The BX23 Field Test Report

I have noticed a complete lack of anyone doing any kind of real testing of different tractors. Manufacturers are free to make whatever claims they like as to the capability of a product without anyone checking up on what information ends up on their spec sheets. There are also several questions posed about the effects of weight on a tractor and its performance. Many of these things can not be quantified, but a few of them can be. This past weekend I had a chance to develop a handful of different trails that I think may reveal some things about compact tractors. I present to you, the first in a series of compact tractor field test reports.




The first trial that we put the BX23 though was a test of the ratted lift capacity. A quick breeze though the product literature of the different competitors shows that each company takes their measurements from different locations along the bucket, all rate their specs to full height. We tested the BX23 at 3 different locations, all within 2in of the max lift height. The load was a combine tire and rim centered below the bucket. From the front edge of the bucket the BX mustered 290lbs of lift, far short of the full ratted capacity of 460lbs. Sliding the weight back to bucket center, which is where Kubota measures this specification caused our result to jump right up to 480lbs. This was the first indication to us how easy it can be to sway loader lift capacities based just upon what point you decide to measure from. I have never seen Kubota make a measurement from the lift pins of a tractor, Deere and New Holland do, but I suppose Kubota did not see the need to include this rather frivolous measurement as it reveals very little about actual capacity. After rigging the load cell back under the lift pins the little BX suddenly mustered 660lbs of lift. Without the backhoe on the BX23 the rear end came right up off the ground. 

Lowering the load down just a few inches also had an impact on our test results. In this case, the bucket was lowered about 1 foot from the full height testing position. In this place, the lift capacity at bucket center increased by 50lbs to 530.

When operating a tractors loader, the lower the load is to the ground the higher lift capacity it will have. When under max capacity there will come a point where the tractor will simply stop lifting.



One further test was done before our day of testing was prematurely interrupted. The load testing cell was placed between the draw bar of the tractor and a nearby tree. Pulling on this load under different conditions should show the impact of 2WD/4WD and different types of ballasting. The testing conditions where on hard dry soil with turf tires on the tractor. We started with a worst case scenario, 2WD with no ballast on the tractor. When setup like this, the machine only managed to pull 750lbs before the tires broke loose. Switching the tractor into 4WD had an amazing impact, almost doubling the drawbar pull to 1420lbs. To get an idea of the impact of increasing the weight by ballast we put the 600lb backhoe onto the tractor. This had a major impact on our 2WD test giving us 1760lbs, switching to 4WD added a small margin giving 1920lbs. With the backhoe on the tractor there was enough ground contact to keep the tires from spinning at all.

Further testing of this machine and others are being done. The information and our testing procedures are purely to draw some conclusions about the performance and accuracy of what we know about compact tractors. Nothing we do should be considered even remotely scientific or be used as the primary reason for a purchase decision.


BX23 Test Report Data

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