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Kubota M9000 Tractor - Powerful, Dependable, and Versatile
My Kubota M9000 tractor has been a great piece of equipment here on the farm. While researching tractors, I came to the conclusion that Kubota offered a lot more machine for the money. Comparing features and capabilities, at the time I was shopping around, it would have cost 50-100% more to buy a comparable tractor made by John Deere. Now, I'm not talking bad about John Deere tractors. They make some great machines too, but you are going to pay for the name and that green paint. For me, a Kubota tractor offered a better value and that made it a very attractive choice. No regrets. My Kubota has been just about perfect. I do some basic maintenance and I just use it. I had one small leak on a hydraulic fitting for the front loader because it was loose. Easy fix. Also, a headlight switch needed to be replaced, but that might have been from my kids having so much fun sitting on the tractor and turning the switch ON/OFF 1000's of times! My specific Kubota M9000 tractor has the turbocharged, intercooled 90HP Kubota diesel engine (around 80HP at the PTO). The engine is both powerful and fuel efficient. With fuel prices the way they are today, then fuel consumption is an important matter to consider, and the Kubota tractors are known to be fuel efficient.
Kubota M9000 Tractor With Front Loader and Canopy
My Kubota tractor has the factory front loader (a real back saver), and it also came equipped with hydraulic shuttle. The hydraulic shuttle is a very nice feature to have along with the front loader. What it means is that instead of having to work the clutch and shift to forward and reverse, all you have to do is move the shuttle lever forward or back. The clutching is done automatically and it works smoothly. This can make it more efficient when scooping and dumping material with the front loader. Another great addition to the Kubota tractor was the overhead canopy. This really helps keep the hot, mid-day sun off of you while working long hours outside. I also mounted a small 12V fan up under the canopy to blow air on my face. I just bought one of those metal fans that you used to see on old school buses or trucks. I searched on eBay and found one that was cheap and made a simple bracket to mount it to one of the support bars up underneath the canopy. You would be surprised at how much of a difference the canopy and fan can make on those hot 90-100F days! The first few years, I operated the tractor without a canopy, so I know what it's like to go without it. I highly recommend getting a canopy if you plan on getting a Kubota tractor with the open cab!
Using Kubota Tractor to Transport a Volvo Engine
I have used my Kubota tractor for so many different things that it would be hard to list them all here. I'll just give you a little sample of some of the ways that it has come in handy over the years. Most of these examples I will show you are not even specifically farm related. They are in addition to the many hay farming tasks where I use the tractor like: baling, stacking, raking, and fluffing hay. In the picture above, you can see that I have a set of 3 point rear forks. These have come in handy on more than one occasion to lift heavy items. I've used the rear forks to lift a full 270 gallon tote of water that weighs over 2000 lbs. Once, I bought a junkyard engine to replace the blown engine in a Volvo wagon that I bought. The junkyard used their forklift to load the engine into the back of my full size van. Once I got home, I would not be able to get the engine out in any safe or convenient manner doing it by hand. I hooked up the rear forks on my Kubota tractor and I was able to pull and scoot the engine on the pallet out onto the forks and safely transport the engine to the shop. The Kubota tractor has been a real back saver!
Kubota Tractor Lifting Front End of Volvo Wagon
Another time when I was working on the Volvo wagon, I had the old engine out and part of the front suspension taken apart while working on it in the shop. The engine compartment was greasy and covered in filth from all the oil leaks over the years. I wanted to clean it up thoroughly before putting the new engine in place. I could not pressure wash it in the shop, so I used the Kubota tractor and some lifting straps attached to the subframe in the empty engine compartment. I lifted and pulled the front of the wagon out of the shop as seen in the picture. Then I was able to use engine degreaser and pressure wash the engine compartment to get it really clean. When I was done, I just used the tractor to roll it back into the shop and put the front end back on jackstands. Just another way that I have used my Kubota around here.
Great Tractor Accessory - Clamp On Front Forks
Another great accessory for my Kubota tractor has been a set of clamp on front forks. There are many different brands available, but some of them are extremely expensive. I went on eBay and searched around and found a man that made these in his own shop. They were beautifully made and at a fraction of the price of some name brand forks. These are rated for 2,500 lbs, and I have used them to lift over 2,000 lbs. Keep in mind that if you have a smaller tractor, then the limiting factor is going to be your tractor and hydraulics. With my Kubota tractor, the 2,500 lb capacity of the forks is a good match for the front loader that I have. I don't think the hydraulics would be real happy to try to manipulate more than 2,500 lbs extended at the end of the forks like that. Anyway, the guy who made these tractor forks is named Greg, and you can find him on eBay with user ID: greg1647. In addition, his eBay store name is: Ground Works. I highly recommend these clamp on forks. Some other types of forks use a chain to wrap around the bucket, and others I've seen look much weaker. These forks from Greg are very well made and inexpensive when you consider what they can allow you to do. I do my homework before buying things, and I think these are the best bang for the buck for quality clamp on forks (made in the USA too). I paid a little over $200 for these, and they are well worth that (and much more)!
Lifting 2,000 pound Pallet of Wood Pellets
The picture above shows me lifting a 2,000 lb pallet of wood pellets and putting it in my garage. I had the pallet of wood pellets inside my stock trailer where the store loaded them in with a forklift. If I didn't have my Kubota tractor with the front forks, then I'd have to break down the pallet and carry the wood pellets one sack at a time. In this picture, you can also see that King Kutter rear mower on the back of the tractor. That has come in handy for mowing larger areas of weeds and brush around the farm. Related to the front forks, I've had semi-trucks come up here on several occasions to deliver freight to the farm. With my Kubota tractor and front forks, I don't have to get lift gate service which usually adds another $75+ to the freight cost. I also don't have to break my back dealing with heavy items, because a liftgate will only lower the pallet to the ground. Then you still need to deal with it once it is on the ground. I simply clamp on my front forks and remove the freight off the back of the semi-truck trailer, and then I can easily move it to wherever I need to put it. One thing to keep in mind is that with the additional range of motion of the front bucket, it requires a little more care to make sure that you have the forks parallel to the pallet that you are going to pick up. With a normal forklift, it's easier to keep the forks parallel so they can slide more easily in and out of a pallet. No big deal. It just means that when I use my forks clamped to my front bucket, I need to slow down a little and make sure I have the bucket oriented properly so that the forks are in the right orientation to get under the pallet. This has been a very minor inconvenience for the tremendous convenience of being able to use my Kubota tractor as a fork lift around the farm!
Using Kubota Tractor to Raise a Wind Turbine Tower
Over the years, I've used my Kubota tractor to do things that would have been virtually impossible for me to do otherwise. Sure, I might have been able to figure out a more complicated (and dangerous) way to do some of the tasks, but the Kubota has made it possible for me to do things much more safely and conveniently. A human being can only lift so much weight. You might be strong, but no matter how strong you are, it is very unlikely that you are going to lift items that weighs 1000's of pounds and carry them around by hand! In addition to lifting and moving heavy items around the farm, I've also used my Kubota to do some other very helpful tasks. On one occasion, I set up a 2kW wind turbine on the farm. I was using a tilt up tower design. In the picture above, you can see some of how I used my Kubota tractor to lift up the wind turbine tower. In this case, I was doing a test raise of the tower to get the guy wires set up properly before bolting on the wind turbine itself. Since I was not using a gin pole to raise the tower, I first used the tractor with front forks to lift the tower up as far as I could. Then, I built a stand made of hay bales and wood where I could rest the tower. With the tower already partially lifted up at an angle, I was then able to attach a cable to the front bucket of my Kubota tractor and lift the bucket high in the air to get a better angle for pulling the tower up the rest of the way.
Like I wrote earlier, it would be hard for me to list each and every situation where I have used my Kubota tractor around here. I've used it to move large amounts of dirt and debris after a flash flood and other times. I've used it with a back blade to clear areas and level dirt out. I've used it to pull out my swather (hay cutting machine) after it got stuck in a huge sink hole in the field. I've cleared large amounts of snow with it... and on and on... there have been so many uses for it! If I had to get rid of every other piece of equipment around here and could only keep one machine, then I would definitely keep the Kubota tractor (and my back would thank me for it)!