Kubota LA340/LA344 Swift-Tach loader for BX-80 series tractors

This is a new loader here that's on the new model BX23s that has a really cool system for removing it where you can actually stay on the seat of the tractor the entire time. This is the first tractor that I've ever seen that has the ability to do this. They're really unique and very slick feature. As we step through this, I should tell you, this is the second time that I have done this myself.

By no means am I some slick professional trying to put on a slick video here. This is a real hands-on, second time used through this process. Follow me along here and I'll show you how it's done. There's actually two loaders that are 100% identical to each other, but carry different model numbers. In this case, this is the LA340. The LA344 is exactly the same loader in every way. The only difference is when it's labeled this way, it's mated to a BX23s backhoe.

They changed that number because this loader actually carries a different warranty than it does when it's attached to some other machines. That model number differentiation helps separate those two models in our warranty systems. There's two other optional features here that are found on this loader as well. One of the most exciting to me is right here on the backside of the bucket. This is a skid steer quick coupler. It's a universal quick coupler that's found on about three-quarters of loader equipment.

Skid steers tractor loader backhoe's bigger compact tractors. It's a universal coupler much like the three-point hitch. All kinds of attachments from all kinds of different vendors can fit onto the front of this loader. Really cool feature and a universal feature. You'll see some vendor lock-in, trying to happen in other parts of the industry. That's not happening here. Kubota is supporting a skid steer coupler.

Also, available now on these buckets as well is a bolt-on cutting edge that go across the front of the loader bucket. If you're in applications where you're going to be scraping across hard surfaces for a very very long period of time, putting a skid bolt-on cutting edge across the front of there gives you a wear surface, that you can replace that cutting edge as you wear them out. It can also be used to stiffen the front lip of the bucket as well. If you're going to have bending loads and that kind of stuff on the bucket, it can help some added support across the front.

In my opinion, I don't personally see a whole lot of need for that for many many people. You've got to have some pretty specific applications where that's worthwhile. These buckets are fairly inexpensive. The cost of that cutting edge is awfully expensive in relation to the rest of the bucket itself. We're going to start the tractor here and take the loader off. Like I said, this is the second time I've done this. We'll just turn the key. Fire the machine up. Here on this BX23S, there is actually markings on the tack here for how fast you should be running the engine for loader operation.

We're just going to raise the revs up here to the loader backhoe position. We start to take this off by raising the loader up in the air. Once we've raised the loader up in the air, we're going to take the bucket and roll the bucket the whole way back under. This is going to catch the parking stand here when we release it. When the bucket rolled under the whole way, on my left-hand side up here, there's a lever that I'm simply going to release and roll down.

Once I've done that, it releases a catch from the parking stand which swings down and locks into place automatically. Once that's done, I can lower my loader bucket down into the ground and then use the bucket to lift the front tires of the tractor up in the air. Once I've done that, on the back side of the loader post here, there's two locks that are currently in the lock position. I'm just going to reach down and move those to the unlock position. It releases two pawls down here that grab a loader mount.

Once those are closed, I can roll my bucket shut. My loader lifts right away from the tractor just like that. With that loose, I can now back the tractor away from the loader and shut the tractor off. This process is going to be very familiar to any of you that have had pioneer couplers before. Before you unhook any hydraulic line, you always want to shut the machine off and try to equalize the pressure in that line. With the machine turned off, I'm just going to take the loader stick and move it every direction.

You see there the first time I did it, the loader shimmied a little bit because it wanted to push some pressure through the hydraulic line, so that happened. Now, with the pressure released from the lines, I simply reach down here to the side of the tractor to this single lever coupler. Pull out a little locking pin and lift this guy up. Just like that, all four of my hydraulic lines come off. This is awesome. If you've ever fought with pioneer couplers before, that is such a big improvement to that process that it's unbelievable.

To think that Kubota did this with only a nominal price increase, is pretty phenomenal. With that done, I can start my tractor up and back away. To put the loader back on again, we're just basically going to do that same process in reverse. I'm going to start the tractor up and drive into the loader. Attach my quick coupler over here on the side. Lower my loader down into the post and lock the pawls onto the post. Raise the loader up and then retract the parking stand.

[engine running]

I can't even tell you how awesome that single lever coupler is. That needs to make its way into every loader in my opinion. What I'm doing here is lowering it down. When I look down here, there's two J-shaped pieces at the bottom and then a bar that's on the loader. I'm basically setting that bar down into the J. Once that's down in there, I then just roll the bucket closed or roll the bucket down and then lift the front tires up in the air. When I do that, even though these two aren't firmly attached yet, it picks the tractor up in the air.

Once I do that, there's these two locks right here that I flip to the lock position and I raise the loader up. Once that's up, I take my bucket. Curl my bucket in and it lifts my parking stand up. I lift the lock from my parking stand and roll my bucket back out. That's awesome. [chuckles] If you've ever fought with loaders before, there is nothing like this. Beyond just the flexibility and the ease of being able to do it from the seat, the simple process of doing that and not having to fight with pins and pull down parking stands and bust up your knuckles, is a huge improvement.

That single lever quick coupler over there on the side in order for you to drop your hoses is really really cool. That's really frequently used on a lot of bigger agricultural tractors. Typically, the $600 or $800 costs, those big manifolds for the couplers can be very expensive. The improvements that Kubota has made to this loader at the price point that they did it at, is absolutely amazing.

If we can help you with one of these new 80 series BX tractors, give us a call at Messick's. We're available at 800-222-3373