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Just ordered a 1025R - Some details and general questions inside

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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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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 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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Not that I'm aware of. Same requirement for NSL and MSL too which is surprising.
Any idea what the maximum rear ballast weight is? I don't want to overload the rear of the tractor.
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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I have the BB5060 which is the 5 footer. I've read mixed reviews about using the 5 footer with the 1025 but I've had no problems at all handling it with a full box of material with my 2025. I believe mine weighs in at approx 420lbs with no extra weights on it.
Awesome info! How do you like the Heavy Hitch tooth bar? I see it on your list of attachments in your signature. That's another aftermarket item I am considering.
I was in the same boat as you. I had a 758 with a Buford Bucket, Original Tractor Cab, 3 pt with Imatch, blower, blade, 3 pt seeder and landscape rake. It mowed fantastic but as I've tried to do projects I got frustrated. I'm keeping the imatch and implements, sold the cab and am trying to sell the Buford Bucket online. I traded the 758 for a 1025 with cab (Iowa winters suck and I'm old), loader, box blade, and quick attachment for a new broom. I also doubled my suitcase weights to 8. I bought a z545 to handle the mowing.

I also have a heavy hitch with a weight bar that has a receiver for pulling my wagon and trailer.

Anyone looking for a gently used Buford Bucket?
Sounds like a great setup! How do you like the 1025 as compared to the x758?

Which box blade did you go with for the 1025? Do you use the box blade for rear ballast when using the loader?
I've been considering some more flexible and adjustable options for rear ballast as opposed to the JD ballast box filled with cement. I'm also concerned with how low the ballast box will be to the ground while doing loader work.

I watched some of the TTWT videos and he recommends the Heavy Hitch Offset Weight Bracket for the 1025R. I would get (8) 70 pound weights for a total of 560. This combined with the iMatch (70 pounds) and Heavy Hitch (52 pounds) would give me about 682 pounds of rear ballast. I would also be able to remove weight as needed for other duties like snow plowing, etc.

Since I have space limitations in my garage, I would also be able to remove the 3-point hitch and use the Heavy Hitch cart to store the Heavy Hitch, iMatch, and 3-point hitch if I need the extra room or if I'm mowing.

I assume there's no issue with mowing without the 3-point hitch attached?

I'd go with the Heavy Hitch Dual Weight Bracket with (16) 42 pound weights, but based on the TTWT videos, it appears the dual bracket loaded with 16 weights can rub against the 3 point arms when lowering it.

So many options to consider!
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I also just purchased a 1025R with the 54D mower. I had seen the load-n-go brackets on a 60" deck on the dealership lot and was expecting that option on my 54D as well. However when I went back to the dealership to pickup my new tractor with attachments, was told the load-n-go brackets are not available for the 54D mower deck.
If you have a model year 2020 or newer 1025R with a 54D, you should have the newer mower deck (model# 700CLV). The load-n-go ramps are compatible with these newer 54D mower decks. Here is a link to the ramps on the Deere store...

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The ballast box, obviously, does not need to be filled with cement. Over the past 6 years I have used play sand (loose), gravel, brick pavers, scrap steel, and finally, my suitcase weight collection. I have a crane scale, so I can pick up the ballast box with the loader and see exactly how much the loaded box weighs. I settled on the suitcase weights because the weight is easy to adjust down if needed by just lifting out the appropriate number of 42 lb weights, plus it gives me room in the box to carry various tools for the job I am doing that day. There's even room for a small cooler with beverages.

Concrete has the disadvantage of being fixed in place, and leaving little room on top to carry anything, like chains, for example.
Definitely awesome info. Thank you!

I’m going to go with an iMatch, Heavy Hitch Offset, and (8) 70 pound suitcase weights. This will give me 560 pounds plus an additional 100 pounds or so from the hitch and iMatch. I like the flexibility of this setup. I’m also getting the Heavy Hitch cart for even more flexibility when I want to remove the weights, hitch, and even the iMatch with the 3 point hitch.
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I ended up adding an iMatch to my 1025R order. I also ordered the Offset Heavy Hitch along with (8) 70-pound weights. The Heavy Hitch, iMatch, and weights will give me around 680 pounds of rear ballast. I like the idea of the Heavy Hitch better than the ballast box.

I was also deciding between the 54D and 60D mowers. I'm 90% sure I'm going with the 60D. The dealer will have them both in stock, so I just need to make a final decision for when the tractor arrives.
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Maybe I am wrong, but I thought r3 tires were turf tires?? Aren't versa turf r14?
There are 3 options when building the 1025R:

R3, R3 Radial Ply, and R4 Industrial

The R3 Radial Ply tires are the Versa Turfs. I attached a photo from the 1025R build site on Deere’s website.

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1025R should be delivered in next 2 days. Equipped with 54" auto connect deck with Load N Go, quik connect,53" bucket,60" snow plow mounted to loader, HH Hitch Toothbar, HH offset weight bar, 8 X40# weights. HH weight cart. Versa Turf tires.
I have a Cyclone Rake which will be mounted to 2" receiver hitch to mate with HH 2" receiver plate hitch at tractor replacing the standard hitch. Dealer has advised with the weight cart to remove weight bracket from 3pt hitch, there would be no benefit for that function with an IMatch. Imminently my only pending implement will be a electric broadcast spreader ( on 3pt or IMatch). Perhaps the IMatch would have been less of a struggle with attaching that. He also suggests removing the 3 pt links for mowing. (I guess I would have just left on the IMatch except for the Cyclone Rake function. Images I've seen show that people using the Cyclone Rake on a SCUT, attached with the CR 2" receiver plate hitch, also remove the 3 pt links for that task. He is sending along the IMatch for me to compare my uses with 3pt hitch/IMatch choice. I plan to be switching from mower duties to bucket duties for small wooded area/ path maintenance twice weekly, & just adding the weight bracket for loader/snow removal & removing the weights for mowing. Essentially flat 2.5 acres, I guess I hadn't planned on removing the 3 point hitch that frequently. Didn't have a loader/bucket before. Just mowed, vacuumed leaves, used a walk behind Ariens snowblower, lawn & garden cleaning up yard with tractor wagon etc. Trading my 40 yr old 317 to not have to wrestle with mower deck R&R. Although sharpening blades will now be easier with the Load N Go, as will the snow clearing duties on my 200' driveway. My main question would be with these tasks that I do at this point, is there much benefit to the IMatch? Opinions appreciated.
I went with the iMatch as it works well with the Heavy Hitch and cart. You can just hook the cart up and drop the Heavy Hitch and you’re all set. No fumbling with the pins. You can also store the whole 3PH, quick hitch/iMatch, and Heavy Hitch with weights on the cart if necessary. Here’s a video showing that...

It will also be much easier to hook up and remove implements when I get them.

One thing to be aware of is the load-n-go brackets are not compatible with the Deere power flow system. I’m not sure if this is also true with the Cyclone Rake, but I figured I’d let you know because they are both bagging systems. I assume you might have an issue. Here’s the compatibility chart that mentions the issue with the power flow system...

One last point to discuss is your rear ballast. The latest 120R loader manual suggests a minimum of 580 pounds of rear hitch ballast. Your offset Heavy Hitch weighs 52 pounds. Along with your (8) 42 pound weights, this will only total 388 pounds of rear hitch ballast.

I also ordered the offset Heavy Hitch and ordered (8) 70 pound suitcase weights. The suitcase weights (560) plus the Heavy Hitch (52) and the iMatch (70) will total about 682 pounds of rear hitch ballast. Here’s the section of the 120R manual showing the recommended ballast...

Good luck with your new tractor!
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