Tractor makers usually have specific strength in one part of their product line - machines where the competition is always playing catch-up. For Kubota that's the under-40 horsepower segment where the company plays tough and has significant market share. But above 40 horsepower, the company has been working to beef up its offerings for some time. Last week dealers got a peek at new M-Series machines designed for mid-size jobs that offer a wide range of features.
First off the M40 series - with five models from 45 to 84 horsepower at the power takeoff - features a new look that better matches other machines in the line. These units get power from a new direct-injected diesel engine that features a center-direct injection design that Kubota claims offers better fuel economy. The largest two models get direct-injected, turbocharged engines for an even bigger boost.
Dealers got a chance to work with the new M40 Series in real-world conditions during the company launch near San Antonio in October.
The machines are available as both a ROPS (open platform) and cab version, providing buyers more options. For the ROPS version the operator station is a flat floor for better access. The cab version features a new wider cab called the Ultra Grand Cab with a B pillar that's moved back for a better view. They've even arched the view on the cab roof for improved visibility for loader work.
There are two transmission choices - an 8 Forward/8 Reverse synchronized choice; and an optional 12F/12R transmission or the M8540 and M9540 (the largest two models). A Hydraulic shuttle is also available as an option for smooth direction changes. A synchronized shuttle (requiring clutch use) is standard and works smoothly.
A tighter turning radius is possible with a new front-axle design that offers greater maneuverability.
Perhaps the biggest advancement on this machine is the turning radius of the four-wheel-drive front axle. Using a bevel-gear design, the company's engineers came up with a steep turning angle. "And we gave the wheels room to turn," notes Paul Williams, product manager for the M Series. "That bevel gear can turn around on itself so we did what we could to remove limits." The machine has a very tight turning radius compared to the competition.
In this horsepower class, teamed with one of the two new loaders also offered for this line, the M40 will be a solid performer. The loaders have a newly designed frame to provide room for those tight-turning wheels and several other new features. The machines will be in dealerships in early 2006 in time for the spring season. Learn more soon at www.kubota.com.
Kubota M40 Series Key Stats
|3-pt. lift capacity
||4,630 lbs, 7,055 lbs. optional
||4,630 lbs., 7,055 lbs. optional|
||V3007-DI 3 liter
||V3307-DI 3.3 liter
||V3307-DI 3.3 liter
||V3800-DI-T 3.8 liter turbocharged
||V3800-DI-T 3.8 liter turbocharged|
|Front (4WD) differential