Comparing Kubota TLB series tractors (B26, L47, M62)

posted under kubota, tlb by neilm on 1/23/2018

We'll do a quick walk around here and explain some of the unique features about these models. These are three tractors that are often very misunderstood in the Kubota product line-up and we'll show you some of those reasons why.

We get a lot of guys that come in and see one of these tractors sitting in the parking lot and come up and say, "You know, I-I'd like a price of a B26 or an L47 because I'd like a backhoe." They really say that, because this is what they see sitting in the parking lot with a hoe on it. Really, from the get-go you should understand, you can put a backhoe on just about any compact tractor with very, very few exceptions.

These three machines are really a little bit different in that they're really targeted towards rental yards and construction markets. They have a very, very over build quality about them we'll show you some of the places where that really stands out. You have to have some pretty specific applications to really benefit from a lot of the bulk and heft that these tractors bring. We'll show you some of the reasons why this is a little bit different machine than your regular ordinary compact tractor.

Each of these tractors shares a lot of commonality with the other compact tractor machines. When you sit on the B26 you'll notice that a lot of the transmission assembly, the engine there's a lot of commonality in the other tractors. Then there are a lot of places too where these machines will depart from the compact tractor series. The most obvious place that you can see that is in the size of the loader attachment places.

There's just a lot more steel, if you look at the size of this pipe down here across the bottom, the number of bolts going back into the housing, this is really built for a halfway abusive environment, for a rental yard or a construction site and that stuff where they're really going to be hard on their equipment much more so than an average homeowner would be.

If you're really in a commanding construction oriented environment where you need this bulk, you'll find that in these TLB series tractors. Again, we're putting these tractors into applications that are very, very demanding, on the top 10% of use cases for this equipment.

Another place that you'll see a departure in these models from the regular contact tractors is in the loaders and the construction of the roll bar assemblies up here. These four post assemblies are considered both ROPS and FOPS certified.

A normal tractor has a ROPS, a rollover protective structure. In the case of these three machines they are all also FOPS certified which is a certification for falling objects. Again, if you are in a construction site with a multi-storey building and you need to be worried about things possibly falling and impacting the roof of the machine, a four-post FOPS structure will protect you from falling objects.

If you look here on the loaders as well these loaders do not come off of the machine. When we talk about the heft in the bulk and the tubes and the posts and everything in here, they've remove the assemblies that allow you to take the loader off of the tractor, these are permanently fixed loaders. Because of that extra heft and the changes, you will see spec bumps in these loaders as well. This TL1500 loader lifts about 1200 pounds in the bucket which is very, very capable for a tractor of this size.

These are also the only loaders in Kabuto's product line that can come through with factory installed front hydraulics. In our sales, about 3/4 of the machines that we sell will come through with these installed. Typically, they're used on front grapples, front attachments, from augers, anything that you can use a low flow application out the front of the machine, these remotes can be utilized. They'll come through from the factories like this with just caps overtop of the ends, and you want to screw these off and put on whatever couplers that fit your particular application.

The operator platform on these tractors are different than their compact tractor brethren. In one place that you'll see that is in the positioning of the controls. They. generally, will lay these things out with side consoles so that when you flip the seat around the backhoe operating position, you can still reach all of your controls easily.

You will notice that there are feature differences between the B26 and the L47. When you move between these two tractor series, the compact tractor that these are based upon is really quite different from each other. B26 is going to have a lot of thing in common with B2650 while an L47 will have a lot of things in common with a large L60 series tractor. Things including like the HST plus transmission and a lot of those electronic features are found in those models, but not in this one.

You'll see a lot more operational differences here that we can point out in around the platform, but a lot of those choices are made because of the backhoe application for these machines. When you swivel that seat around, all those controls are made to be operated from a backhoe position, and you'll see those adjustments made in these machines.

Also between the B26 and the L47 are change in the hydraulic pumps. This guy at 26 horsepower has two hydraulic pumps on that like most tractors do, one for the implements and one for the power steering.

The L47 and M62 to those all have a third pump bolted on to them which is unusual in a tractor of this size. That gives two pumps to feed to the backhoe so that each stick on the backhoe has an independent circuit to power it. When you do the repetitive function of swinging the backhoe to the side and curling the boom and bucket out, those are fed by two different pumps, and that way your two pumps can ensure smooth function as you stroke multiple functions at one time.

You will see a small difference in the ease of operating the backhoe between these two tractors.

We could do a quick tour around the operator's platform up here. As we look around you can see a lot of bits and pieces that are very similar to the B50 series; the B3350 and B2650. The mechanical three range hydrostatic transmission up here; low, medium. high. Lever to engage and disengage my PTO.

Over here on the other side, I have a control to raise my three-point hitch up and down and a throttle. Again, knotted over here on the side where it can be reached from the backhoe position. If you add rear remotes those can fit right back here in the slots on the back. The loader on this machine is conveniently located right up here by the operator, so I have an armrest right here that I can rest my arm on and it puts the loader stick right here at my hand for comfortable all day operation.

As we look down here on the side there's a stick lock that you can lock that loader stick if you're going to be off doing some maintenance and down on the floor will be a lot of our everyday pedals; forward and reverse treadle pedal, split brakes for left and right. This machine does have tilt steering off the pedal that can be released down here at the bottom.

The dash is a pretty standard for Kubota. We have turn signals, headlights. This tractor can be equipped with a horn for safety purposes, four ways. The dash will give you a lot of your analog readings for your everyday things, temperature, RPMs and fuel.

A lot of the features and functions on the larger L47 and M62 or carryovers from the L60 series. When you look at the controls on here you'll see things like Hydra dual-speed that's part of the HST plus transmission.

As we continue over here to the side you can see that all the dashes are actually incorporated into the side of the machine over here. Our fuel temp RPMs are all on the side over here where they can be seen from the back up position as well.

As we work our way down here to the side we can get our [unintelligible 00:07:00] free-range mechanical transmission, our height for our three-point hitch, our throttle, our front and back creeper and our engage and disengage the PTO. Once we cross that 26 horsepower mark, we do have these particular throttles on the engine. We have our buttons up here as well to cancel or burn or do a parked regen.

In a classic machine like this because you're running at high engine RPMs for your back cooperation most of the time, the emission systems on these are really nothing that you ever have to worry about they just operate in an auto mode and you go to town and don't worry about them.

You can see here where the side console really becomes nice on this bigger platform tractor. I have my throttle controls right here where I could use it from both the forward and back position. I can see all my gauge clusters over here on the side all my buttons and then I have it on this machine because it has an electronically controlled transmission. I also have a creep button to move between forward and reverse.

If you're digging your trench and you want to move the tractor forward a little bit you can simply reach right down here and push this thing forward to drive slowly while you're actually facing backwards. That enables you to continue to dig and be productive without having to swivel between front and back all the time. Not to say that the B26 isn't a good tracker, it just lacks some of these improvements that are able to be fit into a physically larger tractor.

Another thing that's really appealing in these three machines is that these guys have swivel seat backhoe on them, where you can move from the front driving position to the backhoe position all by swiveling the seat around.

On this smaller tractor, the B26 it is challenging to actually pull that off. There's a release lever down here underneath your legs where you can start this mechanism swiveling around, but because of the tighter platform on this smaller tractor I can't quite get my legs around. This is a machine where I could swivel the seat around and I really reasonably have to dismount the machine and get back on again to get to my backhoe position.

With a slightly smaller platform on the B26, I don't have quite enough room to swivel the seat around and actually get my legs to make it around to the back. You can see here on the two bigger tractors if I pull the seat release and turn the seat 90 degrees, I can then continue the rest of the way around, moving back to the backhoe position without having to get off the machine.

Between the L47 and M62 there are many, many fewer differences between these tractors. Feature-wise they both are essentially exactly the same, one doesn't offer anything at the other doesn't. You will see that spec wise though there are some dramatic differences here. The M62 is based on a lot of heavier component tree than the L47 and comes equipped with a gargantuan 14-foot backhoe compared to the 10 foot on the L47. That gives it a lot more reach, it can be more productive, dig deeper, reach further, making it a more productive tractor.

At the same time here there is a significant price jump from one model to the next. There's nearly $15,000 dollars spread between these two machines, if you do need the added capacity, hey awesome tractor one of the only compact TLBs in the market that can do some of the jobs that this machine can do.

Being that this is a commercial series tractor, there's a lot of commonality on the backhoe side between the TLBs and the excavators. The quick couple that's used in the excavators can also be fitted to the TLBs enabling you bucket commonality between the Kubota TLBs and the Kubota excavators. You can also put a third function hydraulic remote on the back of here as well. I'm adding a pedal up on the operator's platform in order to turn that on and off. In order to operate a hydraulic thumb, back here on the hoe or the hammer that could also go on the back hoe as well.

When we start to get to the machine the size of M62, we inevitably start to see comparisons between this and a full sized tractor loader backhoe, say a Case 580 or a Deere 310. This machine really isn't made to compete with that market, it's very, very different.

One of the things that you will immediately notice is the fact that this backhoe is removable. Unlike a fixed tractor loader backhoe you can flip off a shield back here, pull two pins and take this backhoe off the back of the machine and replace it with a three-point hitch in the back. There is a regular PTO and hydraulics and everything in the back of this tractor to be able to do landscaping tasks that a full size TLB wouldn't.

Weightwise, this is also a machine that can be hauled by a dump truck. You don't need to move it around with a tractor with a backhoe. It's also quite a bit lighter as well. In applications where you don't want the bulk and the weight of a full-size machine, an M62 is a great choice. I mean it enables you to do some utility class work without running up yards and really doing the damage to your surrounding area that you get from a large full size machine. While we are starting to bump up in those capacities and those price pints and the sizes, we're not quite there.

This is a machine really targeted towards a different customer, a different clientele, than somebody that will be hauling a round a full size TLB.

Thats the Kubota TLB series. As you can see, this is a really unique commercial oriented compact tractor loader backhoe machine. Really, at this point, Kubota is 'the only major player for a tractor like this. If you have an application for a machine like this, we can help you here at Messick's. Give us a call. We're available at 800-222-3373

Tags: b21, b26, l35, l39, l47, l48, m59, m62