Kubota KXO33-4 Compact Excavator Walk Around & Review

Neil from Messick’s here with the very first of our new Kubota KXO33 excavators. This model here replaces the prior model which we're lucky enough to have side by side, the KX91. Join me here as we walk around and we’ll point out a couple of new differences on this updated model. The KX91 has been a really popular model for us. We stock quite a few of them both for customers and for our own rental fleet. One of the things that’s made this machine so popular is that this is the heaviest Kubota excavator that we can sell that can fit onto a 10,000 pound trailer.

By buying the version that does not have a cab and a manual angle blade down here on the bottom you can comfortably fit onto a 10K trailer depending on what your local regulations are, for us here in Pennsylvania that keeps us out of the requirements for CDLs and all kinds of additional regulations that we have to worry about. We’ve really sold a lot of these models into rental industries, rental fleets like our own, to landscape customers who need a good capable machine that’s not a headache to trailer around. No dump trucks required here. Kubota seems to be making a lot better use of the engine compartment space on this machine as well.

You’ll notice here in the old model KX91 had this space up here in the front corner that was a dead, unused space. On the new model over here, the hood now hinges differently, incorporating that space into the engine compartment, allowing more space for the pieces that need to be back here, specifically the battery. The battery now sits right back here at the side of the machine. If you ever need to jump a replace this thing I don’t know how it could be easier. It is right here.

If you pay much attention to the equipment industry you’ll notice that a lot of models are being redesigned and changed to meet current emission standards. Once you cross 26 horsepower, useful particulate filters are required to capture this filter on the backside of the engine. The KX91 came in at 28 horsepower. When Kubota updated this model, rather than taking the horsepower up or adding a DPF to it, they simple took the horsepower down a little bit.

While this was 28, the current model over here is 26, so we drop down just two horsepower. This machine is not less powerful because of that. It has a more capable hydraulic system. You’ll notice that the breakout force for the bucket and the boom both took a small bump. In addition to that, additional hydraulic output on the auxiliaries that we had. Even though we’ve got a little bit less horsepower, that heavier hydraulic system is making this machine actually more powerful or more productive than the prior model.

When you look around the engine compartment here, we really quickly picked up on a lot of changes that Kubota made to make this machine a lot easier to service. The amount of space that’s available back here in the engine compartment and the location of the filters and checkpoints are a lot more convenient on the new model here than they were on the old. If you look down here in the engine compartment of the new machine all the filters in your checkpoints are right here at the back of the machine.

Your engine oil filters right down here, air filter up here at the top, fuel filter right here at the rear, fuel water separator right here at the side, dip sticks right back here at the back and your checkpoints or your hydraulic reservoir are right around the side. That compares much better to the old model. In terms of accessibility. While a lot of those things aren’t exactly buried back here, you can see this engine compartment is a lot more cluttered and a lot harder to get your hands into than what the old model was.

The engine oil filter in particular on this machine has to be changed from the bottom down here below, or on the newer one you can reach it right from the back very easily. Some dramatic improvements in the serviceability around the engine compartment here can clearly be seen. I wish we could reach out and just give a digital high-five to the guy who designs Kubota's valve stacks. If you’ve looked at the last series of the SSV's and the SVL's the routing that’s done of the hoses and the pilots have taken a leap forward over older generations machines.

If you look over here at the valve stack on this machine the pilot hoses which come off the side all route down underneath and then come back up in the operators platform. It’s not terrible, but if you walk over here on the new one and you look how nicely exposed and easy these things are to service now, they all pop right out here on the side and up and around they go. It is incredibly clean and well laid out. Years down the road, when things inevitable start to leak here and there, as machines aging at thousands of hours on them, this one looks like it should be really easy to maintain. One of the main things that you notice that’s coming out now are these diverters that are being put on the end of the boom.

On the old model, if you wanted to go and put a thumb onto this machine you could plumb that foam right up to here to a coupler. Put your thumb down here on the end, but if you want to swap that thumb out for, say, a hammer you then needed to pull your couplers out, let them dangle or try to tie them up out of the way somewhere. Now with the newer machines they are putting these diverters down here on the end so that if you put your thumb on and you want to remove your thumb and put on a breaker or something on the end, you have two sets of couplers here that you can use.

Simply putting a wrench here and twisting this from one side to the other will shut the thumb off and then allow you to use that breaker. Kubota has a lot of experience designing track frames. If you look across the equipment that they've built you’ll see a lot of the same features from one machine to the next. In this case now, the new machine has four body rollers sitting on the left on the right hand side of the track in order to distribute the weight of the machine, where the old one had three.

You’ll notice also too on all of Kubota track frames, typically left and right rollers across the middle to distribute weight, but single rollers in the front and the back, so that when you go to turn it gives you a single point of contact to hopefully pivot the machine around a little bit easier. These are also greaseless lobbies down here in the bottom so there’s nothing to maintain.

If you need to tension the track further there’s a grease circle right underneath the cover. You’ll see all the tops of these track frames are always angled so that dirt doesn’t collect up underneath the track. They're angled so the dirt will fall off back onto the ground again. A couple of small improvements here, mostly in the addition of additional body roller to help distribute the weight of the machine across the track a little bit better.

Unfortunately, we haven’t received the cab model yet in this series to point out the differences, but several changes have been made there as well. Most notably, the cab on the old KX91 didn’t have room for the air conditioner condenser down underneath the covers of the machine. As we go through all the engine compartment improvements that have happened in here, one of those improvements was that there is now space for that condenser to fit underneath of there.

Now if you order this machine with a factory cab on it you don’t have an air conditioner condenser hanging off the side of the cab blocking your visibility. In addition to that, there’s also some improvements into the control sticks where your foot pedals sit down on the bottom and it realignments of the space for the operators platform making a little bit more room for your feet. The roll-up window is also redesigned. It travels a little bit nicer than what the old one did, and it also received all the updates to the instrument clusters on the side that the rest of the KX series have received as well.

Some modernization of the control pods give you a little bit more information about the operating condition of the machine. Kubota has really taken the KX91 to a leap forward here in the new KXO33. When we first looked at the spec sheets and the changes, frankly, we were a little bit underwhelmed at first, but having these two machines side by side it’s really clear. The Kubota has made a lot of refinements and improvements to the new model. If you have a use for a machine like this give us a call at Messick’s. We’re available at 800-222-3373 or online at messick’s.com