deal, which is all that counts...I knew the former owner and it had been sitting on the local JD lot for over a year. For my similar sized place it is really a "boys and their toys" item but it is fun to putt around on it. I especially enjoy lifting things without using my back. I find myself repositioning snow blade here, tiller there, box blade here, mower there plus try to find excuses to dig holes in the dirt and move it around. I had beet juice put in the tires and am still working on convincing the CEO I could use some suitcase weights for ballast, pallet forks, and a tooth bar for digging. All good things come to those who wait.

I am sure I am the only guy on here who finds excuses to put hours on his 1025R haha.
 

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I bought my 2012 1026R w/230hrs with H120, MMM 54" , 48" snowblower with front PTO setup, 48" brush for about $16K. so far put another $2k into it for mods and repairs.

mods : wheel spacers, weights + HH 3pt, pirhanna tooth bar ( really need this or HH toothbar for digging ) , seat spring upgrade from Kenny, bucket hooks, which are all should do upgrades. Pending mod is exhaust stack.

Repairs : steering hydro hose, 200 hr fluid and filter change since I had NO service records, see my post in hydraulic section about $980 SCV I got for free, but still putting $250 in other parts in 1026R Floppy Bucket in 2021 on 2012 machine research floppy bucket and droopy bucket. The SCV is buried under right fender so no quick way to check if its updated or original one. If all the original owner moved was mostly mulch or snow, they may of not run into the problem.
new hydro caps for everything. lube everything - grease gun. New stand for FEL when I broken the original one off, plus new pins - $500.

You should check for : air filter mounting recal was done, if not could damage engine and has to be done. not hard, dealer should do it or at least give you parts. Do you want mulching kit on mower ? its $186 if no.

I'd budget $1k for stuff going in, at least. $2k may be more realisitic. You also need to factor time to do the work and get parts. if you aren't up to doing the work and don't have the tools, it may be that a new machine starts to make sense with warranty. These machines are pretty easy mostly to work on. except when you want to take off the rear fender which means take off the foot deck, the front and rear covers and both engine side panels :(
 

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My lemony 1025R was a 2013 with a horrid H120 loader

By comparison, the 2025R I got after it in 2015 is a gem with H130 loader. Absolutely no problems through 360 hours now.
 

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I am not at all surprised by the reported hours. I recently saw (5) 1 series tractors which were all between 2013 and 2016 model years and each of them had less than 200 hours on them. In fact, the 2013 had 47 hours on it. Some people put few hours, some put many and most are somewhere in between.

The low hours are a plus in my opinion. I wouldn't suspect anything out of the ordinary about the hours unless there is clear evidence to refute the hours being displayed. For example, if the machine displays 300 hours and the tires are all worn out and the machine operates like a tractor with 3,000 hours instead of 300, then I would suggest looking further.

Things to check for include, but are not limited to;

- The air cleaner should be mounted on the front radiator core support and be positioned so the inlet end is against the passenger side panel on the tractor. If the air cleaner is mounted directly above the engine and oriented front to rear, it needs to be updated as others have mentioned. Its very easy to do and may be eligible for a no cost upgrade.

- Pull the dipsticks for the engine and the rear hydro. The engine dipstick is on the right side of the engine block and can be accessed without removing the side panel or even opening the hood. It's located midway in the engine block. Many have black dipstick handles.

- The rear hydro dipstick is located near the rear PTO shaft and adjacent to the 3ph on the back of the tractor.
It has a yellow handle (usually). If the oil looks black or smells funny, care is likely warranted. Obviously, both machines should show oil levels in the hash mark zones of the dipsticks.

Of course, if the tractor has been running immediately before you pull the dipstick, let the machine sit for a few minutes and check the fluid level after pulling the dipsticks, wiping them clean and reinserting them, only to be pulled again and reviewed.

- Make sure there are no leaks under the tractor anywhere. Look carefully around the front and rear PTO shafts on the rear end for accumulations of dirt and dust, which usually stick to oil residue from leaks. Also carefully check the front axle for leaks, specifically behind the front wheels on the hubs.

- Make sure the steering feels "tight" and there is no looseness to the steering wheel or slop where the wheel moves without response from the front wheels.

- I would look for signs the machine has been properly ballasted. If you are buying from the actual owner, ask and have a frank discussion about the methods of ballast they used. If they dismiss the need for ballast as "unnecessary", then I would be concerned about possible premature wear on the front axle, the 4wd drive-train. If they did use ballast correctly, the discussions will be very matter of fact and hopefully truthful.

- Talk about their service routine and their preferred oil choices, etc. They should know the machine requires Low Viscosity Hydro Fluid from John Deere. Also asked them what they used for the engine oil.

- Make sure the hydro pump isn't screaming like a cat in a blender when you start uo. Run the engine up and down through the RPM ranges and there shouldn't be any abnormal noises.

-Ask the seller about their fuel use and treatment process. Hopefully, they avoided Biodiesel and focused on Dino diesel which is treated with supplements such as Howe's, Hot Shot or Stanadyne or Power Service, etc. This means they provided the best possible fuel for the machine, which is very important in climates with 4 seasons.

- As others have mentioned, run the tractor's serial number through the John Deere database just to make sure there is no lien's or outstanding indebtedness. This can be done at any dealership and is often done in the Service Department area.

- I always like to ask the seller directly why they are selling the machine or item and carefully watch their reply. If they don't answer without pondering and considering their reply, they are likely making up an answer. The truth is always easy, an answer not founded in truth requires some thought and creativity, which most lack.

-Regarding the price, it's not out of line for what the machine is. A new machine equipped the same way is going to be in the mid $20's in price. Primary issue is whether you feel the final deal is fair. Plus or minus 5% of the asking price is the normal range of these machines and it varies in different geographical regions. Main thing is you are satisfied with the deal.

Good luck and report back to us. By the way, Welcome to GTT!
 

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I paid 8k for a 2011 1026r with a mmm and 840 hours. It's in immaculate condition and I think I got a good deal. It has the joystick mower deck control. I added a front weight bracket and the weights from my 2305.
 

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before you buy get a price on a new one because with the 0% financing the payment might not be two much more and you would have the 2yr full warranty and the 6 year power train warranty. Good Luck
 
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If you get one make sure they put the physical damage insurance on it. They did when I bought my 2305 and when I broke the PTO, they paid it off. Better than me paying it off.
 
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