Kubota M5L-111 Overview and Walk-Around

posted under kubota, low-profile, orchard, poultry by neilm on 1/23/2018

One of the things you cannot miss about this machine is the profile of it. You can see as I stand here beside it, this is a much lower tractor that you typically would find in a 111 horsepower machine. You can also notice the huge set of tires that are on this machine here in the front and the back. These tractors are typically sold into two unique applications a one that is in the orchards where they need a load machine to get underneath the low branches and also into poultry and chicken houses where they're typically dealing with lower height rubes, they need a high horsepower machine that they can fit inside the barn.

In this case the Kubotas bought a really high horsepower tractor to be able to sell into those specialty markets for those very specific applications. As we walk around here, we can point out a couple different things that let you see why this tractor is made for those purpose-built applications that make it a little bit different than the off the shelf M5 machine. There are really two main tire options for this machine, this is by far the cooler of the two a real fat set of tires here are usually or used in poultry houses where you need that low profile but also need good traction in order for pulling litter tillers and those things where you need to push and pull and do tract of work.

Tractors sold into more of your orchard applications where you usually have either this or a smaller Traditional R4 tire like it's most other tractors that also does the job but isn't nearly as cool looking. You also notice here because of the width of this tire there's also a Fender extension that goes on here as well, again we're talking about orchards and stuff the goal is that when branches come across and hit the fender they come up and over the tires and don't get caught in the wheel wells monkeying up your fruit.

You'll see to what I counted on this, this is a big heavy metal Fender. The point of the fenders and this is not just for mud but also that things are going to contact stuff on this tractor. You see here big metal fenders and also a lot of shielding around the machine up here in my directional changer there's shielding around this so that a branch doesn't come along and whack the direction changer on the tractor. Also on the opposite side machine across here you'll see that the shifter controls the hydraulic valves all those attachments are all heavily shielded so that branches and stuff that may be coming by through your orchard are going to catch your controls and do something unexpected.

Traditional tractors usually would have a folding roll bar on the would be able to hold the roll bar down to get underneath trees or into a tight garage but in the case of this tractor folding the roll bar would still would leave the joint up about here. Rather than making a foldable roll bar the counter has a collapsible roll bar that you can actually push the whole way down inside of the robs. When that is pushed down the whole way the high point of the tractor really becomes the top of the hood scoop across here to the back of the roll bar.

When I sit here in the seat I is the operator on the highest point on the tractor, the actual clearance for this tractor will vary a little bit depending on exactly what tires you have on it but I believe you're the last customer that would measure this for put the height of the operator right around 84 inches or so right about seven foot. If you have a low ceiling is very possible to get this tractor into some very tight places than a normal machine just wouldn't fit.

Back in the back you'll notice the rear of the tractor is built very very heavy typically the PT goes on these tractors are used for some demanding applications. You'll see a really robust linkages and also things are easy to touch up like extensible link arms pins for your left and right sway, heavy duty adjustments for your left and right level. All these adjustments that are good in deluxe ones if we look at economy tractors that use term buckles and those kinds of things as tractors get dirty and wear these become much easier to adjust over the long haul than a threaded rod would.

You also notice that this tractor comes standard equipment with 540 and 540 E for the PTO to be able to run a lower horsepower implement at a lower engine speed saving fuel. We take a quick look under the hood down here you see some of the engineering effort that really goes into these tractors were talked about the hood, the exhaust over on the side often having external components on this size tractor you look underneath this hood and you really see why many many manufacturers take the shortcut and do that rather than fitting all of these pieces under here. We have both a diesel particulate filter, the catalyst side where the your rear flows into both fitting underneath the hood.

These are your two main emissions components that had to be fit underneath here when they rework this tractor. As far as service and maintenance goes the things that you normally need to get to, your battery sits right here in the front along with an air cleaner, the air cleaner has a restriction filter over here giving a very easy visual of whether it's congested or not, your radiator fills all of your screen clean everything out are easily accessible right here in front of the tractor.

There just a handful of options on this tractor that you can choose depending on exactly what your application is you see here the machine that we have is going directly into a poultry application and so front weights in order to give additional front traction are a common option on that particular application. Also on this tractor a creeper gear is available if you need a lot of really slow speeds for slow spray speeds or again in that poultry application where you're crawling through your barns. Around the back of the tractor to standard remotes will come on this machine with a third being available that can also have flow control when we go into our orchard applications and we're doing spraying flow control valves are often needed in order to dial in precise flow rates and stuff on the sprayer.

Kubota has given all the options that you could really need on this type of machine to put into these very specific applications. Well, many people aren't thrilled with a lot of the emissions requirements a tear for brings electronically controlled engines that we have today can do some cool stuff that engines of years gone by can't manage. You'll notice on this tractor here, we've got three buttons across the bottom and two of these are for emissions controls if you have questions about this you can watch other YouTube videos that explain how these things work.

We've got a third down here in the end marked RPM. The RPM control will engage a constant RPM function on the engine that uses those electronic controls to keep the engine RPM constant when you have varying loads coming from your PTO or from your transmission if you're headed up or down hills. That electronic management can just provide a more constant RPM and constant operating condition to the tractor that just makes it more predictable or again in case of our PTO driven implements or things are we need a constant RPM that just makes the tractor easier to work and easier to operate.

Along with that down on our side panels, we have electronic throttle controls they just move and operate a lot more smoothly than cable attached controls do. Over here in our main shifter this is a six-speed transmission comes through a stock with two ranges of the creeper available. As we move back we get remotes three point with standard draft control on this tractor and engage and disengage knob for a PTO and two different throttle presets or an A or B throttle preset if you want to set a preset for say your PTO operating speed or a comfortable other operating function you can recall those just by pushing the buttons back here.

This a quick around the parking lot riding here. Here on the dash I have a lever to go between forward and reverse, this is just a hydraulic shuttle for easy direction changes. I can go from sitting here and that put the lever forward and the tractor will slowly start pulling forward. Now I'm in high range right now, I move in and right about just under two miles an hour. When I want to change reverse I just simply pull the lever on the other direction the tractor will still stop and change directions gently. This is the same kind of hydraulic shuttle actions that you’ll find in the rest of the M5 series.

Over here on the side I have a standard six-speed shifter, right now we're in first gear, you do clutch when we go between gears, right now we're in first, we just clutch and pull back to go the second, clutch and push forward to go to third, off we go. This track actually does go pretty fast, if you need to road between locations when I was coming down the road over here and I top speed I was up to about 18 miles an hour that's pretty quick and those speeds don't seem too fast compared to a car and truck. When you're in a tractor or and feels plenty fast.

You can see on my dash up here, I had digital readouts for my particular speed again going back to spray applications these tractors are commonly used and when you need to be able to dial in your speed the constant RPM function and you digital displays on the dash just make it a nice tractor to operate.