Yanmar may not be a familiar name to everyone out there, but chances are, you’ve encountered a piece of Yanmar equipment before. They are a business with over 100 years of history, as one of the most prominent diesel engine manufacturers in the world. You can find their engines in everything from boats, to construction equipment, to agricultural equipment and generators – companies such as John Deere and Thermo King (refrigerated truck and trailer manufacturers) currently use their engines in some pieces of equipment.
It was only natural that, sooner or later, they would bring their own line of tractors to the market. Of these tractors, one of the most interesting pieces of machinery they have made is the Yanmar SX3100. It is a true all-season tractor, robust and versatile. It is a compact tractor, providing ample power while having a smaller platform to work from. This makes it a perfect candidate for folks with smaller properties who need flexibility from a tractor with a negligible footprint.
Underneath the bright yellow hood of the SX3100 is a Yanmar diesel engine. This means it is efficient and powerful – but more importantly, it is liquid-cooled. This allows the engine to work just as efficiently in the hot summer months as in the cold winter months. The engine has an output of 31.2 horsepower, alongside a 63 ft-lb of torque. A really nice feature of the engine design is that the oil-fill tube and dipstick are accessible from the right side of the tractor without having to open the hood.
Controlled through a side-by-side pedal arrangement, the 2-range hydrostatic transmission provides for superior control over the forward and reverse speeds of the tractor. This allows it to hit up to 14.8 miles per hour in forward gear, and almost 5 miles per hour in reverse. With no clutch, no gears, and no shifting this creates an ease of operation.
The SX3100 also features both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive capabilities, selectable for the situations you may need. The four-wheel drive has a rear differential lock through a foot pedal. The four-wheel drive is great for getting out of a jam, or for working in rough fields with difficult slopes or nasty terrain.
Steering, Brakes, and Tires
The steering system is the standard hydraulic power steering, which reduces the amount of effort the operator needs to put out for a good, tight turn. The steering is aided by individual steering brakes that can help make tighter turns, and will also be helpful if the tractor becomes stuck. These brake pedals are situated on the left floorboard, opposite of the hydrostatic transmission foot pedals. The SX3100 also come with a parking brake for added peace of mind.
The SX3100 comes with your choice of two different types of tires. The SX3100L comes with industrial tires, while the SX3100M comes with turf tires. Given the year-round usability of the tractor, industrial tires are the best bet, unless you’re planning on using chains during the winter months.
There are no steps up to the operator platform, but it sits low enough that it is easy to get into. The high-back seat features suspension and an armrest, and protection comes in the form of a lap belt and a foldable ROPS.
Sitting in the driver’s seat, you can see that the levers and switches are color coded, and the layout is ergonomically sound and uncluttered. The hydro range selector sits to the left side of the seat, clearly marked for low range, neutral, and high range, and it sits above the two-wheel/four-wheel drive selection lever. Behind the hydro range selector is the PTO selection lever, which can be switch to mid rear, or mid and rear together. The three-point hitch lever is on the other side of the seat, next to the standard selective control joystick.
For nighttime work, the SX3100 comes standard with auxiliary work lights, for added visibility and safety.
PTO and 3-point Hitch
The SX3100 features two independent PTOs, the mid PTO and the rear PTO. The mid PTO is capable of 2,100 RPM and an engine RPM of 2500, while the rear PTO hits 540 RPM at 2495 engine RPM. This means the PTO is very well capable of handling a wide variety of attachments.
The Category I three-point hitch is rated at a lift capacity of 1209 pounds at 24 inches behind the hitch. Position control is standard on the tractor.
Frame and Footprint
To call itself a compact tractor, a tractor can’t take up too much space. Accordingly, the SX3100 is only 109 inches long and just under 52 inches wide, making it easy to maneuver and park in confined spaces. The wheelbase is 65.2 inches, while there is 10.6 of ground clearance with the industrial tires. The tractor weighs in at only 2030 pounds, but with attachments this can rise quickly.
Yanmar has a great availability of in-house attachments that are compatible with the SX3100. The most popular of these is the DS60 mower deck, a 60-inch select cut deck that features drive-over construction for easy removal and attachment. The deck is made of 10-gauge steel and uses three 21-inch blades for the cut, with a right side discharge.
Other popular accessories include a front-end loader or a backhoe. The backhoe comes with a mower compatible subframe, so you do not need to choose one or the other. For winter work, a 52-inch wide snowblower attachment is available.
Of course, there is also a full roster of three-point hitch equipment, including rotary tillers, rotary cutters, box scrapers, grading scrapers, landscape rakes, core aerators, and disc harrows. These are all available in multiple widths, depending on your needs.
Yanmar supplies a lengthy warranty on their tractors. The SX3100 has a limited warranty of 2 years or 2,000 miles, whichever comes first. The engine and drivetrain warranty is one of the longest available on a compact tractor, at 5 years or 2,000 hours.