Is a John Deere 1020 a Good Tractor?

Is a John Deere 1020 a Good Tractor?

We understand that some farmers are skeptical about the John Deere 1020’s capabilities.

However, the truth is that the John Deere 1020 has long been a beloved tractor In the agriculture industry. 

But how does it hold up in today’s market? Let’s take a closer look at the features of the John Deere 1020 tractor and see if it’s still a good investment for those seeking a reliable option.

Is a John Deere 1020 a Good Tractor?

The John Deere 1020 is a good tractor because of its reliability, versatility, and durability. The tractor is suitable for a variety of tasks, including plowing, planting, and hauling. Its compact size makes it well-suited for smaller farms and properties, and its simple design makes it easy to operate and maintain. 

The 1020 is also known for its fuel efficiency and overall value for the price. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of newer models, the 1020 is still a capable and dependable workhorse that can get the job done.

According to Progressive Farmer Reader Insights, John Deere was the top tractor brand in many categories in 2021 and 2022. Some say John Deere tractors are versatile, powerful, and efficient, with an engine horsepower range of 110 to 410. 

Features of the John Deere 1020 Tractor

John Deere 1020 Tractor 

The John Deere 1020 is a tractor from the New Generation series, and it has numerous features. Let’s dive into the details:

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1. Engine Options

  • Diesel Engine: The tractor can be powered by a naturally aspirated diesel engine. This 3-cylinder diesel engine has a liquid cooling system to prevent overheating and a total displacement of 2.5 liters. It fires at a compression ratio of 16.7 to 1
  • Gasoline Engine: Alternatively, there’s a naturally aspirated gasoline model with the same 3 cylinders and liquid cooling. The gas engine fires at a compression ratio of 7.5 to 1.

2. Transmission

Both engine options use an unsynchronized transmission with 4 speeds forward and 4 speeds reverse. The top speed for the John Deere 1020 is 26.7 kph (16.6 mph).

3.  Weight

With the diesel engine, it weighs 2209 kg (4870 lbs).

With the gasoline engine, it weighs 2145 kg (4730 lbs).

The safe maximum ballasted weight is 2701 kg (5955 lbs).

5. Wheels

Front wheels: 5.5-16 (5.5-inch width, 16-inch rim diameter).

 Rear wheels: 13.6-28 (13.6-inch width, 28-inch rim diameter).

5. Versatility

Whether it’s plowing, towing, or other farm activities, the John Deere 1020 is up to the task. Its balance of performance, features, and value for money makes it a favorite among farmers, and its durability ensures it stands the test of time.

What Horsepower is a John Deere 1020?

The John Deere 1020 tractor, part of the iconic ‘New Generation’ series, offers reliable performance for farmers. Let’s explore its horsepower and other key features:

The John Deere 1020 is powered by a 4-stroke, 3-cylinder, water-cooled naturally aspirated diesel engine. This robust powerplant has a 152 cubic inches (2.5 liters) displacement. Here are the specifics:

  • Cylinder Bore: 3.86 inches (98 mm)
  • Piston Stroke: 3.86 inches (98 mm)
  • Rated Power: 40 horsepower (28.5 kW)

In practical terms, the engine’s tested drawbar output is approximately 31.81 horsepower (23.7 kW), while the power take-off (PTO) output reaches around 38.92 horsepower (29.0 kW). These figures make the John Deere 1020 a capable workhorse for various farm tasks. 

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What Is the Maximum Speed of a John Deere 1020?

The John Deere 1020 tractor has a maximum travel speed that varies depending on the gear and direction:

  • Forward Speed: The John Deere 1020 can reach a maximum forward speed of approximately 16.6 mph (26.7 km/h).
  • Reverse Speed: When moving in reverse, its maximum speed is around 9.5 mph (15.2 km/h).

This versatile tractor features power steering, differential hydraulic wet disc brakes, and an open operator station. Its fuel tank holds 16.5 gallons (62.5 liters), ensuring it can handle various farm tasks. 

In addition, the John Deere 1020 comes in different variants, including the 1020LU low-crop utility, 1020HU high-crop utility, and 1020RU row-crop utility models.

How Does the John Deere 1020 Tractor Compare With Other John Deere Models

John Deere 1020 Tractor

Let’s compare the John Deere 1020 tractor with other John Deere models to understand its strengths and where it stands in the lineup.

John Deere 1020 vs. John Deere 1520

The 1020 and 1520 are part of the same New Generation series. Both share similar design principles and features. The key difference lies in horsepower: The 1520 offers slightly more power than the 1020.

If you need a bit more muscle, the 1520 might be a better choice.

John Deere 1020 vs. John Deere 2020

The 2020 offers more modern features compared to the 1020. With a higher horsepower rating, it handles tougher jobs.

The 2020’s comfortable operator station enhances productivity. If you value convenience and performance, the 2020 is a solid choice.

John Deere 1020 vs. John Deere 3020

The 3020, like the 1020, belongs to the New Generation series. It offers more power and additional features. The 3020’s hydraulic system is more advanced, making it suitable for various implements.

If you need a step up in performance, the 3020 is worth considering.

John Deere 1020 vs. John Deere 4020 (a deeper comparison)

  • Horsepower: The 4020 outshines the 1020 with its 95 horsepower (compared to the 1020’s 40 horsepower).
  • Hydraulics: The 4020 boasts a dual hydraulic system, allowing simultaneous operation of multiple implements.
  • Size and Weight: The 4020 is larger and heavier, making it suitable for heavy-duty tasks.
  • Versatility: While the 1020 is versatile, the 4020’s capabilities extend to larger-scale farming.
  • Cost: The 4020 is an investment, but its performance justifies the price.
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John Deere 1020 vs. John Deere 2025R

The 2025R is a compact utility tractor from a different series. It’s designed for smaller tasks and tight spaces. While the 1020 is more robust, the 2025R is nimble and ideal for hobby farms or landscaping.

John Deere 1020 vs. John Deere 3025E

Similar to the 2025R, the 3025E is a compact utility tractor. It offers simplicity and ease of use. The 1020, being older, has a different charm, but the 3025E is better suited for light-duty work.

However, if you’re seeking more power, advanced features, or specialized capabilities, explore other models within the John Deere lineup. Each tractor has its unique strengths that cater to different farm needs.

What Is the Price of a John Deere 1020?

For Used Market Prices

  • 1967 John Deere 1020: One owner, parked for a while, ran well when parked. May need fuel system cleaning. Starting price at $2,950 USD.
  • 1968 John Deere 1020: 2WD, gas engine, runs great but with water in oil. Selling “as is” for $4,500 USD.
  • John Deere 1020 with Kelley Loader: Includes a bale spike and 1 remote. Starting price at $10,500 USD.

Original Price

When the John Deere 1020 was new, its starting price was approximately $4,500 USD. Currently, in 2024, you will find it around $9,000 USD

Understand that prices can vary based on factors such as condition, location, and additional features.

What Is the Fuel Consumption of a John Deere 1020?

The John Deere 1020 tractor has a fuel capacity of 16.5 gallons (62.5 liters). This means it can hold up to 16.5 gallons of fuel in its tank. 

Keep in mind that actual fuel consumption can vary based on factors such as load, terrain, and operating conditions. If you’re considering this tractor, it’s essential to monitor fuel usage during your specific tasks on the farm. 


The John Deere 1020 is a solid option for those looking for a reliable, classic tractor. While it may not have all the latest features and technology, its simple design, durability, and good resale value make it a good choice for those on a budget. 

While there are newer models on the market with more bells and whistles, there’s something to be said for the nostalgia and simplicity of the John Deere 1020. 

So, if you’re in the market for a vintage tractor that will get the job done, the 1020 is worth considering.

About Author

Bruno C.

I am a professional content writer, a pet lover, an agriculture enthusiast and an innovative thinker. I appreciate performing the research required to keep my articles relevant, current, and engaging, and I bring my industry expertise and experience to every project I tackle.

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