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Kubota M135X tractor

BY: Terry Stevenson, PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Terry Stevenson

Date: 23.08.2010

The largest of the company’s new “X” line, the Kubota M135X is versatile enough to work on a large farm, or as a cultivation, hay and silage machine for a small scale contractor

Kubota M135X tractor
Kubota M135X tractor

  • Eight split shift speeds
  • Bi-Speed pull-around front wheel turning
  • Auto Mode works well
  • Downhill transmission control
  • Large cab with good linkage viewing

Inside the cab

The new M135X shares the same quiet cabin layout as its predecessor. It is long, wide, and has lots of space. The swivel pneumatic seat is positioned far back, over the low window for best viewing.

The controls aren’t the best layout as I found myself constantly turning my body to change settings. There’s a small LCD digital screen at the base of the side pillar, which has fieldwork control, indicating the likes of travel speed and PTO rpm, but it’s behind the main gear lever.

Nearby is the hand throttle, one of three methods to drive this Kubota – foot, lever and a dial on the dash to set your maximum desired revs (unchangeable). Moving backwards is a series of toggle switches that control functions.

The main gear stick has high and low ranges with an eight-speed powershift on the stick. There’s also a secondary clutch button on the same stick. At the end of the armrest are the linkage rise and fall control and a repeat of the split shift buttons for those who prefer to rest their hand there.

Engine and power

The M135X has a four-cylinder “high-torque” motor, dropping a cylinder over its smaller brother.

The 135hp Kubota engine makes more torque due to new designs, including long stroke bores, an intercooled and waste gated turbocharger, centre direct injection, four valves per cylinder, common rail fuel injection, and electronic engine and transmission management via high-speed Can Bus cabling and terminals.

Driving on a rough flat paddock with a set of discs didn’t bother the engine at 2400rpm. The new 6124cc Kubota V6108-Tl-CRS engine produces 135SAE horsepower at 2200rpm, with 118 of that going to the PTO.

The torque rating is approx 570Nm at 1200rpm. As standard the engine is rated to Tier 3, although the motor on our test model has the optional Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system which meets Tier 4 Interim requirements.

Performance and engineering

The redesigned bonnet and grill slopes down more for better forward visibility. Access to the radiators could be better with just the air conditioner radiator sliding out. Instead, Kubota relies on easy-removable fine mesh screens to clear the main and ancillary radiators to avoid overheating. The fan only runs when required to reduce foreign particle intake.

Getting the power to the ground is an Intelli-Shift 16-forward and 16-reverse speed transmission via a wet clutch, with a near perfect forward and reverse take-off from the shuttle.

Another excellent feature is Kubota’s Bi-Speed facility. Depress the toggle switch and when you turn the last few degrees of steering lock (Kubota says about 35?) the front wheels almost double their rotation speed, meaning I could do a headland turn on this 2690mm wheelbase tractor faster, and in a shorter space. The already tight 50? steering lock comes from Kubota bevel geared front axles. When the switch is off you’re in 2WD, although you still have a 4WD switch.

A switch operates the two individually adjustable pre-set engine memory rpm speed options. The next switch controls the Work Kruise control to keep the engine revs constant, such as for PTO work. When the engine rpm is set and Work Kruise is on, the computer calculates the correct throttle adjustments for the ground you’re working.

Auto Mode is fantastic. Flip another switch and the transmission automatically drops (or increases as you drive along) up to three gears in road travel when you reach a hill, and two gears in field mode when I lifted the linkage up. It then changed up those gears again when I lowered it.

Even the rpm speed of your Auto Mode gear changes can be sensitivity-adjusted simply by turning a dial, allowing them to change either faster or more gently if you have a sloppy drawbar with a heavy feedout wagon on, for example.

The downhill control (DHC) switch limits the transmission to prevent it changing up when driving downhill, for safety.

Optional front suspension (80mm overall travel) is fitted to our test Kubota. This feature can be auto-locked out for under 5kmh work, or turned off.

Two 77L/m hydraulic outlets are standard with options of up to four remotes available, while the power steering system has a separate hydraulic pump.

See a range of Kubota tractors for sale.

Specifications

Engine Kubota V6108-Tl-CRS
Capacity 6124cc
Power rating 135hp at 2200rpm
Maximum torque Approx 570Nm at 1200rpm
Transmission 16 speeds (F & R) with eight-speed powershift
Clutch type Wet
Maximum speed 40kmh
Fuel capacity 190 litres
Front suspension Optional hydraulic, with 80mm travel
Steering angle Up to 50 degrees
Operating weight 2690kg
Hydraulics Two remotes with 77L/min outlets


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