1-Series Snow Removal Options

After spending your grand-kid’s inheritance on your new sub-compact tractor, it makes sense to consider how you can use it for snow removal.

The question is, do you need any more attachments/accessories to remove snow efficiently and successfully?

There are a surprising number of snow-removal options for the 1-series. We’ll evaluate the most popular configurations here.

Front End Loader

One might call this the ‘default’ option. If your 1-series came with a loader, this option might not cost you any extra. For many of us, that is very important. We’ve spent more than we should have on our new toy/tool than we should have anyway.

The loader can move snow, but frankly, by itself, it isn’t very efficient. One advantage is that one can pile snow quite high. So, deep snow can be removed with the loader. However, it is difficult to keep from digging into your gravel driveway, or scratching your asphalt or concrete driveway.

If you are considering this option, I would recommend looking into a set of Edge Tamers.
EdgTam_CloseUp-400x400 Be sure to use coupon code TTWT at checkout for a 5% discount.
Edge Tamers reduce the bucket’s tendency to dig into the driveway surface. This is an inexpensive solution, allowing your bucket to become an effective snow removal tool. With the Edge Tamers, your bucket becomes somewhat like a ‘snow pusher’ mentioned below, but at much less cost.

The Edge Tamers should work well in southern climates where snow is less frequent, and often falls on ‘un-frozen’ ground. This scenario makes it very difficult for some of the other solutions below to work well. However, the Edge Tamers should allow your bucket to float right over the unfrozen driveway.

Another use for the Edge Tamers is to ‘get by’ until you can afford one of the more expensive solutions below. Spend a few dollars now to get through the first winter or two, then as funds become available, and you have more experience with your tractor, invest in one of the more expensive solutions below.

54 Front Blade

This is the same 54 inch blade used on the x700 Signature Series, as well as the older 400 and 500 series tractors. The complete solution including quick hitch and raise/angle cylinders will cost you $1300-$1500 new.

The parts required for this solution are a bit confusing. Rather than attempting to list the exact parts required for your tractor, I’ll refer you to the Mutton Power 54 Blade Configuration Tool.

Advantages

  • Fast Cleanup (faster than loader or blower)
  • Easy to attach/detach, and switch to loader or mower deck.
  • Quiet, smooth operation when equipped with rubber cutting edge
  • Compact size, and power angle makes snow removal easy in tight situations

Disadvantages

  • Blade doesn’t lift very high, so hard to push large piles of snow. (see proposed solution below)
  • Not quite wide enough for the 1-series when fully angled (see proposed solution below)
  • Doesn’t handle extremely deep snow-falls well. I have plowed 10 inches without any issues. As of yet, I do not know the ‘maximum’ the blade would take. However, the blade certainly won’t handle as much as the blower or loader.
  • Quick Hitch mechanism is cumbersome, and slightly under-engineered for the 1-series, and even more so for the 2-series.

Before moving to the next option, I should mention a few options available for this solution which might make it more attractive for you

Artillian Upgrades (rubber cutting edge, and wings)

Artillian offers a couple of enhancements which improve the performance of the 54 blade. The wings provide another 6 inches or so on each end of the blade. This makes the blade approximately 66 inches wide. This is plenty wide for the 1-series, even when fully angled. Additionally, the rubber wings are much safer when operating near a house or car.

The rubber cutting edge allows the blade to slide quietly, and clean the surface completely.

These kits come with all of the necessary hardware to mount to your blade. Once you get these options, you can use rubber ‘horse stall mats’ for replacements as necessary.

Artillian 54 Blade Products

A picture (or video) is worth a thousand words. Take a look at my “Artillian enhanced” 54 blade in action here:

Loader mounted 54 blade

Enhance the 54 Blade solution with the Artillian Quick Hitch Adapter.
This solution provides most of the advantages of the 54 blade with a few additional advantages. You can pile snow as high as necessary, and you can quickly remove the blade for loader operations.

Advantages

  • Most of the advantages of the 54 blade alone
  • Ability to ‘Pile it high and deep’
  • Easy removal to use loader for other things

Disadvantages

  • Higher cost than 54 blade alone (but still cheaper than snow blower)
  • Less ‘compact’ than 54 blade alone

Here is the Artillian view on snow management options:
Snow_Mgmt_PROS-CONS-800

47 or 54 Snow Blower

The front mounted snow blower is the premier solution for high snow-fall areas. If you count your snow-falls in feet instead of inches, then you should definitely consider the front mounted blower.

Folks often ask whether they should buy the 47 or 54 inch version. The 1-series tractor is about 47 1/2 inches wide. This might work when going perfectly straight. However, when turning or maneuvering for a corner, it is much easier to have a blower wider than the tractor. I have never heard any complaints about sufficient engine power for the 54 inch, so I would highly recommend choosing it.

While this is a wonderful choice for high snow fall areas, there are some significant disadvantages to this solution. Let’s evaluate the advantages and disadvantages closely.

Advantages

  • Ability to remove large amounts of snow
  • Throws snow long distances. This prevents large piles right beside the driveway
  • With appropriate cutting edge, cleans the driveway very nicely

Disadvantages

  • High initial cost
  • Can throw rocks at your windows
  • Unpleasant to drive without a cab. (Snow blows back in your face).
  • Doesn’t work well with small snowfall (1-2 inches)
  • Slower to use for smaller snowfalls (less than 10 inches)
  • More difficult to remove than other options. Must remove mower auto-connect to install PTO shaft. There is no ‘auto-connect’ for the snow-blower.

Like the 54 Blade, the front mounted blower uses the Quick Hitch connection to the tractor. It also requires an additional component to connect the mid-PTO to the blower. Again, I’ll refer you to Mutton’s excellent snow blower page rather than attempting to list the exact parts necessary for your tractor.

If you choose to get a snow blower, I would recommend that you consider a cab for your tractor. I’m planning a post on some of the enclosure options for the 1-series.

Snow Pusher

Another option is a ‘snow pusher’. CT Attachments makes a snow pusher compatible with the Deere loader quick attach (JDQA) system.

CTAttachmentsSnowPusher

A snow pusher is similar to your loader bucket. The most notable difference is that it has no ‘bottom’. It is used to push large piles of snow rather than pick up a bucket full of material. The ends are larger and deeper than a regular bucket which keeps the snow contained in front of the pusher rather than it ‘leaking’ around the edges. This approach makes it easier to do the final cleaning on a surface.

The CT Attachments example above is a 72″ pusher. This is likely a bit too wide for the 1-series, but perfect for the 2-3 series.

Advantages

  • Easiest system to attach/detach
  • Easier to use and less driveway damage than front end loader bucket.
  • No custom hydraulics necessary. Uses built in loader hydraulics
  • Maybe less flexibility in snow placement? If in a small driveway, this might be an issue
  • Might have difficulty pushing large piles of snow on slick driveway with 1-series

Overall, this seems like an attractive option due to its simplicity and utility. I do not have personal experience using one so I cannot comment further. (Hint to CT Attachments 🙂 )

Frontier rear snowblower

Another option is a 3-Point Hitch attached snow blower. Used in combination with the front end loader, this solution provides multiple weapons to ‘attack’ old man winter.
Frontier54RearSnowblower

Advantages

  • Easy connect/disconnect (with I-Match, or even better, with I-Match auto-hitch).
  • Can handle any snow situation.
  • Could be combined with snow pusher for even more utility

Disadvantages

  • My neck hurts. I’m tired of looking backwards
  • Nearly as expensive as front mounted blower

Personally, this is one of my least favorite options. I just don’t want to ‘go backwards’ all of the time. However, in the right situation, I could see that it would provide the most flexible options for snow removal.

Summary

The 1023E/1025R can be a tremendous snow removal tool. There are many viable configurations. Some of the configurations can be used as stepping stones from a financial standpoint. For instance, you could purchase the 54 blade and quick hitch now. If that proves to be insufficient to handle your snowfall, you could add the Artillian loader mount quick attach adapter. There is very little cost duplication in that scenario.

Alternatively, you could add the front mount snow blower on the same quick attach frame you purchased for the blade. Again, the blade becomes a stepping stone.

If there simply is no budget available, I would suggest looking at the edge tamers. This will allow the loader to work as a competent snow removal tool without destroying your driveway. This option is less than $100 if you use the coupon code TTWT at checkout.

Oh, and there is one last option. Pray for spring to come soon!

21 Comments

  1. Fred Kaminski from La Porte, IN

    Great article Tim! I have a 2520 with the 54 inch blower,and I love it! The first year we used the blower, we didn’t have a cab on the tractor and that was a nightmare! I went and got a cab from Original Cab and it works great! I wish the black vinyl was more heavy duty and the clear was heavier, but all in all it’s not too bad. I think if I could get 7 years of use from it and then maybe find a shop that could redo it all, it will work out. I also remove most of the hardware needed to mount it to the tractor when I take it off. Last I bought a cab heater hook up from Mutton, and it works good!

  2. I have a 6 foot snow pusher and 48 inch frontier snow blower.

    • What brand of snow pusher do you have?

      Your setup seems quite flexible. You get the speedy cleanup of a snow pusher, the ability to move large drifts with the blower, and easy removal of both!
      Any pictures?

      • Tim, I’m looking at the Artillian reinforced rubber cutting edge for my 54″ quick hitch plow. I’m really chewing up my blade and feet w/the concrete. However, which one would you recommend? The reinforced or the rigid? I don’t know how ‘rigid’ the more expensive one is but I don’t want more damage to my blade. help! Thanks. tkdsipes@icloud.com

        • I use the rubber one. I use the ‘float’ setting on the hydraulics so that the blade is not applying downforce on the concrete. With this approach, I don’t get much wear.
          I don’t use the feet at all…have them raised out of the way.
          If you have been using float, and are still having issues, I would recommend the rigid cutting edge. I might also recommend the upgraded feet from Heavyhitch.com. I have not used them, as I don’t need them, but they might help you.

          Sorry that I can’t provide definitive answer for you.

  3. Various folks sell the feet with the plastic bottoms for the blade.

    I put the JD plastic feet on the blower and a plastic blade. Works well.

    My experience is the blower really slows down with 10″ of snow.

    The problem is either the blower or blade only plows 1/4 of the road.

    My crazy fantasy is use the blower/blade on front, then a rear blade on the 3 point set out to the right. Likely need bracing, but…..

    I tried the FEL first year on snow. Close to useless. Once the bucket fills (almost instantly) then you’re just pushing snow forward.

    The problem with Quick Hitch is you have to change front end mounting brackets from mower deck to Quick Hitch.

    I Line-Xed my blower. The dealer said not to Line-X the well, but I regret not doing that, too. I went back after this year’s snow & Line-X the chute, too.

    The chute will freeze up, be hard to rotate, and clog up. Especially if snow is slushy.

    Oh heavily lube the pedal actuator in the rear. It’ll freeze up and then the rod will pull out, stripping threads.

  4. I recently purchased a 1025r loader, backhoe, 60″ auto. I’m thinking about snow removal options. I own an x485 and already have the 54″ blade and quick attach for it. I’m trying to figure out what I would need to buy to use what I already own on the 1025. Am I correct in thinking all I would need to buy is the attaching support kit? Thanks, and I love your website and videos.

  5. The video worked!..Just purchased the edge tamers and extenders for my 1025r. I have a stone driveway and use the blower. But tend to put the blower on late and pull the blower off early and slide the bucket to get by. This seems like a good way to transition.

  6. Discovered JD makes 9″ metal extensions for the 54″ QH blade = 72″ (maybe). Part # LP53767

    http://www.deere.com/…/html/brochures/publication.html… Page 21

    JD now makes a 60″ QH blade which looks identical to the 54″ in terms of height & profile. Seems pretty expensive.

    • Heavy Hitch makes a 72″ steel cutting edge to fit the 54″ blade with the 2 ea 9″ extensions.

      You can buy custom cut UHMW “Plus” plastic blades https://www.interstateplastics.com/Uhmw-Ipx-2000-Advanced-Wear-Technology-Sheet-UHMIV%7E%7ESH.php? <$100

      You can buy carriage head 8mm x 45mm grade 8.8 bolts and flange locking nuts at http://monsterfastener.com/item/cbs8-056. Or maybe Artillian will sell theirs.

      I'm having my 54" blade and 9" extensions welded together. JD says:"Snow only."

      And putting the Artillian extensions on. So, 83" with actual 72" angled.

      All mounted on the Artillian FEL frame.

      Went with the WR Long 3rd valve system because it has a safety valve to protect the hydraulics if you hit something.

      Will it handle snow? Dunno. The 1025R with FEL & ballast is roughly 3,000 pounds. If its a huge snow storm, then plow early & often.

  7. Heavy Hitch makes a 72” steel cutting edge for the 54” blade plus 9” extensions combo.

    You can by a 72″ UHMW “plus” plastic cutting edge at https://www.interstateplastics.com/Uhmw-Ipx-2000-Advanced-Wear-Technology-Sheet-UHMIV%7E%7ESH.php?

    You can buy 8×45 mm carriage head grade 8.8 bolts and flange nuts at http://monsterfastener.com/item/cbs8-056 to handle the thicker plastic cutting edge….. or Artillian might sell theirs separately.

    Add the Artillian rubber extensions, the blade will be 83” (72” angled).

  8. Any thoughts on the broom attachments?

  9. In your video you said you got the blade used, were you also able to find the attaching parts used also.

    Thanks Bill
    PS please keep up the farm vids with your dad and brother along with the others hail to the farmers.

  10. Interesting. I priced a 1023e from 2 deere dealerships. One quoted a package with the 54″ Frontier rear snowblower, the other said I’d void my warrantee if I put a rear blower on that machine. After flipping through his booklet, he said the rear PTO couldn’t drive it. So instead dealer #2 quoted me a 1025 for $6k more. the setup looks fine for a blade or front blower. Almost every other subcompact maker doesnt under power their rear PTO and offers a at least 51-54″ rear blower without a blink

  11. Thanks you for all your 1025 videos. I purchased mine this spring and love it! I just purchased the R2 Manufacturing “Edge Tamer” for my bucket in anticipation of this winter. I would not have know about it without your YouTube channel. Keep up the good work!!!

  12. Pingback: To push or blow snow

  13. Any information on adding a 54″ blade to my 1025r loader?

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