2012 Kubota BX2360 HST Review
A nimble subcompact tractor that's ready to work
We has a chance to test out the BX2360, which comes with Kubota’s D902 54.8 ci three-cylinder diesel that is liquid cooled and engineered to surpass EPA Tier IV emissions requirements. Outputting 17.7 horsepower at the power take off (PTO), which is live independent and actuated by a wet hydraulic clutch, the BX2360 comes with both 540 rpm rear and 2500 rpm mid as standard equipment.
Kubota mates the D902 to a two-range hydrostatic transmission actuated by a separate toe/heel pedal arrangement that makes for an uncluttered operator’s platform with plenty of foot room. While our preference is for a side-by-side pedal design, the BX2360 arrangement is easy to get used to and does offer well modulated control over the 0-8.4 mph forward and 0-6.2 reverse speed range. Hydraulics are by a gear-driven pump outputting 6.3 gpm at 1778 psi, diverting 2.6 gpm to powersteering needs and 3.7 gpm for the implement in use. The category I three-point hitch (3PH) is rated to lift 670 lbs. at the industry standard of 24” behind pin.
Climbing into the high-back seat is where we found a pleasant surprise; not only has Kubota given the BX2360 a seat suspension that is wonderfully comfortable, but it has added a recline feature that is sure to let operators find a posture setting perfect for their height and build. This is a very nice feature, especially keeping in mind this isn’t some mega-dollar combine where such creature comforts might be expected.
Operator controls are color coded and well placed. On the right floorboard are the forward/reverse hydro pedals, and above is a single brake pedal. The left side of the flat floorboard is clear of pedals with the exception of the differential lock lever and is rubber isolated for operator comfort. The dashboard gets a fixed steering wheel, digital tachometer (which also displays engine hours when the tractor isn’t running), analog temperature and fuel gauges, and warning lights for everything else. The metal right fender contains the fuel filler cap (6.6 gal capacity), 2WD/4WD selector, transmission range selector and lever for controlling 3PH operations. Kubota uses a Quarter-inching in place of position control (no doubt a sacrifice to the cost-reduction gods) which is a little more complicated, but after some seat time with the system it works fine. To give you an idea how the system works, the operator pushes the rockshaft control lever to the mid stop and the hitch lifts ¼” at the end of the 3PH for each stroke of the lever. The same goes for down, but you push in the opposite direction. The right fender gets a cup holder and controls for selecting the mid or rear PTO or both, as well as engagement.
The BX2360 rollover protection system (ROPS) is fixed, but at 70.4” should clear most garage or shed doors. The automotive-style seatbelt is retractable. Grab rails are located on both fenders. Cruise control and a 12V DC outlet are also standard, as are nicely integrated halogen headlamps.
Our test tractor was equipped with Kubota’s LA243 loader, which is a rounded boom design that nicely mirrors the BX2360 hood lines and ensures greater operator visibility. The LA243 is a quick attach/detach design and comes with a built-in H-shaped stand that does double duty protecting the tractor while in use.
A front grill guard is optional, but comes highly recommended. A 48” wide 4.9 cubic foot bucket is the sole offering, but we found it well matched for the BX2360’s capabilities. Rated to lift 745 lbs to the full lift height of 71.3”, we found the responsiveness class acceptable – it’s not B-series fast, but isn’t go get the wheelbarrow and shovel slow either. Kubota rates empty bucket lift time as 3.5 seconds and 2.7 to lower. Rollback time is rated at 2.4 seconds and 1.7 for dump. The joystick control isn’t integrated into the fender as on some competitor models, but in the case of the BX2360 this yields a more open operator platform. The joystick is a little farther from the operator, but none of our testers thought the position to be at all uncomfortable.
Our test tractor came with Kubota’s RCK54P23BX mid-mount mower. This is a side-discharge three-blade mower that covers a 54” swath. Cut height is adjustable from the operator’s seat in a range from 1” – 4” using a dial gauge. The deck is sturdily constructed and weighs 209 lbs with a design allowing it to be removed in minutes without tools. We found the cut quality quite nice and even when we tackled a section of overgrown lawn, the BX2360 plowed right though it with little protest. However, several of our testers commented that if they were ordering this tractor, they would move up to the RCK60B23BX mower. The thinking was that the wider cut would better cover the wheelbase and make for more generous edging capability. It would also reduce the uncut circle and effectively push the ROPS further away from branches etc. If ordered, the 60” deck goes up in weight by 41 lbs and is a self-balancing design rather than the suspended linkage of the 54”.
The BX2360 rides on 18 x 8.5-10 front and 26 x 12-12 turf tires (R1 Ag and R4 Industrial options are available). The overall length is 95.5” including the 3PH arms and the tractor less mower deck is 44.5” wide. With a wheelbase of 55.1”, 8.7” of ground clearance and a tractor-only weight of 1389 lbs, this is a setup ready to do some serious work. Kubota warranties the BX2360 bumper-to-bumper for 24 months or 1,500 hours and the powertrain 36 months or 2,000 hours. With a tractor-only MSRP of $11,135, the BX2360 could just be that nimble subcompact you have been looking for.
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