John Deere 4M Series vs. Kubota MX Compact Utility Tractors

Neil from Messicks here.
We had the opportunity to have a bunch of current
competitive models on our lot and it presented an opportunity
go around and do some videos on them. Now we need to prefix this
with saying that talking down another competitor’s equipment is not
a way that we typically like to see business and sales
transactions done. Generally, we’re of the opinion that
our dealership, our experience, the products that we sell
can stand on their own without having to talk down
about other products. Unfortunately anymore we find a lot
of customers developing opinions about things through Youtube videos that may be really based
upon half-truths. While we had this product
to your own hand, we wanted to take the opportunity
to walk around and do a video of our own and try to show how some
others’ comparisons show are made in dishonest ways and try
to make our own comparisons and maybe do it
a little bit more honestly than what you typically would find. Take a quick look here at this video and let us know down in
the comments how we did. To start, we’re going to look exactly
what tractor we’re comparing to. In the case of this machine,
this is John Deere 4052M. A 52 horsepower economy
version of this tractor. If we work through the options
that Deere uses to compare on to the Kubota tractor,
you’ll notice that they compare this 4052 to a Kubota 4760. Giving themselves
a small edge in horsepower, but picking a transmission
that’s actually a lot more simplistic than
the Kubota equivalent. You won’t find those
differences if you work your way down
through the spec sheet. This is Deere’s mechanical
hydrostatic transmission. It doesn’t have any of
the electronic features found on their M series tractor. Over here on the Kubota side,
we do have all the features found in Kubota’s HST Plus and some things that
Deere doesn’t offer. Over here we have things like an electronically
controlled hydrostatic with things like hydrodualrspeed
to shift speeds on the fly, ability to tie the hydrostatic pedal to your engine rod RPMs
to drive this thing like a car, Kubota’s power-up button, all these are features that
are found on this tractor. If you work your way through
the competitive comparison, you’ll find they’re all completely
absent from any information that Deere is going
to present to you. They pick this tractor because
it’s a little bit less capable and a smaller machine by the numbers. It outclasses the machine
as far as features go. When we’re comparing on features, Deere will pick a more
economy-oriented tractor. One of the things they’re
always very keen to point out and keen to fluff up is
their plastic hoods. One of the interesting things
that you’ll find on this plastic hood is if you go through
the owner’s manual, you’ll find references
that you should only clean this plastic hood with
a soft damp cloth, as to not scratch it. They are quick to show
you that it can be beat on by all kinds of things which
is probably true out of the gate, but one thing with these plastics
is that the tractors start to age, become brittle, rather
than being bouncy, they start to become
brittle and break. That’s something that won’t happen
on a metal hood as it ages. Yes, can metal rust, absolutely.
I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw one of these rusting
but yes, it could. A metal hood doesn’t weaken
with age and is over all, if you listen to my pounding,
a lot more dense, solid, than these flimsy
plastic hoods could be. One of the things that
drives me the most crazy in Deere’s competitive comparison is their continued focus on
Kubota’s front axle designs. Here you’ll see
a hydrostatic steering system with guards and stuff over
top of the front cylinders in order to protect them.
They will point out that because the steering components
are here in the front, they’re susceptible to damage. If you come over here to
the John Deere version, you’ll notice a much lighter
front axle for one, steering components that are
behind the axle but also below it. If you’re mowing along everything,
the rods, the cylinders and everything hang down
here below the axle itself. [chuckles] My opinion, I would much
rather take a higher mounted system that’s protected and shielded across
the front to one that hangs below. Deere also uses a lot of
half-truths when it comes to their comparisons
and the amount of service that’s required on their
tractor versus the Kubota. The most blatant that
we were able to find is the comparison on
number of grease ZERKs. They point out, they’ve got
four compared to Kubota’s 17. The only way that we can figure
they came up with that number is by comparing their tractor without
a loader to a Kubota with one, because most of the grease ZERKs
are still found in the loader. We counted on these two tractors,
and came up with 14 on both tractors. On their loader alone there’s
more than four grease ZERKs, so not 100% sure
where that’s coming from. In my opinion, I would rather
have more grease ZERKs. We all know that as
machines work, those pins wear and so having grease ZERKs
is a positive, not a negative. Another blunder is the references to the cost of
the transmission oil changes and the frequency that
they need to be done. One thing that has been
a little confusing even for us is that there’s some
conflicting information about that. Most of that is driven by Kubota’s
changes between transmission fluids. The old version of Super UDT was a regular multi-weight
transmission fluid. Few years ago, Kubota
changed to Super UDT2, which is a synthetic
transmission fluid. With the change in
their transmission fluids, the service intervals also got much
longer between the oil changes. Deere’s exploiting that fact
and using the information from the old transmission fluid
that’s not even produced anymore in order to exaggerate
the differences and maintenance cost
between the two tractors. As you could see,
I don’t have a whole lot of faith in the comparisons that Deere
made to a Kubota tractor. I’m not going to try to make
those same kind of comparisons. As I said, I don’t think
it can be done honestly and fairly. You as somebody shopping for
a tractor need to go and choose two tractors that are right for you
and make your own comparisons. I am going to do a quick walk around
this tractor as an operator. As somebody that gets
the opportunity to get on and off of a lot of different brands
of tractors all the time, and I’ll point out some things
that I do like on this tractor and things that I don’t
that are worth considering. Take a quick walk
here around with me and we’ll point some
of those things out. Here on the Deere side, they used a proprietary coupler
that is system [?]. Another thing is
the simple mechanics of this. I’d rather have a lever to reach,
to lift and release the bucket. You have to be down to the bottom
and flip one these potter pins off in order to drop
the bottom of the bucket out. It’s not hard to do,
it’s just a little crude, compared to a modern
skid steer coupler. Their loaders also have some issues
that I am not wild about either. Many of their loaders are
permanently attached to the tractor and do not remove from the machine. Kubota uses removable loaders
as standard equipment across every one of their products. They don’t even make a fixed loader.
In the case of this Deere tractor, the options in the parking stands
and stuff that you need to make this loader removable add more
$900 to the cost of the machine. One thing I like about this,
it is an amazing piece of casting. The way this casting is
curved around, it is cool and robust. You got to give them that.
Another concern that I frequently have with Deere tractors
is the way that they choose to route their hydraulic lines and where they
will place their loader couplers at. You’ll see here, they’re using
hard lines which is great, not hoses on it, that’s a positive. Those lines all route down here
coming underneath the floorboards. Just like that steering cylinder
on the front axle, these very vulnerable components
become the low point on the tractor. If we look at a Kubota, there’s
two different places where Kubota will put their valves and two
different routings of hoses. You’ll see that the valve
is kept up here on the post, with all the hoses in the routing
up here tight against the loader and coming off the manifold
down here at the bottom. There’s none of
the loader hydraulics really hanging down
here below the tractor. A grand L60 series
is exactly the same way. The couplers are up here and all
the routing for those pieces stays in the high parts of the tractor,
rather than being down below. Deere does an excellent job
at marketing. Absolutely, bar none, the best
tractor company in the industry. They are experts in giving
funny names to everyday things. One of those is the iMatch hitch. This is just a universal
three-point quick hitch that has existed for years. Nobody has really marketed it
in the way the Deere has. Many companies put a big focus on
getting these quick hitches on the backs of their tractors
because the expectation is then, because this hitch is here,
you’ll also buy the branded implements to match it. This is nothing special. There are hitches like this
from about dozens of companies. This standard for the iMatch
is actually an SAE standard, that’s not followed
very well within the industry. If you have one of
these quick hitches, you should be prepared for
maybe 2/3 of your implements actually being able to
hook up to this hitch. While Deere goes and they strip
deluxe three-point hitch options off of these tractors, replacing them
with iMatches, you got to be aware that this is a far from
perfect system in reality. Look familiar? This is a Land Pride
series quick hitch, a QH20. We probably sell about 50
of these ourselves every year. Exactly the same thing
as the John Deere iMatch, but without the funny name
and price tag. A few things that I noticed
here from the operator station. When I take a look around here,
frankly I’m very impressed. When these companies
make economy tractors, you’ll find they start stripping
off a lot of options. A lot of places they typically
do that is in the sheet metal and the four panels down
here around the bottom. This tractor actually has a fairly
modern operator station for one of their more
economy oriented models. A couple of places that I’m
a little bit less impressed, come to some of
the positions of the levers. The range selector here in the side
is really long and a little clunky. I’m also not a big fan
of hand parking brakes. I much better like
the pedal latch and brake system. One can’t talk about
the platform without talking about twin touch hydrostatic pedals. There’s repeated conversations
of comparisons between a two pedal system, which Deere
and some other manufacturers that I also sell use and a single
treadle pedal that Kubota uses. The Kubota uses that system because
if you do surveys of the population it has always been that 50%
or a little bit better tend to prefer
the single pedal system. It is a Chevy or Ford type question
of what somebody prefers. It’s not necessarily that one
is better than the other. They will make comparisons to
this being an automotive style pedal, which is kind of true, it’s got
a gas and brake feel going to it, but the positions
are actually flipped. The forward lever is where
the brake would be and the backward lever
is where the gas would be. For me personally too,
it’s always felt a little unnatural to press a pedal forward
to go backwards. I’m a treadle pedal guy,
but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s right or wrong,
it’s a personal preference. The way that you should decide that
is not by watching a youtube video, it’s getting in the tractors
and driving them around yourself. Another thing that I often
find on Deere tractors is I have a lot more trouble doing
multiple functions with the loader valve than
I do on a lot of other machines. In that case that’s pretty
pronounced on this tractor. I find the loader valve
to be really stiff compared to a lot of machines,
and oddly when the tractor is turned off it moves
a lot easier than when it has
hydraulic pressure behind it. Is the John Deere or 4052M
a terrible tractor? No. Should you absolutely run out
and buy a Kubota instead? No. Frankly, this isn’t the right way
in order to buy a tractor. In my experience as a dealer myself,
a lot of your experience with owning a tractor has a lot to do
with the dealership that you decide to buy it from. A good dealer who
can provide good support, who knows their product
is going to give you a much better experience
than one who doesn’t. Rather than comparing specs in Excel
and watching videos on YouTube, the right way to buy a tractor is
to go out to few of local dealers, get the keys to many of
the machines and go drive them. Find a salesman who you trust
and seems knowledgeable that can put you into the right machine for
your application. Application has a huge importance
and saying that this machine compares to this machine,
it really often isn’t that simple. It really is all about
the job that you have at hand. Get out, get some keys, visit
some dealerships and find somebody who knows these products well
that can put you into the right one and ensure that you have
a good ownership experience. If we can help you
through this process, give us a call at Messick’s. We’re available at 800-222-3373
or online at [music]

60 comments on “John Deere 4M Series vs. Kubota MX Compact Utility Tractors”

  1. O&D Life says:

    Another great video Neil!

  2. Rob Pond says:

    wish more dealers did these kinda videos honest criticism. call a spade, a spade. can only help farmers with their bottom line

  3. Nate Root says:

    Great comparison video. I am salesman for a John Deere dealer in Indiana, about 2 years in and love watching your videos for my own education. Keep them coming 👍


    Fantastic job Neil, so many John Deere videos making horrible comparisons. I'd like to see you do more of these! I really like your honesty.

  5. Bruce D says:

    Very good job on real comparison regarding these two makes. Both great in their own way. It is easy to see that Kubota has the heads up on what modern tractors should  be .

  6. Love2boat92 says:

    Very good honest comparsion.

  7. Ozark HayandCattle says:

    Thank you for the honest review.

  8. Vicki Poe says:

    nice job Neal. a fair comparison. with a lot of helpful information.

  9. Vicki Poe says:

    how about a new Holland or case IH comparison? you should have those brands handy?

  10. Jeff B. says:


  11. Liam Heckman says:

    Is there a video floating around that talks about the different transmission options you can get with a Kubota of that size. As well as the pros and cons of each.

  12. Bob Stubs says:

    This is so true! Deere is a bunch of creeps!

  13. Tony Lyons says:

    As always a very thoughtful and informed (and informative) analysis

  14. Shiawassee Gunner says:

    So john deere is basically the Apple of the tractor world

  15. Georgia Swampman says:

    We have a JD 5055D, been a good little tractor, not sure about he E series, I hear they are junk.  We have a Kubota M9540, LOVE it, personally I am waiting to see if Kubota can come up with a system that does not use DPF, and then I would purchase a M5 like tomorrow.  Also have NH 5610s which is old school, built like a tank, good old tractor.  Yes, you have to research and physically check out a machines features.  To be honest with the service we have gotten out of M9540, Kubota has me sold, we use this tractor in hay and we pull a round baler and this past year we had to rip up a pasture and it pulled our old big harrow like it wasn't back there.  I do have one point to make, Massey is making some big gains in their market , especially with not using a DPF in tractors around 100hp.  How are they managing to do this?  Please explain, sounds like a good video….Mark

  16. Payne says:

    I would never trade my deere tractors that are 6 series and up for any other brand, but the lower tier tractors, you might as well send them to the scrap pile.

  17. TheHobbyShopFilms says:

    Can you do a comparison on he engine life hours, and quality?

  18. John Albaugh says:

    Great video, though I thought the Kubota TLBs all have fixed/non removable loaders.

  19. H Smith says:

    Liked the video. I have good luck with the Deere on my second. The dealership does a good job

  20. killstrees says:

    Too bad I'm on the other coast. I'd buy a machine from you!

  21. Richard Green says:

    I bought the Kubota because of the quick attach universal hitch.

  22. Ethan says:

    The best comparison on youtube! 21st century marketing is cancer!

  23. Levi A says:

    Have you done or can you do a comparison between Bx23s and the 1025r?

  24. Jason Hughes says:

    John deere always knocks Kubota lol they're sore losers. Sucks to making tractors for 100 years and getting spanked on quality and price by kubota. John deere is overpriced and reaks of value engineering everywhere

  25. Freight Train says:

    While you do make some good, common sense points about Deere advertising, you didn't highlight how Kubota does the same monkey business in their marketing.

    And no matter how far you go to couch your opinions early, is there anyone who doesn't detect your Kubota bias in this? I would hope not.

    The same guys who told you to wear a Kubota shirt were the ones who told you to have the late shot with 2 Kubotas surrounding 1 Deere, its all standard marketing imagery stuff. They are so biased they don't even realized how obviously they display that bias in a video supposedly being about 'honesty' and open mindedness.

    There's not much wrong with Kubota tractors, they have earned a solid spot in the American tractor market and are a legit competitor to Deere. Like you said it is all subjective, and for me it was easy – Kubota was cheaper, and tempting, until I drove it. It FELT cheaper, and it felt like they didnt have ease of use and getting things done easier in mind…. because all those things add up to time savings and me getting more done every day. My Deere feels like that every day I use it. They thought of ALL the little things. Fanatical attention to detail.

    But to say Deere stretches the truth is an obvious bias because so does Kubota, horribly. Only caveat I can say is neither brand will pile on the BS like Mahindra. Wow. Their advertising is hilarious in how love/hate they are about Deere. Stalker level stuff.

    So I miss your point here – or I would except we all know all dealerships get in bed with one manufacturer or another and your shirt makes it all too obvious which one yours did. haha

  26. Vicki Poe says:

    I work for the company that makes the oil products for Kubota. we still make udt hyd oil. we also make a udt hd, and super udt 2.

  27. John Dee says:

    JD has 'comparison' trolls all over youtube. Beware of any JD vs Kubota videos. Messicks does some really good non-bias videos even tho they are a Kubota dealer.

  28. trey smith says:

    Thanks Neil for these videos. I was seriously considering the John Deere before I watched these.

  29. Kubota Jordan says:

    I have a M5040HD 4X4 with a loader where I work we have a John Deere the same size I think its a 5045 . The Deere might be a little bigger . My tractor will out work it 2 to 1 doing dirt work and mowing . Now it doesn't have a hyd. shuttle shift. Deere doesn't offer one in that size when I bought mine did not want hydrostatic drive . They are both a utility series tractors the Deere sits lower in the seat and is cramped the trans gets hot after you been on it for a while. When I run it all day you are wore out . Deere make a good machine . I prefer kubota in that size utility series it all boils down to what you prefer . Some of are guys like the JD 450 dozer over a cat D3 they say it grades out better . You all have a good day and being on a tractor of any kind is better than sitting behind a desk any day !!!! LOL

  30. Ralph Farmer says:

    Both look like good machines, when maintained should give long operating life.

  31. Brian Lawyer says:

    That LandPride Quick Hitch does not have an adjustable top link hook and at least 75% of the time, that is the reason some implements will not accept it. Deere had the same issue with their original iMatch hitches roughly 15 years ago.

  32. Caleb Blackwell says:

    Don't call it a fair or honest comparison if you're biased as well.

  33. Austin Seubert says:

    I agree the way companies compare models to each other in biased ways, u are right driving it or demoing is the way to buy a tractor

  34. Drone Pilot says:

    what is that framework on the john deere bucket?

  35. hammer95diesel says:

    Probably some of the most honest comparisons that I have ever seen. I'm a Deere owner but I agree with the fluff from deere marketing. Great job man.

  36. Michael Aversa says:

    "Can't remember when the last time I saw a Kubota hood rust" You're hilarious. You mean on the new tractor lot ? lol.

  37. LetTheWritersWrite says:

    I recently read an article article on Vice that farmers are having to use Ukrainian hacks because JD uses software to lock up your tractor if you try to service it. Anyone heard this?

  38. clarkharms says:

    These comparisons and videos are done in a responsible manner and I find them informative.
    If I was closer I would have bought my l3901 from you. My dealer in New Hampshire, mb tractor, is horrible.

  39. jlen82 says:

    Just to make something clear Messick's does not sell John Deere but does sell Kabuto.

  40. Drew Wilke says:

    He is a Kubota man so he is going to see the Kubota as the better tractor to have a good comparison you near to have like a case ih salesman comparing a John Deere and a kubota

  41. Andy Garcia says:

    You press a pedal forward to go backwards in a car though, lol what’s the difference?

  42. Philip Weathington says:

    I would say you did great job here,,,, I had a Deere 4600 for 18 years and just sold it to buy a bigger machine to cut hay with. It took about 6 months to make the final choice but Deere fell out due to price. Massey had a really machine and so did kubota, I ended up buying a kioti x7320,,,its almost identical to the kubota. In the end price was the key factor for me,,,,

  43. J Bell says:

    John Deere's quality has taken a dramatic decrease, I will be the first one to say that. Our 1990's Deere 5300 is so much better than a modern Deere utility. The loader is easy to move, it shifts easy, just a good, solid all-around tractor. Not saying a Kubota isn't, but I agree with going out and trying them. Deere's advertising is also crap too.

    If you want to know how to fix a coupler issue? (We have done this a few times before) take a welder and a few pieces of your strongest scrap metal, and weld it to fit the coupler.

  44. Tom Popp - KA0TP says:

    Now, if all dealers were this honest and fair about their products…. Great Video. I grew up with Deerebut have run many brands of equipment over the years. The tractor that works for you ( and the dealer that works for you) is the key. Now if you guys were
    just on the Left coast… 😉

  45. Bryce Redmond says:

    John Deere really lies because they use a smeller competitive tractor. K ALL THE WAY!!

  46. Bryce Redmond says:


  47. Bryce Redmond says:

    John Deere has high prices for low quality and Kubota is smart so i don't know why more farmers purchase John Deere over Kubota!!

    Stupid Quality Decisions.

  48. Bryce Redmond says:

    Love the description!!

  49. Mark Proulx says:

    Your honesty and objective approach is refreshing. Thanks!

  50. Brian kumpan says:

    I'm sure John Deere is good but when I went into there store well lets just say I got treated better at Appelbe's and I will never eat there again, but when I walked into Kubota to look at there tractors the salesman and owner dropped everything to help me out. Yes first impressions tell me a lot and John Deere just told me right there and then, never ever do business with them again. I won't even walk into there store to ask for directions.

  51. G Farmer says:

    john deer for the win

  52. Morgan Barnett says:

    What do you think of LS tractors? Can you do a comparison with a Kubota and LS XR 4140?

  53. MBarton says:

    What are those grates that are on a lot of the buckets of your used tractors? Are those to hold sand bags (like I thought I saw in one video) to test/demo the loaders with weight, or did you just get a whole bunch in on trade from a certain large customer, and they just had those on them already?

  54. kng2bishop says:

    If Kubota marketing doesn't steal you, they're crazy. I've sat on both tractors numerous times, but your videos play in my head. JD needs to take note, your approach to comparisons is less dirty and warming to the consumer. Good Job Neil!

  55. Linus Ahnell says:

    Kubota sucks

  56. v rock says:

    Excellent non biased comparison. Thank you.

  57. james morgan says:

    How about the 4052 R. Everything you said did this tractor didn't have the R has and more.

  58. Bob Smithereens says:

    Plastic hood and smaller front axle makes John Deere an overpriced POS.  No thanks.

  59. shohokuslamdunk says:

    Hi Neal, do you know why the new Grand L60 series have their hydraulic lines routed outside of the loader arms? I like how Kubota uses to route them on the older Grand L40 series.

  60. WAGSY11 says:

    very fair comparison great job neal

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