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A Look at the New Kubota M8 Tractor
Kubota unveiled their latest entry into the bigger row-crop tractor market last week with the M8 model. It was at a dealer/media meeting near company headquarters in Texas, and on the company ranch outside of Dallas. Here's a virtual walk around the new machine.
Senior product manager Kent Brown said the M8 tops out at 210 hp, a step up from their prior largest model, the M7. The M8 will be on dealer lots in early 2020 at a still-to-be-determined price, but you may see early models at fall farm shows.
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From the left side of the M8 you can see the external-mount 99-gallon diesel fuel tank for all-day work, explains Brown. You can also see the 148-cubic-foot glass cab that Kubota claims gives unmatched operator visibility. Under the hood is a 6.7-liter, 6-cylinder Cummings diesel turbo engine. The M8 will target 3 markets: hay and forage, materials handling, and row crop.
From the front you can see that this new tractor is made for row-crop work. There are two tranny options. One is the fully electronic Semi-Powershift, with 30 forward and 15 reverse gears. The other is the Kubota Variable Transmission with infinite forward and reverse speeds. Top road speed is about 25 mph.
From the right side you can see the dual entry steps that will get you into the cab from either side. Also you can see the exhaust stack the integrates all engine emissions (DOC, DPF, and SCR) into a single unit for clean emissions to meet EPA Tier 4 standards. The exhaust is also strategically placed to be least obtrusive to cab visibility lines.
From the rear you get a glimpse of the 4-speed PTO shaft that incorporates three modulations for engaging the PTO: heavy, medium, and light. Controlled from inside the cab, this lets the PTO engage at a rate that prevents undo stress or harm to implement components when the load is heavy starting out. For lighter loads, it can engage more quickly. Also, the M8 comes standard with hydraulic trailer brakes to help implement braking.
Pop the hood and the M8 gives easy access to routine maintenance functions, explains Brown. The air filter compartment is above, and engine oil is checked through a hand-size hole in the lower part of the engine cover screen. The screen can come off with one lever click to get more directly at the engine. And at the front, the oil coolant mechanism easily tilts away from the engine radiator for cleanout of debris.
Inside the cab, the operator gets a full 360-degree panoramic view. Brown calls it an in-the-field office with a view. The EZ Command Center gives logical functionality of tractor and implement performance with your right hand, while your left hand steers. The universal plug, the M8 handles ISO-BUS compatible implements. It’s also compatible with all industry precision farming systems, including GreenStar.
Good cab visibility makes the M8 perfect for loader situations, says Brown. Standard on the tractor is a cab sunroof for better ventilation, and also for high visibility when needing to see an overhead loader operation.
Here's an example of the M8 at work in the field.