Kubota SVL95-2S Compact Track Loader Overview

Neil provides an overview of the new Kubota SVL95-2S Compact Track Loader.

This is a machine that it just came out here a couple of weeks ago and is replacing the old SVL90. Really could almost be an SVL90-3 for the most part because there's not a whole lot of changes compared to the old series. This is more of an evolution over the old models. The original one of this came out was as SPL90 followed by a 90-2 with some emissions updates and now this machine goes to tier four final as well and really is the end of the emissions updating process. Being at this guy is over 75 horsepower, now just about 77, it does require DEF fluid in order to meet emission requirements, so you'll see a little blue tank on the back. Because of that, the machine also got a little bit longer in the rear end in order to accommodate that about six or eight inches, that a little bit of extra ballast in the back helped the bump, the lift capacity as well. This is a little bit stronger machine than it was in the past.

The most significant update on this machine is something that really doesn't show up on the spreadsheets. Most machines like these, compact tractors, utility tractors, track loaders, all use what's called an open center series type hydraulic system. Essentially how that hydraulic system works is that oil is pumped into a series of valves. As the oils travels down through those valves, the valves at the front end of the system end up getting priority over the ones further down the line. In a track loader typically the boom would be your first one followed by your auxiliaries in your bucket and your other systems. What is essentially happening when the machine is running is you have a gear pump running pumping the maximum amount of fluid that it can and pushing into that series type valve.

If you did something like, lift the boom and curl your bucket down while you're traveling forward, you would start to see all these different systems in the hydraulic system fighting for the flow that gear pump is able to produce. This is an evolution of that that you see in larger AG equipment in the large Kubota construction excavators. It's called a CCLS system, a Closed Center Loop System. A Closed Center Loop System puts the different demand points for the hydraulic system in parallel and sees that each one is delivered the pressure and the flow that it needs. Rather than using a gear pump that's always spinning away and always pumping the maximum amount of fluid that it can, there's a variable piston pump on the back end of that. The piston pump is only pumping the amount of fluid that the machine needs in order to meet the demands that are put upon it and it puts it into the right spot.

What you'll notice is when you start doing those multiple functions, driving and lifting or operating something on your auxiliary couplers, you won't be losing flow and losing performance in different areas, and makes them much more balanced, much more powerful feeling machine with that Closed Center System. Something that won't show up on a spec sheet but when you're in the seat and you're comparing machine side by side, it's definitely something that you can pick up on. If you've seen our videos in our past you probably realize that we try to give a balanced view of changes of machines come out in production. We're not sitting here saying that everything that Kubota has ever done is always the best.

One place that we feel that they took a small step backwards in this last generation is in their choice of buckets. Kubota has been strengthening their partnership of land pride and they've now moved to lamp ride built buckets for most the SSV and SVL series. In our impression is at this point while the lamp ride bucket is not a bad bucket, it is not as good as the Paladin buckets that were offered in the past. You will notice in some situations when we're pricing these machines we generally will lead with a paladin bucket. There may be situations where you start to buy multiple attachments that Kubota starts to offer multi implement discounts, where you may see the lamp right stuff priced in a way that it really makes sense to bundle and buy as a package.

For our customers what we've been offering to this point is a paladin bucket when only one bucket is sold with the machine. We just feel at this point that it's a little bit better quality bucket and the price points are better enough that we try to lean the direction that we are able to offer the best most durable package to our customers. I'm sitting here on top of the new tracks that are on this machine. The older series machines used a stock Bridgestone track, good quality track held up well and last a long time but Kubota was using an off-the-shelf tread pattern. For this series, the machine the engineers dug in a little bit and they try to improve the tread design that was on the track in order to give it a little bit more tractive power. There are some improvements here giving this machine over 12,000 pounds of push going forward.

Some small changes have been made down here to the control pod as well. You'll notice the throttle is now over here on a dial which is nice it's a quick. Only a couple inches away from your fingers when you're up here on the control sticks. A feature that I like that they came out with us on the SSDs and looks like it's possible in the SVL as well is that when you push the stick forward, you're able to reach out here with your fingertips, and reach the throttle. When you're full sit stick traveling forward and you want a little bit more speed, you can roll the throttle right there with your fingers while your hands are still on the stick, rather that reaching up here for a lever or down along the control pod somewhere.

Because the system has a CCLS hydraulic pump and that a gear pump, you now are able to vary your hydraulic flow out your remotes from the control panel. By pushing the auxiliary button here and going through some menus, you're able to deliver say 10 gallons a minute out your auxiliary remotes and select what you want rather than having to throttle the machine up or down to change your hydraulic flow. If you have an implement that demands 10 GPM, you can deliver that 10 GPM at whatever engine RPMs you want. It's a nice feature particularly if you're offering and operating a lot of varying attachments. You'll see up here on the top there's new gauge as well this is for DEF fluid. Guys will frequently ask how often these things need to filled up and it does depend on a lot of your operating conditions.

For memory, generally about every three to four times you fill up your diesel tank, you need to top off your DEF fluid.

I'll fire this guy up here and take a quick spin. One of our favorite features in this Kubota is this roll-up door.

Spins around nice and easy out here on the dirt. We're going to take a quick drive forward and see if I can show this CCLS hydraulic system a little bit. I'm going to put this to a high speed and travel forward while moving my bucket up and down. Okay, we're going to go full stick here. See while my bucket is traveling up and down.

My ground speed's not really bearing it at all. You would notice in some other track loaders of gear pumps and less hydraulic float when you start doing these things all simultaneously, you won't get a smooth motion because a different circuits fight for flow. For instance, the most obvious one would be in the tractor with a loader where you lift your boom up and curl your bucket, and the boom usually will get priority over top of the bucket circuit. In this case of the CCLS system, no matter how you stroke this stick you're always going to get motion out of both. You won't get say a boom raising in the bucket waiting to move until you get to the top of the stroke. Generally, in most of these even with an Open Center System Kubota does a really good job of balancing the systems. You can now hop into an SVL75 and while this is an improvement, the other systems that are still using the Open Center are horrible by any stretch but it is a definite improvement. If you're a guy that does a lot of things and really tosses the machine around, you'll like the way that this performs. It's very predictable and very smooth.