View Full Version : Got to play on the Kubota Mini's Yesterday...

03-11-2006, 08:13 AM
Well, I was lucky enough to play with a Kubota KX-161 for a while as well as the Kubota U45 yesterday. I must say, I was very impressed. Both machines had a whopping ONE HOUR on them. Once again…very impressive. I only have a few decisions to make…

The first question: Do I want the zero tail swing of the U45 or the added “oomph” and reach of the KX-161, which hangs over the tracks by three inches? I am leaning HEAVILY toward the KX-161 not because it weighs more (in fact, it only weighs 100lbs more), but because it has almost an additional 8” of digging depth and 13% more bucket breakout force. That said, that extra 8” inches comes at quite a steep price…the U45 is $4,500 less.

The second question: Do I pay an extra $4,500 for cab with air? Over 5 years, it adds up to be about another $80 per month. My gut says to go with the cab…if you are going to spend that much moola, you may as well be comfortable, right? If I opted to go WITHOUT a cab and the bought the U45, I would be saving 9k…

The third question: Do I go ahead and pull the trigger, or should I wait until my JD 35D sells. I can carry the two payments, but would really rather not. They (the dealer) aren’t interested in a trade but I figured that. I am going to take photos next week and list it on both Machinery Trader.com and usedequipmenttrader.com ASAP, regardless.

The fourth question: Do invest in a new trailer, which will technically put me overweight with the new excavator by about 2,000lbs, or just get a buddy to move it as necessary in the short term? I have a 2004 Chevy 3500 dually diesel, but apparently it is only rated for 15k lbs with a gooseneck and the trailer I am buying weighs 4500lbs…bummer.

The fifth and final question…what toy next!?!?!?!?!

I was very interested in the Cat, but it looks like the dealer doesn’t want to play…seems this is a new year and a new model and worth every penny…to someone else, but on a serious note, the Kubota is a pretty tough machine and I doubt I would be disappointed.. They have some really nice features that I can’t help but wonder why Deere hasn’t caught onto yet…like the angled blade and the aux. hydraulics being controlled from the joystick instead of the floor. I am a Deere fan boy, but in this weight class, they don’t even come close!

By the way…I want to thank everyone for their honest opinions and thoughts and also letting me think out loud…this forum has been a HUGE help for me. You can look at manufacturers bloated specs and get only so much info…real users are where the truth comes from!

Thanks again for everything!

03-11-2006, 10:46 AM
I know a guy that has a 161. He loves it. Digs some big inground pools with it. If i was you i would just have a friend move the machine for me. I figure your just using the machine on your own construction sites right? And you said you were only working in 2 places right? You really shouldn't have to move the machine all that much i am guessing.

If i was you, i'd pay to have the machine moved and start browsing for a good used under cdl single axle truck. If you have time to wait, you can find a killer deal on a truck.


03-11-2006, 02:06 PM
I would spring for the 161 with cab, You'll be glad you did on those days when its 35 degrees and raining. Zero tail swing is nice but you dont really need it, and a couple inches isnt much anyways. And i remember you saying you were doing a lot of work in develpments so you shoudlnt have to move the machine too much. Just have your buddy move it for you when you need to, Untill you get a dump truck and trailer, because you know you want your own dumptruck:drinkup:

03-11-2006, 02:19 PM
Just have your buddy move it for you when you need to, Untill you get a dump truck and trailer, because you know you want your own dumptruck:drinkup:

Guilty as charged! Actually, I have a friend that helps me excavate from time to time that is retiring from the local PD next year and that is when I am planning on expanding my excavating operation. I am going to buy a track loader and perhaps even a tendem dump. thanks guys!!!!!!!!!

03-11-2006, 02:38 PM
Guilty as charged! Actually, I have a friend that helps me excavate from time to time that is retiring from the local PD next year and that is when I am planning on expanding my excavating operation. I am going to buy a track loader and perhaps even a tendem dump. thanks guys!!!!!!!!!
You're on your way, throw a 140-160 sized excavator into the mix and you would be set to do your own developing. The company i work for consists of me, another operator, and the truck driver. We have a hyundai 140, and a 160, case 580, a kubota k-030, and a tandem dump w/ an equipment trailer. we do everything from developing to final grading before landscapers come in. the 140 is usually used for house sites along with the mini for the tight areas. The 160 we use for laying pipe. the hoe doesnt get used too much mostly just for the loader and our hoepac.

03-11-2006, 06:33 PM
Any of you Kubota guys out there have a good enough relationship with your sales guys to get tehm to quote a machine to you with the following specs:

2006 KX161-3
Angle Blade
Cab w heat & AC
Suspension Seat
Hydraulic Thumb
12" Bucket
24" Bucket
36" Bucket
Quick Attach Coupler
Canopy Work Lights
Travel Alarm

The dealer I am working with I think has given me a fair price...I am just curios if there is any wiggle room in there. Unless Iowacatman can give me a good enough reason, I may place an order next week (that is, if they will let me rent the machine for 3 months before actually financing...that will give me time to sell mine plus it will keep an additional hit off of my credit while I am getting a construction loan).

Feel free to send me your quotes either here, Private Message or via my personal email addres: thepawnshop@hotmail.com

03-11-2006, 07:35 PM
Go with the 161, don't bother with the U45. 3 inches of overhang is basically nothing, our 303 with the additional counterweight hangs over 3 inches.

Buy the cab, you know you want it.

03-11-2006, 08:50 PM
Wow! To hear that from you Scag is quite a surprise...I know you are a BIG cat fanboy...I know why you say go with the cab...you are gonna come run that machine for me as a last resort during the summer and you want AC, right?

03-11-2006, 10:03 PM

It doesn't have the angle blade, but that gives a me a bit of an idea of what other dealers are getting for these...

Gravel Rat
03-12-2006, 12:00 AM
I'am glad to hear your trying Kubota the Cat dealer is ripping you off with the price they want for a 12,000lb mini.

I wouldn't get the tilt blade its more hydraulics to go wrong. The machine turns pretty quick so you can turn the machine to angle the blade.

As for cabs there is no option just go with a full cab you won't be sorry. The full cab protects the controls etc it keeps the crap,dust and rain out of the electric stuff. The full cab keeps the sun off of you and keeps the dust off of you. In the fall when its blowing wet and cold the cab protects you.

I don't think you would have to worry about tailswing that much you actually benefit of having some overhang on the back it makes the machine a little more stable.

I would also go with steel tracks you probably will never see someones concrete driveway or someones manicured lawn. The steel tracks are smoother riding and for your application which is new construction toughness and long wear durability is more beneficial for you. The wide steel tracks also provide floatation on softer ground. You get into heavy digging where you got gravel with decent size rocks mixed in it that is rolling around inbettween the track rollers,sproket and idlers the steel holds up better.

I know some of the others will say there is nothing wrong with rubber tracks but you are going to be doing a little heavier digging. Construction sites can be pretty rough.

03-12-2006, 12:05 AM
I thought the same about the angle blade until I tried it. Here is how it works....

You tilt it 25 degrees either way until it hits a solid steel "stop", so you are only using the hydraulics to get it there, not to give you the resistance against the material. I'm open to other suggestions (pros & cons) regarding the blade, but I like the idea of it particularly when I am cutting in driveways. Add to that the fact that other players are starting to incorporate it as well, and Kubota may have been onto something early in the game!

Gravel Rat
03-12-2006, 12:15 AM
I guess its no different than a regular bulldozer with a angle blade.

The problem grading with a mini is they are so short they follow the ground contours. Most people use the blade for backfilling and using it as a shelf to support a big rock to carry it.

You definatly want a hydraulic thumb with the plumbing for maybe future aditions like a hoe pack or a breaker.

03-12-2006, 04:26 AM
Doug, I have to agree, $70K is a joke for a 305CCR. I myself could go buy one tomorrow for $63K (plus tax and the like) way out here in the west with the options you decribed. I think the prices you've recieved from Cat is a joke and I would view it as such. Maybe it's time to look elsewhere and it's obvious they don't value your business. I took the same approach with Deere, they didn't deliver so I took them out of the picture. Maybe you should do the same with Cat, sometimes it's just not right for everyone.

My only gripes against Kubota is this:

-Travel pedals are absolutely worthless
-I didn't find the joysticks to suit my preferences, but I was on a 3 year old KX-91-3 so maybe things have changed a bit
-The whole operator station had a funky vibe, I couldn't just plop down and feel "at home". The placement of the dozer lever was a little strange but again I was on an older 3 series model, could be changed a little since then.
-Putting the hydraulic lines inside the boom sounds great until you have to get to them
-Parts ARE expensive regardless of what anyone says. We've bought Kubota tractor parts that have been outrageously priced. Don't kid yourself, it's up there with Cat parts, if not more for certain items

And yeah, get the A/C and premium sound for me. Hahaha.

03-12-2006, 06:33 AM
Dougie old son...tell the Cat dealer I want some of what he's taking. A bit over $70K is what we pay Down Under for a "B"...and thats in Aussie Dollars with an exchange rate of $1 Aud = $0.74 US. Scag is on the money about $60K US is about what we were quoted for a 305B. when the aussie dollar was a bit higher. No doubt the C is more. Go the A/C...its been over a 100 most of last week...pity I wasn't in the Fr#*!*+** Cab!.:realmad:

And you can tell all these nob heads who reckon Cat parts are expensive....go order a few parts for a Kubota engine and you'll be running to Cat as fast as you can. I like the way they beat it up without actually knowing. The first thing we do when assessing machines is do a parts stock check and price. In the case of our 161 we got prices that well exceeded those on the 305. However, when it came down to it the Kubota was a 3 to 4 year option and will be traded shortly. We are very happy and have no regrets. We carried out an assessment on a Komatsu awhile back and found that even some basic parts where not even in the country and had a week+ source time. Then again we don't give a toss what colour it is as long as it does the job reliably and efficiently.

03-12-2006, 04:26 PM
MY thoughts, I would go with the cab, consider going with Werk Brau QC and buckets and thumb. Excellent QC very quick and easy, very beefy buckets and the thumb works great and tucks uptight when not in use. Your dually is plenty to pull it. Pulling a Gooseneck trailer with a combined weight of 32600 pounds on my 3500 I still had 400 pounds left on the front axle and 700 on the back. I pull my mini all the time with my GM dually and it is no problem either wieght wise or DOT. good luck