View Full Version : Kubota vs. John Deere Tractors

Oct. 22, 2009, 01:14 PM
I have read some of the earlier tractor threads but we are buying our first tractor and are looking at the JD and the Kubota. Leaning towards the John Deere - need something that I can drive and use mostly to take care of my farm. 3-4 horses on 37 acres but have someone that will do the major league bush hogging and some cows are on the farm that keep it in land use. I will need it to take care of the stalls, cut my paddocks (2 large paddocks), drag my ring, etc. So I don't need a killer tractor - am looking at something around 35 HP. Also, since we are renovating a house, $$ is very tight so I can't buy the biggest, most expensive one out there. The current 0% financing makes a new one most attractive. And my SO won't be around alot so it up to me to use it, drive it, etc. I am not well-versed in farm life yet.

Would love to hear comments, stories, suggestions from those in the know!

Cielo Azure
Oct. 22, 2009, 01:18 PM
I love my Kubota...

Oct. 22, 2009, 01:26 PM
I love my JD.:)

Honestly, there are all good for what you want.:cool:

Check local dealers and go with the one you think will give you best service, no matter which brand they sell.:yes:

Oct. 22, 2009, 01:27 PM
This is a "Ford or Chevy" question. There simply isn't a right or wrong answer, it's a matter of preference. :) Go try them both, and buy the one you love. Both are good. :yes:

Oct. 22, 2009, 01:38 PM
I am leaning towards the JD, just personal preference more than anything. There are many dealers close by to where I live, within 30-40 minutes of my farm. But hubby and I both seem to like the Deere.

Oct. 22, 2009, 01:42 PM
I have a Kubota. I LOFF IT. Have been on it all morning moving the compost pile and will be dragging pastures after lunch.

FWIW... my Kubota has features that my friends comparable JD does not have.. like 4WD.. and my Kubota has never been broken.. but her JD has... both bought around the same time. After I bought mine, the farmer who leases the land next to me bought one, too <LOL> he must have admired the color...

but there are surely a million stories of the exact opposite experience, so you should try them - and compare carefully. The only thing I am not wild about is that my tractor is ORANGE.. I would have paid extra for PINK...

Go Fish
Oct. 22, 2009, 02:09 PM
I think if you are a member of the USEF you can get a pretty good discount on the JD.

Both are good products...

Oct. 22, 2009, 02:16 PM
I've got 2 John Deere tractors, one a circa 1960's gas model, (2020) that we bought used 25+ years ago. It's been a hardworking tractor and has been very reliable.
The other is a diesel fueled one (5103) we bought new last year.

Absolutely LOFF both of them.

Don't have any personal experience with a Kubota, but 2 frineds of mine have them and have no complaints.

Important to have dealer support, so perhaps go with whichever one has a nearby dealership and well regarded service department.

Oct. 22, 2009, 02:54 PM
Originally wanted a JD, but got taked out of it. Love my Kubota! L3400, so just the size you are looking for. Was less money than comparable JD. Big deciding point was availability of service on our area. I hate the orange, but oh well....

Get the HST! and 4WD!

Oct. 22, 2009, 04:11 PM
Just remember that JD did and still does all the research and development, has herds of engineers working on every little nut and bolt that goes on those tractors.
They study who uses them and what for, the ergonomics, what is the best location and angle for the levels, etc. is all very specific.

The rest of the companies get them a JD and copy it as close as they dare, without infringing on those pesky patents.
There is a reason JD may be a little bit higher.;)

If you are a member of most any national horse association, as the USET, AQHA, etc. you may get a special discount on a JD, maybe on others too.
Ask about that.
For resell or trade in value, JD is best, but some others are catching up there.

Don't settle for one, go drive some around and talk to the people and any neighboring farmers and they will tell you who will sell you what you need and at the best price AND service it from now on properly.
REmember, we can get a lemon in any brand, even JD.
As for price, JD is sometimes cheaper, as some friends found out not long ago, to their surprise.
JD has a cheaper line, without all the bells and whistles.

Definitively 4 wheel drive is worth it, no matter the brand.

Oct. 22, 2009, 04:12 PM
I am finding not a lot of difference in cost between the JD and Kubotas. I thought the Kubota would be less expensive. They seem to be discounting the JDs a bit more, at least that is my impression. The USEF discount applies to the retail price and you save some but not a lot and you cannot get the 0% financing if you use the USEF discount.

Oct. 22, 2009, 04:22 PM
After 3 summers of use, I just sold my John Deere 5320 tractor and mower. It did a great job, was easy to operate, etc. I just decided I didn't need THAT expensive of a rig for 3 months of use per year. I replaced it with a Kubota Commercial Zero Turn mower. I do my pastures, roadsides, etc with it, with ease and I'm very happy with my choice.

Now, you may need the other aspects of "tractor-dom" other than just mowing....if so, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase a Kubota tractor. I've amazed at the engineering quality that went into my mower. It's so well designed and user-friendly.

I'm a 3rd generation farmers daughter, and John Deere is king here :-). I'm still considered a renegade for selling the tractor and buying "foreign orange". But to be honest, you are paying a (hefty) premium for the JD name. Yes, you will likely get it back when you sell it.....but that doesn't make it any cheaper to own.

My vote goes for a Kubota brand. I have horse friends with Kubota tractors in varying sizes, and they are unfailingly reliable.

Oct. 22, 2009, 05:39 PM
Like the others said alot comes down to personal preference. We have a Kubota and I loff it. Hydrostatic transmission so its super easy to operate. I can also say we have (knock on wood) had no problems but our neighbors with 2 JD (big Bubba and Jr which is comparable to ours and what you are looking for) have had problems with both. The Kubota dealer was also willing to negotiate price, but the JD dealers by us were firm on price. For us we could not justify the cost difference and have been happy with our decision.

Oct. 22, 2009, 05:42 PM
I have a little Kubota tractor and love it. I use it mostly to move and clear snow in the winter, but lightly use it in the summer. I chose it based on friends' recommendations and because the dealer is close by. I've had it three years and haven't had a single issue with it.

My former BO has a JD and loves hers, so you probably can't lose either way.

Tamara in TN
Oct. 22, 2009, 05:54 PM
And my SO won't be around alot so it up to me to use it, drive it, etc. I am not well-versed in farm life yet.

Would love to hear comments, stories, suggestions from those in the know!

JD's are the most user friendly tractor in the world and they hold their value so much longer than other tractors...sell it in 20 yrs and you still have a tractor with a resale value...


Oct. 22, 2009, 06:39 PM
I love my JD 3320 with bucket and hydrostatic transmission...have to have that. I had a old MF203, and I felt like I was driving a mercedes benz when I was on the jd.
A 32 horse is enough for what I do, move manure piles, york rake, put in stone and stone dust in wet areas, level areas.
I don't think a 35hp is necessary, and lots more money.

Oct. 22, 2009, 06:45 PM
Bought a little kubota, used. LOFF it. Neighbor has the bigger kubota. Also fantastic. Other neighbor has the JD. No complaints. Don't think you can go wrong. Use $$$ as your deciding factor.

Oct. 22, 2009, 07:38 PM
There have been some issues (read major accident pending) with some of the larger Kubotas and I know of someone who is going to be trading his larger ones for something sturdier. In this case, it was a tractor over 100hp and the rear wheel fell off and said tractor was new. Apparently not an isolated incident either. That said, I tested a Kubota for a yard tractor, and they are not for people with short bodies and long legs, you just cannot fold up tight enough and remain comfortable. When I went with a real tractor, I decided on JD after lots of hunting and tractor testing and despite some salesman trying his damnedest to sell me a 'cute and practical' 32 horse Case, thinking that I would like cute and practical until I asked him if I could bale with it...he left all flustered, At any rate, Deere equipment of any kind holds its value over the years, and there are a lot more almost antique JD tractors running than there are of any other kind.

Oct. 22, 2009, 08:10 PM
I agree with almost all of the above: sounds like you can't go wrong with either. We have a Kubota 3400 and love it. But I think what I love MOST is our dealer. We have had a tire get punctured and also a hydraulic line go wacky. Our dealer has come and picked up the tractor and returned in less than 48 hours and honestly, for no where near what I expected. I'm sure the JD dealers can do this as well --- BUT ask around.

We know that we can call our dealer and say "hey, we parked the tractor in the pasture for a little while, and our horse chewed the seat apart and we need a new one BUT I need it back in less than 48 hours" and he'll find a day that he can come, fix it and return it asap. (And yes, that is a true story. I haven't told DH yet. Maybe I'll call the dealer while he's out of town this week.)

Oct. 22, 2009, 09:04 PM
Either is fine...I bought the Kubota and like mine a lot...just buy the one you can get the best deal on! Make sure that you get the one with Hydrostatic
and the most power possible.

We have a small horse farm and I do all the things that you mentioned and honestly - our 35 hp is fine, but I have to admit that when moving my manure pile...I wish I had more power!

Oct. 22, 2009, 09:22 PM
Both tractor brands have good, well designed products.

Your Dealer support is critical. Parts wear, Operators make errors. I have JD equipment. Didn't intend to be a JD fleet but it happened. (Lawn -, Ag-, & Construction- equipment) I've found I can order and get any part regardless of machine from the closest JD dealer. That saves me many hours & miles of parts running. Deere Parts availability has been great, even for a 25 year old lawnmower. Speed is depending on my need and purse. Overnight if I'm willing to pay freight, 2-3 days free if I'll wait

Oct. 22, 2009, 09:39 PM
John Deere. Tradition. Quality. Nuff said.

Oct. 22, 2009, 10:00 PM
Neighbour has a Kubota and I thought it was a great tractor- he's used it to death over the last 15 years. I was so surprised when we bought our new John Deere and he mentioned that his next one will be green...

I think its probably a chevy/ford issue too. The JD dealer is only a couple of miles from us, so we bought JD. Its a small estate tractor a 2305, and its 4WD. So easy, even I can drive it and I am truly a machine incompetent.

Tom King
Oct. 22, 2009, 10:07 PM
hosspuller, Where are you buying parts. My JD dealer has next day anyway always, no charge.

One rear wheel on my 1984 JD stopped pulling. I looked down and the axle had come out about 3/4". Locking the differential allowed me to drive it on the trailer. I took it in the shop, pulled the wheel off and axle off. There was a thing that looked sort of like a 3-point Ninja star that had the points knocked off inside the end of the differential. I looked up the schematic online but couldn't decipher. I called the service department manager and asked him which parts I needed. He gave me a list. I called Binky at the parts counter and gave him the list. Without any lost time he said one of the part #'s had been superceded by a ___2_r and they would be here tomorrow.

The axle is about 3" in diameter and it was beyond my shop capabilities to push the bearing off so I carried the axle to the JD dealer. They asked if I could wait about an hour and since I live 45 minutes away. I said sure.

While I watched them and joked with the mechanics, I commented on that "Ninja star" seeming like it was pretty flimsy to hold that axle in. The Ninja star had a mutipointed hole in the middle that fits onto the bolt head that holds the differential (there's one in each side so you can do the brake dance) on the long axle that goes out to the wheel. The is another short axle that goes for inside the differential. The "ninja star" keeps a bolt from rotating that is a grade 9.something that's necked down.

When the axle bearing wear to the point that they need replacing the necked down bolt drops down far enough to knock the ears off the "ninja star" and lets the axle come out enough so it's only a few hundred dollar repair instead of a muti-thousand one if the axle itself gets screwed up.

1984 and the hour meter was broke when I bought it over 10 years ago. Inside all the gears and parts were still like new when I had it apart-except for that "ninja star".

I was impressed. I roll John Deere.

Tom King
Oct. 22, 2009, 10:10 PM
I forgot. There is a little recess machined into the lower part of the axle housing to catch the ears of the "ninja star" when they get knocked off.

Oct. 22, 2009, 10:32 PM
Love my Kubota, but honestly it was about money for us. A comparable JD was $4000 more than our baby tractor in Kubota Orange. I'm surprised that JD is that low, but we aren't in "farm country" out here. I rather like that color--I can always see it in the snow, pastures, etc.:)

It is super easy to use and maintain, small enough for our mowing needs on 5 acres, big enough to move manure piles and snow.

Kubotas are made in Japan, with Japanese parts, and have been for around 30 years, so lots of tradition and quality there too.

My brother has a JD in the same size as ours--loader, mid-mount mower, brush hog. He loves his (her name is Veronica) and I love my Tito (named by a student in my class, but it fits his personality).

Oct. 22, 2009, 11:35 PM
We have a Kubota, it was cheaper straight out the gait than other makes. The dealer mainly sold New Hollands, but said personally he liked the Kubota's because they rarely ended up back in his shop. He wants to sell tractors, not fix them! We got 0% financing and ours will be paid for this year!:) I had to get used to hydrostatic, I was used to a much larger, manual Ford. I manage 3-4 horses, drag arenas, pile manure into trucks and trailers for people, plow the driveway, move and level gravel and move 15 loggers cords of wood with it every year. We've never had a lick of trouble with it, even when we go weeks with temps rarely getting above zero. From my experience, I'd get another, oh and I LOVE the orange.

Oct. 22, 2009, 11:53 PM
I have a 2 yr old JD compact tractor and I have had constant trouble with it over heating when mowing. While mowing the grill is constantly packed full of chaff. I make two passes(12 acres) and I have to stop and clear the grill...has to be turned off as it sucks the chaff onto the grill to clear it...get back on amd mow another two laps...turn off get off...clear grill...and it will still over heat...just takes longer. The cooling system seems utterly insufficient for mowing. I have not used any tractor but this so I have no idea if it is how I am using the tractor or if using a Kabota in my circumstance would be just as problematic. In my case the JD was the best price as I did use the USEQ discount also the sales and service is wonderful but mowing with this tractor is a pita. Love my bucket...I feel like a Transformer...I finally get why boys love Transformers. PatO

Oct. 23, 2009, 12:20 AM
Both are good tractors. For me it came down to ergonomics. The JD was more comfortable for me to operate - I have short legs. The pedals are more comfortable for me. The Kubota rocker pedal was very awkward/uncomfortable for me - I could not imagine spending more than a few minutes driving it. We've been very happy with our JD3720 so far.

Oct. 23, 2009, 12:24 AM
Love our JD 970. I've used Kubotas as well- the are a good product, but were a little small to meet our needs and seemed a little under powered. I grew up driving huge farm tractors, Cats, and combines, so even our 970 sometimes feels like a toy to me.

Also, our local JD dealership is great- wonderful service, willing to deal on price, and you can get whatever parts or accessories you need- and they are usually in stock.

Oct. 23, 2009, 02:07 AM
hosspuller, Where are you buying parts. My JD dealer has next day anyway always, no charge.

Tom King ... I'm trading with James RIver Deere Construction equipment. With the routine parts (filters, hoses, fittings, common engine pieces) they have them on the shelf. Model Specific Parts for the lawnmower and tractor seem to take a couple of days. Perhaps because it's not the Construction stream or I'm missing a cutoff time. Next time, I'll ask about the next day always. I know they get daily parts deliveries for the Construction equipment.

Oct. 24, 2009, 03:54 PM
Another JD here. Don't forget the buying something used can be a good option!

We have friends who over the years have had an excellent relationship with a guy at a JD local dealership and he introduced us. We told him what our situation was--similar to the OPs--almost 50 acres, horses, pasture mowing, and then told him to call us when the right used tractor came in. We were patient and a few months later he called and said, "your tractor's in."

It's turned out to be perfect. It's about 15 years old, 51 HP, with a bucket. Get. A. Bucket! I had no idea how much we would use it. There haven't been any mechanical problems that the DH hasn't been able to handle.

Oct. 24, 2009, 09:06 PM
JD 4310 and I love it. Their design engineers have thought of every detail to make this tractor easy to use and durable. I would highly recommend it.

Oct. 24, 2009, 10:41 PM
I personally dont' think you can go wrong with either companies little tractors. They both make exceptionally good quality tractors that still hold their value years later.

Tamara in TN
Oct. 24, 2009, 10:54 PM
I have a 2 yr old JD compact tractor and I have had constant trouble with it over heating when mowing.

you are correct to clean the grills as if it cannot get air thru there it will overheat, also you will need to power wash (when cold/cool) the radiator inside the hood every day if you are in fluffy chafe...barring that you are having a thermostat issue


Oct. 25, 2009, 09:25 PM
you are correct to clean the grills as if it cannot get air thru there it will overheat, also you will need to power wash (when cold/cool) the radiator inside the hood every day if you are in fluffy chafe...barring that you are having a thermostat issue


I've found my electric leaf blower does a great job of removing dust, chaff, and debris from our equipment. Just wear eye & hearing protection, and go at it! Easy enough to clean often... Like after each day.:yes:

Oct. 25, 2009, 10:21 PM
Kubota. Hands down.