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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, picking up our 1023E late next week (FEL, 60" mid mount). Duty will be mowing 1+ acre, very occasional snow removal on long paved driveway, general maintenance. May do some digging or grading at sons house to add patio or gravel parking area, plantings.

Questions for you all -

1.) If I were to get ONE more attachment when I get the tractor: any must have attachments or options? Was thinking of asking to substitute a 4 in 1 bucket for standard one... or maybe a box blade or standard blade. I assume a blade will dig better than the loader. Also for plantings perhaps an auger but unsure if it's worth it.

2.) Anything to make sure of when I pickup the tractor? Maybe ask dealer to check level on the mower deck? Just looking for wisdom from you all

Thanks!
 

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Stan nailed it.

First must have, rear ballast.

The FEL with a toothbar will dig better than a blade, plus it'll pick up the dirt all in one shot. I have both a rear blade and a box blade. Each has their purpose and advantage over the other, but for grading and moving dirt, my box blade sees more dirt time.

You should discuss with the dealer and have them show you the mower deck level-ness, and how to work it etc, but don't get excited. Check it yourself when you get home. Get a level gauge from them also, part number AM130907. For the price, they could give it to you.

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Also get ready for the GTT family to help you spend your money :lol: :gizmo:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies guys! So, is a ballast box needed even with loaded tires? I was thinking that perhaps running loaded tires and one implement (box blade etc) would be enough. If not, then I'll spring for a ballast box instead.

You mentioned a tooth bar, is that a deere option or did you guys buy it separately?

If you had to pick, for basic digging like to put in a patio or gravel parking area... would you buy a box blade? or just a regular blade and use the FEL to smooth.

Appreciate the thoughts
 

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Thanks for the replies guys! So, is a ballast box needed even with loaded tires? I was thinking that perhaps running loaded tires and one implement (box blade etc) would be enough. If not, then I'll spring for a ballast box instead.

You mentioned a tooth bar, is that a deere option or did you guys buy it separately?

If you had to pick, for basic digging like to put in a patio or gravel parking area... would you buy a box blade? or just a regular blade and use the FEL to smooth.

Appreciate the thoughts

Get a box blade with rippers.


Straight blades I've found to be basicly useless...too light to do much of anything and in the event it dose work you lose the material off each side. They do have a use for final grade in some instances but The front loader traveling backwards is easier & faster. I own 1 straight blade ...It will offset to either side by a couple feet..Hasn't been used in years but I'll keep it as it was Dads. They are probly best suited for snow.

A BB will move some serious dirt to where you want it or into a pile you can then move with the loader. I've added all sorts of weight to my BB ...chunk of rr track and used to carry the straight blade on it upside down. It would kinda lock itself into place. Also added a receiver to the rear of BB for trailer moving tasks.....It can be as effective as a ballast box and more usefull ,however you give up some manurverability as a BB is wider and sticks out the back a bit more .
 

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A toothbar is a must for your bucket if you plan on digging. Knowing now what I didn't when I first bought, get 8 42 lb suitcase weights and a box blade. I use that combo for ballast more than anything else, hang to weights on the box blade when you need them and take them off when using the box blade, and often I will hang 2 or 4 on it when using it to help it dig better. And as mentioned, I would recommend an iMATCH quick hitch.
 

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Thanks for the great advice guys. Wow so you hang 8x42 or like...335 pounds extra on the box blade?
Yes, actually more than that sometimes, I also have 70 lb weights, you'll need roughly 600-700lbs of ballast depending on what you're doing.
 
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1. Ballast. I run 8 42lb John Deere weights on a Heavy Hitch plus 6 50 lb suitcase weights when I'm doing serious loader work. Close to 700 lbs total with the brackets and all. Plus I have my tires loaded and wheel weights.

2. Heavy Hitch Toothbar. You'll need this if you want to dig with the loader. I think HH is the best for digging.

3. Pallet Forks. Get light weight ones to maximize your lifting capacity. I have the Frontier AP-10F. You'll be surprised how handy forks are.

I just dug out for a driveway expansion and spread 23 ton of subbase. Couldn't have done it without the HH toothbar and the ballast.





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On my 1023E for general yard maintenance, landscaping, and clearing of the little woods on my property, I have:

  • Ballast box...cheapest method of ballast. I filled my with pea-rock. I bought the Titan Chinese ballast box, mainly because it has cutouts at the bottom so you can move it around with forks, and because it has a little sliding door at the bottom so the ballast can be easily emptied.
  • iMatch. Really important if you have multiple 3PH attachments. Most of the time it has a heavy duty Titan 2" receiver hitch on it, for pulling or moving trailers around. There are other versions out there. Lot of people really like Heavy Hitch.
  • 2-inch receiver hitch. Titan again, very robust, good welds, nice finish. Very heavy duty. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07JPYSTG5/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  • Pinestraw rake. REALLY useful for raking or scarifying for re-seeding or smoothing out dirt. I'd recommend Titan Pinestraw rake (again). I have a different PSR, but it's a PITA because it doesn't fit the iMatch. I ultimately solved that effectively by welding a 2" receiver tube on the time so it can fit easily on the 2" receiver attachment I have on my iMatch. Pretty good pine straw rake - Page 2
  • Pallet forks. These things spend a LOT more time on my tractor than the bucket (to my surprise). They're really useful for many, many things. I opted for Titan (again)
  • Piranha bar. I went back and forth between Ratchet Rake and Piranha bar. I bought the Piranha bar. Useful, but I think it need a Ratchet Rake too...clearing out underbrush etc. I'm going to see how the Piranha bar works but I have a short trigger pull for a Ratchet Rake too.
  • Ken's Bolt-On hooks. Pretty useful if you're going to use the FEL for lifting things
  • Edge Tamers. Useful around the yard...I suspect even MORE useful if using the FEL bucket to move snow around on your driveway.
  • ROPS-mounted basket. This thing has been REALLY useful.
I don't have, need, or want, a MMM. My ZTR mows my lawn in about 1/3 the time and is FAR more suitable for mowing than anything I could put on my tractor for my yard.

I realize there's a lot of stuff on there from Titan. Reason is...it's cheap, and shipping is free. OTOH, their customer service (in my experience) has been outstanding and the quality of the stuff they sell has been completely adequate. I've abused my Titan 42 inch forks mercilessly, with absolutely NO ill effect. An example of my reasoning is that the Titan frame and 42 inch pallet forks cost Hundreds of $ less than what the Frontier version cost, and less than half of the Artillian version. For the 60 lb weight savings...not worth the extra $$$ for me. Same for the ballast box. Its construction is not in the same league as the John Deere, but has several additional useful features, and, well..it’s just a box to put rocks or sand in. And it doesn’t have that silly orange triangle on it. Many here prefer the Heavy Hitch and suitcase weights. That’s an elegant solution, but the hitch is $300+, and those weights are $50 for each 42 lbs. For me...that was WAY too much to invest in ballast when gravel is cheap, sand is cheaper, and rocks are free.

ETA: I did add some work lights, magnetic mounts, so angled either front or rear. $15 for 12,800 lumen LED floods. Wired into factory harness so they work like the lights that come standard on the 1025R (same wiring harness).

I also put a receiver hitch carrier on for lugging seed, chemicals, tools, and granchildren around the property. I bought this one from Titan. It works pretty well, but doing it again I'd probably get this aluminum one and lay some expanded wire mesh in the bottom of it.
 

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My most commonly used attachments are

#1. My 3 point hitch carry all platform which is also my rear ballast. Its on my machine whenever either the rear RC2048 Mower or other implements aren't. It's on 90% of the time. It;s also great for carrying the things you need with you, rakes, shovels, chain saws, chains, etc. etc.

#2. Pallet forks. Very handy for a lot of uses. The least I use my pallet forks for is moving pallets. I used them today to clean up down limbs, to carry logs I am cutting for a bench, to move other implements and even as a portable saw horse when cutting wood so I don't have to bend to cut. Lot's of uses for pallet forks.

Suitcase weights are the way to go over a ballot box. You can add and delete them as needed. I carry as much as 650 pounds of rear ballast when plowing snow. Rear ballast is the balance and traction source when moving snow.

I would also get the I Match, no question. The I Match was put on my tractor the day I got it and its never been off...................

If you have a lot of dirt to move, then a rear blade or box blade. But for digging, the bucket is the answer.............
 

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Suitcase weights are the way to go over a ballot box. You can add and delete them as needed. I carry as much as 650 pounds of rear ballast when plowing snow. Rear ballast is the balance and traction source when moving snow.
I get the convenience and flexibility of suitcase weights, but at about $1.25/Lb X 650 lbs, not including the cost of the hitch frame (and NOT including shipping), I choked at the “Add to Cart” button and opted for the $275 for the Chinese Titan ballot ;) box and some pea rock, all in. Works for me, but certainly others with different needs might have to go for the weights.
 

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The guys have covered it well.
While you are inspecting the unit have the dealer park the tractor on level ground and demonstrate that the mowing deck disconnects and reconnects normally.
Lift the front end loader up about an inch off the ground and make sure the cutting edge is level to the ground.
Consider picking up a steering wheel spinner knob, I find it makes front loader work much easier with both hands being busy.
If they only give you one key to start the tractor get another one from the parts department, they are only a couple bucks.
Think about also getting a low pressure tire gage if you don't have one that will be accurate at 20 psi.
If you wanted just one implement then a box blade is indeed a good pick, I wish I had one. It can serve as a minimum amount of ballast but you would have to hang a lot of weight on it for full safe operation.
Enjoy your new machine!
 

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I get the convenience and flexibility of suitcase weights, but at about $1.25/Lb X 650 lbs, not including the cost of the hitch frame (and NOT including shipping), I choked at the “Add to Cart” button and opted for the $275 for the Chinese Titan ballot ;) box and some pea rock, all in. Works for me, but certainly others with different needs might have to go for the weights.


We all have different uses....I have 7 or 8 suitcase weights that seldom get used but are dam handy at times.
With my FEL off..I need weight on the front even with nothing on the rear...just mmm. Sounds strange but true. I got No flat land and am in 4x4 all the time.
Next instance is trying to dig post holes in this horrible ground.....Boom for digger has a flat bar welded down the top and the weights fit perfectly to get some down pressure.
Found a homemade ballast box on cl for 100 bux. 3/4" bottom ,1/4" sides and back ,1/2" front. Had him dump the gravel out of it when I picked it up. Hang my weights off the rear..toss 3 chains in the bottom...still lots of room.

Hadn't used the weights in 10 yrs or more...moved them lots of times. This summer they earned their keep once again.

Of course this addicting forum is no help at saving a buck but it is fun.
 

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You're gonna need a torque wrench to retorque the loader and wheel bolts at 10 hrs. 250 max. And yes, get a suicide knob! Dealer gave me one free when I sealed the deal w him. Also, keep an eye on your front grill for the dreaded "beard" when running it in the fields. The fan sucks air in through the front like your car, and your grill gets all kinds of debris stuck to it so keep it clear or you'll overheat. Have your dealer show you the bucket level indicator rod if your new to loaders. Don't ignore the ballast requirements everyones talking about. Its so you don't damage your front axle when loaded and it adds much needed stability. Have fun and keep us posted
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Great info

Man this is great info guys, keeping a list now!

Saw another thread talking about the air cleaners on the 1025R having issues. It seems the 1023e doesn't have the same issue (smaller assembly) - glad to hear that. If anyone has heard of specific issues on the '23e to watch for would appreciate hearing them

This thread has been a huge help. Thinking through ballast options now...
 

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Also, Make sure you put your ROPS down when moving the tractor into the garage. It's not an exclusive club, but you do NOT want to be a member of it.
 

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Thanks for the replies guys! So, is a ballast box needed even with loaded tires? I was thinking that perhaps running loaded tires and one implement (box blade etc) would be enough. If not, then I'll spring for a ballast box instead.

You mentioned a tooth bar, is that a deere option or did you guys buy it separately?

If you had to pick, for basic digging like to put in a patio or gravel parking area... would you buy a box blade? or just a regular blade and use the FEL to smooth.

Appreciate the thoughts
What is "Rear Ballast"? And why do you need it?
 
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