Over its 35-year history, Kubota Canada has developed a very loyal following for its compact and utility tractors. The company has been continually adding new models to those lines, which now top out at 135 engine horsepower. But the big news this year is the addition of compact track loaders to its product stable.
Two-tracked, skid-steer loaders, the 74.3-horsepower SVL75 and 90-horsepower SVL90, made their Canadian debut at the Western Canada Farm Progress show in June. The first wave of new machines was due to land on selected dealers’ lots by early July.
Kubota clearly kept easy maintenance in mind when designing these machines. The cab can tilt up 72 degrees to allow access to hydraulic pumps, valves, lines and fluid tank. At the back, the “slide and tilt” radiator also moves out of the way for easy cleaning and to improve access to the engine compartment. But all the routine daily service points can be accessed by just opening the rear engine compartment door.
A self-adjusting bucket-levelling function is standard on both models. The loader delivers a horizontal reach of just over 41 inches (1,060 mm) with a hinge pin height of 119 inches (3,025 mm) on the SVL75 and 128 inches (3,266 mm) on the SVL90, to allow for dumping into trucks. Bucket breakout force is 6,204 lbs. (2,814 kg) on the SVL75 and 7,961 lbs. (3,611 kg) on the larger SVL90. With specifications like that, these two machines are far from lightweights compared to other models on the skid-steer market.
These Kubotas offer a standard two-speed transmission, capable of moving them along at over seven m.p.h. (11 km/h), and they aren’t likely to get hung up either with an underbody ground clearance of nearly a foot.
Both models offer ample hydraulic capacities, with flow rates of 71.2 litres per minute (l/ min.) on the SVL75 and 94.9 l/ min. on the SVL90. If that isn’t enough, the bigger model is also available with an optional high-flow rate of 138.3 l/min.
Power comes from four-cylinder, turbocharged diesels, a 3.3- litre engine for the small one and 3.7 litres for its larger brother.
There are a few nice features at the operator’s station, too, which is available as an ordinary open station or an optional fully enclosed, air-conditioned cab. The controls are conveniently arranged on the right side near the armrest. And the floor mats are removable for cleaning, something contractors such as corral cleaners will really appreciate. An optional air suspension seat and 12-volt electrical outlet can be added.
Extra options outside the cab include a hydraulic quick-connect bucket connection that lets an operator change attachments without getting out of the seat, and a lockable rear engine access door.
To stimulate additional interest in the machines, Kubota is offering a free standard bucket with purchases made before the end of the year.