Is A John Deere 1020 A Good Tractor?-Complete Guide

Is A John Deere 1020 A Good Tractor?(Short Answer)

Yes, the John Deere 1020 is widely regarded as a good tractor, particularly for small to medium-sized farms and landscaping operations. Here’s why:

  • Performance: With a 3-cylinder engine producing around 37 horsepower (hp) and a power take-off (PTO) rating of approximately 31 hp, the John Deere 1020 offers reliable performance for a variety of tasks, including plowing, mowing, and hauling. Its torque reserve and efficient power delivery make it capable of handling typical agricultural and landscaping duties with ease.
  • Reliability: Built with robust components and a reputation for durability, the John Deere 1020 has proven itself to be a reliable workhorse over the years. Its sturdy construction and straightforward design contribute to its longevity, ensuring minimal downtime and lower maintenance costs over the tractor’s lifespan.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Efficient engine design and optimal power-to-weight ratio, the John Deere 1020 offers commendable fuel efficiency compared to other tractors in its class. This translates to lower operating costs and reduced environmental impact, making it a cost-effective choice for budget-conscious buyers.
  • Versatility: Equipped with a range of implements and attachments, the John Deere 1020 can adapt to various farming and landscaping tasks, enhancing its versatility on the field. Whether you need to plow fields, cut grass, or move materials, this tractor can handle a diverse array of applications with ease.
  • Resale Value: Despite being an older model, the John Deere 1020 retains a decent resale value due to its reputation for reliability and performance. Its timeless design and widespread availability of parts ensure that it remains an attractive option for used tractor buyers, further solidifying its status as a good investment in the agricultural machinery market.
john deere 1020 tractor resale value
Source: Tractorsinfo

Also read: Are Long Tractors Any Good?

Limitations:

However, it’s crucial to consider the limitations of the 1020:

  • Power: The 1020’s 18-20 horsepower engine might be insufficient for heavy-duty tasks like hauling large round bales or using a 3-bottom plow in heavy clay soil.
  • Hydraulics: The hydraulics may not be suitable for continuous loader work, requiring breaks to allow the pump to catch up.
  • Cooling: Some users reported difficulty keeping the tractor cool during mowing.
  • Smaller size: May not be ideal for extensive use on vast properties or for tasks requiring significant pulling power.

Also read: Are BKT Tractor Tires Any Good?

Strengths:

  • Durability: Experts agree the 1020 is a “tough little devil” known for its solid build quality.
  • Maneuvrability: Its small size allows it to fit perfectly in confined locations. 
  • Hydraulic reverser: This feature allows for seamless gear changes without clutching (on specific models).
john deere 1020 tractor Hydraulic reverser
Source: eBay

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Limitations:

  • Power: The 1020’s 18-20 horsepower engine might be insufficient for heavy-duty tasks like hauling large round bales or using a 3-bottom plow in heavy clay soil.
  • Hydraulics: The hydraulics may not be suitable for continuous loader work, requiring breaks to allow the pump to catch up.
  • Cooling: Some users reported difficulty keeping the tractor cool during mowing.

Price:

  • Experts advise against paying a premium for a fully restored 1020, suggesting a fair market value of $4500-5500.
  • The long-term value depends on individual usage and maintenance costs.

What can you do with a John Deere 1020?

With a John Deere 1020, you can tackle a variety of tasks around your property, thanks to its versatility and compatibility with various attachments. Here’s a breakdown of its capabilities:

Mowing:

  • Handles lawns and fields efficiently with mower attachments.
  • Depending on the mower size and terrain, you can expect to cover 1-2 acres per hour.

Tilling and cultivating:

  • Prepares soil for planting with tillers and cultivators.
  • The 1020 can typically handle tilling depths of 4-6 inches for smaller gardens or vegetable plots.

Snow removal:

  • Clears driveways and walkways with snowblower attachments.
  • Depending on the snowblower size and snow depth, you can expect to clear 1-2 car lengths per minute.

Loading and transporting:

  • Moves materials around the property with loaders and trailers.
  • The 1020’s lifting capacity typically ranges from 500 to 1000 pounds, depending on the loader model and attachment.

Light landscaping:

  • Performs various landscaping tasks with compatible implements like rakes and brush cutters.
  • The 1020 can effectively manage small to medium-sized landscaping projects on properties up to 5-10 acres.

It’s important to remember that these are general estimates, and the actual performance of the 1020 will depend on various factors like:

  • Specific attachment used
  • Terrain conditions
  • Operator experience

What are the different models of the John Deere 1020?

There wasn’t a significant variation in models for the John Deere 1020 throughout its production run (1960-1973). However, two distinct engine options were available:

  • 1020: This model came equipped with a gasoline engine offering 18 horsepower. It was the most common version produced.
  • 1120: This less frequent variant featured a diesel engine delivering 20 horsepower. It was primarily sold in some export markets and might be harder to find compared to the gasoline model.
different models of the John Deere 1020
Source: Tractors and Construction Plant Wiki- Fandom

It’s important to note that some sources mention a 1023E model. However, this is a completely different tractor from the 1020, belonging to a later series with distinct features and specifications.

Things to Consider When Buying a Used John Deere 1020:

1. Overall Condition:

  • Hours of operation: Aim for a tractor under 1,500 hours for its age. Higher hours indicate potentially more wear and tear.
  • Visual inspection: Look for dents, cracks, rust, leaks, or excessive wear on components like tires, seats, and controls.

2. Engine Health:

  • Listen for: Knocking, ticking, or any unusual noises during operation.
  • Check for: Visible smoke coming from the exhaust, which could indicate engine issues.
  • Test: Ensure the engine starts easily and runs smoothly without hesitation.

3. Maintenance History:

  • Request: Service records or proof of regular maintenance, including oil changes, filter replacements, and any major repairs.
  • Look for: Documentation of completed repairs and adherence to recommended maintenance intervals.

4. Attached Implements:

  • Identify: The specific attachments included in the sale and their functionality.
  • Consider: The cost of acquiring additional attachments you might need for your intended tasks.

5. Price:

  • Research: Average prices for similar John Deere 1020 models in your area with comparable features, condition, and hours of operation.
  • Use online resources: Like tractor marketplaces and classifieds to get a sense of current market value.
  • Factor in: The cost of potential repairs or replacements based on the tractor’s condition.

Conclusion:

The John Deere 1020 can be a dependable and versatile choice for light-duty tasks on smaller properties, praised for its durability and maneuverability. However, its limited power and hydraulics make it unsuitable for heavy-duty applications. Carefully weigh your intended use, soil conditions, and budget against the 1020’s capabilities and potential limitations before making a decision.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What tasks is the John Deere 1020 suitable for?

The John Deere 1020 is suitable for a range of tasks on small to medium-sized farms and landscaping operations, including plowing, mowing, hauling, and light loader work.

What is the horsepower rating of the John Deere 1020?

The John Deere 1020 typically has around 37 horsepower (hp), providing sufficient power for various agricultural and landscaping applications.

Is the John Deere 1020 known for reliability?

Yes, the John Deere 1020 is generally regarded as a reliable tractor, thanks to its robust construction and durable components. However, it’s essential to properly maintain the tractor to ensure continued reliability.

What are some common maintenance tasks for the John Deere 1020?

Common maintenance tasks for the John Deere 1020 include regular oil changes, lubrication of moving parts, checking and replacing filters, inspecting belts and hoses, and keeping the cooling system clean.

Does the John Deere 1020 have good fuel efficiency?

The fuel efficiency of the John Deere 1020 is decent compared to other tractors in its class, thanks to its efficient engine design and optimal power-to-weight ratio. However, actual fuel consumption may vary depending on usage and operating conditions.

Can the John Deere 1020 handle heavy-duty tasks like hauling large bales?

While the John Deere 1020 is capable of handling light to moderate loads, it may struggle with heavy-duty tasks like hauling large bales due to its smaller size and limited hydraulic capacity. Buyers should assess their specific needs before purchasing.

What are some potential limitations of the John Deere 1020?

Potential limitations of the John Deere 1020 include its size, which may limit its ability to handle heavy loads or continuous loader work efficiently. Additionally, cooling issues have been reported during intense tasks like mowing.

Is the John Deere 1020 suitable for plowing?

The John Deere 1020 can handle plowing tasks, but buyers should consider factors such as soil type and field conditions. Heavy clay-loam soils may pose a challenge, and lighter plow rigs may be recommended in such cases.

What is the resale value of the John Deere 1020?

The resale value of the John Deere 1020 can vary depending on factors such as its condition, maintenance history, and market demand. While it retains decent resale value due to its reputation, buyers should be aware that older models may not fetch high prices compared to newer alternatives.

Overall, is the John Deere 1020 a good investment?

The suitability of the John Deere 1020 as an investment depends on the buyer’s specific needs, budget, and expectations. While it offers reliability, versatility, and decent performance for its size, buyers should carefully evaluate its capabilities against their requirements before making a decision.

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