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Kubota Ups the Ante with New M8 Tractor
Kubota Tractor Corporation’s small tractors aren’t so small anymore. They’re serious about taking on the big boys.
The Japanese-owned company added another weapon in its arsenal recently when it unveiled the Kubota M8 tractor. This diesel engine rig can top out at 210 hp., the biggest Kubota tractor yet and a bump up from the M7 introduced four years ago.
Company executives hint that the engineers in Japan aren’t finished yet in designing even bigger tractors and upping the tractor ante. President Harry Yoshida told the dealers, “This M8 tractor will help us meet our goal of being the market leader.”
For now, the M8 is a nice midsize power package that will begin rolling off the assembly line in Winnipeg, Canada, sometime in early 2020, and could be on dealer lots by next spring. The price is as yet undetermined, says the company, but it will be “very competitive” in its size bracket
At a demonstration of the new model at the corporate ranch in Texas last summer, the company showed off the M8 pulling a 16-row planter and a matching field cultivator, easily handling a large round hay baler and lifting four big bales (two front, two rear).
- READ MORE: A LOOK AT THE NEW KUBOTA M8 TRACTOR
Some of the highlights the company touts for the M8 include:
- Power plant and tranny: Under the hood is a 6.7-liter, six-cylinder Cummings diesel turbo engine. There are two tranny options, and top road speed is about 25 mph.
- Near all-glass cab: The operator gets a full 360-degree panoramic view, says senior product manager Kent Brown, who also calls it “an in-the-field office with a view.” The 148-cubic-foot cab with 74 square feet of glass gives unmatched operator visibility, he says.
- Three farm market fits: Kubota thinks this tractor will work in the hay and forage market, the materials-handling market (with a front loader), and the row-crop market for towing field implements.
- Modulating PTO: The four-speed PTO shaft incorporates three modulation settings for engaging the PTO: heavy, medium, and light. Controlled from the EZ Command Center inside the cab, this lets the PTO engage at a rate that prevents undo stress or harm to implement components when the load starts out heavy. For lighter loads, it can engage more quickly.
The Kubota M8 at a glance
- Engine: Cummins B6.7 Performance Series, in 190- and 210-hp models. It delivers 5% more power and 31% more peak torque than previous designs with better fuel efficiency and lower emissions.
- Transmission: Two options: a fully electronic 30X15 semi-powershift, or KVT unlimited range.
- Hydraulics: Closed-center load sensing with standard implement pump flow of 31.7 gpm. Trailer brakes are standard.
- Cab: Standard equipment includes 7-inch monitor screen on Command Center, sun roof, cab suspension, and eight halogen exterior lights.
- Measurements: 114-inch wheelbase, 128-inch height, 19,150-lb shipping weight.
Where does the M8 fit?
Ron Parks, co-owner of First Choice Farm and Lawn Equipment in Union City, Tennessee, appreciates the new Kubota M8 tractor from two perspectives: as a dealer and as a farmer.
“Besides the dealership, we run some cattle and do some haying on our own,” he says. “What I like about the M8 is the class-leading size of the cab and the Cummins engine. It’s a very nice engine.
“I think the M8 is going to be a good fit for cattle ranchers who make hay and smaller row-crop farmers up to maybe the 1,000- to 1,200-acre range. We’ll use it on our farm as a haying tractor. That’s the wheelhouse it fits really well.”
In his area, Parks says hemp production is on the upswing on the small- and medium-size farms, and he expects the M8 to find a home there. “They run some heavier implements for weeding and planting that it should be able to handle really well.”