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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
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    Apr 2000
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    800
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    East Tennessee
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    B2910 & BX23 (previously B2150 & B7100D)

    Default Off Brand FELs and Backhoes

    I have seen this topic come up in various other posts, but don't remember if it ever came up as a stand-alone topic before. A recent post inspired me to start this post as a dedicated topic.

    When I was shopping for a used kubota with FEL I avoided looking at Kubotas with off-brand FELs. Right or wrong, I just "felt" better about equipment that was designed to operate together. I'll admit that I had no hard evidence to support that "feeling", but it was there nonetheless. I suspect that a lot of other folks feel the same way.

    So here are some related questions:

    (1) How does an off-brand Front End Loader (FEL) or backhoe (BH) affect the warranty of the tractor? This answer may vary between the different manufacturers.

    (2) If you were shopping for a used tractor with FEL or BH, would you prefer the FEL and/or BH to be the same name brand of the tractor? In other words, if you were looking for a specific brand tractor with FEL, and found two identical tractors with the exception of one had an off-brand FEL and the other had an FEL the same brand as tractor, which would you choose if they were the same price?

    If most people respond with "I'd choose the one where the FEL brand and the tractor brand are the same" then it could be said that tractors with off-brand FELs and BHs do not have as good of a resale value as tractors with OEM FELs and BHs.

    (3) Assuming that the off-brand FEL/BH were cheaper than the brand name equipment, then does this lower resale value equal or exceed the savings during the original purchase?

    Any other comments?

    Kelvin

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Apr 2000
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    1,028
    Location
    Mid-Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L3710 GST

    Default Re: Off Brand FELs and Backhoes

    I guess my comment would be, Kelvin, that you need to make sure that you don't equate "off-brand" with "lesser quality" or "cheap". My analogy would be that a Ford engine in a Yugo ... would be preferable to a Yugo engine in anything at all.
    Some of the off-brands - such as Woods and BushHog may well be superior quality to 'name brand' ... and then the question would also be ... who makes the "name brand". Do New Holland or Ford make FEL's or do they contract them?
    Now that I've had my L3710 for awhile and used the Woods loader a lot ... I'd say that now I would prefer a 'bota loader .... but only because I like their joystick better. The Woods doesn't lift and roll at the same time and that bugs me. Other than that ... well ... it's the same color, excellent quality and looks like part of the machine ... I wouldn't have assigned a lower value to this tractor than one with a 'bota FEL.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2002
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    1,491
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Tractor
    Yanmar 186D

    Default Re: Off Brand FELs and Backhoes

    I believe that tractor manufacturers sub out the manufacture of some (most?) of their attachments. I think that the JD Frontier line of implements is made by Woods. I saw a small Kabota snowblower that looks identical to my Yanmar snowblower which I think was made by a Canadian company. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Woods made loaders and backhoes for kubota. Woods does make pretty good equipment.

    Chris

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Aug 2001
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    1,002
    Location
    Vermont
    Tractor
    NH TC33D

    Default Re: Off Brand FELs and Backhoes

    Kevin -

    Something else to consider in your discussion of After-martket vs. OEM Loaders and backhoes:

    Don't forget to factor in the differing specs of the various loaders. This was a significant factor in my purchase of a Woods loader for my NH TC33D. Woods lifts more, and has larger rollback and dump angles. The need for lift capacity is obvious, the dump angle is a consideration with all the clay in the soils around my area. I have found the fit to be equal to that of the New Holland 7308 loader. The only advantage the NH loader had (for me, anyway) was that I liked where & how they mounted their joystick better than Woods' method.

    John Mc

  5. #5
    Gold Member
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    Jan 2002
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    305
    Location
    Northwest GA USA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3710DT & Yanmar 186D

    Default Re: Off Brand FELs and Backhoes

    The only thing I wonder about with the stronger aftermarket loaders is could they be overstressing the equipment? As I was looking at new equipment, the three FEL brands I saw were Bush Hog, Great Bend and kubota. Bush Hog was spec'd out stronger than Kubota but the attachment to the tractor didn't look anywhere near as strong as Kubota. I didn't look at the specs on the Great Bend but the appearance was a little stronger than the BH. I'm not an engineer, so my opinion on how something looks may not be very credible but I paid a premium for a Kubota FEL on a new tractor and would probably do the same for a used tractor.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Off Brand FELs and Backhoes

    Off brand equipment also voids most manufacturers warranties. unless the manufacturer has tested and approved the specific attachment you are looking at.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    Apr 2000
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    800
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    East Tennessee
    Tractor
    B2910 & BX23 (previously B2150 & B7100D)

    Default Re: Off Brand FELs and Backhoes

    I also wonder about a 3rd party FEL that has a greater advertised lift capacity that the tractor's brand name FEL.

    There is probably a reason why the manufacturer did not provide the higher capacity with their loader...maybe it is because of the structural integrity of the tractor or maybe it is because of the instability of the tractor with the heavier loads...or both.

    Kelvin

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
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    East Tennessee
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    B2910 & BX23 (previously B2150 & B7100D)

    Default Re: Off Brand FELs and Backhoes

    I'll agree that "Off brand" does not necessarily mean "lesser quality", and could sometimes mean "higher quality'.

    Some people equate FEL "superior quality" with greater lift capacity. As stated in another post, I would be concerned about how this extra lift capacity affects the tractor's stability and structural integrity.

    I still wonder about tractor warranties. Suppose that the kubota loader for your L3710 were actually built for Kubota by Woods, and instead of buying the Kubota brand you opted to purchase the Woods brand (which would be theoretically identical). Now if the tractor were to be damaged during the use of the loader, would the Kubota warranty cover the repairs?

    I don't know the answer to the "warranty" question and therefore consider myself to be "an enquiring mind" that wants to know. The answer probably varies between tractor manufacturers and may even vary with specific tractor / loader combinations.

    Kelvin


  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    East Tennessee
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    B2910 & BX23 (previously B2150 & B7100D)

    Default Re: Off Brand FELs and Backhoes

    Chris,
    I don't know if the following is truth or salesman stories...

    About 5 years ago a kubota/Massey Fergeson salesman told me that Kubota designs and manufactures all of their implements to go with their tractors, and that MF sub-contracted with other manufacturers (Woods?) to build their mid-mowers and possibly other implements. He also said that Kubota used to contract out their implements in the 1970s (and early 1980s?) but doesn't any more.

    I don't remember any discussion about JD or other brands.

    So, in regard to your statement <font color=blue>I believe that tractor manufacturers sub out the manufacture of some (most?) of their attachments.</font color=blue> I would say that some do, and some don't.

    Kelvin

  10. #10
    Super Member
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    Apr 2000
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    5,664
    Location
    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
    Tractor
    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: Off Brand FELs and Backhoes

    Kevin, you are correct, kubota does make its own loaders and backhoes. I have a friend that is in the metal manufacturing business and they make some of the parts for the backhoe. They do, or at least did, use Woods buckets on their backhoes. I do not think they make any of the other implements that carry the Kubota name.

    MarkV

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