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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this to the sticky 1 series mower deck adjustment and setup thread (great thread). This post with improvements is a response to a request to place the content in a new thread.

I took delivery of my 1026R Tractor Loader Backhoe a couple days ago. I've had a chance to mow with it and spend 4 hrs working with the FEL and Backhoe. This brief description is in comparison to mowing with an X724, which I will probably sell.

Comparing and contrasting the X724 and 1026R is like comparing a small nimble SUV or Jeep to a large SUV. I can't help but draw this conclusion when contrasting them.

A Toyota analogy: After I had my 4Runner for a few years, we decided that we might want to upgrade to a Sequoia. The 4Runner is very nimble, quick-handing, but somewhat small. We test drove the Sequoia and WOW what a difference! The larger SUV was like a lumbering behemoth in comparison. Turns were slower and took more effort. Stopping wasn't nearly as quick. Body roll was pronounced and the front dipped a lot during heavy braking. It took a good bit longer to stop. The ride was a lot rougher and it felt less stable. However, it felt much more solid. We didn't really like the Sequoia at all. It lost many of the qualities we liked about the 4Runner.

Now that I've had a few hours on the 1026R, I can draw a similar comparison to the X724 for grass cutting. Let me just start out by saying that if you just want to cut grass, BY ALL MEANS get the X700 series with AWS - preferably diesel for long life and the deluxe seat which is just awesome. Forget the 1-series - especially if you have many obstacles or slopes. The X700 series with AWS are a grass cutter's dream. They are quick, incredibly nimble, stable, with a low center of gravity, and zip right through the thickest zoyzia grass, bagging or not. Cutting my small lawn on my X724 is actually a lot of fun because it is fairly small with lots of obstacles. When I'm done, I feel like I just ran a road course - and the yard looks great.

Compared to the 1026R - what a difference! Not that the 1-series is bad, it's obviously a tractor first which can "also cut grass because it has a MMM attached." I'd never call it a "lawn mower" or "garden tractor." It's significantly heavier. Although the 1-series can turn really sharply, they're harder to turn because steering effort is greater and more wheel turns are required. You must take care not to turn to quickly or you'll scuff the grass (yes, with turf tires). The lack of AWS makes a big difference when cutting in and around obstacles. The firm ride quality isn't nearly as good, but the deluxe seat certainly is nice. I believe the "cushion travel" on my seat is compromised by the backhoe seat rotation kit, but it's still really nice.

I'm sure part of it is a learning process for me because I'm used to the AWS, but I have to think a bit more when going around obstacles on the 1026R. When/if I sell the X724, it will take me a good bit longer to cut with the 1026R than the X724 because of the extra weight and lack of AWS. Quick sudden turns at decent speed are no problem for the X724, but not recommended on the 1026R. Driving the X724 around the lawn is kinda like a sports car vs a truck-like drive with the 1026R. Mowing takes more operator effort with the 1-series and you have to take more time to avoid scuffing the lawn.

This next thing may be a setup issue with mine: when I cut grass in high range, if I quickly release the forward pedal (even at slow speed), it acts like I hit reverse, so the reverse detector kicks in and shuts off the PTO and engine, then scrolls a message across the dash to the effect of "engage LO" or something (I'll clarify next time I see it). Going to get that checked. In low range, this doesn't happen. Low isn't quite fast enough for efficient grass cutting.

On the other hand, if you have lots of open areas to cut with little or no obstacles, the 1-series might be your ticket. If you need the attachment capability, it certainly is better. I'm not dissing on the 1-series. Sitting side-by-side, they look fairly similar in size. The 1 sits a bit taller - especially the seat. But it's kinda hard to find an X700 series tractor loader backhoe, so I'll keep the 1026R.

footnote: Upgrading from the LX280 (nice machine) to the X724 was amazing. The LX280 was nice, but it would beat you up pretty badly on a rough lawn. The X724 rides like a caddy in comparison. Moving up to the 1-series is like moving from a nimble sedan to a heavy truck.

I have a 3-pt hitch on the X724 and have spent a few hours working my driveway with a box scraper. The 1026R with FEL is much nicer to work with for general dirt moving - my neck appreciates not looking backwards half the time. Back-dragging works great. When I get the 3-pt hitch parts (dealer is looking for them), I'll be able to appreciate a real 3-pt hitch position control.

Photos, as promised...
 

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Congrats on the new 1026R!

:wgtt:

Glad you posted such an excellent comparison.:thumbup1gif: I've seen a few people struggle with this decision. This can help them decide which is best for them. Maybe both!? :laugh:
 

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Yes, thanks for the new post and added info with pictures-nice place you have there!
 

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Thank for taking the ime for writing this. Welcome!!!

How does the 7 iron deck compare?

That lawn looks immaculate and soooo smooth!
 

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I had the same struggle in my head a couple months ago. X748SE and X749 were both great machines, but only the X748 had the JD loader option. Then I also knew I would eventually want a tiller and to add the PTO and 3-point an X series was pretty $$$. That's why I ended up with the R. 0% was just the icing on the cake. Still I would like to try out an X749. That AWD and AWS would be great for all of our hills and obsticles. Nothing against the R because I won't be letting it go anytime soon.

-636
 

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It must be the AWS being the difference in the comparison here because my experience is different. I just took delivery of my 1026R w/60" MMM, FEL, R4 and traded by x585 w/62" MMM, HDAP which I had for 10 years. I was really nervous that the 1026R would not be as nimble, especially with the turning radius and the ability to work in the large ditches I have out front. The tire choice was also a concern because I really liked the HDAPs and wanted something similar.

So far, I am very happy with the 1026R and like similarity between the two machines. The turning radius of the 1026R seems like it is almost the exactly the same as what my x585 was or so close I cannot complain. It seems to have the same ability to get in and out of the ditches. The tires seem like a real good choice, so far, and do not seem to damage the lawn any more than the HDAPs did. You can tell the 1026R is a lot heavier but it doesn't seem to effect anything in a negative way. The power difference between the two is hard to tell because they are so different but it seems very much like a tie there too, with the slight edge going to the 1026R. They both seem to mow my two acres in the same amount of time. The only down side that I notice about the 1026R, compared to the x585, is that it takes up a little more room in the garage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It must be the AWS being the difference.
I'll bet that's the case. Also, I can't mow in a straight line for more than 5 seconds in my lawn, so that's probably a huge contributing factor in my comparison. On a large lawn with long straight passes, you might notice the 700 series has a better ride quality - it's cushy in comparison. The 1-series seems to have better power compared to the gas engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank for taking the ime for writing this. Welcome!!!

How does the 7 iron deck compare?

That lawn looks immaculate and soooo smooth!
I didn't get the 7-iron deck. Maybe someone else can chime in?

Both are 54" sized to fit between some tight spots. I haven't cut enough with them to tell much of a difference. The 1-series seems to feel more "industrial" while cutting - maybe due to the newness and the diesel power?

Thanks for the compliment on the lawn. El toro zoysia will look like that this time of year after cutting :) It's getting a bit bumpy lately, so I will be figuring out how to fix that soon. If you wait too long between cuttings, your mower will have some challenges grinding through it - and you better have a bagger.
 

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I have a 445 with 60 MMM, and a 1023 with 60 MMM. I like both for mowing, but my 1023 is hands down the best. Especially beacause of my hills and wet ditches, it is superior with power and traction.
As for overall lawn appearance once cut, they are similar between the two ....Great!
The 1023 is surprisingly easy on my lawn even with the R4's.

Good thread!
 

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I would like to add in that the ride of the x585 was superior to the 1026R. When it is smooth the 1026R has a comfortable ride, probably due to its size, but when it gets rough you need to slow down or take the punishment. Before anyone mentions it yes, I am aware that changing the tire pressure could help but it is to point out the difference between the garden tractor vs the sub-compact.
 

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I would like to add in that the ride of the x585 was superior to the 1026R. When it is smooth the 1026R has a comfortable ride, probably due to its size, but when it gets rough you need to slow down or take the punishment. Before anyone mentions it yes, I am aware that changing the tire pressure could help but it is to point out the difference between the garden tractor vs the sub-compact.
I put HDAP tires on my 1026R. The ride is now better than anything I have mowed with, including a 425 AWS, 455 & X475 with a deluxe seat.
 

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All Wheel Steering does make a big difference when comparing mowing to a subcompact tractor! I have a 2305 Deere and two AWS Deere Garden Tractors( 455 & X744) and really prefer the All Wheel Steering for grass cutting! You can really turn on a dime with the AWS mowers and really cuts down on trimming. Before I put a cab on my 2305, I did mow with the 2305 and while it really did a nice job, it still could not compare to the AWS units. All I really use the 2305 for is snow removal these days as its got a Curtis soft side cab on it, which is a real pain to remove in the summer for mowing with.

I am only considering giving up one of my AWS mowers, likely my 455 as I am wanting to get the 60" 7 Iron deck at some point and with it not avalible on the AWS mowers, I am looking closely at a few X748's.

Jason B
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I put HDAP tires on my 1026R. The ride is now better than anything I have mowed with, including a 425 AWS, 455 & X475 with a deluxe seat.
I ordered my 1026R with turf tires. It rides well at standard pressure.

After a second mowing comparison (the zoysia grows fast), I'm getting more accustomed to the 1-series. Even so, I still stand by my original comparison. I didn't experience the RIO cutting in when releasing the forward pedal again while in hi. Might have been new machine demons. Tilting the wheel back reduced the steering effort noticeably and I was able to navigate the lawn with more confidence. The AWS 700 series is certainly zippier and more comfy cutting my "road course" lawn.

I need to find out what's rattling when the deck is engaged.

After 4 hours with the backhoe, 3 hour with the FEL, and 30 mins mowing, I really, really, REALLY like this machine.

If I didn't have the AWS tractor, I'd still be quite happy.
 
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