The highlight of our John Deere factory tour was the introduction of a new lineup of sub-compact utility tractors that will replace their current 2305 model. The new series 1 tractors include the 1023E and 1026R. Functionality and versatility are the same on both tractors but the 1026R has more creature comforts that make longer hours/days in the the tractor much more bearable.
Most sub-compact tractor customers aren’t farmers by trade and these tractors are built and designed for the residential buyer who has a bit of land they need help working and they need a tractor that has a tremendous amount of versatility and durability.
Some of the new features have been brought down from the larger tractors and include deluxe lighting packages, position-control 3-point hitch and proper storage for tools. A folding ROPS (Roll Over Protection Structures) system was also introduced to make the tractor compatible in low-hanging storage areas such as garages or sheds.
AutoConnect The killer feature that both new models now have is the AutoConnect technology. Operators simply drive over the top of the mowing deck to attach it to the tractor. There is also an added AutoPTO feature available that automatically matches the PTO couplings which makes the entire process of installing a mowing deck and cutting the grass without ever getting out of your seat to connect anything.
In addition, the iMatch AutoHitch compatible 3-point hitch implements can be attached or removed from the tractor’s 3-point hitch in minutes without ever leaving the seat or using a single tool.
These automated processes reduce the work for owners who typically have to position decks underneath tractors and can only be used on cement which often times gets scratched or damaged from the deck.
The position control 3-point hitch (1026R) ensures a perfect link every time.
There are a multitude of attachments for these new tractors and they include front loaders, mower decks, rotary tillers, snowplows and even a backhoe.
Bells and Whistles The 1026R also includes an upgraded seat with armrests, added lighting, cruise control for mowing, tilt steering, tool box, 12-volt outlet for charging MP3 player or phone.
If you’re seeking a bit more power the 1026R has a slight bump in power with a 25.2hp motor compared to the 23.5hp in the 1023E.
Another simple but important change was moving the gas filler from the hood of the tractor to a more manageable and lower location near the rear fender. The deck height adjustment for mowing grass has also been relocated and is now in easy reach near the drivers leg. These improvements are standard on both tractors.
Final Word The series 1 tractors will start shipping in February and we were the first to truly test the functionality and comfort of these tractors which performed extremely well. These tractors will start at roughly $11,200 to $12,300.
Here are some videos of John Deere product managers demonstrating the new features of the 1023E and 1026R tractors.