Woo Hoo-Decision Making Time!

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by jefftb, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. jefftb

    jefftb LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 563

    Trying to decide between a Kubota KX121-3 with Angle Blade and Steel Track, Thumb, Mechanical Coupler, Cab & Air and Takeuchi TB138FR as above minus angle blade.

    Tak dealer says he's pretty sure they can exchange rubber track for steel on the 138. Waiting on response.

    Both are near same machine with slight tradeoffs between each. Komatsu had been in the race but lags both of the above in several areas-its also 10% cheaper though.

    Kubota needs more HP and weight to beat the Tak as well. I think the Kubota will drink more fuel but the Tak will use less and provide 98% performance level of the Kubota. Tak dealer says he firmly believes his machine will be more durable over the longterm and that his side shift boom is better than the Kubota standard setup. Tak also weighs less.

    I like both machines (my guys do too) and cannot determine if the slight increased performance metrics of the Kubota outweigh its higher capital cost and expected higher fuel driven operating cost. Angle blade with float is quite nice BTW.

    (Yeah we demoed/priced several machines, from CAT to JCB to Gehl along with the others)
     
  2. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,131


    Once you run the side to side boom for a while you will throw rocks at the swing boom configuration. I thought it was neat when I demoed the TB53FR but after a couple months you could not give me a swing boom for half the money. That alone is worth the TK purchase to me. I have never run a Kubota so I don't personally know how they run, you don't hear much negative press about them if that is worth anything.
     
  3. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    What is the service like for each of those brands?
     
  4. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    You can't really go wrong with either machine. At this point, dealer support, specific machine features, and price should be considered, in that order IMO.
     
  5. SiteSolutions

    SiteSolutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,114

    In my limited experience, the Kubota is more finesse, the Tak seems to have a little more grunt. I just rented a 121-3 with Angle blade today, and it is pretty handy. Used the bucket to cut a ditch, and then I bladed it off and it was nice to be able to roll the spoils to one side as I was blading.

    I haven't tried a 138; I enjoyed running the TB135 on several occasions.
     
  6. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Posts: 4,276

    If you are doing alot of trenching the angle blade is irreplaceable.
    I find my self saying this too often.LOL
     
  7. jefftb

    jefftb LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 563

    Kubota service seems to be fair while I would say the Tak service would be better. Kubota seems to either miss the service aspect with their dealers or their machines do not need it-but we all know everything needs service sooner or later.

    Kubota CE dealers are generally just the AG dealers that decided to take on the CE side, as such they seem to mis-understand that service is important. Their facilities just do not seem to be oriented to that.

    The Tak dealer is also a Kobelco Dealer, New Holland CE/AG Dealer, and other AG product lines. He's also been the most persistent.
     
  8. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    Go with the Takeuchi I have ran Kubota 161 for one of the contractors I worked for. After seeing a Takeuchi dig I was suprised how well it did.

    Dealer attitude is a big thing, if the Kubota dealer is only a farm tractor dealer what do they know about excavators ?

    Do they have a service man trained with excavators ?
     
  9. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    OK Jeff........that is the same situation here. Questions that I would ask are this: If my machine breaks down will you give me a rental until it is fixed? If my machine breaks down on the job do you have a mobil mechanic to come fix it or can you come haul it off same day to repair? The answer to those should be thrown into the salad......If your area is anything like ours, I already know the answer and that would sway my vote on machines.....
     
  10. jefftb

    jefftb LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 563

    Had my mind set on the Takeuchi TB138FR as long as steel tracks could be put on it. Kubota was next and then the Komatsu on the performance metrics.

    Dealer says no go on steel track for Tak unit. This makes me pause as I was looking at the Komatsu rental we've had (going on four friggin mos. non stop!) anyway, the Komatsu has roadliners which are repairable individual pads. We work in rough track conditions (wooded areas with stumps and lots of rock areas during our work) that would really wear down rubber track or cut it. Roadliners or steel track would greatly reduce the operating cost of the machine over rubber track.

    The Komatsu machine is a good machine but falls short on bucket force and tractive force, it is in the ballpark on reach, depth(s) and is higher for lifting capability and aux flow. Furthermore, the Komatsu machines are backed by hands down the better dealer of the three. I can get machines from large to small in excavators, wheel loaders, dozers, etc. from them and they have several full service truck setups with no less than four locations in my state. Very responsive at any time.

    At the end of the thought process I cannot pull the trigger on the Kubota. It took four calls to three different dealers to finally find one that could even quote me on the excavators even with two of the four claiming to be "excavator" dealers. The one that would/could quote me (knows his machines and the competition, is also a Gehl dealer) is 1.45 hrs away from me.
    I just do not feel good about their capability to assist me should I need it. Needless to say the Kubota experience has been less than positive.
     

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