B2301 or B2601?

Jchonline

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
Kubota L6060, KX040-4, M7060, RTV X1100C, M62 (sold)
Oct 28, 2018
1,047
362
83
Red Feather Lakes, CO
I am in the early stages of looking for a replacement for my growing obsolete grey market ZL1500. I was originally looking at a green tractor but after visiting my local Kubota dealer for an oil filter for the ZL, I took a look at a B2601 they had on the lot. I really like the idea of having a 3 range hydrostatic transmission. After talking with the salesman for a bit, I decided that replacing orange with orange. My biggest question is should I go with the B2601 or the B2301? Is the slight increase in hp worth the added cost? I already have a rotary cutter, finishing mower, box blade, and disc harrow- all 4ft wide- so I don't want a tractor much wider otherwise the LX2610 would be in the running as well. I do plan to get rear remotes, 3rd function, pallet forks, and a grapple when I do decide to pull the trigger. Either tractor would be a huge step up from what I have already. I just want to make sure I am getting the most bang for my buck.
You are not going to notice a difference in performance between a 23HP and 26HP machine. For me it would boil down to price and availability.
 
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bs13

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Equipment
b 2301
Jun 19, 2021
4
2
3
ohio
In 2016 I had this same issue, 2301 vs 2601. Went with the 2301 because I wanted a backhoe. The extra cost didn't seem worth it! The GPMs were the same or very close, BH 70, but the 2301 does have a bit of shorter swing radius than other backhoes, 140 degrees or so.
 
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Freeheeler

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Equipment
b2650 tlb
Aug 16, 2018
591
334
63
Knoxville, TN
My brain sees things a bit different than most I guess. If both tractors were sitting in my garage, which one would I get on and use? That's the one I'd buy. In the end, they will both work for what you need.
 
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Jchonline

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
Kubota L6060, KX040-4, M7060, RTV X1100C, M62 (sold)
Oct 28, 2018
1,047
362
83
Red Feather Lakes, CO
My brain sees things a bit different than most I guess. If both tractors were sitting in my garage, which one would I get on and use? That's the one I'd buy. In the end, they will both work for what you need.
How would you know which one is better for your uses if you had not spent time using each? That seems like something you would know after some real seat time. The OP is purchasing new.
 

top gnome

Active member

Equipment
b2301 w bh fel grapple back blade
Dec 12, 2021
306
111
43
Fundy shore nova scotia
I got three whole hours on my b2301. which of course makes me an expert. I did not want to wait for the b2601. With the smaller tires hp is less important than traction. There are many less than 20hp tractors that do a ton of work, weight and tire size trump hp in my opinion. I have ag tires and chains without wheel spacers they are working great best I can tell no slippage even on ice. Plowed about 6 inches of snow this weekend. Plus you use about 1/2 quart an hour less in fuel to do the same work. I can not speak to the pto driven implements as I do not intend to use any but my old farmall is a 21hp gasser and it can run any implement that would fit that hp. I am not sure that a bigger tractor would not be better but I did not think the 3 hp and an inch here and there and the 6 month wait especially the 6 month wait was worth it. The 1000.00 difference was really not part of it but it also matters. so far I really like the b2301
 
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Freeheeler

Well-known member

Equipment
b2650 tlb
Aug 16, 2018
591
334
63
Knoxville, TN
How would you know which one is better for your uses if you had not spent time using each? That seems like something you would know after some real seat time. The OP is purchasing new.
The slightly smaller, slightly less powered one would never be "better for my uses". I would naturally get on the 26 vs the 23 every time, even though I've never had seat time on either one. My main point was that as small as the differences are between them, they will both work fine.
 
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Quick

Member

Equipment
B2601
Sep 23, 2021
75
98
18
St. Clair, MO.
Those with the B2601- what are your likes and dislikes about it? DO you have the Kubota 3rd function and/or rear remotes and if so which valves do you have? Has anyone used a 4n1 bucket with it?

I chose the 2601 over the 2301 and my dealer had both in stock. The cost increase was about $800.00. The reason I used to justify the 2601 was PTO HP. That, and I can't recall anyone wishing they had bought the smaller version of a tractor. Hehe!

Dealer installed the 3rd function. Don't know what valve was used. No experience with the 4n1.

A side note: I installed an assist step to climb onto the tractor (not a factory option) and was able to purchase one for a B2650 and it bolted right up. You can't do that with the 2301. It does not have the required rear bracket to install the step. Little differences like that, that you never even think of, makes me feel good about going the 2601 route.
 
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AKguy09

Member

Equipment
B2301 1950 Farmall Cub
Nov 22, 2017
61
12
8
ellicott, colorado
I have a 2301 and don't regret it, you will run out of traction long before you notice the 3 hp missing.

My 1950 Farmall Cub has 10HP and can easily pull the same weight as my 2301
 
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ORANGE4EVER

New member

Equipment
B2301 - TLB / 54" mid-mower / 64" rear mount blower
Oct 23, 2013
3
2
3
Sarsfield, Ontario, Canada
I just recently purchased the B2301 and had the option and availability of a 2601. The way I saw it was based on the very small differences between models, if you're not happy with the 23hp and it can't cut it, I don't see how the 26hp will be any different. I know it's only 1200$, but it's 1200$ you could put towards rear-remotes and/or 3rd function for your loader. Regardless, I'm positive you'll be happy with what ever your decide to opt for!

We just got 50cm of snow here in Ottawa and tried out my new 64" rear-mount blower and it threw that white stuff all the way back to North Pole lol.

I've also cleared my trail in the forest using the loader and it was a breeze. Got plenty of traction with the R14 tires.

Best of luck! :)
 
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top gnome

Active member

Equipment
b2301 w bh fel grapple back blade
Dec 12, 2021
306
111
43
Fundy shore nova scotia
I am not absolutely sure but looking at the manual I think the two tractors are the same size unless you get ag tires. once you move to turf or bar tires the wheel widths are the same so will the height and ground clearance be the only difference in size is when you have the smaller r1 tires on.
 

RalphVa

Active member
Jan 19, 2020
534
213
43
Charlottesville
I noticed yesterday that the B2601 with R14 tires is slightly more narrow that my RC2048 bush hog. Specs say it is supposed to be 49 inches wide. Maybe the RC2048 is actually wider than 48 inches? Didn't tape measure it.

Finding the fuel consumption so far at 23ish hours on the 2601 is 0.34 gph. This means the fuel consumption on the 2301 would be about 0.31 gph.
 
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top gnome

Active member

Equipment
b2301 w bh fel grapple back blade
Dec 12, 2021
306
111
43
Fundy shore nova scotia
I guess the b2301 and b2601 are the same size with any tires except the r1 tires. I have about 22 hours on and have put in 8 gallons so far but still have over a 1/2 tank so I think we will be close on fuel. I am still running under 2000 rpm for break in period. but have been plowing snow, grading the road and doing grapple and loader work. It is just too muddy to do much here right now. everytime I go to work I end up creating more ruts to fill so I am making more work than I am completing. I am anxious to see what the fuel consumption will be once the tractor is past break in and I have changed the oil to 0-40 rotella. I think I am going to change the hst oil at 50 hours as well.
 

RalphVa

Active member
Jan 19, 2020
534
213
43
Charlottesville
The B2601 is still not above 25 hours; so technically not broken in yet. Still using about half the fuel the 3 JDs used.

I've 0w30 M1 ESP to put in at the 50 hour mark. I've new drain pans. Will just catch, filter and reuse the HST oil.
 
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