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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone -

I recently ordered a 1025R and had some general questions. But first, a little background...

I live on a 3-acre property of which about 2 are mowed. I originally purchased an x758 a few years ago, and although it's an amazing garden tractor for mowing, I've been wanting a tractor with more utility. Specifically, I've been wanting a loader, grapple, and the ease of purchasing other attachments. I do have the grapple from Innovative Tractor Attachments for the x758, and although it's strong and useful, I want something bigger with more utility. I also need a machine that will allow me to mow as I don't have the space or desire for two machines at this point.

So, I decided to contact my local dealer and he made me a great deal on a trade-in for a 2021 1025R. I ordered it with the following attachments/items:

120R loader (NSL) with 53" bucket, Deere ballast box, 54D mower deck with load-n-go brackets, Frontier AV20F grapple, 3rd SCV valve kit, Front quick hitch along with a 54" plow, Seat cover, and the R3 radial ply tires (Versaturfs).

I decided on the NSL loader as I won't do much, if any, pallet work or truck loading/unloading. I also researched and watched all TTWT's videos and wasn't convinced it would be an upgrade for my personal use. Most of my work will be with the grapple and using the loader for mulch, dirt, stone, etc.

I decided on the front quick hitch for plowing as opposed to a loader-mounted plow as it works a lot better for some space limitations I have in the winter. I've used a front quick hitch on the x758 for a few years and it works out very well, so I'll stick with that system for now for winter duties.

I'm planning to fill my ballast box with concrete. The loader manual states there should be a minimum of 580 pounds from the rear hitch and I think the concrete-filled box is a good and simple option for my needs. I'm planning to remove the loader/grapple and ballast box whenever I mow the lawn.

Now for a few questions....

Is it worth picking up the iMatch for ease of attaching/detaching the ballast box? I was also thinking I might purchase a Heavy Hitch for winter plowing as I have some suitcase weights that were used on the x758. I know the Heavy Hitch attaches well to the iMatch. I don't want to purchase a bunch more suitcase weights for ballast when using the loader, but I think my existing weights along with the Heavy Hitch would be adequate for plowing duties. I guess another option would be to use the ballast box while snow plowing, although this seems excessive.

I have some slopes on my lawn that the x758 mows with ease. I'm assuming the 1025R will be a little more of a challenge, but I'm not too concerned. Is it worth having the rear tires filled to help with stability? I've sent an e-mail to my Deere dealer to see if they sell Rim Guard. I don't want to go the route of wheel spacers at this point. I hear some mixed opinions on whether or not these put too much stress the axle.

My last question (for now!) is about my current Deere 17P cart. The cart currently attaches to the x758 frame with a single pin through the drawbar. How would I attach the 17P cart attach to the 1025R? I read some people use a cross drawbar mounted to the iMatch, but I thought I'd ask for some more opinions.

Any suggestions for other crucial items I might be missing are welcomed. I looked into the single point hydraulic connection for the loader, but I don't think it makes sense right now as it doesn't account for the 3rd set of connections for the grapple. I will also be looking to buy some equipment from KBOH in the near future.

Thanks for reading this long post!
 

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I would get the I match hitch, the weights can go many ways, I have two cast iron weights on each side. I seldom use the ballast box anymore as I normally use the wood chipper or the brush cutter. I used the box for several years but as I got more tools I didn’t need it as much
 
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Are your 2 acres to be mowed meticulously groomed? If so, having the tires filled might do some damage you would not like. Or it's rough pasture, not a big deal.

I have a front heavy hitch weight bracket, plus Titan ballast box. The iMatch facilitates picking up the box when needed, and if I had to stop and hook up a conventional 3-point I might skip that step on many occasions, which the front axle would not like. I store and use my suitcase weights in the ballast box, so they serve the purpose of concrete. And, if I need less ballast than all the weights combined, I can easily just lift out a few of them.

For the drawbar, check out Heavy Hitch for their hitch receiver plate that bolts to the place under the rear PTO originally occupied by a flat steel plate.
 

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Welcome to GTT!

My experience with the plow you have (frame mounted) and 1025R has been mostly good with no additional rear weight or filled tires. I've got the R4s that I grooved to get more grip and that helped, but the versaturf radials are getting exceptional reviews.

Note: I'm a big guy and I'm guessing my belly helps with the ballast over the wheels. All of my plowing however is on flat, paved surfaces. If your was dealing with hilly terrain, I don't imagine results would be the same and additional weight would be needed.

If doing the purchase again, there would be six or eight 42s and at least four 70 suitcase weights rolled in to the 0% loan... The more the tractor is used, the more new ways are discovered that it can be used and flexible ballast is NICE to have, but for your described use case is an extra $700+ over the ballast box and cement worth it? 😉 (And taking off/putting on 70s isn't the most fun activity. )
 
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iMatch is definately handy and if youre thinking about it just get it. You wont regret it.

Filled tired help lower the center of gravity, but also make your tires dig in more. Another thing is rim guard will clog up your valve stems so choose wisely

Your 1025R will come with a through hole on the back of the frame just like your 758. I have a pull behind aerator that i use the same way. One thing about having an imatch though, it sticks out and can get in the way of the cart on tight turns so you might need to extend your hitch bar

Welcome to GTT
 

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You should consider versaturfs over R3. You can also get 50 or 72 lb wheel weights to help with stability.
As for wheel spacers stressing an axle? Never heard of it ever happening 🤷‍♂️
There are other tire fluid options besides rimguard. Ballast Star, Methanol, Washerfluid (basically methanol) are other options.
Since you are getting several attachments, you may get a multi attachment discount. Ask if you can get the Imatch included. It's worth it. I got mine free while bundling.

You can negotiate a little with the dealer. They have wiggle room in their profit margins.

Congrats and welcome to GTT!
 
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Definitely get the iMatch. For what they cost and the convenience they provide it's honestly a no brainer. As for your ballast, I haven't seen it mentioned yet but have you thought about getting a box blade instead of the ballast box? You said you plan on moving rock and dirt with the loader and if you're planning to do any sort of grading or driveway maintenance a box blade would be a needed tool and it doubles as ballast. The trade off is that it sticks out much further than a ballast box but from what I've read you can hang suitcase weights on it to increase your ballast so it really is a multi use implement. I have a Titan ballast box that I got back in early Feb and it's still in the packaging in my garage. I'm sure I'll use it eventually but my 5ft box blade has been all the ballast I have needed so far and the fact it sticks out a little further doesn't really matter to me because the only time I'm in tight spaces is when I mow and when mowing I remove the loader and box blade anyway to keep from rutting up my lawn. I have a 2025 not the 1025 so there may be some differences in approach but they're largely the same tractor. Mines just a little taller/longer.
 
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You are going to find you are going to need to extend the hitch on the rear of the 1025r to have any reasonable turning radiius with the cart. The heavy hitch receiver will bolt up under the rear when you remove the rear "hitch" plate that comes on the 1 series. But even with that, you will be happier if you extend the hitch point back on the hitch by inserting one of these.


Then just mount a regular 2" hitch receiver ball mount which the cart will attach to. You can also use the ball mount to mount a hitch ball on to move trailers. Without the extension, the tongue of the cart will be so close to the rear tires on the 1 series because the hitch is tucked so far up under the tractor. Easy to fix and it makes towing the cart and backing a trailer "normal" by getting the actual hitch point away from the rear tires of the tractor.

Just make sure when you purchase a 2" ball mount, that the cart tongue will slide over the end of the ball mount so you can pin the cart to it. Measure the opening on your carts hitch where it pins to the draw bar to make sure the ball mount is narrow enough to fit in the cart hitch. When you see the pieces, you will know what I am talking about.

If you don't use the extension on the hitch receiver, the tongue of the cart hitch and the cart itself will run into the rear tires on the tractor with even modest turns. The factory plate hitch which is on the 1 series is useful for only pinning a clevis to for hooking a tow strap, etc. because its so far up under the tractor.

Definitely get the I Match as the heavier the 3 point item, the more critical it is to align it for hitching. With the I Match, you can hook up anything easily and it you need to, you can push the 3 point item with the IMatch to get it aligned. Otherwise you are wrestling with a 600 pound piece of concrete less than 2' square, which is very concentrated weight in a small area.

I also suggest you consider a rear 3ph carry all using the carry all frames. I use my rear carry all which I built to haul my rear ballast and its handy to be able to also carry other items you need, like tools, rakes and shovels, straps and chains and all of the other stuff you will find yourself using.

Here are some threads on building a rear carry all yourself.


One last point, your x758 had all wheel drive, which was hydraulic and engaged automatically. The 1 series is a true 4wd system and you are likely going to have problems turning tight with the 4wd engaged and not tearing up the turf, etc. Just be prepared for a learning curve on using the 1 series 4wd system, compared to the x758. You never had to give the x758 a thought and it just engaged the traction needed for the task it was handling. That's not the case with the 1 series. You will NOT want to run the 1 series in 4wd on the pavement, especially when the pavement is dry.

Also, from a safety standpoint, if you are carrying loads on the FEL of the 1 series, when the tractor isn't in 4wd, you can find the rear brakes won't stop the tractor if the load has made the rear end of the tractor light. Going up and down hills carry a load, make sure to put the 1 series in 4wd so you can control the tractor. You never had this issue with the x758 and its important you are aware of this difference because it will impact how you mow with your new machine.

I have thrown a lot at you here, hopefully, I have made it clear. If not, don't hesitate to ask questions.
 

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One last thing, the front Quik Tatch hitch on the 1 series is UNDER the front frame of the tractor, where on the x758, it mounted off the front of the frame ends. The 1 series hitch is MUCH lower, meaning it limits the lift height of the 1 series 54" or 60" snow plow. It's not a huge deal, but you will notice this design........."issue" which frankly, is very disappointing. But you will still achieve all of your snow plowing needs with the machine as I plow a LOT of snow with my 1 series. In fact, I made a custom plow for my 1 series, but I suggest you get used to the 54" or 60" plow before you get into larger plows.

Rear ballast for the snow plowing is critical for machine control and a well balanced machine. I run between 500 and 850 pounds of rear ballast plowing snow, depending upon the conditions. This is where the rear carry all will really shine as you can carry snow melt or a walk behind snow blower for sidewalks, or lots of other choices on the rear carry all.

Plus its easy to throw another 50lb bag of snow melt on the carry all to get the machine weight where it works best. I keep 1,800 pounds of snow melt in stock in the winter in my barn and carry it for any ballast in excess of the base 500 pounds I have on the rear carry all in a cement cylinder I carry.

Also, I suggest you DO NOT spend the money on the rear heavy hitch blade as you can back drag with the front plow and accomplish the majority of what you need to do. You mentioned tight conditions when plowing, so that alone will make handing the rear blade on the tractor something I would not spend the money on at this time. Additionally, the heavy hitch rear blade isn't heavy enough to adequately meet the rear ballast needs without hanging suitcase weights on the plow blade.

Make sure to put the rubber plow edge on your snow plow. You will be very glad you did. Search the issue for a lot of reading about the difference it makes.

With the Versa Turf radials and the right amount of rear ballast, you don't need to use tire chains. I have never had chains on my 1 series and I plow an average of 700 driveways a season, sometimes, as high as 1,000 driveways per winter. I have about two dozen neighbors drives that I plow and this year, I plowed a total of 28 times. The heaviest plowing season was 42 plowing events and they were all from December 15th to February 14th that winter, which is plowing 42 days out of 60. No plowing before December 15th that year and none after Valentines Day.

Now, we are on the edge of a forecast 4" of snow for the next 24 hours, on April 20th.....so you just never know. Unless we get a lot of snow, I don't plan on putting my plow back on my tractor. I am DONE plowing snow this year..............
 

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When I finalized the paperwork the other day on my tractor the dealer indicated that other than the Deere tractor discounts (buy two implements) and the original discount off MSRP that there were no current Deere incentives at the MFR or dealer level for accessories or attachments.

I know the 60 month zero interest is free money but the price of common things like the iMatch and ballast box have increased in MSRP/list price over the past few months.

To me that gives me a little less incentive to add things to the original purchase that I don't need from the get go. Or I'd have gotten about 600# of suitcase weights even though I have the TLB.

Oh and it would be 10 hrs of labor plus the 3 kits at list price to add the 3rd SCV at delivery.
 
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That 580 lbs doesn't sound right to me unless JD changed the requirements. If I remember right my 120R NSL FEL manual says 772 lbs of ballast required PLUS filled rear tires OR rear wheel weights.

So I got the Titan ballast box and filled it with concrete. The box specs out at 132 lbs so six 80 lb bags of concrete brought it up to 612 lbs. I also use a Titan quick hitch which specs out at 60 lbs, so between the ballast box and the quick hitch I'm at 672 lbs and have additional weight I can throw in there if needed. My rear R4 tires are filled as well.

Yes get an iMatch or equivalent quick hitch. I have a Titan brand one which works fine and is way less than a JD iMatch but if you buy Titan just beware you may need to tweak it to fit because apparently they don't care about adhering to dimensions when welding on the top link mounting ears.

Mowing. Unless you have some real tight spaces to squeeze into while turning and/or the additional weight of the FEL is a problem, you can leave the loader on and just drop the bucket/forks off instead.

Your cart I have no idea, I only have trailers. I will say the Titan ballast box has a nice hitch receiver built in.
 

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'20 1025R, 120R, 54D
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That 580 lbs doesn't sound right to me unless JD changed the requirements. If I remember right my 120R NSL FEL manual says 772 lbs of ballast required PLUS filled rear tires OR rear wheel weights.
The current manual is 580 with no mention of fluid or wheel weights.

 
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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
First off, thanks for all the informative responses! I truly appreciate it. I'll respond to some of the comments...

Are your 2 acres to be mowed meticulously groomed? If so, having the tires filled might do some damage you would not like. Or it's rough pasture, not a big deal.
The lawn doesn't have to be meticulous, but I think I'm going to try the tractor out prior to filling the tires. I'd prefer not to do a lot of damage to the front lawn.

You should consider versaturfs over R3. You can also get 50 or 72 lb wheel weights to help with stability.
I ordered the R3 radial ply tires which are the Versaturfs. They cost a bit more, but I've heard good things! Thanks for the recommendation on the wheel weights.

Definitely get the iMatch. For what they cost and the convenience they provide it's honestly a no brainer. As for your ballast, I haven't seen it mentioned yet but have you thought about getting a box blade instead of the ballast box? You said you plan on moving rock and dirt with the loader and if you're planning to do any sort of grading or driveway maintenance a box blade would be a needed tool and it doubles as ballast. The trade off is that it sticks out much further than a ballast box but from what I've read you can hang suitcase weights on it to increase your ballast so it really is a multi use implement. I have a Titan ballast box that I got back in early Feb and it's still in the packaging in my garage. I'm sure I'll use it eventually but my 5ft box blade has been all the ballast I have needed so far and the fact it sticks out a little further doesn't really matter to me because the only time I'm in tight spaces is when I mow and when mowing I remove the loader and box blade anyway to keep from rutting up my lawn. I have a 2025 not the 1025 so there may be some differences in approach but they're largely the same tractor. Mines just a little taller/longer.
Thanks for the reply! I have considered a box blade, but I think that might be a future purchase for me. Although, taking a look, it does look very useful! What make/model box blade do you have?

You are going to find you are going to need to extend the hitch on the rear of the 1025r to have any reasonable turning radiius with the cart. The heavy hitch receiver will bolt up under the rear when you remove the rear "hitch" plate that comes on the 1 series. But even with that, you will be happier if you extend the hitch point back on the hitch by inserting one of these.

Then just mount a regular 2" hitch receiver ball mount which the cart will attach to. You can also use the ball mount to mount a hitch ball on to move trailers. Without the extension, the tongue of the cart will be so close to the rear tires on the 1 series because the hitch is tucked so far up under the tractor. Easy to fix and it makes towing the cart and backing a trailer "normal" by getting the actual hitch point away from the rear tires of the tractor.

Just make sure when you purchase a 2" ball mount, that the cart tongue will slide over the end of the ball mount so you can pin the cart to it. Measure the opening on your carts hitch where it pins to the draw bar to make sure the ball mount is narrow enough to fit in the cart hitch. When you see the pieces, you will know what I am talking about.

If you don't use the extension on the hitch receiver, the tongue of the cart hitch and the cart itself will run into the rear tires on the tractor with even modest turns. The factory plate hitch which is on the 1 series is useful for only pinning a clevis to for hooking a tow strap, etc. because its so far up under the tractor.

Definitely get the I Match as the heavier the 3 point item, the more critical it is to align it for hitching. With the I Match, you can hook up anything easily and it you need to, you can push the 3 point item with the IMatch to get it aligned. Otherwise you are wrestling with a 600 pound piece of concrete less than 2' square, which is very concentrated weight in a small area.

I also suggest you consider a rear 3ph carry all using the carry all frames. I use my rear carry all which I built to haul my rear ballast and its handy to be able to also carry other items you need, like tools, rakes and shovels, straps and chains and all of the other stuff you will find yourself using.

Here are some threads on building a rear carry all yourself.


One last point, your x758 had all wheel drive, which was hydraulic and engaged automatically. The 1 series is a true 4wd system and you are likely going to have problems turning tight with the 4wd engaged and not tearing up the turf, etc. Just be prepared for a learning curve on using the 1 series 4wd system, compared to the x758. You never had to give the x758 a thought and it just engaged the traction needed for the task it was handling. That's not the case with the 1 series. You will NOT want to run the 1 series in 4wd on the pavement, especially when the pavement is dry.

Also, from a safety standpoint, if you are carrying loads on the FEL of the 1 series, when the tractor isn't in 4wd, you can find the rear brakes won't stop the tractor if the load has made the rear end of the tractor light. Going up and down hills carry a load, make sure to put the 1 series in 4wd so you can control the tractor. You never had this issue with the x758 and its important you are aware of this difference because it will impact how you mow with your new machine.

I have thrown a lot at you here, hopefully, I have made it clear. If not, don't hesitate to ask questions.
One last thing, the front Quik Tatch hitch on the 1 series is UNDER the front frame of the tractor, where on the x758, it mounted off the front of the frame ends. The 1 series hitch is MUCH lower, meaning it limits the lift height of the 1 series 54" or 60" snow plow. It's not a huge deal, but you will notice this design........."issue" which frankly, is very disappointing. But you will still achieve all of your snow plowing needs with the machine as I plow a LOT of snow with my 1 series. In fact, I made a custom plow for my 1 series, but I suggest you get used to the 54" or 60" plow before you get into larger plows.

Rear ballast for the snow plowing is critical for machine control and a well balanced machine. I run between 500 and 850 pounds of rear ballast plowing snow, depending upon the conditions. This is where the rear carry all will really shine as you can carry snow melt or a walk behind snow blower for sidewalks, or lots of other choices on the rear carry all.

Plus its easy to throw another 50lb bag of snow melt on the carry all to get the machine weight where it works best. I keep 1,800 pounds of snow melt in stock in the winter in my barn and carry it for any ballast in excess of the base 500 pounds I have on the rear carry all in a cement cylinder I carry.

Also, I suggest you DO NOT spend the money on the rear heavy hitch blade as you can back drag with the front plow and accomplish the majority of what you need to do. You mentioned tight conditions when plowing, so that alone will make handing the rear blade on the tractor something I would not spend the money on at this time. Additionally, the heavy hitch rear blade isn't heavy enough to adequately meet the rear ballast needs without hanging suitcase weights on the plow blade.

Make sure to put the rubber plow edge on your snow plow. You will be very glad you did. Search the issue for a lot of reading about the difference it makes.

With the Versa Turf radials and the right amount of rear ballast, you don't need to use tire chains. I have never had chains on my 1 series and I plow an average of 700 driveways a season, sometimes, as high as 1,000 driveways per winter. I have about two dozen neighbors drives that I plow and this year, I plowed a total of 28 times. The heaviest plowing season was 42 plowing events and they were all from December 15th to February 14th that winter, which is plowing 42 days out of 60. No plowing before December 15th that year and none after Valentines Day.

Now, we are on the edge of a forecast 4" of snow for the next 24 hours, on April 20th.....so you just never know. Unless we get a lot of snow, I don't plan on putting my plow back on my tractor. I am DONE plowing snow this year..............
Sulley - thanks for the plethora of amazing info! I really appreciate everyone taking the time to help out and offer their advice!
 

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'20 1025R, 120R, 54D
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Wonder why the change. Did anything change on the tractor or loader?
Not that I'm aware of. Same requirement for NSL and MSL too which is surprising.
 
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The 3 point hitch has a stated maximum lift capacity, should be in the manual. I think it's around 800 lbs at the pins.
 

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'20 1025R, 120R, 54D
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The 3 point hitch has a stated maximum lift capacity, should be in the manual. I think it's around 800 lbs at the pins.
3-Point Hitch Lift Capacity—61 cm (24 in.) behind arms​
344kg (758 lb)​
3-Point Hitch Lift Capacity—at lift link ends​
534 kg (1177 lb)​

 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
3-Point Hitch Lift Capacity—61 cm (24 in.) behind arms​
344kg (758 lb)​
3-Point Hitch Lift Capacity—at lift link ends​
534 kg (1177 lb)​

Mark, thanks for the reply! In layman's terms, does that mean the ballast box/contents should not exceed 758 pounds? Or is the limit 1177 pounds?

If I might ask, what do you use on your tractor for rear ballast and how much weight do you have for rear ballast when using the loader?
 
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