Kubota vs avant vs Giant vs yanmar?

Location
Albany
I’m looking to upgrade my loader, we are currently using a 70hp tractor with loader and it does the job but obviously it’s no articulated loader. I want something turf friendly that will lift at least 3k lbs over the sides of a landscape dump truck, (we don’t chip). I’m leaning towards the avant 755 or giant 2700 but the kubota r530 or yanmar v4 looks nice too, with more capacity and parts availability for the same ballpark price (60k). I don’t think you can get the kubota or yanmar with turf tires. Size isn’t a major factor for us, obviously we’ve been getting by just fine with a 70hp tractor. I want maximum turf friendliness and strong lifting. Anyone have experience with these larger (compact) loaders?
 

Gareth's Tree

New member
Location
Ashtabula
I do not have personal experience with the exact loaders you are talking about however, I do have a smaller Giant loader and I think it is an excellent product, I believe that the giant loaders are made very well. So I would say that you could not go wrong with a Giant loader.

I do have a larger loader as well, it is a Gehl 540. (Which I think is right around the size you are looking at.) Just as an FYI I do not have turf tires on it but it does have 16 in wide floater style r4 tires. However, if you do want maximum turf protection you could go with the turf tire. I have not had trouble with my tires on turf but, I do not take that loader out if the yards are soft I use my smaller one.

I also know that Kubota makes excellent equipment. I research equipment quite a bit and it's very rare to hear anything bad about a Kubota. I also have a friend with an older Kubota loader that he likes and it is still going strong. I do not think you could go wrong with a newer Kubota loader.

I do not have personal experience with Yanmar loaders but I have talked to a rental place that rents them and they have seen them with 5000 hours that are still growing strong. I think Yanmar makes a very solid machine.

I have owned an older Avant loader, (technically a Gehl Al 20 made by Avant) and thought about buying a newer one before I bought my Giant. The main thing that swayed me away from the Avant was the plastic body panels. We try to be careful with our equipment but plastic panels just seem like damage waiting to happen in the tree industry. However overall I think Avant makes a great product, it just might be a little more prone to damage.

Honestly beside the Avant with the plastic body panels I think the other loaders are probably on a fairly level playing field. There are probably little things about each one that if you looked at them you may like or dislike, but I think all of them are solid machines that are going to get the job done for many years (with proper care and maintenance.)
 
Location
Albany
I do not have personal experience with the exact loaders you are talking about however, I do have a smaller Giant loader and I think it is an excellent product, I believe that the giant loaders are made very well. So I would say that you could not go wrong with a Giant loader.

I do have a larger loader as well, it is a Gehl 540. (Which I think is right around the size you are looking at.) Just as an FYI I do not have turf tires on it but it does have 16 in wide floater style r4 tires. However, if you do want maximum turf protection you could go with the turf tire. I have not had trouble with my tires on turf but, I do not take that loader out if the yards are soft I use my smaller one.

I also know that Kubota makes excellent equipment. I research equipment quite a bit and it's very rare to hear anything bad about a Kubota. I also have a friend with an older Kubota loader that he likes and it is still going strong. I do not think you could go wrong with a newer Kubota loader.

I do not have personal experience with Yanmar loaders but I have talked to a rental place that rents them and they have seen them with 5000 hours that are still growing strong. I think Yanmar makes a very solid machine.

I have owned an older Avant loader, (technically a Gehl Al 20 made by Avant) and thought about buying a newer one before I bought my Giant. The main thing that swayed me away from the Avant was the plastic body panels. We try to be careful with our equipment but plastic panels just seem like damage waiting to happen in the tree industry. However overall I think Avant makes a great product, it just might be a little more prone to damage.

Honestly beside the Avant with the plastic body panels I think the other loaders are probably on a fairly level playing field. There are probably little things about each one that if you looked at them you may like or dislike, but I think all of them are solid machines that are going to get the job done for many years (with proper care and maintenance.)
That’s the reply I was afraid of! I’ve done pretty extensive research on all of them and have come to the conclusion that they will all do the job really well. The giant is the only one I can’t find many reviews on. I’ve been leaning towards the kubota since that is what our current tractor is. It hasn’t given us so much as a single hiccup. The kubota has a significant advantage in the weight capacities but It’s a little heavier then the rest of the loaders I mentioned and there are no turf tire options from the manufacturer. I really want turf tires so we aren’t waffling the grass. Does your gehl with r4’s leave the little indentations behind?
 

Gareth's Tree

New member
Location
Ashtabula
Yes, if it is soft enough it will. If Kubota does not offer a turf option the only other option is just look up that size tire online and see if there's a turf tire in whatever size that machine uses, (with a heavy enough weight rating).

As I said before it may come down to a dealer around you that's willing to work with you and give you good service, and there may be some little features or the way controls are laid out on a certain machine that makes it stand out from the others. For example, operating on auxiliary circuit for the grapple, or even how much exhilary flow it has if you are going to run other attachments besides a grapple.
 

Gareth's Tree

New member
Location
Ashtabula
Another possible option if you want to go with the Kubota is to find a place that custom makes rims, and have them make a rim in a size that can fit an available turf tire. I don't remember the name of the place but I came across a place in Kansas (I think) that custom makes rims for equipment and farm implements. You'd have to spend a some money on top of a new machine, but it depends if that's what you really want.

Is the ground that soft where you work? Or do you work on a lot of high-end places where you cannot leave any trace of being there?
 
Location
Albany
Another possible option if you want to go with the Kubota is to find a place that custom makes rims, and have them make a rim in a size that can fit an available turf tire. I don't remember the name of the place but I came across a place in Kansas (I think) that custom makes rims for equipment and farm implements. You'd have to spend a some money on top of a new machine, but it depends if that's what you really want.

Is the ground that soft where you work? Or do you work on a lot of high-end places where you cannot leave any trace of being there?
The water table here is very high. So oftentimes the ground gets pretty soft. I’m in a skid steer dominated market. Most customers expect some lawn damage, I’m trying to set myself apart. There’s no better feeling than taking a massive tree out of a nice yard and the only trace you leave behind is a small circle of stump shavings
 

Gareth's Tree

New member
Location
Ashtabula
So, just a thought.. I run a knuckle boom crane, with a grapple saw on it. And my primary loader is a Giant 254t. It will lift maybe 2000 pounds ish (on a good day with two guys hanging off the back for counterweight LOL). On most tree jobs we can deal with the wood with our smaller loader which has a much smaller footprint and almost no turf damage even when the ground is somewhat soft. It is also very easy to transport to the jobs, I usually carry it on my crane bed. I don't know what you do for a grapple, but we run the branch manager grapple on it.

Most of the time if we are doing a tree with a big trunk we just pick up the butt log with the crane and put it on the trailer. Then we don't have to worry about cutting it up small enough for the loader.

Now, there are jobs where we do bring the big loader too because it just makes more sense, and we need to move big wood more efficiently. However, for the price of one new big loader you could buy the small loader new (or used, which is what I did, I got a decent deal on one with right around a thousand hours on it) and a used bigger loader for the occasional job where you actually need a bigger loader. A lot of times the small loaders are more nimble and faster in my experience.

Now, if you are regularly doing huge trees and need to move logs that weigh more than 1500 lb with your loader on a regular basis that I would say that you don't want to go as small as a Giant 254.
 

Gareth's Tree

New member
Location
Ashtabula
I only have $50,000 in both my loaders combined and while they are not new, the Giant was in very good condition, and the Gehl had 800 hours on it and really the only thing with it was there was some light surface rust that I still need to get taken care of.

On some jobs it is really nice to have two loaders as well. Like when we have a lot of material to move, or if we have a lot of stump grindings to clean up. Being able to use the two loaders and push the stump grindings into the big bucket with the little one makes it so you can move a lot of stump grindings pretty quickly.
 

Gareth's Tree

New member
Location
Ashtabula
Sorry for the possibility overwhelming amount of responses. But, loaders are something that I have done a lot of research on and enjoy talking about and figuring out how to best utilize them in our industry :)
 
Location
Albany
Sorry for the possibility overwhelming amount of responses. But, loaders are something that I have done a lot of research on and enjoy talking about and figuring out how to best utilize them in our industry :)
Don’t be sorry! That’s what I came here for! I honestly haven’t considered a smaller loader simply because my tractor is rated to lift 3000 and a lot of times it’s not enough for some of the logs we lift. I’m kind of wanting something to do it all. That being said, I don’t plan on getting rid of the tractor. So we could probably get away with a smaller loader and bringing the tractor as needed. We run a root rake grapple currently. I’ve seen the bmg grapples but I always thought they were really designed for chipper feeding. We don’t have a chipper or plans to get one. We don’t pay fees at the biomass yards where we dump. The only change I could see us making would be possibly a grapple truck in the future.
 

Gareth's Tree

New member
Location
Ashtabula
I would say that branch manager grapples excel at chipper feeding. And if you are never feeding a chipper then maybe a root rake style grapple would be better. (I have very limited experience with that style grapple.)

If you are intending on keeping the tractor then I would definitely seriously consider getting a smaller loader. Unless, like I said, you are very regularly moving very big heavy things. I don't claim to specialize in massive trees, a lot of times I will turn them down if they are huge because we can process trees that are 36 in and down so much faster it is more profitable for us. So, we do 95% of our work with the small loader and rarely bring the larger one to jobs.

It may be different for you if you specialize in Big trees.
 
Location
Albany
Well I ended up purchasing a used 2018 kubota r530. Only 650 hours on it when it was delivered. I went back and forth between this and a 2018 giant v6004. These two units have almost identical specs other than operating weight and both had a cab with a/c. It’s been a hot summer and help is hard to come by, so I felt like something with air conditioning might help with employee retention. I really wanted the giant for the lower weight and turf tires but ended up going with the kubota because we’ve had great luck from the kubota brand and I know plenty of others who have as well. Kubota dealers and parts are very common around me and giant is not. The giant was somewhat unknown to me and I couldn’t find many people who owned a giant to get feedback from, so kubota was my safe/comfortable choice. It also helped that the Kubota was 10k cheaper. So far we have put about 100 hours on the machine and it has been a game changer. It’s a tad heavy on wet lawns but it’s still an improvement over the tractor. It will lift anything you can fit the grapple around. I have lifted some 5k + logs with it. Visibility is awesome. You can see the entire bottom of the grapple, not just the edges. I was worried about the size being too big at first, but this thing is super nimble and maneuverable, massive improvement over our tractor. For my market it’s close to perfect. If I could find or have someone make some custom wheels to accept a wider turf tire it would be “the perfect machine” for me and my application.
 

Attachments

  • 8CB3E561-5689-48D4-A6DB-2EC6ADB92951.jpeg
    8CB3E561-5689-48D4-A6DB-2EC6ADB92951.jpeg
    2.5 MB · Views: 28
  • C0E1C53B-D18F-49F5-8B85-77C46726F251.jpeg
    C0E1C53B-D18F-49F5-8B85-77C46726F251.jpeg
    3.5 MB · Views: 31

VenasNursery

Carpal tunnel level member
Location
Michigan
Well I ended up purchasing a used 2018 kubota r530. Only 650 hours on it when it was delivered. I went back and forth between this and a 2018 giant v6004. These two units have almost identical specs other than operating weight and both had a cab with a/c. It’s been a hot summer and help is hard to come by, so I felt like something with air conditioning might help with employee retention. I really wanted the giant for the lower weight and turf tires but ended up going with the kubota because we’ve had great luck from the kubota brand and I know plenty of others who have as well. Kubota dealers and parts are very common around me and giant is not. The giant was somewhat unknown to me and I couldn’t find many people who owned a giant to get feedback from, so kubota was my safe/comfortable choice. It also helped that the Kubota was 10k cheaper. So far we have put about 100 hours on the machine and it has been a game changer. It’s a tad heavy on wet lawns but it’s still an improvement over the tractor. It will lift anything you can fit the grapple around. I have lifted some 5k + logs with it. Visibility is awesome. You can see the entire bottom of the grapple, not just the edges. I was worried about the size being too big at first, but this thing is super nimble and maneuverable, massive improvement over our tractor. For my market it’s close to perfect. If I could find or have someone make some custom wheels to accept a wider turf tire it would be “the perfect machine” for me and my application.
Congratulations
Good looking machine
 

tnttree

Participating member
Location
Minnesota
I’ve seen the bmg grapples but I always thought they were really designed for chipper feeding. We don’t have a chipper or plans to get one. We don’t pay fees at the biomass yards where we dump. The only change I could see us making would be possibly a grapple truck in the future.
Congrats on the Kubota find
The BMG does excel at chipper feeding
It also excels at bringing things out long instead of wide
less turning of machine, etc etc
 
Location
Albany
Congrats on the Kubota find
The BMG does excel at chipper feeding
It also excels at bringing things out long instead of wide
less turning of machine, etc etc
I’d love to try one out but I don’t think it’d be the right fit for my market, no chippers, nice open yards 99% of the time. It’s funny how one piece of equipment for the same job can be magic in one market and nothing special in another market.
 

New threads New posts

Kask Stihl NORTHEASTERN Arborists Wesspur TreeStuff.com Kask Teufelberger Westminster X-Rigging Teufelberger Tracked Lifts Arbor Expo BayLeafDigital
Top Bottom