Kubota Grand M110GX tractor
Brent Lilley tested Kubota's new Grand M110GX tractor at the company's national road show. What did he think of the bright orange newcomers?
The opportunity to check out the redesigned Kubota line-up (and the lure of a steak sandwich) proved an opportunity too good to miss recently, so I got myself along to a drive day at Eureka just north of Hamilton to see what Kubota had to offer the market.
There are four models on offer ranging from 100hp up to135hp, but I'm concentrating on the M110GX, although all the models are very similar and most of what follows will apply across the whole range.
I'm choosing the 110hp model as it is the middle-of-the-range machine and will be at home across a variety of situations in New Zealand.Although it wasn't the most strenuous of tests for the Kubota, as we had no implements to use, there was a rough area of ground to drive around on, as well as a decent stockpile of soil to get stuck into with the loader.
Cab and Layout
The cab has been completely redesigned and is where the most noticeable changes have been made. MGX model Kubota's now feature the largest cab on the market in this horsepower bracket. The centre pillar on the side has also been removed to improve access and visibility.
The overall height has also been increased slightly and the removal of the air conditioning from the roof has increased head room. A glass roof panel in the front of the cab gives excellent visibility for loader work and provides plenty of natural light. One of the first things those of you familiar with Kubota machines will notice is that they've done away with the cream-coloured plastic and upholstery that featured heavily in older model cab tractors. The sleek new grey dash and operator's console gives the cab a much cleaner, open feel.
The controls are well-organised and user-friendly, with most being easy to access on the right-hand console, although a few controls - the four-wheel drive and diff lock controls for example - remain on the dash where they can be hidden by the angle of the steering wheel. There is plenty of space for them on the right hand side and they would be better there.
What I'm really impressed with is that Kubota has managed to include more commonly used controls, such as the hand throttle, three point linkage, engine rpm presets and power-shift up and down, into the right-hand arm rest of the seat making them very easy and comfortable to use.
An easy-to-read LCD screen is built into the right-hand console which displays information such as forward speed, PTO speed, fuel consumption and a clock. Another LCD screen on the dash displays information like the selected gear and engine hours.
The power for the M110GX model comes from the V3800 Kubota engine, which is a compact four-cylinder 3.8-litre turbocharged common rail unit that uses a combination of Exhaust Gas Recirculation and a Diesel Particulate Filter Muffler to meet tier four emission standards. Thankfully it still boasts plenty of power and decent fuel economy.
This is the same engine that has been found in many of Kubota's models around this size for a while now and my experiences have all been positive so far; the engines proving reliable and efficient with plenty of power. Testament to this is the fact that Kubota is now the largest manufacture of engines under 100hp in the world. Although on the day I didn't really have time or resource to test the engine to its limits, it still had plenty of power to dig into the pile of soil filling the bucket and to climb up the side of the pile.
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