In the opening round, we’ll investigate the 3 point hitch. lift/lower vertical range, lift capacity, physical spacing and size, stabilizer / sway bar design, etc.
If you have not seen the video for this episode, we would encourage you to watch it before proceeding. The video walkthrough really helps to see the similarities and differences.
Additionally, each of the items discussed below have good video showing the measurements. Much easier to visualize than to read with words on the screen!
This episode brought lots of feedback in the form of both questions and comments. To respond, we created a follow-up episode. Here it is:
Lift Arm Geometry & Spacing
The Deere lift arms are longer. Roughly 25.5″ from pin center to pin center. The Kubota BX measures roughly 20.5 inches. What does this mean?
This extra length provides more space between the tractor and the attachment. Some attachments may have forward protruding elements. For example, a plow might have a coulter which sits forward of the 3 pt hitch connection. It would be more likely to fit on a 1025R than on a Kubota.
We measured from the PTO shield straight back to even with the 3 pt lift pins. 15 1/2″ on the BX, 17 1/2″ on the 1025r. Combined with the sway-bar / stabilizer differences, there is a significantly larger space inside and in front of the lift arms on the 1025r.
The shorter lift arms provide better leverage, and therefore create an advantage for the BX. In our testing, the BX lifted roughly 1265lbs via our Heavy Hitch Bracket The 1025r lifted roughly 1065lbs with the same bracket.
I expected the longer lift arms of the Deere to have a broader lift range (lower minimum height and higher maximum height). However, this did not turn out to be true. The BX lifted to 25 1/8″ while the 1025r lifted to 23 1/2″.
On the mimimum (lower) end, the BX dropped to 8 1/2″ while the 1025r dropped to 8 3/4″
Stabilizers / Sway Bars
Each machine has anti-sway bars (I called them stabilizers in the video). This allows the user to either allow the 3 pt to sway, or to restrict it to a single position while pulling an attachment. For example, when tilling, it is preferable to keep the tiller directly behind the tractor, and not allow it to freely move left or right.
The design of these stabilizers is opposite on the two machines. The BX has the stabilizers between the lift arms to keep them from moving outward. The Deere has the stabilizers on the outside of the lift arms to keep them from moving inward.
At first glance, this seems like a non issue. Either approach works fine for keeping the attachment lined up properly. However, when one attempts to unhook an attachment, they encounter the difference.
Without a quick hitch, one needs to pull the lift arms outward to remove from the lift pin on the attachment. The BX approach does not allow this without loosening the stabilizer turnbuckle. The Deere approach allows the arms to move outward (as discussed above), so they can be pulled off the attachment pins.
When nothing is attached, the BX approach works nicely, gravity keeps the lift arms pulled inward. For the 1025r, you’ll need a bungee cord to keep the arms together when nothing is attached to them.
As hinted above, a 3 point quick hitch makes this a non issue. Check out our article describing the different quick hitch options available for compact tractors. We highly recommend one of these!
There is a 3rd party sway bar upgrade available for BX tractors. Check out this site for details: https://www.stabilworks.rocks/
The BX uses a simplistic up/down control lever for the 3 point hitch. Pull back on the handle to raise, push forward to lower. Release the lever to stop lifting/lowering. This functions just like the loader joystick. As far as I know, all other sub-compact tractors (except 1025r) use the same type of control.
The 1025r uses a much more precise control. The lever controls the actual position of the implement. For example, set the position control to ‘5’ and it will lower the implement to the exact same position each time. Most larger compact tractors, and ALL farm tractors use this approach.
If you have never used a tractor with position control, you likely don’t appreciate what you are missing! This feature makes using a box blade, rotary cutter or other 3 point attachment MUCH easier.
Summary / Conclusion
The Kubota BX lifts more, lifts it higher, and lowers it lower than the Deere 1025r.
The 1025r has a better sway bar / stabilizer solution. However, there is a 3rd party upgrade available for the BX which could improve this BX weakness.
So, the final decision on this round comes down to 3 point position control. If you find that important (as I do), then the 1025r wins, as there is no equivalent BX solution. If you are content with the more simplistic up/down control, then the BX wins this round hands down.
Hope you enjoyed this round. Stay tuned for further episodes comparing other areas of these two incredible machines!