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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
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    Default Operating Opportunity - Kubota vs Kioti

    Here in western KY we have been the victim of the miracle of Christmas, also known as 12" of snow (probably more than we've had in the last 10 years combined). I've been using my DK 45 to plow our driveway and county roads (the county road grader finally made a pass, but didn't go all the way to the end (no place to turn around), so I cleared the ends of roads. It's been a lot of snow and a lot of clearing.

    I went to work yesterday to move some furniture while no one else was there and got drafted into snow removal service. We had two contractors, one on a JD skidsteer loader and the other on a JD 4050 tractor with loader and hydraulic rear blade (and cab). So I hopped on the kubota L3130 that we had bought for the plant.

    It was the first time since the test drive that I had driven the tractor. After operating the Kioti for years, operating the Kubota was quite intuitive (so I guess Kioti has done a very good job of emulating Kubota). The temperature was a little below 20F, but fired right up and purred along.

    Even though the Kubota was only about 2/3 the power of my Kioti, I was quite impressed with its ability to push snow. For the most part, I was pushing at right angles to the big JD tractor, making piles for him to push into a big pile. I also did some miscellaneous clearing and used the spreader that was mounted on the 3 pt hitch to salt the parking lots and roads (we have around 10 or 12 acres of parking lot).

    Some observations:

    The shuttle shift on the Kubota was slightly different - seems you have to lift up going to forward and reverse versus the straight throw on my DK 45 - just took a couple of shifts to get used to, perfect after that.

    Kubota must have a seat safety switch - can't get off the tractro with the PTO running. I guess this is a good feature, but I'm also assuming you can't get off the tractor while it is in gear and moving. Now you may wonder why I would want to do that, but it is a pretty safe occurance - when we are picking up tobacco on the stick (after it is cut), it is usually just three or four of us and no dedicated driver. We put the Kioti in creeper gear, set the throttle and let it pilot itself down the skip row while occasionally correcting the steering from the ground. If any of you guys have ever used the creeper gear, you know how slow I'm talking about. We also occassionally do the same in the hay fields picking up square bales (although we usually have a driver for hay pick up). Again, that is not a big deal but it is a difference.

    The dashboard on the Kubota was one of the LCD displays (or something like that). Good layout and easy to read - but I perfer the regular dial gauge/idiot light layout. I imagine that the dash for the Kubota will last every bit as long as the as the regular dial layout setup.

    The loader for the Kubota seemed well matched to the tractor - operation identical to the Rhino loader on my Kioti. I have to admit, it did seem to cycle a bit faster than my Rhino loader does. Very responsive overall.

    The Kubota did not have a step on the right side of the operator platform, while the Kioti does. I had to either stretch or walk around the tractor several times. If the Kubota was mine, I would put a step on that side.

    Overall, I was very impressed with the Kubota tractor. Years ago, when I was shopping for my Kioti, I planned to get a Kubota but saved enough money to justify the purchase of a Kioti. When we bought the Kubota for the plant, we compared it to the DK 35 (which I guess we really should have compared it to a L3430). The Kioti DK 35 was cheaper (by around $500, I think) but also came with a canopy and box blade - however, the tractor selection commitee at work chose the name recognition of the Kubota over the efficiency and extras of the Kioti. After operating the Kubota for several hours, I think that we made a good choice. All things being equal and price notwithstanding, I would have a hard time choosing between a Kioti and Kubota.

    Sorry for the long post - it was just a rare opportunity to operate two competing brands on the same day doing the same tasks (although size/power not the same) and give a report.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    750
    Location
    NC
    Tractor
    Kioti CK20HST

    Default Re: Operating Opportunity - Kubota vs Kioti

    Seat switches don't belong on tractors. They (tractors) are used for too many things other than what some engineer (or especially some lawyer) determines that it should be used for. I know they can be defeated, but they shouldn't have to be. Or at the very least put a disable switch in line like new cars have for the passenger side airbags.

    Keep in mind this is coming from someone is so @n@l about someone else making decisions for me that I disable the motion sensors that lock door locks on some cars. If I want the blasted things locked, by golly I'll do it myself.

    That "feature" alone would have been enough to push me toward the Kioti in a close comparison.

  3. #3
    Super Member Bob_Skurka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Operating Opportunity - Kubota vs Kioti

    <font color="red"> That "feature" alone would have been enough to push me toward the Kioti in a close comparison. </font>

    Then you wouldn't like a New Holland! Safety interlocks all over the place. Seat switch shut off. Can only start in "N" range. Get off the seat and you have to engage the parking brake and shift the tractor to "N" too! There are times when I want to disable all that stuff, but then I figure that when I park it, by having all that stuff, the likelyhood that a child will start it up is pretty slim so I leave it all on there!

    --

    By the way, I liked the comparison. Despite the mismatch in size &amp; power between the machines, the review was very informative. Pricing is very interesting by region, clearly given the capablilities, the Kioti would be the clear choice if the dealers were basically equals.


  4. #4
    Elite Member GerardC's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    2,606
    Location
    New York
    Tractor
    KIOTI CK20 GEAR.

    Default Re: Operating Opportunity - Kubota vs Kioti

    <font color="blue"> There are times when I want to disable all that stuff, but then I figure that when I park it, by having all that stuff, the likelyhood that a child will start it up is pretty slim so I leave it all on there! </font>

    Don't you remove the your key? When people are worried about kids, why don't they treat their key(s) like a gun and keep it/them out of sight and reach [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]? G

  5. #5
    Elite Member rockyridgefarm's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    4,460
    Location
    Road 4310
    Tractor
    Deere 4310 HST MFWD

    Default Re: Operating Opportunity - Kubota vs Kioti

    <font color="orange"> Don't you remove the your key? When people are worried about kids, why don't they treat their key(s) like a gun and keep it/them out of sight and reach </font>

    One reason, a kid might actually try ANY key to start the tractor, and often ANY key (or Non-Key) will work....

  6. #6
    Super Member Bob_Skurka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Operating Opportunity - Kubota vs Kioti

    Do I remove the key?

    Sometimes. But the reality is many tractors will start by jamming a screwdriver, a thin metal bar, or even a chunk of wood into the key hole. No safety is totally foolproof. And most kids can open child safety caps on medicine bottles easier than most adults. . . if they can do that, they can probably find the tractor key or they can "invent" their own key.

    And by the way, I taught my daughter not to play with my tractors and not to play with my guns. . . but that doesn't mean that her little friends might not hop on a tractor and consider it a toy.


  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    May 2004
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    750
    Location
    NC
    Tractor
    Kioti CK20HST

    Default Re: Operating Opportunity - Kubota vs Kioti

    An education issue or lack of proper supervision issue should not make me have to jump through hoops to get off and pick up a beer can while mowing or defeat (or at least appease) 15 different interlocks to run a PTO generator.

    As @n@l as I am about making my own decisions... I'm just as big on taking the heat that is due me if I make a mistake. The big thing is it is my decision to make. Not theirs. If I stand on the top rung of a ladder and fall off its my bone headedness that did it. I would never sue someone. I do, however, choose the situation and if warranted occasionally stand on the top rung of a ladder.

    I didn't mean to steer this thread toward safety issues, but I was truthful that in the comparison given by rtimgray that the safety interlocks would have swayed me. I'm not totally against safety being designed into a product. But when it interferes with free use of something, or if there is no way to defeat a safety interlock without modifying the item, then I have issues with it. The scenario given above about walking beside the tractor in creeper gear is a perfect example. PTO generators, water pumps are others. Getting off the tractor to move something without having to appease safety interlocks is another, but only as long as someone is willing to assume the risk. I am more than willing to assume that risk.

  8. #8
    Elite Member Cliff_Johns's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    Northern Illinois
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    JD 4110

    Default Re: Operating Opportunity - Kubota vs Kioti


    An informative and thoughtful post. Thanks for taking the time to think all this through. Great post.

    Cliff

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Dec 2003
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    eastern panhandle of WV
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800 with loaded R-4s

    Default Re: Operating Opportunity - Kubota vs Kioti

    You can use the PTO on the kubota tractors with the safety lock and not be on the tractor. My book says if using a log splitter when you go to get off the tractor, jerk the seat up fast and it will not kill the motor. I like the kill switch on the seat for the PTO. You shouldn't get off a tractor while mowing leaving the mower running. It is not a safe practice and with the new switch they are making sure you are still around to buy more of their machines.

  10. #10
    Elite Member
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    MessickFarmEqu's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
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    Lancaster County, PA

    Default Re: Operating Opportunity - Kubota vs Kioti

    I think you can run the PTO while off the tractor if you put it in nutural and set the parking break. That makes sense to me... but I agree that the safty features can be a pain. Heck I bobble around with customers all the time because I can't remeber what tractors have what safty equipment.

    Stupid lawyers, if it was not for them and people trying to make a living off suing others we would not have this problem. I am willing to bet the number of dealers who have been sued by customers who did something stupid is over 50%. Its tough because many customers ask how to override safty equipment and/or remove their ROPS.

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