Compact Equipment

OCT 2018

Compact Equipment is a magazine dedicated to equipment owners and operators of small, nimble, tool-carrying construction, landscape and ag equipment — such as skid steers, mini excavators, compact tractors, generators compressors and beyond.

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over utility vehicles, and the market has shown enough promise that manufacturers more known for their com- mercial construction equipment are dabbling in the action. Some examples include Bobcat's 3400 and 3400XL, Cater- pillar's CUV82 and Yanmar's Bull Series just for starters. Most recently, Kubota entered the crossover category with its gas-powered RTV-XG850 Sidekick. The famous en- gine and tractor brand, also known as a compact equipment expert, entered the utility vehicle market in 2004 and basi- cally built the diesel sector. Its brand equity is with tough- minded work models, but that changes with the XG850, which goes up to 40 mph. Kubota invited Compact Equip- ment down to Lake Lanier (a sprawling resort in Georgia about an hour outside of Atlanta) to test drive its most rec- reational vehicle to date. "When we look at our Sidekick and we look at our X Series [a set of eight diesel work UTV variants], they really are two different customers," explained Kubota product marketing manager Roger Gifford. "When we look at the X Series, you have tractor technology. You have multi-disc wet brakes. You've got fully hydraulic power steering. You have the same technology you'd have in a tractor. That customer's really buying that for business-to-business or heavy com- mercial work. This Sidekick isn't designed for that heavy commercial work, and it's not really designed for pure rec- reation. It's designed for both." The dualism of the Sidekick gives dealers and customers the ability to really customize a Kubota RTV in a big new way. The large headline is, of course, the 48-hp gas engine (a Subaru) that can deliver speeds up to 40 mph, compared to the top speed of 29 mph for Kubota's RTV-X models. But maybe an even bigger deal is that the Sidekick ushers in a whole range of options for Kubota — roofs, windshields, doors, strut kits, heater kits, snow blades, winches, strobe 9 Associate publisher Keith Gribbins having an unsettling amount of fun.

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