What it is like to mow with the 1026r.By
I took delivery on mine yesterday and had a chance to mow with it and spend 3 hrs or so 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: When 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. 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 with the deluxe seat) and forget the 1-series – especially if you have obstacles or any 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 through the thickest zoyzia grass, bagging or not. Cutting my grass on my X724 is actually a lot of fun because my grass area 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 higher and they require more wheel turns. 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 helps. 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 weight and lack of AWS. Quick sudden turns at decent speed are no problem for the X724, but not so good on the 1026R. 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, the 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 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. When I get the 3-pt hitch parts, I’ll be able to appreciate a real 3-pt hitch position control.
I’ll take some photos after it cools off a bit outside.