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  1. #1
    Elite Member ovrszd's Avatar
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    May 2006
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    Missouri
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    Kubota M9540, JD2210

    Default New M9540HD12-1

    Been wanting a bigger tractor for a while now. Have been running an L4400. Started seriously shopping four months ago. Had my eye on a NH T4040 but that fell thru. So started looking hard for a M8540 or M9540. Wanted to find one pre-Tier IV which would be the 60 series. Finally found a M9540 at Durand Illinois, which is 400 miles from me.

    It's an Open Station, 12 speed hydraulic shuttle, AG R1 Radial tires 12.4x24 front and 18.4x30 rear, rears are filled, cast rear wheels, LA1353 loader w/84" bucket and 3rd function hydraulics, 2 rear remotes. I gave $43.5K.

    The first 20 hours I put on it were pulling a brush cutter on road banks. The rest, up to the current 110 hours have been loader work clearing timber and cutting firewood. The first big thing I noticed was how stable the tractor is. I have my front tires set at 76" and rears at 90" outside width. Here's a couple pics showing the width I gained. They were set much narrower from the dealer.







    The rear cast wheels add 700lbs and I have 1400lb of fluid added. I haven't been on a scale yet but estimate the overall tractor/loader weight at 9500lb. I'll get it weighed in a couple days.

    I don't use any additional ballast weight on the rear. I would say the tractor is slightly lighter in the rear than the lift capacity of the loader. But in most circumstances it's unnoticeable. The biggest gain is the larger front tires. I never find myself with a load and front tires in a hole that I can't get out of. That was a common issue with the smaller L4400. I guess it's really unfair to compare the M series to the L series. They are just two completely different tractors.

    One of my biggest hurdles when looking was to find the 12 speed. I stuck to the plan because I found myself wanting more gears in the the L4400DT. I'm glad I did that. The 6 speed is synchronized but the 2 speed range is not. So the first 6 gears can be shifted on the go. But to jump into high range you have to stop. I rarely find myself jumping back and forth between those two ranges. I'm either doing high range work or low range work. The hydraulic shuttle is awesome. I'll admit for the first 20 or 30 hours I found myself using the clutch when changing direction, hard habit to break. My only disappointment with the transmission is the 6 speed shifter. It's cable operated and sometimes doesn't smoothly go into gear, especially when changing on the go. But I've adjusted to that and don't rush it. The transmission park works great and again was a little hard to get used to. I kept wanting to lock the brakes when getting off the running tractor, no brake locks on the M8540/M9540. The brakes are hydraulic operated so the park system has to be in the tranny. I don't over rely on it. I don't park the tractor of steep inclines expecting the park brake to hold it. I've saw too many offroad Jeeps/buggies go rolling away after park pin failure. With the 40 series you must place the 6 speed in neutral, then use another lever to put the tranny in park. This was a bit awkward in the beginning. With the 60 series they integrated the two levers so the shifter lever has a position which is in neutral and activates the park system.

    The operating station is very spacious and well planned. The shuttle lever and 4wd lever are the only two things done with the left hand, everything else is right hand operated. The throttle, 6 speed, park system, rear remotes and 3pt are all on a console. The loader joystick is just ahead of those. The pto is on the fender just above the 3pt levers. The 2 speed range selector is a bit awkward as it's located below the console and between the seat and console. It's like the put it out of the way so it wouldn't be accidentally used for some other function. They wanted you to stop the tractor and search for the selector. Tilt steering wheel has 6 positions and fits me very well. The seat is comfortable with armrests and a decent suspension system. The pedals are all reasonably placed and I'm never groping for the any of them. The two brake pedals are very close together which I like. I run them unlocked all the time. If I want both brakes which is most of the time I know where to put my foot to get that function. If I want one wheel brake a slight adjustment of foot placement gets that as well. The visibility from the platform is good for a tractor of this size. It was very easy for me to learn where each tire was and to control loader attachments on the front. I sit higher than on my L4400 but only notice that when trying to go under low hanging tree limbs. No feeling of sitting on the top of the world and fear of falling off.










    The 3pt is category II. It has a lift capactity of 8K. Yesterday I was using a 3pt bale stacker to haul stumps. I immediately bent one of the 4" tubing tongs when I had it hooked under a hidden root. The 3pt never hesitated. I gotta get used to that. When you hitch this tractor to something and pull the lift lever, something is going to happen.... The extendable arms and telescoping links make hookups easy. The lift links also have a float setting. This is very handy when using a 3pt brush cutter, allows the cutter to float over uneven ground without gouging. I haven't used the draft control yet so can't speak of it. But the position control is very predictable and user friendly.

    The LA1353 loader is sweet. I fun the lift cylnders in the power position because I rarely use the loader and max lift height. I more likely use the loader at max lift capability. The loader hooks and unhooks very easily as most Kubota loaders do. The 3rd function control is on the loader joystick and works great. I run Bobcat flush style connectors on the 3rd function as all of our attachments are plumbed that way. I spent most of the day yesterday piling brush from a cleared hedgerow. My only complaint was I need a bigger grapple bucket now!!! One of Kubota's bragging points on their loaders are the rubber plugs covering the cylinder pins. Well I've lost all but two of mine already. Brush picks em right off. I was also disappointed in the Kubota grill guard. Wasn't much to write home about. It has to be tilted forward to open the hood. I modified it and now it is truly a guard. Still tilts but I don't worry about breakage when I've got my nose in a brush pile trying to get a little more on top.


















    I added an additional tool box on the rear and made an open topped box to the left of the seat for clevis' hitch pins, etc. I also built a chain box and fastened it to the loader bracket on the left side of the tractor. I built a chainsaw holder at the right rear of the tractor and a cooler holder over the left rear fender. I also modified the vertical exhaust into a horizontal unit. Didn't want to pay the $332 Kubota wants for their kit.

















    After 100 hours I feel very comfortable on the tractor. Any operational quirks it had were overcame quickly. The size fits what I do very well. I have more HP than I need 90% of the time but that's okay. One of the things I like best about Kubota tractors is they generaly have a very good HP/WT ratio. Especially in the gear drive L and M series. We maintain a 160 acre farm and rent out the tillable part. Also maintain a 20 acre property where we live. My Wife hopes this tractor will suit my needs for the rest of my life. So do I.
    Richard
    Kubota M9540, JD2210

  2. #2
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
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    Kubota BX2360 & L4240 HSTC

    Default

    Nice tractor. I enjoyed reading your review of it.
    Roger

    Kubota BX2360 & Kubota L4240 with paddle shifter, suicide doors and 24's
    Past Stuff: Ford 8N, Cub Cadet 2206, Bobcat CT235

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  3. #3
    Super Star Member
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    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: New M9540HD12-1

    Enjoyed your detailed write up and your experience/observations pretty much match mine with our M8540 HDC, only more eloquently stated. It too took me a while to stop using the foot clutch as I had operated a Synchro-Shuttle the twelve previous years. Our cab adds quite a bit of weight to the back, but even with that and loaded, we found we benefit from the added 1100 pound ballast of our LP HR3584. We were digging out a washout this week and still occasionally lifted the back tires off the ground hooking a root or really solid ground.

    We mow some really steep slopes or they seem steep to me and the tractor is rock steady.

    We knew we would like the M8540, but like it even more than we thought.

    Again, I really enjoyed the pictures and write up.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  4. #4
    Gold Member
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    SW Arkansas
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    Rusty junk

    Default Re: New M9540HD12-1

    How to you operate your third function hyd? I didn't see any buttons on the joystick. Running it through a rear remote?

  5. #5
    Elite Member ovrszd's Avatar
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    Missouri
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    Kubota M9540, JD2210

    Default Re: New M9540HD12-1

    Quote Originally Posted by PoorPlowboy View Post
    How to you operate your third function hyd? I didn't see any buttons on the joystick. Running it through a rear remote?
    Oh sorry,,, I just noticed I took the operator station picture before I installed the 3rd function. I'll try to get an updated pic. The joystick knob/handle has two buttons on the inside or left side of the handle that are used with your thumb, there is also a push button switch halfway down the handle that enables or disables the function so you don't accidentally push the buttons and create unnecessary hydraulic pressure against dead couplers if nothing is hooked to them. It's a power beyond function after the loader valve. There is an electric over hydraulic valve that is plumbed beyond the loader function valve and before the 3pt. Total separate pair of hoses run power to couplers at the front of the loader frame. So if I'm trying to clamp onto a load of brush with the grapple I push the close button and hold it, then roll back and/or lift the bucket. Any time I stop moving the bucket the grapple clamps harder, when moving the bucket the grapple pressure is used up. Takes a little practice to get it right but I was used to it as I had added that function to my L4400. Hope that makes sense???
    Richard
    Kubota M9540, JD2210

  6. #6
    Elite Member ovrszd's Avatar
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    Kubota M9540, JD2210

    Default Re: New M9540HD12-1

    Quote Originally Posted by TripleR View Post
    Enjoyed your detailed write up and your experience/observations pretty much match mine with our M8540 HDC, only more eloquently stated. It too took me a while to stop using the foot clutch as I had operated a Synchro-Shuttle the twelve previous years. Our cab adds quite a bit of weight to the back, but even with that and loaded, we found we benefit from the added 1100 pound ballast of our LP HR3584. We were digging out a washout this week and still occasionally lifted the back tires off the ground hooking a root or really solid ground.

    We mow some really steep slopes or they seem steep to me and the tractor is rock steady.

    We knew we would like the M8540, but like it even more than we thought.

    Again, I really enjoyed the pictures and write up.

    TripleR,

    Thanks for the writing compliments, I did that sort of thing for a living for 40 years.

    You are one of the reasons I looked at the M8540/M9540 series tractors. I didn't think they would fit my needs at all. I read a lot of your posts and come to rely on your opinion. Also thought I had a pretty good measure of what you use your tractor for which made your opinions more valuable.

    I'm very pleased with this tractor. I believe if a person likes the general personality of a kubota tractor you can't help but like this model. As I said before the HP/WT ratio is right on track and is something I really like. I like the idea of adding weight if needed and not carrying it if not. That weight difference and the price turned me away from JD.

    I was pretty excited about the NH T4000 series too. From everything I read they are a pretty good match to this Kubota. My ordeal with trying to buy one of them is a lengthy story that we'll talk about some long winter day.....
    Richard
    Kubota M9540, JD2210

  7. #7
    Gold Member
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    Rusty junk

    Default Re: New M9540HD12-1

    Quote Originally Posted by ovrszd View Post
    Oh sorry,,, I just noticed I took the operator station picture before I installed the 3rd function. I'll try to get an updated pic. The joystick knob/handle has two buttons on the inside or left side of the handle that are used with your thumb, there is also a push button switch halfway down the handle that enables or disables the function so you don't accidentally push the buttons and create unnecessary hydraulic pressure against dead couplers if nothing is hooked to them. It's a power beyond function after the loader valve. There is an electric over hydraulic valve that is plumbed beyond the loader function valve and before the 3pt. Total separate pair of hoses run power to couplers at the front of the loader frame. So if I'm trying to clamp onto a load of brush with the grapple I push the close button and hold it, then roll back and/or lift the bucket. Any time I stop moving the bucket the grapple clamps harder, when moving the bucket the grapple pressure is used up. Takes a little practice to get it right but I was used to it as I had added that function to my L4400. Hope that makes sense???
    I just purchased a 7040HDC with the exact setup you just described. I was curious how it was plumbed, but haven't yet had a chance to fully investigate. I've been busy putting it's first 15 hours on it. The information you provided me is valuable!

  8. #8
    Elite Member ovrszd's Avatar
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    Missouri
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    Kubota M9540, JD2210

    Default Re: New M9540HD12-1

    Quote Originally Posted by PoorPlowboy View Post
    I just purchased a 7040HDC with the exact setup you just described. I was curious how it was plumbed, but haven't yet had a chance to fully investigate. I've been busy putting it's first 15 hours on it. The information you provided me is valuable!
    The hydraulic pump pushes to the loader valve first, then power beyonds to the 3rd function valve (if equipped), then power beyonds to the 3pt last. So if you are using any loader function the bulk of flow and power is utilized there first and the only thing that is forwarded to the next function is excess if there is any. A simple test of that theory is for lift your loader bucket and your 3pt at the same time. If the 3pt moves at all it will be minimal and certainly won't lift any significant weight.

    Hope you enjoy your new tractor!!!! I looked pretty hard at the 7040 but it just wasn't quite big enough framed to suit me.

    You cab guys make me jealous, especially on a day like yesterday where we had 30-40 mph winds, misting rain and high 40s temps. I was piling brush on an open hilltop all day.
    Richard
    Kubota M9540, JD2210

  9. #9
    Super Star Member
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    Default Re: New M9540HD12-1

    Quote Originally Posted by ovrszd View Post
    TripleR,

    Thanks for the writing compliments, I did that sort of thing for a living for 40 years.

    You are one of the reasons I looked at the M8540/M9540 series tractors. I didn't think they would fit my needs at all. I read a lot of your posts and come to rely on your opinion. Also thought I had a pretty good measure of what you use your tractor for which made your opinions more valuable.

    I'm very pleased with this tractor. I believe if a person likes the general personality of a kubota tractor you can't help but like this model. As I said before the HP/WT ratio is right on track and is something I really like. I like the idea of adding weight if needed and not carrying it if not. That weight difference and the price turned me away from JD.

    I was pretty excited about the NH T4000 series too. From everything I read they are a pretty good match to this Kubota. My ordeal with trying to buy one of them is a lengthy story that we'll talk about some long winter day.....
    Our Kubota dealer, Davis Farm Supply also handles New Holland, so I get to drool over all of them when I go up, I agree the T4000 are really nice and even look similar to the Kubotas.

    As per your post to PoorPlowBoy, the cabs sure are nice and at my age all I can run any more. My son and I were working on one of our roads a few days ago, he was in the M8540 and I was in the L5740 and it was in the low seventies with only a slight breeze and when we took a break, we just opened up our cabs and enjoyed the "feel" and smell of fall, freshly turned earth and the surrounding woods. You just don't get the same feel in a cab. Of course I sure liked them this summer in Missouri's 100+ heat and humidity.

    I think we would all like to see a picture of your grapple mounted.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  10. #10
    Elite Member ovrszd's Avatar
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    Missouri
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    Kubota M9540, JD2210

    Default Re: New M9540HD12-1

    I had a chance to weigh my tractor yesterday. I weighed with the LA1353 loader, 84" bucket, 1350lbs of rear tire fluid, cast iron rear wheels, radial tires, approximately 150lbs of chains, tools, chainsaw, etc. Total weight was 9,820 lbs. That did not surprise me. What did surprise me was the ratio, front to rear. The front axle weighed 4960 lbs. The rear axle weighed 4820 lbs. I consider my tractor heavily weighted in the rear. I would have guessed the rear to be 300-400 lbs heavier than the front. I'm surprised at how much loader work it will do without additional counter weight being so evenly matched front to rear.


    I finished clearing a brushy fencerow and had a fire day a couple days ago when the winds were calm. A few seconds with a butane torch and a pile of leaves and you got a fire!!! Even with fresh cut brush. We are severely dry here.





    Richard
    Kubota M9540, JD2210

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