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Kubota X900

UTV delivery

On the one hand, I'm really tempted to skim over the rest of our decision-making process and jump to the fun part --- our new UTV! But I know that many of you read our blog precisely for the nitty gritty details. So here goes....

Half load of manure

The John Deere Gator XUV 825i looked really good on paper. But Mark's friend in the construction industry recently went for Kubota UTVs. And when Mark learned that the Kubota X900 is a diesel, has sealed hydraulic brakes (to keep out mud...we hope), and places the radiator up high for cleaner air intake, he was sold.

Crossing the creek

Although we usually buy everything as cheaply as possible and I've never owned a vehicle less than 12 years old, used wasn't even on the table for this purchase. We've been burned pretty badly with used ATVs in the past, and when your off-road vehicle fails way off road, you're thoroughly sunk. So we took notes and went to the dealership to see if our savings would cover the X900.

Low speed

Although the base model (no hydraulic dump bed) was listed at $13,345 online, the dealer quoted us $11,900...and mentioned that we could get $400 off and free delivery by paying in cash. Since I'd gritted my teeth and prepared for the online price tag, we opted to upgrade to the hydraulic dump bed (an additional $1,100) to expedite the inevitable rip-rap hauling. We don't sell our vegetables to others, so we had to add on sales tax ($662.50), which brought the final price tag to just a little below the online base price.

Kubota in the weeds

We'd been saving and planning to spend $10,000 on access this winter, so we didn't go too far over budget. That said, it was terrifying to clean out so much of our buffer in one fell swoop.

On the other hand, when Mark toodled through the floodplain without a single skid or spin (no ruts!) and then dumped a load of manure by the worm bin, it all felt worthwhile. And when I went for a walk the next morning and didn't have to load up fifty pounds of manure or feed to haul back home on my back, simply enjoying the beauty of the day instead, I knew we'd made the right decision.

Hydraulic dump bed

Our long-term goal is to grow old here on the farm, and that means putting our funds toward the necessary improvements to ensure we can continue to thrive with our chosen way of life. Hopefully the Kubota X900 will be as valuable a step in that direction as were our porches and roofs.

Next up: reading the 96 page manual so we do everything right.

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Awesome, congratulations, you won't be sorry with your choice, especially spending a bit more to get the dump bed, saves so much time.
Comment by Helen Sun Aug 7 09:05:35 2016
Congratulations on the UTV. What are your plans for the Atv?
Comment by Marco Sun Aug 7 10:05:53 2016

For what it's worth; I think you made an excellent choice. The hydraulic drive it an innovative concept. For a relatively slow moving vehicle such as this it gives excellent torque and control.

The benefit of a new vehicle is that you at least get a warranty.

Kubota has a long history in machinery and diesel engines. Hydraulic pumps and motors are a pretty mature technology. The electronics will probably be completely sealed (encased in resin). So except from tires and batteries that one would expect to wear out, the only real vulnerability I see are the hydraulic lines/pipes. From the pictures I've seen, all of those seem to be inside the vehicle and protected by the bottom plate.

Based on youtube videos, the component on an RTV that causes the most trouble and breakdowns seems to be the one between the steering wheel and the seat. (Just kidding in your case ;-) )

Comment by Roland_Smith Sun Aug 7 16:19:42 2016

Great choice guys, kind of an evolution from golf cart to ATV to UTV. It would be interesting to see a video of the drive from the road to the homestead:) it's never easy spending money when you're not already in debt but this is more like an investment in infrastructure.
And that monorail would have been a nightmare on tracks.

Comment by Chris Sun Aug 7 21:48:14 2016
I think you made an excellent choice. I never heard of a UTV until I read it on your blog. I think that is a wise frugal choice you made. It is really going to pay off in two years. I bet you will be even more efficient that you already are.
Comment by DeeAnn Mon Aug 8 01:06:31 2016
Please do an update in about a year, so you can share more of your experience. We have no need of such a vehicle, but it's been interesting learning how you are dealing with your terrain.
Comment by Chris Mon Aug 8 02:09:48 2016
Congratulations on the new UTV! I'm sure it's going to be a huge asset on the farm.
Comment by Samantha Burns Mon Aug 8 05:41:43 2016
Are you still eventually going to do a driveway, and have you driven the 'Bota in to town yet? I notice they seem very lax about operating ATV's and side by sides on rural roads.
Comment by Eric Tue Aug 9 19:52:17 2016

Thanks for the congratulations, everybody! Your good wishes mean a lot to us and we will definitely post updates. (Probably far more than you want --- I think this will be Mark's equivalent of proud-daddy-baby-pictures for a while.)

Marco --- Unfortunately, the ATV died a couple of months ago. Mark will probably give you more details later, but it's that exact problem we're hoping to avoid by buying new --- a vehicle that kicks the bucket far from any mechanic. Now that the UTV is here, we can drag the ATV out and deal with it properly.

Eric --- We definitely plan to put the dump bed to good use hauling in rock for the driveway. Much more feasible than the old method, one five-gallon bucket at a time.... I doubt we'll drive the UTV to town, but it's nice to have the option as backup in an emergency (such as during a heavy snow).

Comment by anna Tue Aug 9 20:27:03 2016

One very unique homestead, $1,500 per acre, the opportunity of a lifetime