A tractor is a pretty big investment and one that shouldn’t be made on a whim. If you research your options for high-quality tractors, Kubota is a name that is very likely to come up.
Kioti comes up as a very strong contender that many farmers claim to be superior to Kubota tractors. But what is the truth?
Kioti Tractors are superior in lift capacity and hydraulic flow, while Kubota tractors have better PTO Horsepower.
Kioti customers can face issues with spare parts, while Kubota customers have access to quick customer service and a streamlined dealership experience.
In this article, you will learn more about whether Kubota and Kioti Tractors, including how much they vary in price, fuel efficiency, and convenience.
You will find out which tractor you should buy in different contexts and why. But first, let’s look at a specifications comparison of the two tractor brands.
|Aspect||Kioti Tractor||Kubota Tractor|
|Most Popular Model||Kubota L2501||Kioti CK2610H|
|Hydraulic Total||11.70 GPM||8.18 GPM|
|Engine||24.5 HP||24.8 HP|
|Hitch Capacity||1631 lbs||1131 lbs|
|Price||Cheaper (up to $3000 less)||More Expensive ($1500 at a minimum)|
Kubota Tractor: A Brief Overview
Kubota started as a thoroughly Japanese company back in 1890 as a foundry.
In 1922, it developed and introduced its first kerosene engine to the agricultural market, and has continued serving the farming industry ever since.
With multiple pivots along the way, Kubota became known for its tractors.
In 1972, three years after introducing its first tractor to the US, Kubota started serving the American agricultural market.
Today, Kubota has such a high demand in the US that it manufactures all of its tractors (for the US market) in America.
Kubota Tractors are, therefore, USA-made. That doesn’t make them inherently better, but it does give them better market coverage, at least in the US, where hundreds of thousands of units have been sold.
Today, Kubota is among the top 5 tractor makers in America.
Kioti Tractors are relatively younger but not too young. The first Kioti tractor was introduced to the US in 1986, and the company’s American arm was formally incorporated in 1993.
Still, it keeps a majority of its manufacturing in South Korea.
Even the assembly of its tractors is done in South Korea for the most part.
That’s because the corporation that produces Kioti is a steel manufacturer that has market interests much broader than the US agricultural market.
Being backed by a large conglomerate does have its perks, especially in economies of scale.
Foreign manufacturing and assembly also reduce the total cost of production, which reflects in the Kioti pricetag.
But that’s just an overview of the brand. For perspective and context, we must look deeper into how the two tractor types fare in different dimensions.
Kubota has manufacturing plants in the US, while Kioti tractors are made in South Korea.
This doesn’t affect the production quality objectively but does have implications regarding consumer satisfaction and security.
If there is ever a pandemic or global supply chain disruption on the scale experienced in 2020, the Kioti tractor owners in North America would be vulnerable in terms of spare parts access and upgrades.
Kubota, despite having a Japanese manufacturing history, is now partly a US-based operation.
Elsewhere, Kubota tractors are Japan-made, but the US market gets tractors made in Georgia.
The tractor parts are manufactured in the US, and the tractors are assembled locally too. The US manufacturing and production standards apply to Kubota tractors.
Moreover, being incorporated in the US means that Kubota has to minimize liability by being extra cautious regarding safety and advertising promises.
To the extent that an American customer can trust the business behind the tractor, Kubota tractors have the edge of being locally made by a US-based operation.
Given that tractors are a high-ticket purchase, it is better to buy from a local operation than an international one.
Kioti tractors surpass Kubota tractors in hydraulic performance for models of equivalent popularity.
For instance, Kioti CK2610H has an 11.70 Gallons Per Minute (GPM) hydraulic fluid flow compared to Kubota L2501’s 8.18 GPM.
The hydraulic flow is directly proportional to the hydraulic capacity. The difference between the two tractors’ hydraulic performance is significant enough to actually produce a net difference in their output.
However, other factors like engine performance as well as the truck weight play into this. Kubota L2501 uses a T1150 hydraulic pump, while Kioti CK2610H uses a CK2610H pump.
Both are gear-drive three-point hitch pumps, but their output isn’t the same. In this aspect, Kioti is superior to Kubota tractors.
Kioti tractors have slightly lower fuel capacity than Kubota tractors of equivalent popularity. The Kubota L2501 has a 10-gallon fuel capacity, while the Kioti CK2610H has a 9.6-gallon capacity.
While Kubota comes out ahead in this aspect, it isn’t by an impressive margin.
In some instances, fuel capacity speaks for efficiency. Here, the difference in fuel tanks isn’t big enough to take it as a signal for better fuel economy.
Both Kioti and Kubota tractors seem to burn the same amount of fuel for each horsepower of output. This brings us to the very relevant metric of engine output.
Kubota tractor engines are slightly more powerful than Kioti tractors. This engine power difference doesn’t justify the price difference but has a noticeable impact on the output of both tractors.
In terms of gross HP, the difference is almost nominal. With Kubota L2501 having 24.8 gross HP and Kioti CK2610H having 24.5 gross HP, there seems to be a nominal difference.
It is, however, exaggerated because Kubota tractors leave a bulk of their gross HP to be available for the Power Take Off shaft.
Kubota L2501 has a 24.8 PTO HP, while a Kioti CK2610H has a 21.8 PTO HP.
This is the horsepower that is available for running implements and ultimately defines the overall productivity of a tractor.
Kubota having a measurable PTO horsepower advantage makes it a factor worth considering. That said, engine power doesn’t always translate to lift capacity.
Kioti tractors can lift more weight than Kubota Tractors of similar range.
Kubota L2501 has a lift capacity of 1131 lbs, while a Kioti CK2610H can lift 1631 lbs.
This refers to the maximum load-bearing capacity. The actual weight in the bucket has to account for the weight of the tractor’s bucket.
In either case, Kioti performs better in lift capacity and is, therefore, better than Kubota tractors in this aspect.
However, Kioti tractors do not have a reputation for being better than Kubota.
Given that both tractors have enough of a hitch capacity to do almost all tasks required of a tractor on a farm, the edge that Kioti tractors have doesn’t seem significant enough for customers to unanimously shun one and adopt the other.
If anything, it is the customer service and relationship that defines which purchase one regrets and which one is happy about.
And in that dimension, Kioti isn’t as good as it is in its engineering.
Kubota has superior customer service than Kioti. Sampling customer reviews across 81 forums and over a hundred blogs, one can see a consistent positive lean toward Kubota customer service.
Kioti customer service has less than half as positive a rating as Kubota tractors.
This can be because of a lack of a uniform dealing network.
Your Kioti buying experience depends almost entirely on the dealer you end up with.
If the dealer is unethical, your experience will be filled with long waiting times, calls that are never picked up, and even broken warranty promises.
This is very unlikely to happen with a Kubota purchase because the business is based in the US. Its dealership operation is better adjusted as well.
Convenient customer service doesn’t always equal convenient user experience. That said, Kubota once again comes out ahead.
It isn’t just convenient to get in touch with Kubota customer service, but it is actually convenient to acquire and drive the Kubota tractor.
The suspension, seat material, and smoothness of operation all point to unparalleled attention to customer comfort.
This is quite evidently absent from Kioti tractors which seem to have a higher emphasis on lift, output, and fuel economy.
The movements on a Kioti tractor are jerky and take some getting used to. In contrast, a Kubota tractor has a certain smoothness to it.
Kioti tractors are $1500 to $3000 cheaper than Kubota ones of similar equipment type.
This price difference might very well be a dealbreaker for farmers who want upfront savings, especially since Kioti tractors of lower prices can have higher lift capacity.
Which One Should You Get?
You should get a Kioti tractor if you want a low-cost, high-power vehicle for your farming needs.
If you want a more comfortable and prestigious tractor, then a tractor cannot get any more reliable than one made in the US, like Kubota.
Final Thoughts on Kioti Tractor vs. Kubota
Kioti Tractor is superior to a Kubota tractor of similar make in many ways.
The price and hydraulic performance of a Kioti are better, but a Kubota tractor gives a better user experience and has customer service that American farmers consistently vouch for.
You cannot go wrong with either tractor, but if you know what you value the most, you can use the information above to select the tractor you’ll personally love.