Kubota GR2120

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing Equipment' started by keuka, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. keuka

    keuka LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I'm looking for a new tractor mower. I mow around 1.5 acres and about half of it is sloped. My John Deere 265 has about 1500 hours on the meter so it's time to start looking. I'm researching the Kubota GR Series and I thought I'd check to see if anyone had owned one and how it worked out. I understand they had some problems with this series when it first came out but I've been told Kubota has addressed the problem. My main use would be mowing and leaf removal. I have lots of trees and leaf removal is a major deal. I use a cyclone rake on the John Deere and I'm thinking this Kubota model would also work well.
    I considered a Kubota BX model but I'm concerned it may be too heavy and leave ruts on the sloped areas during wet periods. I already own a Kubota L35 tractor,Loader, Backhoe so another loader bucket isn't needed. However, a smaller tractor with a three point hitch is tempting.
    I just looked at the John Deere X500 series but it really looks like they've cheapened them down. Lots of plastic and it just looks flimsy. Anyway, I'd appreciate any response from someone who may have owned a Kubota GR.
  2. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,093

    I actually went and drove one of these around to check out the Glide Steer when they came out. There have been lots of times since that I regretted not getting one just to be honest.

    I think if I could backtrack I would have probably gotten the Diesel one. But I am like you... for me it probably would have been hard not to jump on over to the small BX because of all of the attachment capability. These are things that the GR and X garden tractors lack.

    For you already having a tractor, this is probably the way to go. I would suggest a nice wide area walkbehind as an alternative. But it sounds like you bag a lot of leaves and might not want to go the side catcher route.
  3. keuka

    keuka LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Thanks for the reply. I actually considered a large walk behind unit but gave up on the idea because of leaf removal needs and limited function. I use the John Deere for more than mowing as it's handy around the trailer court. I would defiantly lean toward a diesel but I honestly have to admit the Kawasaki has really amazed me. It has just under 1500 hours and still running strong.

    I'm leaning more heavily toward a Kubota BX for the 4 wheel drive, three point hitch and the mowing deck is really built. The weight and thought of rutting the slopes has me concerned. There are a lot of very clean, low hour used ones on the market and that has me a little concerned. I'm thinking people may have over estimated their size and capability. They're well built and rugged but small for loader use.

    I did consider a Steiner but I can't justify the cost. Anyway the John Deere is still running so there's no real rush but it's got a lot of hours on it. I was really surprised at how flimsy the X500 series John Deer appears.
    Thanks again for the reply.
  4. bmurr

    bmurr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I have been considering the Kubota GR2120 myself along with the John Deere X700 series. I want to like the Kubota, just not very much info or reviews since the transmission update. If you aren't aware, the GR Series is all wheel drive and is probably setup better for mowing than the BX. The inside front wheel doesn't pull during a turn so less likely to tear the turf. Glad to know that I'm not the only one considering this unit.
  5. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 19,163

    The reason most of those fairly new BX machines are on the market is simple- guys buy them only to realize that they are a bit light for serious work, and more importantly, they have an up or down 3 pt vs a true position hitch like a B or JD 2 series.
    GoPappy likes this.
  6. keuka

    keuka LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    bmurr, The all wheel drive and free rolling aspect of the inside rear wheel is what originally caught my attention. That and the fact I live on a lake with hillside property. My old John Deere has done well but there have been times when I've thought "my next one will be 4 wheel drive". I could use more traction and pulling power. My primary use would be mowing and secondary yard, and driveway work related to pulling, hauling, etc.

    The Kubota GR would probably be a good choice but I have read where they were having problems with the drive train on the earlier model. I't's mainly a mower but will handle light duty work and it's all wheel drive.

    The BX looks like a little bear. It's rugged, it mows and it looks fully capable of hauling. I did not realize the three point hitch is not fully functional and is either all the way up or all the way down. Thanks for brining that up Ridin Green, it's a real consideration. From what I have read, the BX does do a decent job of mowing if your not trying to set a speed record and it will handle hills with caution. I'd rather go a little slower, save the iron, the lawn and my butt.

    So, I'm still looking and researching. If the John Deere dies, I still have my Honda HRX and the walking would likely do me more good than harm. Then again, the JD is still running strong.
  7. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 19,163

    I have an old JD 240 (same series as your 265, but with a 14 HP Kawi, and 6 speed gear trans) and it is still running strong as well. It is now almost 28 years old too. It mows beautifully even with the old "low tech" deck. I haven't mowed with one of the Kubby's, but they should do a good job. I have owned a couple JD CUT's- a 4110 and a 4115 (still own the 4115) and both had/have 60"mmm. they cut as good as my Z950 any day. They just don't go quite as fast, though even that was close with the 4110 and the 4115 is just as fast as far as speed in a straight line. Hills......there's no comparison. They are much better. I had R4's on the 4110, and I have R1's on the 4115. The R1's are much better for traction than either the R4's or the R3 turf tires, but they can be a little harder on the turf if you get careless and go too fast through a turn.
  8. keuka

    keuka LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Well, I did a search on the life expectancy of air cooled Kawasaki lawn mower engines and maybe I'm being premature about needing a new mower. My John Deere 265 is a 1991 with just shy of 1500 hours. I'm reading where guys are getting over 2000 hrs. I bought it new, I change the oil & filter every 50 hours or the end of the season. I also winterize it and store it in a heated shop during the winter. I also don't beat the hell out of it and I don't hire someone to run it. Maybe the old girl still has another 500 hours left in her. I'm smiling because it owes me nothing and I can certainly afford a new unit.

    I remember back over 50 years ago what my father told me about tools. He said "buy the best you can afford, take good care of them and they will pay you back many times over". He was so right!
    hort101 and Ridin' Green like this.
  9. GoPappy

    GoPappy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,333

    The 3 point hitch on the BX is not "all the way up or all the way down." It has what Kubota calls a "Quarter Inching Valve". You can stop it at any point, and the 3 point hitch lever has a little stop tab on each side of the lever. If you push the lever only to the stop tab, the hitch goes up or down just a small amount. You can push the lever out to bypass the stop and bring the hitch all the way up or down.

    I'd rather have position control, but the quarter inching valve isn't that bad.

    I've got 2 BX tractors, a BX23 TLB and a BX2660. I love both of them, and they are as handy as a pocket on a shirt. They will do a lot more work than their small size would lead you to believe.
    Ridin' Green likes this.
  10. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Messages: 19,163

    Thanks for mentioning the quarter inching valve. I plumb forgot that they have that on them now.
    Also, I didn't mean to imply that they can't do serious work, but a lot of the guys that buy them ( a lot of this is coming from all the comments I read on the tractor forums I frequent) expect them to be able to do things that a bigger tractor is really called for. It is no fault of the BX or the 1 series JD's, just a matter of choosing the wrong tractor for the intended use by the buyer who is usually trying to save some money by not going with a larger unit that can handle the job they are trying to make the smaller unit do to begin with.
    GoPappy and hort101 like this.

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