Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions

   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions #101  
Re: Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions

Kubota has a PLETHORA of options,

What is a plethora, el guapo?

Three Amigos-What Is A Plethora? - YouTube

seriously though, i just spent time cycling around greece and italy and was envious of all the lower profile devices you see

for me though i would want reasonable lifting capabilities and tractive force- so a bit closer to a tractor but lower and with larger front wheels

I tried to do that... BELIEVE ME, I tried.

The only "pros" I could come up with, when comparing the AC to Kubota's most closely equipped model were:


Kubota's L-series has a PLETHORA of options. Honestly, I don't think there is another manufacturer out there that offers the same level of customization with regard hydraulic options... however, I will have to say that New Holland has some specialty options that are not listed on their website (I'm still considering their wide track hillsider... which I seen in Alabama a couple months ago). From what the reps told me, everything Kubota has to offer is available on the website configurator, so I configured the closest possible unit to reflect/compare pricing. I was going to give Kubota the honorable mention here for overall configurability in a single model range... but AC has them beat there as well, because they have so many lateral models (same horsepower, same class) with bi-directional AND articulating or steer axle setups.


For general agricultural use, the Kubota L-series is (for the most part) a hands-down winner when the confines of comparison are operating efficiency, cost of ownership, and serviceability/service locations. For those who require a high lifting FEL, it's also a winner there... a crucial point for many buyers/owners. Don't need all the options? Want 25-45hp and 2wd? Kubota L-series. Need more hydraulic control than an aircraft carrier, an FEL, adjustable track width, class leading ground clearance, 4wd, and a partridge in a pear tree? Kubota L-series.


This one is a no-brainer as well. Kubota is huge... and they're EVERYWHERE. If you can't see orange from where you're standing, lean left or right... OH, THERE IT IS!

If you can't fix it with your hammer, you need a bigger hammer.


All this being said, Kubota's L-series has its merits... well earned AND established.

With regard to the debatable tire size v. traction issue... it all has much to do with purpose and application. 4 midsize tires will provide near equal traction to big rears with an unbiased load on flat ground. In rear mount ground engaging applications, or pulling applications, big rears win hands-down. In hillside work, absolute traction will remain about the same... but equal sized tires win out in stability... ESPECIALLY when working with a load, or when you can't limit your working direction to uphill. Big rears may even excel in some hillside instances... but at the expense of soil compaction/damage.

For a farmer? The answer is simple... pick your brand of conventional tractor with ample power and go.

For the guy who just wants to maintain his property on minimum investment? Take your pick from the same.

Want a tractor with the functionality that will make you more effective, more productive, and get your time back to other things (sending time with family/etc.)? Want to spend the same cash as a tricked out orange tractor and gain the flexibility of bidirectional operation AND the POSSIBLE added stability of 4 equal sized tires and 4wd (plus a few other options)? There's only one option... Antonio Carraro.

Want the hillside stability of the AC and then some? Don't require high transit speed or reversible operation... but most of your work is better suited to forward engagement/mounting? PowerTrac.

Similar needs to a PowerTrac, but don't need the power OR the weight? Looking for a lighter footprint? Need front AND rear mount versatility? Ventrac/Steiner.

Need MAXIMUM versatility without tearing your ground all to ****? Skid steer out of the question? Want more attachment options/control than you can shake a stick at? 3ph just won't cut it? Money not a problem? Avant, MultiOne, Bobcat Toolcat... take your pick.

Need the best simple stall loader, various front mount attachments, more maneuverability than your SCUT, and don't use any of it's rear mount aside from towing a cart? Gain some versatility, save some cash, and get yourself a non-telescoping Avant 200 series.

Wanna be the reddest green hippie on block, with electric drive, mechanical PTO capability, MAXIMUM maneuverability, and money isn't a problem? Go get yourself an Aebi EC 170 implement carrier, and stealth farm yourself into the carbon credit saving heaven.

Need the absolute BEST sub-100hp hillsider option with front/rear capability and MAXIMUM traction, and your pockets are deeper than a healthcare provider after ObamaCare? Buy yourself an Aebi or an AC Mach 4... you won't be sorry.

Don't have the cash for an AC Mach 4, but you reeeeaaaaallly want one? Buy a Mach 2, and don't complain about the turf damage.

It's a whole new world in compact tractors... except, it's not. Not a single model provides anything the industry hasn't seen before. As a matter of fact, with regard to mountain/hillside tractors, we're still down a couple options (BUCHER! [mini Aebi] Where are you???!). John Deere has sold both half-track and full crawler compacts before... although their track designs were far less advanced. If you squint, a Ventrac/Steiner is little more than a miniaturized wheel loader that someone shrunk in the dryer too long... and they've been around for years. Reversible tractors like the AC have been around... again, they were JD rebadged Goldini's... and NH had their initial ~60hp models, which have grown to exceed anywhere near SCUT level with their newest 96hp model... but if you look hard enough, you can still find a few of the smaller Versatile brand Ford/NH bi-dis.

These things come in cycles (usually with economic highs), and they don't last long... mostly because major manufacturers are only interested in major sales. The modular design and cheaper/universal manufacturing of the conventional tractor means one model (horsepower class) is capable of serving a whole boat load of customers. With the exception of John Deere's rebadging/importing ventures, and a few off-beat R&D models of Kubota's 80s/90s... you don't see this often.... but the persistence of manufacturers like PowerTrac, Ventrac, Steiner, Goldini, AC, etc., are showing that people are willing to drop the cash for better accommodation to their applications.

In my opinion, Kubota has an opportunity here. Why? JD couldn't sell their rebadged Goldini's, because people don't go to a JD dealer looking for a Goldini. People DO, however, look to Kubota to innovate... come to the market with new solutions..... and they're long overdue for a quirky model that will mimic/exceed the value and flexibility of an AC, or PowerTrac. You show me a 'Team Orange' AC competitor, and I'm "on the wagon".
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions #102  
MultiMow, we need an update please.
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions
  • Thread Starter
MultiMow, we need an update please.
Haha... I wish I could give one.

Had a bad wreck, lost my job, and the income to build my custom creation.

Also, sold the 455-D

On the flip side, I have a Grasshopper 928 that would make a great donor to the project, when I get back on my feet.
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions #104  
Wow, bummer.

Good luck going forward. :thumbsup:
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions #105  
Sorry to hear that. Hope you get on your feet soon. Was enjoying your thread.
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions #106  
I haven't seen this thread but thought you were in full force mowing and had clients.

I will say that I agree with the original post you have on here. I would LOVE to have a ventrac or Steiner...but man those things are I am going to go back and read this thread. Probably should have done that first before posting.
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions
  • Thread Starter
I haven't seen this thread but thought you were in full force mowing and had clients.

I will say that I agree with the original post you have on here. I would LOVE to have a ventrac or Steiner...but man those things are I am going to go back and read this thread. Probably should have done that first before posting.
Time constraints with my job (truck driver) didn't allow for much on the side. I sold the 455 for lack of time to work on it and do side work.

We'll see how this new venture goes. My wife has been pretty supportive. If I get this one off, maybe I can afford to get back on track with the subcompact design.

Thanks for the kind words folks!