1023e/1025r Mid Mount Mower Lift Options

I’ve had lots of questions recently about the lift options for the 1-series mid mount mowers.  This is understandable, as the choices ARE confusing.   So, let’s discuss the different lift options, how they work, and why you might choose one option over another.

Mechanical Mower Lift

First, let’s remove one point of confusion. The “Mechanical Mower Lift” is not, well, mechanical! When I think of mechanical, I think of the old craftsman riding mower with the big lever sticking up in the way of your knee so that it rams into your leg upon every bump.
craftsman_mower
No, the Mechanical Mower Lift is fully hydraulic and requires no ‘muscle-power’ to lift.
I wonder how many hydraulic lifts are sold simply because of this mis-understanding? If my dealer hadn’t taken the time to fully explain this, I would have almost certainly ended up with one of the other options.

The mechanical lift is controlled by the 3 point hitch mechanism. There is a mechanical connection between the 3 point hitch ‘rock-shaft’ and the mower lift mechanism. This is where the name ‘mechanical’ comes from.

This lift option is the simplest of the three approaches. There are no hydraulic lines for the operator to deal with. The lift mechanism is out of sight and out of mind.

One advantage of this mechanism with the 1025R is that the operator can accurately control the height of the lawn mower while operating. For instance, let’s say you have a ridge in your yard which typically causes the mower to scalp. With the mechanical lift, you can raise the 3 point hitch lever slightly so that the mower will mow accurately over that ridge without scalping. You can use the numbers by the 3 point hitch lever to provide a consistent guide to the mower height. Of course, for normal mowing, you should lower the deck so that the height is controlled by the mower height control knob, but it is nice to know that you can adjust accurately to unique situations in your lawn.

This option is the least expensive, and can be upgraded to either of the other options at any time if the operator decides that the mechanical lift is insufficient.

The disadvantage of the mechanical lift is that the 3 point hitch and mower lift cannot be operated independently. While mowing, the 3 pt arms will be lowered.
You CAN lock the mower in its ‘up’ position and lower the 3 point arms without lowering the mower. So the limitation only exists while the mower is lowered (in-use).
So, ask yourself if you plan to use the 3 point hitch while operating the mower. I don’t know of a good reason to do so unless it would be a bagging attachment. Otherwise, I would recommend removing the mower deck before using any 3 point attachment.

You can see a good example of the 3 point positioning during mowing in this video

To upgrade to the hydraulic lift, these parts are needed:
BLV10739 and LVB26206

To upgrade to the independent hydraulic lift, these parts are needed:
BLV10739 and BLV10688

If you have the power beyond kit, it is slightly more complicated. Refer to this document for more details.

You can get these parts at GreenFarmParts, and you’ll get a 7% discount if you use coupon code “TTWT” at checkout.

Hydraulic Mower Lift

The two ‘hydraulic’ lift options use the loader SCV (Selective Control Valves) to control the lift rather than the 3 point hitch mechanism.

This option uses one of the SCV ports which are typically used by the loader, snow blower, broom, or blade. If attaching to one of these other implements, you will need to disconnect this hose, before proceeding to attach the other implement.

The net result is that this option provides independence from the 3 point hitch, but introduces a conflict between the mower and any front mounted attachment.

This option provides some control of the height of the deck, but it doesn’t provide the precision which the 3 point hitch lever can provide.

It also adds approximately $350 to the cost. (of course, less if you use the greenfarmparts.com coupon code TTWT )

Overall, in my opinion, this is the least attractive of the 3 options.

To upgrade the hydraulic lift to the independent hydraulic lift, order:
BLV10688

Independent Hydraulic Mower Lift

For control of the mower deck fully independently from 3 point hitch attachments and front mounted SCV (Selective Control Valve) connected attachments, one needs to choose the Independent Hydraulic Lift.

The lift mechanism is the same as the hydraulic lift. This option adds the necessary plumbing and valves to allow independent control of the deck and front attachments at the same time. It also adds a new ‘rocker switch’ near the operator’s left knee for raising and lowering the deck. This rocker switch does not provide the precise control of the mechanical option, nor does provide the hydraulic feel of the SCV loader control used in the hydraulic mower lift.

This option just shy of $900 (if starting from ‘mechanical lift’).

Summary

After I understood that the mechanical lift was not actually mechanical, it was obvious to me that this was the option for me. It was the most simplistic approach, the most cost effective approach, and it provided the most control of the deck.

I’d be interested in hearing your opinion in the comments section.

21 Comments

  1. Tim – I didn’t understand all of this, all they explained was 2 options – SVC and Rock Shaft, and said 90% were set up on SVC. So being a total newb, and not one mechanically inclined to begin with (give me a computer and code to write!), I chose what they said was most common. I’ve found this VERY frustrating, as I can rarely get the lines switched without a lot of frustration, and I always set attachments down, rotate the joystick, etc. But somedays, I’d like to *insert-pain-mechanism-here* them for saying this was easy.

    They also didn’t explain that the lock would keep the PTO up when using 3-point, as I was concerned that it would cause a problem.

    I feel kind of dumb for not learning all this before, but at this point, is it worth the $$ to go back to the Rock Shaft method?

  2. If I had the ‘hydraulic lift’ option, I would likely decide to upgraded it to the ‘independent hydraulic lift’ option.
    This will remove the need for connecting/disconnecting the lift hoses each time you want to use the mower vs. loader.
    The independent lift is supposed to be the ‘premium’ solution. It would be nice to mow without having the 3pt quick hitch nearly dragging the ground.
    So, rather than ‘downgrading’, I would suggest you consider upgrading now that you have the hydraulic lift option.
    Make sense?

    I updated the article, providing links to the upgrade kit from greenfarmparts.com

    Oh, and was the article clear? I found it a bit difficult to explain the differences.

    Thanks for your comment!

    • Thanks for the response – yes it was clear. In fact, and perhaps I have a frame of reference, now, but it was this article that finally gave me the info I needed. Several youtube videos show the rocker switch, but none really explained the difference and absolutely none gave approximate cost. You’re the “I’ve never done this before” answer. Thanks for the time and effort. I’ll check out the upgrade.

      • I’m glad I was able to help. I’m finding that explaining things that confused me when I was buying seems to be helpful to folks.
        How did you find my site? Are you a youtube subscriber? Did you find me on GreenTractorTalk.com?

        Just curious. If you haven’t seen our video channel, please take a look when you have some time: http://www.youtube.com/user/timmarks416

  3. Side note, I’m using chrome, but the links take me to a page that just says “your cart is empty”, not the product pages, or loading into the cart with coupon applied as it appears to attempt.

  4. The JD descriptions when I purchased my tractor were mechanical and independent. The switch thing was added later year models. Seems the “callings” got renamed. But JD got it all bastardized. The independent cylinder lifting the deck s/b hard line fitted on the tractor and not go thru the coupling. There s/b a “T” off ahead of the black coupling with a shut off. This would eliminate coupling and un coupling the cylinder connection, just flip shut off. Joy stick deck lift and lower is the nuts. Three point lift and lower is backwards. The electric switch and it’s holding in to stay the deck up is a joke. I would never even consider mowing the lawn with a loader bucket on the tractor, too dangerous.

  5. The JD descriptions when I purchased my tractor were mechanical and independent. The switch thing was added later year models. Seems the “callings” got renamed. But JD got it all bastardized. The independent cylinder lifting the deck s/b hard line fitted on the tractor and not go thru the coupling. There s/b a “T” off ahead of the black coupling with a shut off. This would eliminate coupling and un coupling the cylinder connection, just flip shut off. Joy stick deck lift and lower is the nuts. Three point lift and lower is backwards. The electric switch and it’s holding in to stay the deck up is a joke. I would never even consider mowing the lawn with a loader bucket on the tractor, too dangerous.

  6. Good article. Just got my 1025r and contacted JD to see if they hAve either step by step written or vid instructions on just mower operation. Still waiting to hear.

  7. Did you ever try tilling with the mower deck on? I don’t have a great place to reconnect the deck on my 1025R and was wondering if anyone else tried being lazy and toiling with the deck on.

  8. I bought a 1025r tlb with a mower deck. The 3 point does not raise the deck, but there is the switch that I can use by the left knee. I find this option completely inadequate for control of deck height as I go over different areas where I mow. Can I leave the independent control option in there and still connect to the three point for better ” mechanical” control?

  9. Love your site, it has helped me with a couple of issues. I have a comment on the height of the 3pt arms with the mower deck lowered. I mow fairly high and have found I can set the stop for the 3pt lever up to just below where the deck reaches mowing height. This keeps the 3pt arms a foot or so off the ground and with the quick hitch on acts as a bumper guard in case of backing up into objects that move into your path. You know how that can happen.

  10. Very good info. I have the second option as far as mower deck lift. I use the loader hydraulics, but I just figured out that my 3pt is till attached to it. Is this normal?

  11. I have the independent lift switch on my new 1025R. I’m confused as to how I remove the mower deck?

    • If auto-connect:

      Park on a level surface
      Unlock gauge wheels
      Set Height of Cut control to INSTALL
      Lower mower to lowest position (with your rocker button)
      Tractor in 4WD
      Use Lo speed
      Set PTO selector to REAR
      Flip locking left in front of left rear tire forward
      Keep left front tire next to rail & back over deck

      Some steps are more important to install than remove, but better to standardize as much as possible IMO.

  12. THANKS! Great explanations. I use the rear bagger so this was very, very useful….especially since I converted the bagger to IMatch mounted.

    I’ve been going back through all the manuals to ensure I hadn’t missed something…. and I had. Can’t use mulching blades with the PowerFlo, etc..

    If I were king, I’d send JD writers to Information Mapping and Job Aids classes. They could save $$ millions on developing better documentation. Of course, if they used color photos in PDFs, then let the users print, it’d be better, too.

    Cheers.

  13. Tim,

    I am a bit confused. I have a 1025R with the 54″ ride over mower with the mechanical lift. As you said, the three point arms will lower as the mower deck is lowered. I can live with this as I have not had a case where I want to use the three point hitch while mowing. I may, however, need to use the three point hitch independently of the mower. While, I can remove the mower, for a small job I may not want to. Something you said earlier has me thinking. This is from your July 7, 2016 “Mid Mount Mower Lift Options” post: “The disadvantage of the mechanical lift is that the 3 point hitch and mower lift cannot be operated independently. While mowing, the 3 pt arms will be lowered.
    You CAN lock the mower in its ‘up’ position and lower the 3 point arms without lowering the mower. So the limitation only exists while the mower is lowered (in-use).” How do you lock the mower in it’s up position and can this be done to just the mower lift frame without the mower installed. The reason I am interested in this is that I will be using a three point hitch back blade along with the loader bucket for snow removal. I am concerned that if the mower lift mechanism is lowered with the blade it may become damaged in the process of removing snow.
    I personally want to thank you for sharing your extensive knowledge and experience with us. I have looked at many of your YouTube videos and read the posts. We all do have something in common, and it’s green. It feels like a family helping each other.
    Thank You Again,
    Wishes for a Merry and Blessed Christmas to you and your family
    Jim

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