A look at the new Kubota M8 and an analysis
of Kubota’s plan to keep getting bigger
give them the perfect gift
It was another marvelous season at Thunderbird Show Park. The team at TBird is renowned
around the globe for hosting world class equestrian events. This year the Thunderbird Show
Park was chosen to host two Longines FEI Jumping World Cup events.
The Kubota Winning Round was a 1.45 meter Jumper Class event with a $15,000 prize purse.
There was fierce competition that resulted in rider Ashlee Bond and horse Belo Horizonte taking
Avenue Machinery was part of Family Days in the
Maze at the Historic O’Keefe Ranch in Vernon. As
part of the fun we hosted a pedal tractor race that
everyone wanted to be part of! Imagine our surprise
when Beacon the Beaver* ripped around the track in
The O’Keefe Ranch keeps the history of early BC
ranching alive and we are grateful to work with them
in any way to help preserve the past for generations
*Record set was in the “riders with massive feet and poor vision” division.
The last decade has seen Kubota grow both the size
of their product line and the sizes available in their
product line. After spending the last 50 years building
a very solid reputation for reliability it is clear Kubota
wants to be known for even larger achievements.
It is no secret that Kubota has their eyes on being
a global leader in agriculture. From the rice fields of
Japan to the wide open Canadian prairies, Kubota
has an ambition to put its machines everywhere. With
a commitment to product development and their laser
focus on engineering, it’s not hard to imagine Kubota
continuing to grow, becoming more dominant in the
industry. How do these ambitions help the farmers
of British Columbia? Recent product reveals and
launches indicate that Kubota’s plans involve larger
tractors and innovative tools that will serve British
Columbia’s dairy and cattle operations very well.
In August, Kubota held a product release event in
Texas where they gave us an introduction to the
M8 tractor. The M8 is the first Kubota to crack 200
horsepower as it will be available in models, 190 and
210 horsepower. These larger machines build on the
stated goals of Kubota to be a major player in world
wide agriculture. The move was in no way a surprise,
it had been rumored for sometime that the M7 was
going to be joined by a big brother. Even casual
observers are aware that Kubota has spent the last
8 years positioning itself as a legitimate contender in
production farming tractors and implements.
In 2012 Kubota purchased the Kverneland group.
With that acquisition Kubota brought serious
agricultural knowledge and technology into their
fold. The Kverneland product catalog is stocked
with farmers favorites - including plows, mowers
and balers, many which are much bigger than any
of Kubota’s tractors could reasonably use. Similarly
in 2016 Kubota increased their equipment profile by
purchasing Great Plains. The Great Plains portfolio
includes large planters and giant tillage tools that until
now no Kubota could use.
Kubota views agriculture as a large component
in their plans to be recognized as a ‘Global Major
Brand’, a term used by Kubota president Masatoshi
Kimata to describe the vision Kubota has for itself.
To reach this goal Kubota will continue investing in
growing their offering of products to cover the whole
market. By introducing the M8, the Kubota lineup now
easily meets the needs of most British Columbia dairy
and cattle operations. In the M8, Kubota built a heavy
tractor which is reliable, powerful and fuel efficient.
The tractor features a 6 cylinder Cummins B6.7
Performance Series Tier 4 engine that delivers power
and fuel efficiency. Using a supplied engine is a little
different for Kubota, the B6.7 is a popular engine
with a well proven track record. Parts and service
agreements are in place to guarantee tractor uptime.
As part of these agreements Avenue Machinery is
trained and authorized to work on this engine.
Transmission options for the M8 include the Kubota
Variable Transmission for infinite forward and reverse
speeds, providing a seamless speed match to the
working range of any job.
As British Columbia land prices continue to increase,
and environmental regulations increase, precision
farming will become more vital to farm operations.
There will be even more pressure to improve yield
as farmings footprints will be forced to shrink. Avenue
Machinery has been helping farmers transition to
this reality. Pro-actively adopting precision farming
techniques is imperative to the farmer looking to grow
and adapt in the years ahead. Kubota has engineered
the M8 to maximize the currently available farming
technologies, while being future proofed to accept
future advancements as well. M8 tractors give you all
the industry precision farming solutions – from autosteer
to prescription mapping. The EZ command
center is ISOBUS compatible to take full advantage
of any ISOBUS ready implements from any brand.
Kubota has used an open architecture system that
will work with any GPS auto-steer system currently
The M8 can proudly be stamped “Made in Canada”.
Manufactured as part of a strategic partnership with
Versatile tractors in Winnipeg the M8 tractors will
roll off a Manitoba assembly line. Rumors of Kubota
courting Versatile go back almost a decade and this
agreement will no doubt fuel speculation of what the
future holds for the two. What we do know is that
the production of the M8 will result in job security for
Canadian workers. A unique OEM agreement resulted
in a 6 year co-design project making the M8 more
than a “re-badged” machine. It is built on Versatile’s
platform but is heavily modified with distinctly Kubota
innovations; those that Kubota worked directly with
farmers to address.
You’ll be able to see the M8 during the Pacific Ag
Show in Abbotsford Jan 30 – Feb 1, 2020.
Front mount mowers and large butterfly DMC
mowers are easily handled
EZ Command Center is designed to put all major
functions within an easy reach.
The reveal in Grapvine, TX featured smoke
machines in an intro suited for a rock star
Time is money. Man-hours aren’t cheap, and finding
the right person for any job isn’t easy. Agriculture is
adopting to this reality and Kubota is helping lead
the way. Kubota is on the cutting edge of reducing
the labour needed, improving farm productivity and
profit. Kubota’s easy to use autonomous features
are already available and Kubota’s Agribot driverless
drone tractors are in late testing stages on farms
around the world.
Hay producers in British Columbia will appreciate
Kubota’s newest baler for its efficiency gains. After
years of testing, Kubota is introducing FASTBALE
- the worlds first and only non-stop fixed chamber
baler and the world’s only non-stop fixed chamber
baler wrapper combination!
Combination balers have grown in popularity
because of the speed advantages they provide,
farmers also appreciate that immediate wrapping
reduces the chances of bales spoiling. It is best
when a bale spends almost no time unwrapped and
ideally a bale should spend no time unprotected on
the ground. Until now there has been a drawback
to round bale production. Though the combination
wrappers have greatly increased the speed of round
baling, there has remained the inconvenience of
stopping to release the bale. Kubota FASTBALE
changes this by enabling non-stop baling. The
continuous process is achieved by using a double
chamber system. This design lets the machine act
as if it is two balers in one.
The cycle looks like this; after pick up, a pre-chamber
starts the baling process, once the bale is about
two thirds done it is transfered to the main chamber
where it is finished. A very dense four by four bale is
then netted and kicked out the back to be wrapped
before being dropped to the ground. The process
forms a continuous cycle that never needs to stop,
crop flow is always entering the machine.
A huge 800mm diameter intake rotor equipped with 50
tines, gives FASTBALE an unrivaled intake capacity.
Close mounting of the pick-up to the rotor eliminates
any dead areas when working in short crops while
Breakthrough multi-chamber design
Bales, wraps and drops with no stops
the 25-knife SuperCut chopping system features
group selection giving a choice 6, 12, 13, 25 knives to
match all conditions, all backed up with the security
of a drop floor in case of blockage. FASTBALE was
designed to save time during reloading as well.
Kubota has outfitted the FASTBALE with an easy
to load net system which provides additional time
saved for operators. Film changeover of both rolls is
achieved while standing in the same position. These
small details add to overall operation convenience.
Though new to North America, it’s important to
note that FASTBALE has been released in Europe
under the Vicon brand for over three years. Only
now that it has proven itself has Kubota gone
ahead with releasing the innovation to the North
American market. FASTBALE has been slower to
arrive to North America than expected but ensuring
that the radical technology was ready for North
America has been Kubota’s main concern. Kubota
has done extensive testing across the continent.
Over the last couple of years FASTBALE units
have worked the many different climates and crops,
including user on several British Columbian farms.
Kubota The FASTBALE is an impressive piece of
agricultural engineering. FASTBALE requires a large
amount of horsepower, making the FASTBALE and
M8 tractor a perfect pair of products for Kubota to
release together. Prior to the reveal of the M8 Kubota
did not have a machine truly capable of operating the
FASTBALE in all conditions.
Avenue Machinery hosted Hay Days at Vale Farms,
giving farmers one of the first opportunities to see this
revolutionary product on North American soil. Video
leaked from the event was the first of the Kubota
branded FASTBALE and created a slight furor, there
is a deep and tangible desire for FASTBALE to finally
be available. The wait is coming to an end.
With the 2020 release date creeping closer you can
begin talking to your Avenue salesperson about how
FASTBALE may help your operation. You won’t have
to wait much longer to see one. FASTBALE will be
on display during the Pacific Ag Show.
B.C. testing has been extensive
FASTBALE with the Kubota badge
1521 Sumas Way
1090 Stevens Road
7155 Meadowlark Road
GIVE YOURSELF THE