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Thread: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

  1. #1
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    Default John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    Anyone have an opinion about JD vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors? Thinking to use for snow removal and moving trailers in the boatyard.

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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    The standard phrase around here is that "green paint must be expensive". I bought a compact tractor 5 years ago & these are the #'s at that time give or take a few hundred - with bucket, but no other attachments, shuttle shift - not hydrostatic:

    John Deere 34 HP 3 cyl turbo 27,500
    New Holland 35 HP 3 cyl non-turbo 24,000
    Kubota 35 HP 3 cyl non-turbo 24,000
    Massey Ferg 35 HP 3 cyl non-turbo 23,000
    Kioti 40 HP 4 cyl non-turbo 20,000
    Mahindra 33 HP 3 cyl non-turbo 19,500

    When I added a 4 year warranty (the others were all 3) & zero % financing for the Kioti (pronounced coyote) - I bought it. Almost 1,000 lb higher lifting capacity for the bucket too. I did not want a turbo. I love it in the car, but I want a tractor to be as simple as possible. The Mahindra was noticeably lower quality - though they may have gotten better. Also note that no tractors in this size range are made in the US - they are all Asian, with possibly a few hours of assembly in the US.

    A lot depends on the dealer though. My local Kioti/M-F dealer is a jerk (I bought mine from a dealer the current one bought out). I now get dealer only parts from NH - which would be a pain if using it in a business.

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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    Probably 90% of the local city councils here in NZ use Kubota tractors and lawnmowers, they do huge hours and are said to be heads and shoulders above anything on the market in terms of reliability and dealer backup.
    I note that Beta marine engines, based upon Kubota engines are increasingly popular for the same reason.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    My current John Deere in Hell has spent anywhere from one to three weeks each year in the shop, usually in the middle of winter, each time it has been something electrical. I will say that the John Deere dealer has been excellent though and upon request has offered a loner each time. John Deere's national service telephone hotline has been less than responsive to any inquiries I have ever made, as a matter of fact I've never been able to talk to a human.

    I also own two Kubota tractors in Alabama since 2005. Never had a single non maintenance related issue with either of them. Extremely happy with both of them. Before I owned those two Kubotas I owned a John Deer for five years with zero trouble and before that a Ford with little trouble and before that an old IH/Cub which sucked. . .

    My advice would be to buy a used John Deere or Kubota in the age range that gets you an all mechanical/hydro tractor with no electronic or computer controls.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    When I bought my tractor about ten years ago I took a close look at John Deere, Kubota, and New Holland. The John Deeres were generally priced higher for the same functionality. I ended up buying a Kubota, and have no regrets. It has never been in the shop, always starts, and puts up with my less than perfect maintenance. Mine is a hydro with all mechanical controls. I don't put nearly as many hours on it as a contractor or real farmer would, so that probably helps. I use a back blade and loader to clear snow, but we really don't get much down here.


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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    i have a jd 3410 and except for 1 electronic incident it has never been much of a problem.

    i'm now familiar with the electronics and can diagnose most any problem, the advantage of electronics is more functionality can be built in than with a mechanical system

    with the electronic problem i had a heck of a time getting factual info from the dealer so i bugged corporate until i reached jd maintenance instructor and in a few mins on the phone he had me straightened out and $65 later was up and running

    one thing i'd advise is to watch what you're running over because of the exposed wiring on the underside, avoid tree limbs

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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    Quote Originally Posted by wardd View Post
    one thing i'd advise is to watch what you're running over because of the exposed wiring on the underside, avoid tree limbs
    my kubota is much more durable in this, even the hydraulic fittings and hydraulic lines are not exposed on the bottom of the tractor as they are on the john deere. . .
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    Quote Originally Posted by wardd View Post
    one thing i'd advise is to watch what you're running over because of the exposed wiring on the underside, avoid tree limbs
    Now that's just dumb. Tractors will run over limbs & such - why on earth wouldn't they protect the wires? My Kioti had one spot where wires were exposed & I made up a cover plate pronto. In fact, when I'd taken it to the dealer for the 100 hr. service, they asked if they could make a pattern from it.

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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    I'm on my second Kubota. First one was loaned out and wrecked ( in a good cause - digging walks and foundations in the courtyard of a local Vet's Admin nursing home) and was traded on a slightly bigger one. Loader, backhoe and mower. With a bit of weight in the bucket it will gleefully tow a 6' double gang disk harrow meant for a much bigger machine. Clears snow at my office, deepens ponds o am buddy's farm etc etc etc. so far no problems other than routine maintainence. Bit more than a mahindra but less than a Massey, New Holland, John Deere and the like.
    Brute force and ignorance, all in one bulky and unappealing package

  10. #10
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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    Thanks for the replies.

    I've looked at the Kubota BX2370 and the John Deere 1023e. The Kubota is $300 more for the tractor, $300 less for the snow blower and within a few dollars for the plow so money wise it's a wash.
    I need to be able to clear 48" wide sidewalks. The Kubota is 45" wide but only available with a 60" blade (which could be cut down) and a 50" blower. The JD is 47" wide with a 54" blade and a 47" blower.

    Used tractors of this type apparently don't exist within a 3 or 4 hour drive of my area but I'd certainly consider a decent used machine. The 48" width limitation rules out quite a few of the compact machines. I've used a number of different garden tractors ( Massey Ferguson- nice tractor, Ford- ok but crazy parts prices, and Cub Cadet) over the last 40 years but would like to finally get a "real" tractor with enough weight to handle the heavy wet snow usually found around here.

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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    When I was looking, I found that used machines were only 10-15% less than new - with 300 - 500 hours on them. I figured it wasn't enough of a difference & I'm a person that never buys new.

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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    Quote Originally Posted by holzbt View Post
    I need to be able to clear 48" wide sidewalks. The Kubota is 45" wide but only available with a 60" blade (which could be cut down) and a 50" blower. The JD is 47" wide with a 54" blade and a 47" blower.
    sounds like the kubota is out based on the blower width

    Quote Originally Posted by holzbt View Post
    . . .but would like to finally get a "real" tractor with enough weight to handle the heavy wet snow usually found around here.
    You will soon find many many uses for it besides snow removal and boat moving. Fabricate some forks for it and a pallet and you will find it useful for unloading and moving lumber, motors, transmissions, out drives, equipment, tools, etc etc.

    As you foresee heavy lifting use, don't neglect ballast.

    A block heater will be a worthwhile option.
    Last edited by Paul Pless; 02-09-2014 at 10:09 PM.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    Quote Originally Posted by holzbt View Post
    Thanks for the replies.

    I've looked at the Kubota BX2370 and the John Deere 1023e. The Kubota is $300 more for the tractor, $300 less for the snow blower and within a few dollars for the plow so money wise it's a wash.
    I need to be able to clear 48" wide sidewalks. The Kubota is 45" wide but only available with a 60" blade (which could be cut down) and a 50" blower. The JD is 47" wide with a 54" blade and a 47" blower.
    I really like having a blower a little wider than the tractor - saves a lot of getting stuck. If the Kubota blade is too big, maybe buy aftermarket - say a Woods or some such. I have a 7' Woods blade that is tremendous quality.

    The town here has a 50" blower on their Kubota sidewalk tractor.

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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    When I was looking, I found that used machines were only 10-15% less than new - with 300 - 500 hours on them. I figured it wasn't enough of a difference & I'm a person that never buys new.
    I've noticed that there seem to be few "deals" on used ones. When you factor in 0%, $0 down for 60 months it's almost cheaper to buy new. Plus the few used ones are hundreds of miles away and I'd have to add cost of transport.

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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    I have the Kubota one size up (B2910) from the models you are considering, and I still spin a bit with deep wet snow. I have R4 tires rather than Ag tires, so that could make a difference. I also don't use chains. Regarding blade width, keep in mind the blade will usually be at an angle, so the plowed width will be a bit shorter than the actual width.

    One thing I miss with the hydro that I had with a straight clutch is the ability to split-brake the rear wheels easily. My Kubota has split rear brakes, but the brake pedals and the hydro pedal are on the same side, so I have to go through all sorts of foot gyrations to make it work. Split braking is a big steering help when traction is a problem.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    I really like having a blower a little wider than the tractor - saves a lot of getting stuck. If the Kubota blade is too big, maybe buy aftermarket - say a Woods or some such. I have a 7' Woods blade that is tremendous quality.

    The town here has a 50" blower on their Kubota sidewalk tractor.
    The JD blower on the Kubota would work but the amount of effort involved to make it work seems a bit daunting considering the price of everything. I'd consider narrowing a Kubota blower but I couldn't bring myself to cut a brand new $3500 blower and used ones seem a bit scarce. Even the 47" blower leaves little wiggle room on a 48" sidewalk with grass on both sides.

    You guys are scaring me off a bit about the electrics on the JD.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    Meteor has a 46" 3 Pt. Hitch blower: http://mkmartin.ca/products/snow_blower_classic.php

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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    Quote Originally Posted by marshcat View Post
    I have the Kubota one size up (B2910) from the models you are considering, and I still spin a bit with deep wet snow. I have R4 tires rather than Ag tires, so that could make a difference. I also don't use chains. Regarding blade width, keep in mind the blade will usually be at an angle, so the plowed width will be a bit shorter than the actual width.

    One thing I miss with the hydro that I had with a straight clutch is the ability to split-brake the rear wheels easily. My Kubota has split rear brakes, but the brake pedals and the hydro pedal are on the same side, so I have to go through all sorts of foot gyrations to make it work. Split braking is a big steering help when traction is a problem.
    All but one person I spoke to suggested the R4 tires instead of Ag tires with chains. On my current Cub Cadets one has chains and one has heavy tread and I've found the tread better 95% of the time. The chains seem better when there is ice underneath but neither is very good in those conditions.

    I inquired about a JD 755 which has split rear brakes but I've not received a response so it may already be sold. It's about the same width as the Kubota which is a plus.

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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Meteor has a 46" 3 Pt. Hitch blower: http://mkmartin.ca/products/snow_blower_classic.php
    Those appear to be rear mount PTO blowers. As this would be the primary function I'd like the blower on the front. Wonder if they make conversion kits to front mount on some machines.

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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    Quote Originally Posted by holzbt View Post
    Those appear to be rear mount PTO blowers. As this would be the primary function I'd like the blower on the front. Wonder if they make conversion kits to front mount on some machines.
    You should be able to find a 'third party' front mount blower, landpride and or woods maybe a good place to start. One of my neighbors has a snow blower that actually mounts over the front end loader so that the bucket remains in place. Makes switching between the two very easy.

    I'm fixing to complicate your life a bit here, but have you thought about a skid steer. They are a bit more expensive, but for your use which I'm seeing as a whole lot less agricultural, they have some qualities that you might find attractive. First their accessories tend to switch out a whole lot more quickly and easily than on most tractors. They have a very small footprint and are quite maneuverable. They don't don't use drive shafts much for running their accessories, usually everything is hydro. Traction is usually very good even in the snow, and can be increased by adding tracks over the tires.
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    While my tractor has a skidsteer mount for the bucket so it can take any skidsteer attachment, I think you suggestion is a very good one. However - aren't most skidsteers wider than 48". Most I've seen are about 6 ft.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    Although a skidsteer would work well moving boats in the boatyard I don't think SWMBO would be real happy about driving one around the back lawn to move my own boats. Plus I think they are too high to hide in my shed, probably a bit heavy also as my shed is on pilings with a wood floor.

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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    Those compact/mini telehandlers look like nifty machines. Not sure if any are narrow enough for sidewalk work. Four wheel and crab steering, ability to lift, dig, and use skidsteer type attachments (which can be rented) makes for a really versatile machine. Skidsteers are great for some things but I never cared for climbing in and out of those things.

    I looked for years before I finally found what I thought was a decent deal on a used tractor that suited my needs. Seems they hold their value well, particularly the Kubotas and JDs. I ended up with a ~40hp JD (Yanmar) 990 with front loader, backhoe, back blade, 385 hours, and 'lifetime' free use of the seller's 3-pt attachments. Ive only had it a little over a year but Im happy with it. Basic machine, manual clutch, split brakes. I spent a good part of this past weekend moving snow with it. Needs a canopy. And a shed.

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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    you should be more concerned w/ the local business that is taking care of it/you than the color of the paint(IMHO)

    our family has had several different colors & the real issues, we've experienced, has been more dealership centered than color related

    the green folks offer an excellent time payment plan, that includes the option of adding FULL, & I DO MEAN FULL, coverage insurance

    their insurance policy covered everything, including stupidity(my word for their legalese), theft... etc, and is good for as long as you are making payments to them

    i am betting the other color's offer a similar policy, but it would be wise to check them out b4 you pull the trigg'r

    in the long run, the low cost insurance, in addition to their low interest rates, it made more cents(pun intended) to buy green, here in the DFW area

    too bad you need to stay under 48" wide, a green 5103 can be had in the $13k range and adding a front end loader & 6'shredder puts you to about $22k

    the above recommendation to get a set of forks is sound, you can't imagine how handy they are

    just this old man's 2 worth

    good luck w/ your quest

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    FWIW....Kubota seem to have better resale value (here in Oz anyway)....very durable. I see a lot of quite old Kubota's for sale at a decent price (as in still with reasonable value) and still running well....I can't say that I see many old JD's still running and getting the same resale value.
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    Kubota.

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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    what'd you decide?
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    I think the John Deere is good, but i prefer the Kubota
    * _______________________________________ )

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    Default Re: John Deere vs. Kubota for sub compact tractors

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    what'd you decide?
    Still looking.

    Had an agreed on deal on a JD 2320 with front blade, 2yrs. old with under 20 hrs., garage kept. Lined up truck and trailer and pocket full of cash. Seller called night before and said he wanted more than the agreed upon price. Still a good deal but didn't feel right about travelling 4 hrs. each way and spending hundreds on fuel and tolls when I wasn't sure what the price would be when I got there. Very disappointing.

    Leaning JD because of width constraints with attachments but still open minded. I also found the twin hydro pedals more comfortable than the Kubota setup, but I'm sure I'll get used to whatever I end up with. JD and Kubota dealers are about 40 miles from me but both seemed reasonable if I decide to go new. Massey and New Holland dealers much closer but seem less interested in individuals than municipalities.

    Guess I'll finish this snow season with the Cub Cadets.

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