REVIEW: Kubota BX25D sub-compact tractor

By: Tom Dickson, Photography by: Guy Allen

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In the boxing world Kubota’s BX25D would enter the ring as a featherweight, but it’s the little ones that sometimes pack the biggest punch. Tom Dickson reports.


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I’m feeling a bit like a kid in a toy shop picking up the Kubota BX25D Tractor/Loader/Backhoe from the sales team at Warrnambool dealership Agrimac.

If this little BX25D can do everything that Kubota claim it can, I may never need to pick up a shovel again.

A quick run through of the machines loader and backhoe attachments, with Kubota salesman Damien Etheredge, covers all the major functions, the rest he says I should be able to work out on my own.

Enough mucking around in the yard, I am keen to get home and start playing to see whether it’s actually as good as I hope it is.

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KUBOTA BX25D ENIGNE AND TRANSMISSION

Kubota BX25D Tractor Engine

This well-equipped tractor features a three cylinder diesel engine, two speed hydrostatic transmission, simple mechanical four-wheel drive engagement and a hydraulic system that lifts and lowers the mower deck from the driver seat.

Two power take-off (PTO) drives provide power to either a mid-mount mower or implements on the rear. A lever on the left hand side of the driver allows for three settings. The options are rear only, mid only or both simultaneously.

Turning the key fired the liquid cooled 23hp (17kW) engine into life. A slight puff of black smoke and a powerful engine note from the muffler indicates the Kubota D902 motor is a powerful little diesel.

 

KUBOTA BX25D CHASSIS AND FINISH

I am really impressed with the gauge of steel that Kubota have used to construct the full length chassis and beefy rear end mounting assembly.

Both front and rear axle and steering components rival most in this size market. I’m convinced now the Kubota BX25D is a genuine tractor opposed to an oversized lawn mower with attachments.

Having a length and width of only 2,425mm and 1,145mm respectively means the Kubota BX25D fits neatly into my 5 foot x 9 foot (152cm x 274cm) trailer.

 

KUBOTA BX25D ATTACHMENT DISMANTLING

I drop the stand and lower the LA 240 loader down until the feet of the stand are about to touch the ground. Crowding the bucket down releases the pressure on the rear mounting pins allowing me to easily pull them out. Crowd bucket back up and the loader rocks forward away from the tractor, disconnect hydraulic hoses and loader is off in about 1.5 minutes.

I figure if I take the same approach with the BT601 backhoe the result should be similar. Lower the stabiliser legs then extend the boom and lower it to the ground. This takes the pressure off the top pins on the mount and allows for their easy removal.

Now, by lifting the boom the mount rolls forward and pops out of the tractor mounts. By the time I have disconnected its hydraulic hoses, I’d say it’s taken about two minutes. Not bad for the first go.

 

KUBOTA BX25D BACKHOE

Kubota BX25D Tractor Backhoe

Putting the loader back on is just as easy as taking it off, however the backhoe takes a little more time to get everything lined up and inserting the mounting pins requires a light tap with a hammer. This still only took about three or four minutes though and I imagine it would get easier with practice.

Lowering the two rear stabiliser legs and front end loader bucket creates a really stable base to operate the backhoe from. A simple flick of a lever allows the seat to swing around 180 degrees and face the rear, ready for boarding.

The left hand lever controls sideways movement and the first section of the boom, while the right lever takes care of the second section of the boom and bucket.

Within half an hour I have dug a fairly straight 8m trench to a depth of about 40cm between the tank and trough. I’m finding about 2,500rpm is a good comfortable speed with which to operate because any faster makes movement too jerky and hard to control, for a novice like me.

Trying to drive out over the trench, after I had dug myself into a corner, proves to be impossible. Both back wheels are wedged firmly in the trench and even switching to 4WD isn’t helping to get me out.

However from the driving position I can reach the controls and use the powerful little backhoe to lift the tractor up and push itself out of the trench. I wish there was someone watching to see that.

 

KUBOTA BX25D FRONT END LOADER

While working in the cattle yards the nimble little BX25D excels during cleaning duties. It fits easily through all the gateways and is capable of squeezing through a minimum 1,145mm opening and a tiny 2.3m turning circle allows me to manoeuvre around within the yards with ease.

With the bucket on the front end loader tilted forward, I can effortlessly scrape the thick layer of dirt and cow manure backwards into the centre of each yard. Getting right up against the fence is a breeze because the bucket is 75mm wider than the total width of the tractor.

The industrial tread tyres are providing fantastic traction with not a hint of wheel slippage. Operating the loader and bucket via the joystick controller makes filling the bucket an absolute breeze. Having a maximum lift height of 1,810mm means I could easily load a ute or trailer.

To be completely honest I’m finding it very hard to fault this little workhorse.

 

KUBOTA BX25D MOWER

Kubota BX25D Tractor Mower

Finally, I took it to the Caramut Football Club to see how well this tractor can perform as a mower.

Engaging the PTO at low speed allows for a very smooth transition into drive, then I increase revs to a comfortable speed of about 2,500rpm. It takes just about an hour to cut the 2.5 hectare oval making the Kubota tractor and mower quicker than any of the footy club mowers. At no stage did the wet grass build up under the mower or show any sign of blocking. Meanwhile the three-blade cutter deck left a perfect 2 inch (5cm) cover of grass.

During the whole trial I have clocked up about 14 hours and only had to tip in 20 litres of diesel to restore the 25-litre tank to full.

 

THE VERDICT

As I said before I’m finding it very hard to find any serious faults. I’m tempted to give the Kubota BX25D a perfect 10 out of 10 but I’m going to deduct one point because I found the PTO shaft on the mower deck a little awkward to get on and off.

So, I’m giving it a good solid nine out of 10.

 

KUBOTA BX25D HITS:

  • Built around a solid chassis
  • Well finished
  • Extremely easy to operate
  • Manoeuvrable
  • Fuel efficient
  • Simple hitching of loader and backhoe.

KUBOTA BX25D MISSES:

  • Mower PTO connection
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Kubota BX25D sub compact tractor Kubota BX25D creates a perfect surface at Caramut Football Club Kubota BX25D sub compact tractor
Kubota BX25D tractor engine A Kubota 23hp, liquid cooled three-cylinder diesel engine pack a huge punch Kubota BX25D tractor engine
Kubota BX25D tractor backhoe Two levers control all of the backhoes movements Kubota BX25D tractor backhoe
Kubota BX25D tractor controls High/low range, 4WD and linkage controls conveniently located for easy operation Kubota BX25D tractor controls
Kubota BX25D tractor front end loader The manoeuvrable little loader is comfortable working in any environment Kubota BX25D tractor front end loader
Kubota BX25D tractor mower The BX25D is quickly transformed into a powerful mower Kubota BX25D tractor mower
Kubota BX25D tractor stamp Kubota have stamped their name as a manufacturer of quality products Kubota BX25D tractor stamp

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