New Kubota M4N-071 Narrow Vineyard Orchard Tractor

posted under kubota, orchard-tractor by neilm on 1/23/2018

This is a narrow series tractor targeted towards vineyards and orchards. Let's take a quick walk around here and show you some of the features of this machine. Kubota has actually been without narrow tractors here for almost three years. Part of the reason for that is because tractors have recently gone through some major emissions changes, now requiring diesel particulate filters under 75 horsepower in order to meet tier four final.

When Kubota was going through an update in their products, their mainline tractors were updated first, and the specialty tractors took a little bit longer to get through engineering. Now, the gap for that is over and this product is back in production now sporting a diesel particulate filter back here on top of the engine that cleans up the exhaust. We have some videos out explaining exactly how DPFs work. Essentially, what it does is, take the place of a muffler, capturing the soot that comes out of the engine.

Every so many hours typically between about 30 to 50 hours for a tractor like this if you're running at higher RPMs, this will go through a burn cycle and burn the soot out of that canister. As an operator, generally, you just go run your tractor who run the revs up and go out and make the thing work. As I said, this is a narrow tractor, and the point of a narrow tractor is to be as close in as possible in order to get down your narrow vineyard rows. This tractor comes in under 60 inches wide with these Ag tires equipped to it.

Now, you can dish these things out further. If you look over here on the wheel these right now are dished in. If you needed additional hillside stability or you had wider rows say in orchards because they're typically a little bit wider than vineyards are. You can flip dishes here on the rims in order to move the tires out. You are able to get the thing down to 60 inches right about five foot for some really tight narrow spaces.

One of the new features that's on this tractor that was not on the prior series machines before is 540 and a 540 e-switch here on the back. Say you're running a small five foot rotary cutter on the back of this machine, you don't need that full 71 horsepower in order to spin that cutter. By shifting down to 540 E you can have higher RPMs at your PTO. You don't need to run your engine RPMs quite as high saving you fuel.

Also, new on this tractor are some additional options on your hydraulic remotes, two rear remotes come as standard equipment on a narrow tractor. You can actually stack up the five valves on the back of this machine. Some of those can even be equipped with flow control if you're running pumps, hydraulic pumps or need to dial in specific flows for sprayers that are commonly used in orchards. Flow control valves allow you to do that. You could stack up to three additional valves to on top of this stack here getting up to five new remote outlets.

If we've been able to find any shortcomings on this tractor when going through the spec sheets and looking at our competitive comparisons, the one area that it could have a little bit more capacity is back here in the three point hitch. It does use these external lift cylinders which are really nice if you have it. If you're on some kind of trouble back here rather than having a complicated rock shaft system. This lifts back here from the rear making them easy to service.

It does only lift a little bit over 4,000 pounds on the three point hitch, which is a little bit below most competition. I wouldn't say that it's a big showstopper for most people as typically most of your work is done by the drawbar on these tractors. Your three point lift capacity is a little bit on the low side compared to some of the competitors. The transmission options on this tractor are one thing that really separated from other machines in this class.

You'll see up here on my main stick, I had six speeds and one range with two ranges to select between so 12 speeds total. You will see other tractors in this class sporting 12 speeds, but none that are doing it with six speeds on the main shifter. The nice thing about this, is that it requires fewer range changes. These are all synchronized gears, so you can shift through one through six on the fly, while your range changes are unsynchronized requiring you to stop the tractor.

By having six gears on the main shifter, you're able to shift between more speeds without having to make range changes as often. This tractor can also be equipped with a creep speed kit as well giving you six gears all under one mile and hour. If you really need to creep along a creeper gear there in the bottom, it will accomplish that for you. Kubota has also updated the console on this machine too over the older series things like wheel remotes, drive controls.

The layout of this side of the tractor is a little bit nicer and a little bit more modern. Along the lines of that transmission right up here, is where we have our direction changer to go between forward and reverse. This is a hydraulic wet clutch so when you want to toggle between forward, you just go from front to back in order to change directions. Kubota has another feature on this machine called bi-speed turn.

If you look right down here on the dash, we have a little indicator switch that shows four-wheel drive and abled four-wheel drive with a front arrow on here. I can show you the front axle here, there's a little sensor on the front axle that when the thing reaches a particular steering angle, it actually will shift up the front tires causing them to spin more quickly. What that will do is, when you reach the end of your rows, it'll pull the front end of the tractor around allowing you to make a much tighter turn, and get back into the next row without having to make a wide angle turn.

As we continue around the back of the console here, we have a couple of more switches. Some electrical sockets for things like guidance monitors, a place to plug in your cellphone, PTO engagement which could just be turned on and off, and those flow control valves back here at the rear. The two remotes that are on here are your flow control remotes. Those adjustments can be made right here from the cab by dialing these up or down.

If you added additional remotes you can see the sockets back here across the rear for that flow control will come up through the bottom. The windows in this can be opened just like a normal tractor. You can open this including the sides back here as well. You'll notice up here in the top of the cab sensors is a spray machine. There are additional cab filters and stuff. If you're running sprayers and stuff, these can be replaced easily from inside the cab just by popping that grille open. The tractor is pre-wired for a radio.

There's a socket right up here in the top with an antenna and speaker wires behind it if you'd like to put a radio. It's as simple as popping that out and sticking it in style radio right inside the cab. We talked about bi-speed turn in this tractor shifting up as you go into a turn. This is the sensor right here that accomplishes that. There's a little cam right here on the top and a wire that detects when you reach a certain steering angle to upshift the tires. We'll give a short demo of exactly how that works.

I'm going to do a quick feature of the bi-speed turn here on this tractor. Again, what this thing does is it will reach a particular steering angle up in the front, it will upshift the four-wheel drive so that the front tires spin faster. The first thing we're going to do here, is make a turn in two-wheel drive like you typically would in a normal tractor. This should give us typically the best case scenario. Usually, when you're in traditional four-wheel drive, the front tires being engaged are pushing you out of your turn.

This is about the best case scenario that you would get out of a traditional tractor. We're going to go ahead and put this thing in gear. I'm going to start at the yellow line that's here in the parking lot. We're going to go ahead and pull forward, and then go into a tight two-wheel drive turn. Once I get perpendicular here to my yellow line, I'm going to drop out here and drop my marker. I'm going to hop out here and take my VX series filter kit that we get from our friendly parts department.

We're going to drop it right back here at my rear tire. That was my turning radius in two-wheel drive. Now, I'm going to pull back over here to my line and engage bi-speed turn. We're right here on our line. I'm going to reach up here in the dash and flip the switch to bi-speed. I'm going to come out here and crank this thing around. You can see here comfortably that I've taken a solid probably three and a half, four feet off of the turning radius coming around.

That can make a big difference if you're somebody with tight rows in your vineyard, rather than having to go out and make a big wide turn that extra three and a half, four feet that you took off your turning radius may enable you to steer right into the next row rather than having to make a lot of wide turns at the ends. We're really happy to have these tractors back in the product line here at Messick's, to serve our orchard and vineyard customers that are all around us here. This tractor here that we walked around is an M4-071.

There's also an M5 series tractor that will sit on a slightly larger frame to give you a little bit more machine. Those I believe come in at 91 and 111 horsepower. Once we have one of those in stock, we'll do a walk around them that as well. We can help you with a machine like this, give us a call here at Messick's. We're available online at or at 800-222-3373