Archive for 1026R

Recently on Green Tractor Talk we had a member tip over his fairly new john Deere 1026R while moving around some dirt with his bucket.  The gentleman was nice enough to completely share this event with us, including pictures.  As you can imagine, this thread went on for some time and there were many, many philosophies on why he tipped his tractor.  Removing our-self from that situation, it got me thinking about the debate of iron bolted on the rims or liquid inside the tires for ballast.  I always stood on the iron side as that is the golden rule in today’s agriculture and I grew up watching Calcium Chloride leaks and watching what it does to tractor rims.  But, in reality, with today’s liquids, what really matters is that you have one or the other.  Yes, I said it, just go out and get one or the other.  But also remember, adding weight to the rear tires does little to nothing of removing weight from your front axle.  You MUST use a ballast box or use some sort of weight hooked on the three point hitch!

Let have a little fun and look at some pictures.

The gentleman with the 1026R was using a ballast box full of large stones AND had loaded his tires with rim-guard liquid.  Things can still go wrong when you are doing everything right, so be safe!


Here is a list of what he states he did right and wrong:

Things I did wrong:

1.  I raised my bucket about 3′ high while dumping the small load and that was just enough to start the roll.

2.  I failed to foresee and avoid the situation prior to attempting the maneuver.

3.  I failed to drop the bucket as the roll over began.
Things I did right:

1.  I had the ROPS up and my seat belt on.

2.  I was driving extremely slow across the bluff with full ballast and the bucket low (no loss of stability at that point).

3.  I had lowered the ballast box until is was just 6″ above the grass.

4.  I was in 4 wheel drive, low range with no more than 2,000 RPMs.

5.  I was stopped at the moment of roll over.

6.  I stayed inside the safety zone and kept my arms inside as well during the roll over event.
Things the tractor did wrong:

1.  It rolled over very quickly leaving little time to react to even drop the bucket.

2.  It dumped a couple of the rocks out of the ballast box and they rolled down the hill.

3.  The battery became slightly dislodged.
Things the tractor did right:

1.  It protected me (I didn’t even have a bruise).

2.  It killed the engine.

3.  It stopped as soon as it was on its side – no other motion in any direction.

4.  It only leaked perhaps 8 oz of hydraulic fluid, no diesel fuel and no oil.

5.  It restarted a few hours later and now runs fine.

How many people out there wear their seat-belt each time they are on the tractor?  You need to.  Use these lessons and learn from them.  No one was hurt here, but it could have been just the opposite if his seat belt was not used.

Think about it, no matter what you use, liquid or iron, it does not matter.  Each have their down side and there is no right answer.  Pick one and use a ballast box.

Be safe!

The new 1 series tractors from John Deere have taken the sub compact tractor market by storm. These machines are incredibly capable of many tasks and chores that many large suburbia home owners will have on their to-do list. In fact, once the new owner finds out how serious his new 1 series really is, he’ll be looking for more to do with it.

As popular as the new 1023E and 1026R have become, they do have some minor issues. As John Deere sells so many of these tractors, most, if not all issues have been corrected under warranty and on the assembly line. One of these issues happens to be a floppy hood. The original hood design has no side to side reinforcement and can flop around when open or trying to close it. The problem is more annoying than anything else. Once the hood is closed, there is no problem and one would never know there was an issue. Since the hood is mainly comprised of plastic, it would require a whole new design to strengthen and fix the issue. Instead, the smart engineers at John Deere came up with a clever solution. To my knowledge, they are also including this new part on the assembly line in Augusta GA. The solution is a metal reinforcement bar that spans across the hood and connects to both hinges. John Deere part number LVU26049 looks like this installed.

#2 in this diagram

If your dealer doesn’t know of this new part, give them John Deere solution number 90947.

Another issue with the new 1 series hood is the hood latch itself. Some owners are having problems with the hood not latching closed. Others have a rattling hood which is traced back to the hood not fully closed when it seems as though it is. When the hood isn’t fully closed, the loose fit allows the hood to vibrate on both sides of the radiator screen. Unfortunately there is no adjustment available to correct the poor fitting latch.

Once again the engineers at John Deere have come to the rescue and solved this problem with a newly designed part. The new hood latch striker part number is LVA18316. Installation couldn’t be any easier with only two bolts. It should be available at your purchasing dealer at no charge for the part or installation under a warranty claim.

Once these new parts are installed on your new 1026R or 1023E, the floppy, loose fitting, and noisy hood issues are a thing of the past.

It seems a few owners haven’t gotten their new 1 series tractors equipped with either the 54 or 60D mower setup correctly. This will explain how to do it yourself for the best possible mower performance! Most if not all of this information can be found in the John Deere Owner’s Manuals for the mower and the tractor. The procedure is the same for the 54″ and 60″ decks, mechanical or independent lift. There is one additional step for mechanical lift equipped tractors. More on that later…

First you’re going to need a few tools. A 1 1/8″ wrench, a tape measure or better yet the JD mower leveling gauge p/n AM130907. The tractor needs to be parked on a smooth and level surface.

-This step is for mechanical lift equipped tractors only-  To adjust MMM rockshaft lift strap (located between 3PH rockshaft and MMM rockshaft behind left rear wheel) you remove the mower and remove the hair pin clips and pins (D) to disconnect the lift links (E) from both lift arms. Raise the 3PH fully. Rotate mower cut height knob to lock position. Remove left rear wheel. (You might be able to skip this if you can reach the 3 bolts on the lifting strap.) Loosen the three bolts on the lift strap. Rotate mid mount rockshaft (B) forward until there is a small gap (A) between the the height cam (C) and mid mount rockshaft (B). Move lift strap forward to the end of travel slot and tighten the three bolts. (I’d use 1/16″ to 1/8″ for a goal for this gap.) Reinstall left rear wheel and mower.

First you want to adjust the side lift links (E) for maximum lift. To do this you’ll want to start the tractor and raise the mower all the way. Rotate the mower height adjustment knob to the lock position. Now look at the mower height cam (C) above the left rear mower latch. It’s just behind the left rear tire. You want to see a gap at “A”. I’ve found that a gap of about 1/8″ is perfect.

To get this gap set right you first need to unlock all anti-scalp wheels, turn the mower height adjustment knob to the “install” position, and then lower the deck to the ground. Then remove the hair pin clips and pins (D) and adjust both links (E) up equally. Now you need to raise the mower fully and check for the gap (A) between the height cam (C) and the rock shaft arm (B). Repeat this process until you get close to 1/8″.
Here is the gap on my tractor.

The next picture shows the mower resting on the height cam “lock” position.

Now we are going to adjust side to side level. Set your mower height adjustment knob to your desired mowing height and lower your mower. Measure your blade height and adjust the same side links to achieve level within 1/8″ to 1/4″. I was able to achieve the same measurement on both sides. I usually mow at 3″ and marked the scale accordingly.


After you’ve set level side to side, recheck your maximum height setting. Here is my tractor at full travel, mower resting on the lock position, and install position.

To adjust front to rear level we’ll need your mower at your desired mowing height. Measure a blade from the front and at the rear. It doesn’t matter which blade. The optimal setting is 1/8″ to 1/4″ front lower than the rear. This reduces friction on the rear of the blades and make the front of the blade do all of the cutting and discharging. The front draft arms will adjust front to rear leveling. First lower the deck to the install position and loosen the rear draft arm nuts with the 1 1/8″ wrench. (The nuts closest to the mower.) It may help to drive the tractor off of the mower just to loosen the rear nuts. Raise the mower back to the desired mowing height. Tighten the front nuts the same amount (it helps to count flats) to raise the front of the deck. Loosening lowers the front of the deck. Double check your front to rear level once you got the draft arm adjustment nuts tight.

The Auto-Connect carrier bearing needs to be adjusted for easy connection as well. If you remove the mower it will be easier. Lower the mower/mower lift arms all the way to the install position. There is an adjustment bolt under the bearing to adjust for between perpendicular to the ground to leaning ever so slightly forward. I found this makes for the best connection.

Now it’s time to go mow your yard and enjoy your tractor!

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John Deere 1026RI 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.

Categories : Compact Tractors
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