Test: Kioti PX 1002
Mark Fouhy tested the all-new Kioti PX1002 and unearthed a clever little 100hp tractor full of great features and an impressive price tag.
When I think of the brand Kioti (pronounced coyote), I'm immediately reminded of that quality cartoon Roadrunner. For those who don't know it, this was about a bird called Roadrunner who was constantly stalked by Wile E. Coyote. Wile E. (a play on the word 'wily') spent his every day trying to catch Roadrunner and eat him for dinner, but was forever outsmarted by the bird.
Luckily, the new top-of-the-range Kioti PX1002 tractor I tested this month comes with a few smarts of its own and is wily in the sense that it's astute, crafty and will surprise many. This 100hp tractor is a versatile utility tractor, ideal for every day jobs and the icing on the cake is its competitive price tag.
Brent Lilley tested the predecessor to this model, the Kioti DX model, back in 2012 so I was keen to see how the new PX1002 compared.
For my test I headed to the undulating green pastures of a property outside of Morrinsville, where I caught up with Brett Maber and Mark Daniel, from Power Farming, who gave me the lowdown on the new Kioti.
As with all bigger model Kioti tractors, Daedong (the manufacturer of Kioti machinery) has opted to use Perkins powerplants, well known and used by some other tractor brands and in the heavy truck industry. The PX1002 uses the four-cylinder 4399cc Perkins 1104C-44TTT, which I didn't put to real work with only bales to shift and an undulating paddock, but for this task it had ample power. At Power Farming, they put each tractor through two hours of testing on the Sigma Dyno to make sure they are producing the horsepower they are claimed to and make sure there are no faults. Daedong currently makes its own engines for the smaller hp tractors in its range. These are common rail, which can be compliant to Tier 4 emission levels, for countries that require these standards (New Zealand and Australia currently don't require these).
Kioti has made a good job on the cab, most notably the quality of the finish. Door handles and latches are solid and should stand up to the daily demands placed on them over the years. A thick rubber floor mat on the flat operator platform can be removed for cleaning to keep your tractor looking good. Kioti hasn't added any extra frills, such as fabric-covered panels, but rather opting for hard-wearing plastic mouldings. The PX1002 cab has tilt-adjustable steering, CD/radio with 3.5mm and USB inputs for music devices. Kioti tractors come fitted with good air conditioning/heating units to cope with local climatic conditions in Korea (extreme cold to very hot and humid) and also for markets like Queensland. The day of the test was a beautiful warm Waikato day, so I gave the touch-panel air conditioning a good test. While loading bales, the roof-mounted vents did a good job of keeping me comfortable. A full rear opening window and side windows with a smaller roof hatch complete your cooling options.
A small toolbox for pins and tools is found behind the seat. The cooling/heating box on the rear left corner of the driver's seat is a nice addition, to keep drinks/lunch cool and fresh or savouries warm. A six pillar cab provides plenty of glass area and visibility for rear implements. The exhaust is mounted up the front right-hand pillar for good visibility with the front-end loader. Aside from the front-side road lights mounted in the front grill, you have a further four work lights on the front of the cab and two more on the rear of the cab. The weight adjustable seat does the job, but I did find it quite hard, which wouldn't be great if you were on the tractor for the whole day. The wing mirrors looked a little like an afterthought and could be built stronger with adjustment for carrying wide loads.
The transmission is one of this machine's biggest improvements over its predecessor, the DX. The new power shuttle has had an extra solenoid added (from one to two now) so as I understand it, one basically activates forward and the other activates reverse, instead of having just one or the other, therefore improving smoothness of direction changes.
An adjustment feature also allows the operator to slow down the forward to reverse transition for a smoother change, or speed it up for a quicker change of direction.
The transmission gives the best results for many situations when it is set in the middle. The addition of the electro clutch and hi/low buttons on the gear stick means gears can be changed by simply pushing the hi/low buttons and clutch button on the main gear lever without depressing the clutch pedal. The new design of the transmission has increased the gear options from 16 forward and 16 reverse to 32 forward and 32 reverse. The four-speed range lever is mounted on the left of the driver's seat, along with the lever for PTO engagement and hand brake. Offering an extended four-year warranty on the drivetrain shows Daedong's faith in its product and reassurance for first time Kioti buyers.
Kioti has opted for a three-speed PTO setup on the PX, the same as the old model. Standard are 540rpm and 1000rpm, like most other models but instead of an economy option, they have gone for ground speed, a feature that can be useful when raking hay. PTO engagement is an electronic automatic setup with a button mounted close at hand on the right-hand console. Kioti has added a simple headland management system to the PTO, so when you lift the linkage while running in automatic, the PTO will disengage and then re-engage when you lower the three-point linkage, a feature not found on many models in this category.
The PX1002 comes with a category-two rear linkage, with quick hook ball arm ends, a good extra for a machine in this category/range. The back end is solidly built for a 100hp tractor. Dipstick is mounted quite high and easily accessible for checking hydraulic oil levels. Main hydraulic pump has a capacity of 48.4 litres per minute, with a rear linkage lift capacity of 2400kg — which is OK, but an extra lift ram on one of the linkage arms would increase this capacity. A mechanical raise and lower of the linkage is used, rather than mudguard buttons, but is quite sufficient for the size machine. The power steering has its own pump with a capacity of 30.8L/min. I found the steering light responsive with the planetary gears used on the front axle. The relatively short wheelbase of 2305mm resulted in an excellent turning circle and great manoeuvrability, especially when working in sheds or tight confined spaces.
Front end loader
The PX1002 I tested was fitted with a Kioti K901 factory front-end loader. Based on European design, it comes with a Euro hitch and is securely mounted around the engine transmission area of the tractor with support beams back to the rear axle for strength and improved stability. The loader has mechanical self-levelling and joystick control, with a third service button on the top of the joystick. For around $10,000, this loader is pretty good buying. The McHale grabs fitted to the test machine are not included in the loader price but they did make for a good test allowing us to load and stack the round bales. The Kioti I tested hadn't long come off the assembly line, it still had the fully adjustable rims set to narrow for transport and, without water in the tyres, a 1500kg weight block was added to the rear for safety. For final setup I would of course recommend spacing the wheels and adding water to them to improve operator safety.
Manufactured by Daedong Industrial Co in South Korea, the Kioti brand has been available and marketed throughout New Zealand and Australia for the past 10-11 years by the Power Farming Group. Over this time it has sold over 10,000 Daedong products, including the Mechron UTV and the sub-compact tractor range up to the 90-100hp PX range. Based in Daegu South Korea, Daedong was founded in 1947, producing its first tractor in 1968. Until three years ago, Daedong products were marketed as Daedong in the southern hemisphere and Kioti in the northern hemisphere. With its own metal foundry, Daedong is able to make all its own casings, gears etc. The Perkins engines of the bigger models are some of the few components sourced from other manufacturers and not made in house. Making around 90 percent or more of all tractors means Daedong can have things manufactured and added to its specifications at little extra cost, allowing it to remain very cost competitive. Daedong has been included in a Korean Government initiative — World Class 300 — to help drive production and development for 300 of Korea's businesses exporting around the world. Of these, Daedong is the only agricultural company involved. For the Kioti brand, this has meant a new global styling as seen on the new PX tractor range tested, for the entire range of tractors. Major on-going upgrades to the factory have bought about major improvements in plastics/cab/finish. Maber and the Power Farming team have found Daedong very good to deal with, listening to feedback and making improvements where necessary. Some of these include the addition of the hydraulic hi/low on the transmission and 32 forward and reverse speeds on the latest PX cab model.
I was quietly impressed with features the Kioti PX1002 had to offer — especially when you take into account the price of a brand-new Kioti with mechanical self-levelling loader and consider what you would get for the same price in another brand — at least 3000 hours on the clock to start with. The two-year/2000-hour warranty provides peace of mind, along with Power Farming's huge warehouses full of parts, which are readily available should you require something. The Kioti PX1002 will make a great second utility tractor, or on livestock properties it'll make a handy tractor for running the post driver or to top the odd paddock. With the Korean Government's commitment to the development and progress of brands such as Kioti, I suspect Kioti may be a brand to watch in the future.
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