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.