The two largest models in the Kubota wheel loader range are bound for the UK; of that we can be certain   When they will arrive, however, is a different matter.

The RO65 and RO85 models are Kubota through and through.   They  were shown in prototype form at the last Bauma exhibition and again as a “coming soon” option at PlantworX, and even now the company is reluctant to announce an official launch date.   And with good reason.   The 4.3 and 4.7 tonne operating weight of these new models places Kubota in a straight head-to-head with the likes of JCB, Volvo and Caterpillar in a well-served and largely-saturated sector.That said, the Kubota RO65 and RO85 have much to recommend them.   The Kubota power pack lurking under the bonnet of both models is about as popular in construction circles as an engine can be.   The levels of operator comfort, performance and serviceability are all what customers might expect from a machine sporting a Kubota badge.   Both machines are also protected by the anti-theft system seen on all Kubota mini excavators.

The RO65 features a 0.85 m3 capacity bucket and sufficient load height for truck loading duties.   A water-cooled V2607 Stage III-A engine provides almost 40 kW of power while a hydrostatic transmission and high ground clearance means that the unit can tackle virtually all terrains with relative ease.

The larger RO85 features the same engine only this time with the addition of a turbocharger and Stage III-B credentials that up the power to 46 kW and affords a variety of application-matched work modes.   Normal mode allows the machine to carry out regular duties with power to spare; Eco mode knocks the revs back to reduce fuel consumption; Power mode cranks the traction up a notch or two for more difficult ground conditions; while Attachment mode is the only mode that allows the operator to set the engine revs manually while providing a slightly more gentle acceleration.

Although the two larger wheel loader models are both proven and popular in places like Germany, Kubota UK’s Neil Winfield is fully aware of the challenge facing his network of dealers.   “We are going into this market with our eyes wide open,” he says.   “It is difficult to gauge true machine sales figures in this sector as not all manufacturers submit figures.   But we estimate the market at somewhere in the region of 200 to 300 units.   If we could secure 50 machine sales in the first full year, we would be very happy.”

Spec sheets are available for each of the two new models using the links below: