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Discussion Starter #1
All - This may be my first post on this forum, but I hope to become a regular contributor in the future. I have 20 acres, but really only maintain about 3 acres around the house, trails in the woods and a quarter mile gravel lane with some steep grades. I've lived here almost three years and have gotten by with a 24hp Craftsman 42in riding mower for lawn duties and mowing back in the woods, plus pulling a small trailer for firewood. I use a driveway groomer pulled behind my truck for leveling my lane - works ok, but no way to recover the gravel on the sides of the lane without manually raking.

The implements I plan on using include:
60" MMM
H120 Loader
Rear Blade (60" or 72") with offset capability to pull gravel back onto lane
Box Blade
3pt Spreader for salt/sand/ice melt
3pt 12v sprayer
3pt 2" receiver hitch (to initially pull the driveway groomer)

Price wise, the 1025r with 60in MMM and H120 loader fits within my budget, especially now with the current 0% financing and $1500 implement credit. The new tractor will take some of the mowing duties away from my rider, which will hopefully extend its service life, as I will really only need it around the house area and between a few trees.

My primary concern is snow removal - initially with the rear blade and loader, perhaps adding a front blade down the road. This past winter we received several snows of 6-8" as well as a couple ice storms, which I'm hoping I can prepare for with pre-emptive ice melt spread on the steep areas of the lane.

Thoughts? Any and all are appreciated.

Jim
 

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My initial thought, you are going to be one happy guy when you get your new tractor. :thumbup1gif:
 

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Using a loader and rear blade for snow removal will work, but I didn't enjoy it. My $$ would be get the 1025R and with the money saved get the front blade. I use my 1026R for maintaining my 2.2 acres and it's always done what I asked. I started with a 318, a wagon, and an ATV with snowblade. Over the years I've refined it to the 1026R with a 60" MMM for mowing and a 54" front blade for snow removal. I just picked up a 3 point PTO spreader for seed and fert. It could be used for salt, but I worry it'll rust as keeping it clean will be more difficult. I have a sprayer that's 12V and I put it in my 3 point carry all for straying. It only has 2 spray nozzles for about 60" of coverage, but it works well in my acre of yard.

In your situation and "IDEAL" scenario would be a ZTR for mowing and a larger tractor for only tractor duties. That's everyone's "lotto" dream thou
right? :thumbup1gif:

Lucky for you there are lots of friendly people here with every scenario available to help you decide. Welcome to GTT!

-636
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Using a loader and rear blade for snow removal will work, but I didn't enjoy it. My $$ would be get the 1025R and with the money saved get the front blade. I use my 1026R for maintaining my 2.2 acres and it's always done what I asked. I started with a 318, a wagon, and an ATV with snowblade. Over the years I've refined it to the 1026R with a 60" MMM for mowing and a 54" front blade for snow removal. I just picked up a 3 point PTO spreader for seed and fert. It could be used for salt, but I worry it'll rust as keeping it clean will be more difficult. I have a sprayer that's 12V and I put it in my 3 point carry all for straying. It only has 2 spray nozzles for about 60" of coverage, but it works well in my acre of yard.

In your situation and "IDEAL" scenario would be a ZTR for mowing and a larger tractor for only tractor duties. That's everyone's "lotto" dream thou
right? :thumbup1gif:

Lucky for you there are lots of friendly people here with every scenario available to help you decide. Welcome to GTT!

-636
Great advice on the front blade - I just checked and they are not that expensive for the 1025r - $600 range. I would still need the rear for driveway maintenance purposes, but I could probably live without a box blade for some time. Snow removal is a primary concern as we had to rely on a neighbor last year and I hate to not be self sufficient. I know salt would be corrosive, but I've been looking at poly hoppers with stainless metal parts.

I can do the entire yard in about 3 hours now with the rider. A ZTR would speed that up, but I'm thinking the 60" cut on the MMM will also save time and wear/tear on my rider. If I do win the Lotto, then yes, a ZTR will be added!!

Thanks again!
 

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Great advice on the front blade - I just checked and they are not that expensive for the 1025r - $600 range. I would still need the rear for driveway maintenance purposes, but I could probably live without a box blade for some time. Snow removal is a primary concern as we had to rely on a neighbor last year and I hate to not be self sufficient. I know salt would be corrosive, but I've been looking at poly hoppers with stainless metal parts.

I can do the entire yard in about 3 hours now with the rider. A ZTR would speed that up, but I'm thinking the 60" cut on the MMM will also save time and wear/tear on my rider. If I do win the Lotto, then yes, a ZTR will be added!!

Thanks again!
I'd do the rear boxblade rather than backblade.

I went with the front full hyd front blade (about $1300 for everything) for snow removal and the rear boxblade for road grading. Boxblade works GREAT and looking forward to getting the snow this winter to use the front. Watched my neighbor with his back blade last year moving snow and it just pushed his tractor around something fierce.

With the 0% financing - every $750 or so will be about $10/month. I'd get everything you think you'd need for the next 6 years and bundle it in as it really isn't costing you anything additional to do so now (no interest.)

Yes the 60MMM will save wear and tear on the rider, but using a $20K tractor to save wear an tear on a $2K (or less) lawn tractor? I mow right around my house, etc with the 1025R and it is actually MORE maneuverable than my 1986 JD180 lawn tractor. Selling the lawn tractor as it just isn't necessary.

Although for the price of the MMM, you can get a decent zero-turn and save wear and tear on your new expensive tractor. I only wanted to maintain one engine and don't have a ton of space for storage, so I got the MMM, but if I had the space for it - I'd get the zero turn for mowing duties and the tractor for everything else.
 

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Great advice on the front blade - I just checked and they are not that expensive for the 1025r - $600 range. I would still need the rear for driveway maintenance purposes, but I could probably live without a box blade for some time. Snow removal is a primary concern as we had to rely on a neighbor last year and I hate to not be self sufficient. I know salt would be corrosive, but I've been looking at poly hoppers with stainless metal parts.

I can do the entire yard in about 3 hours now with the rider. A ZTR would speed that up, but I'm thinking the 60" cut on the MMM will also save time and wear/tear on my rider. If I do win the Lotto, then yes, a ZTR will be added!!

Thanks again!
Does the $600 include the attachment brackets and everything else as a complete unit?
 

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Does the $600 include the attachment brackets and everything else as a complete unit?
That gets you the basic manual blade (no hyd tilt/lift)
 

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Discussion Starter #10

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I'd do the rear boxblade rather than backblade.

I went with the front full hyd front blade (about $1300 for everything) for snow removal and the rear boxblade for road grading. Boxblade works GREAT and looking forward to getting the snow this winter to use the front. Watched my neighbor with his back blade last year moving snow and it just pushed his tractor around something fierce.

With the 0% financing - every $750 or so will be about $10/month. I'd get everything you think you'd need for the next 6 years and bundle it in as it really isn't costing you anything additional to do so now (no interest.)

Yes the 60MMM will save wear and tear on the rider, but using a $20K tractor to save wear an tear on a $2K (or less) lawn tractor? I mow right around my house, etc with the 1025R and it is actually MORE maneuverable than my 1986 JD180 lawn tractor. Selling the lawn tractor as it just isn't necessary.

Although for the price of the MMM, you can get a decent zero-turn and save wear and tear on your new expensive tractor. I only wanted to maintain one engine and don't have a ton of space for storage, so I got the MMM, but if I had the space for it - I'd get the zero turn for mowing duties and the tractor for everything else.
Can you offset the box blade far enough to pull gravel back on the lane? I suppose I could just go perpendicular and drag it back.

Good point about the financing, kind of what I am thinking, too.

I have some tight spots that the 60" deck won't get into, so I'm planning on keeping the 42" riding mower just for those areas. I have it stored in a small shed, so they won't be competing for real estate. When it dies, I plan on replacing it with a zero turn.
 

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Can you offset the box blade far enough to pull gravel back on the lane? I suppose I could just go perpendicular and drag it back.

Good point about the financing, kind of what I am thinking, too.

I have some tight spots that the 60" deck won't get into, so I'm planning on keeping the 42" riding mower just for those areas. I have it stored in a small shed, so they won't be competing for real estate. When it dies, I plan on replacing it with a zero turn.
I either back into the ditch and engage the rippers on the boxblade or use the loader to get material back onto the road, then grade. Both work great. Haven't had a single instance where I thought a back blade would be better than the boxblade.

I highly recommend a Piranha toothbar as well for the loader as it really helps in getting a good bite into harder materials.
 

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John Deere's financing is great. Just a side note, a lot of times you can get other name brand equipment for 1/2 the cost. If you get everything you want up front, and one monthly payment is what you want, then JD has a deal for you. I ended up buying a lot of my attachments elsewhere and saved a sizable chunk of $$. I'm 35 and stronger and thicker are better words to describe my back and skull than my wallet. :lol: The Loader and front blade are an unbeatable value when added to the tractor upfront. The 60" MMM is also great. The ease of use and mounting/dismounting are wonderful. If you wanted to save some $$ on that end of the deal you could look at a Rear Mounted Finish mower. Lots of people have them and seem very happy. I think it depends on what your layout can support more than anything. When I bought my 1026R I was able to "Demo" it on my property for a day. There was some doubt in my mind that it would fit in some key spots of my property. Once I had it and used it I didn't have any doubt that it was the machine for our property.


-636
 

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Of all the things you mentioned I'd leave the rear blade out as the box blade will do the trick and add the Piranha toothbar and of course some hooks for the FEL. You may want to check into the imatch and make sure that all your equip. will hook to it. :greentractorride:
 

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Agree with the others forget the rear blade , go with box blade.. Get a front blade and you will be much happier using the front blade for plowing snow or just to level some dirt. Yes you can use box blade it will do the same thing or the fel . All will do the job , but get angle front blade forget the rear blade. Haven't used mine in over 18 mos.
 

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I agree with most of the posts here with regard to their experience with the front blade. Although I don't have one on my 1025R, I can see it's usefulness with regard to snow removal. As for the rear blade, I have a 72", and it was integral to leveling a large area in my backyard once I removed a very large stump. The 53" loader just couldn't do it as well. I only paid $100 bucks for it, so even if I don't use it for another 2 years, it still paid itself off with the work it has already done.

For tractor size, from what you describe it seems a 1 series would definitely do the job at 22-25 hp, and the fact that you mentioned only taking care of about 3 acres. I work with a lot of lumber around here with my 1 series (I burn 12 cord of wood a year, most of which I cut and split myself) and I have only once needed more loader power when I removed a 2000 pound stump (but a 2 series wouldn't pick that puppy up either). The more compact frame of the 1 series is very nice for tighter areas close to the house, pool, trampoline, etc. I've loaded the 3PH with a 60" tiller with not a gripe (even picked that bad boy straight out of the bed of my truck with the loader), moved a foot of snow from the driveway in less than an hour with just the loader (I was pretty impressed, I must say), and floated the loader over the garden to grab out all the dead/dying plants at the end of harvest season without gulping up bucket loads of soil.

Now that I've traded up to a 1025R FILB, I've been giving some of the other big nasty stumps some heck too.

The best part of owning the 1 series is that the wife will just jump right on and use it too. If I went bigger, she most likely wouldn't even sit in the seat. Plus the price is right.

Just my $.02
 

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Great advice on the front blade - I just checked and they are not that expensive for the 1025r - $600 range. I would still need the rear for driveway maintenance purposes, but I could probably live without a box blade for some time. Snow removal is a primary concern as we had to rely on a neighbor last year and I hate to not be self sufficient. I know salt would be corrosive, but I've been looking at poly hoppers with stainless metal parts.

Thanks again!
The $600 for the front blade doesn't include the front quick tach hitch which you will also need. And the hydraulic angling is also extra. I just priced these out today for the 1025r, as I am in the process of specing mine out right now.

The quick tach hitch head is about $700, in addiiton to the cost of the plow blade itself. The angling cylinder is another $200 or so. Since the quick tach unit can be used with the blade or the snowblower, I am pretty sure the base unit does NOT include the hydraulic angling cylinder as you wouldn't use the angling with the snowblower. That is how Deere sells the other Quick tach units for the X series. Please note the prices I quoted are retail.

I found anything but the front mounted blade to be very annoying to use to plow snow. While you can use the FEL, it requires you to stack the snow which is nowhere near as effecient as angling the plow blade. And any 3 point mounts left me with neck twist from looking over the shoulder while backing.

I plow 1.5 MILES of private roadway with my tractor. I took 2 of the 54" John Deere blades and turned them into one 7'4" snowplow blade with a rubber plow edge and a custom made top snow shield to "roll" the snow while plowing. The rubber plow edge, which Deere sells or you can buy in bulk for a fraction of the price is great on gravel as you can actually use it to put the gravel back in the driveway in the spring by back dragging the rocks off the yards while not tearing the yards up. The roads I plow are all paved, but I have used this set up on gravel drives from time to time.

Last year I plowed 39 times due to the heavy winter we had. I am sure glad I had the front mounted plow for a lot of reasons including being able to push the snow where there was room as it got very deep by spring.

You will like the front mounted plow unit.........:good2:
 

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I think your getting some good advice. Personally, without going to a huge expense of a front mounted sweeper...I would thing a landscape rake would work the best for getting your gravel back onto your road. You can angle it to sweep it back up ...and see what your doing through the tines, so that your not taking the grass/dirt too. Tractor Attachments And Skid Steer Attachments For Any Tractor Or Skid Steer (everythingattachments.com) sells a very good one with quality components. The way they attach the tines is superior to most other manufacturers in that they dont make the tines so rigid that it makes the rake so stiff that it acts like a blade...instead of a true rake.This rake can also be offset just behind the tractor as well as at the blade. This will let you drive up on the driveway while having your rake down in the ditch and canted to sweep the gravel/windrow back up. The video is the lighter weight one for subcompacts, such as the one series. They also make a severe duty as well . Both can have rear wheels installed for more depth control , which will give you smoother results when doing a finishing run, Check out their video.
BTW...I'm not affiliated with them at all. I just think they are leading the market in innovation and price now.They build their implements in house. BTW , their prices usually include free shipping

 

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Discussion Starter #20
Wow - great advice from all! Thanks for the tips on driveway maintenance and snow removal. I've been talking to a couple tractor owners at work as well, and their advice plus this forum will pay dividends down the road. I am tempted to save the $1500 front snow plow expense and buy one for the front of my Ford F150. Something appealing about a warm cab while plowing my long lane.
 
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