Kubota has underlined its commitment to offering farmers a mid-hp alternative to both high-cost 'big-name' marques and basement 'built to a price' makes with the launch of the M130X, its biggest tractor to date, in the firm's 120th anniversary year.
Building on the success of its M125X and M128X predecessors, the new 132hp tractor is designed to the same principles of quality build and simple operation, but with advanced technology included where it brings real benefits. Like the firm's other tractors, the M130X is built entirely by Kubota, using its own engine, transmission, back-end and other components, and isn't badge-engineered from or for any other tractor make.
The M130X uses the same four-cylinder, 6.1-litre powerplant as the tractor it replaces, but with a rise in gross power output to 140hp (130hp net), and an increase in maximum torque to 570Nm at a low 1,200rpm, with a 32% torque rise. While the basic engine is the same, there are some key design differences.
A new viscostatic fan means that the cooling function now operates independently of the engine speed. Common rail system fuel injection, controlled by an ECU (electronic control unit) which forms part of a CAN (controller area network) linking all areas of engine management, has been introduced as part of a package to meet Euro 3B/Tier 4 emissions legislation. This has also helped to improve fuel efficiency and reduce engine noise levels.
The adoption of an electronic governor system, Work Kruise, enables the operator to keep engine rpm at a constant level, regardless of ground or work conditions. A dial and display allow engine speed to be altered in 10rpm increments, and then either set (Work Kruise on) or altered as desired (Work Kruise off). In the former mode, when used with the transmission's Auto function this means that pto rpm is also kept constant, regardless of load on the implement. A new Dual Memory feature allows two engine rpm settings to be recorded, in effect offering a partial headland management system for a job such as mowing, or different speed settings to be stored for different jobs.
The M130X uses Kubota's well-proven 16F/16R Intelli-Shift transmission, with maximum travel speed of 40km/hr and an option for an additional eight creep speeds. Intelli-Shift offers eight clutchless powershift steps in each of two ranges, operated by up/downshift buttons on the single transmission lever sited on the console to the driver's right. An adjacent switch allows Auto mode to be engaged, enabling automatic gear shifting. It offers two possibilities: in 'Travel' the tractor can be programmed to change up to three gears according to road gradient and acceleration, while in 'Field' a downshift of two gears is made when the rear linkage has been raised, while the speed of the PTO, if in use, is maintained. A digital display indicates the status of gear changes.
At the rear, the M130X uses the proven linkage, hydraulic and pto package from the M128X, with a 5,800kg lift capacity, 540rpm and 1,000rpm pto speeds, and two spool valves as standard, with third and fourth services optional.
The M130X comes as standard in 4wd format. A bevel gear drive to the front axle means that there is no differential 'lump' to foul on rutted ground or deep muck when on loader work, for example, and with bevel gear drive to the front axle, there are no universal joints to wear. Also fitted as standard is the long-established Bi-Speed Turn feature. Unique to Kubota, this system turns the front wheels at almost twice the speed of the rears when the former have exceeded an angle of more than 35 degrees, giving a tighter, faster turn.
New bonnet styling serves a practical purpose, with improved lighting from revised headlamps and an increased radiator grille area for better cooling. Rather than exiting straight from the side of the bonnet before following the right-hand A-pillar, the exhaust is now routed from the base of the engine, following the cab floor, giving the operator an unobstructed forward view and helping to further reduce in-cab noise and vibration. The bonnet is rear-hinged for easy service access, with opening assisted by gas struts.
In the cab, the key development is new Intelli-Panel instrumentation, which gives the operator a digital view of the tractor's key operating information such as engine rpm and fuel level, plus a litres/hr consumption reading, all selected via soft-touch buttons. A passenger seat is now on the options list.
The M130X is available with a new quick-attach 2253LA Kubota-made loader, capable of lifting up to 2.1t, with maximum lift height 4.1m. Two ram settings offer the ability to extract maximum digging power or lifting height from the loader. The hydraulic self-levelling capability can be switched on or off from the cab for digging tasks, for example, while the loader also features Kubota Shockless Ride suspension for smoother travel when loaded, hydraulic quick coupler and 3rd function valve.
The M130X will be available from June 2010, with retail prices starting at £47,000 + VAT. List price for the 2253LA loader is £7,000 + VAT.
Kubota Tractor & Groundcare Division is a world leading manufacturer that is at the forefront of innovation for commercial tractors, groundcare equipment and ride-on mowers. The company's product portfolio now encompasses 24 tractor models between 12 and 128hp, 13 ride-on mower models, which cater for domestic and professional users alike and four variants of the class-leading RTV900 all-terrain utility vehicle.
Kubota machines have a legendary reputation for quality, performance, reliability and ease of operation. This is backed-up by a national network of specialist dealers who provide the highest standards of advice and aftersales service.