Photo by Jeff Rubenstone for ENR
Kubota unveiled its first skid-steer loader at World of Concrete 2015 in Las Vegas.
Photo by Jeff Rubenstone for ENR
Kubota senior product manager Jorge de Hoyos (center) describes the features of the SSV 65 skid steer loader.

Responding to rising demand from their U.S.-based dealers and customers, Kubota Tractor Corp. has introduced two models of skid-steer loaders. This is the Japan-based equipment maker's first entry into the skid-steer market, and fills a gap in their compact equipment offerings in the U.S.

The Kubota SSV [Skid Steer Vertical] 65 and SSV 75 skid-steer loaders offer many of the same features found on similar skid-steers, but have their own distinctive design elements. The Kubota skid steer features a front door which can roll up inside the cab, allowing for the skid-steer to operate while open without having to remove the door. The roll-up door does not contribute much to the height of the skid steer. The machine has a height under 80 in., allowing for easier transport and storage.

Both skid steers have two-speed engines, with standard hand-and-foot controls. It offers 121 in. of lift height, with a broad wheel base and low center of gravity for easier travel. THe SSV 65 is powered by a 64-hp, Tier-4 certified engine. Pilot-style control options are due next year, and air-ride suspension is availalbe as an option.

According to Kubota product marketing director Paul Manger, the SSV 65 and SSV 75 are just the first of a broad line of skid steer loaders Kubota has planned. "Strategically for us as a construction equipment company, we needed this product," he told ENR. Manger cites Kubota's existing line of compact excavators as a main driver for the new machines. "I think half of the people who own compact excavators own skid steers, so for our dealers it's a business opportunity."

Manger also sees potential growth in the rental market for Kubota. "Our view of rental is that there's a place in the rental market that's a good fit for us."

Manger says dealer pressure was a major driver for this introduction. "I think it means a lot to them to have a unified product offering. They've been demanding it."

The Kubota skid-steer loaders are expected to be available in May or June 2015.