Go big or reasonably priced, M6-131 or M5-111?

shapleigh1

New member
May 29, 2021
4
0
1
Lakeland, FL
I would love to hear from anyone with experience operating or purchasing a M6-131 or M5-111 for heavy mowing. We have a Woods 1800X, 15 foot batwing rated from 75hp up to 250hp. Currently we are running an early 2000's John Deere 6405, when new it was rated at 84hp out the back (on a good day). There is about 300 acres to mow and most of it is rough Florida pasture of thick wild grass clumps and knee - waist high weeds. The JD 6405 is worn out and struggles to maintain any speed and will start to run hot, making for very slow mowing and unproductive hours in the seat.

50% of our time is loader work that is well within the load capacity of the M5. 50% of our time in mowing the 300 acres. The M5-111 is 94hp PTO and just doesn't seem like it is going to be a significant improvement on mowing performance (although I'm sure it'll be a vast improvement over our current tractor). Stepping up to the M6-131 (104hp PTO) is a big jump in price and has a lot of technology (AG implement controls and displays) that we won't need. But the horsepower and weight would be beneficial with the 5300lb batwing. We could never match the maximum horsepower rating of the batwing at 250hp but we would prefer not to be at the lower rating for these dense fields of wild grass.

We are a non-profit and this is a big purchase for us that will be used for the next 20 years. We can afford either model, but it will be a significant hit to the budget approaching $92,000 on the M6. Is the $30,000 jump going to be worth it? Should we be considering going even further with the M6-141 for the added power? Any insight or experience is appreciated.

All the best.
 

BigG

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l2501, FEL, BB, Rotary cutter, rake,spreader, roller, etc. New Holland TL80 A
Sep 14, 2018
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West Central,FL
What type of non-profit are you running?
 

BigG

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l2501, FEL, BB, Rotary cutter, rake,spreader, roller, etc. New Holland TL80 A
Sep 14, 2018
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83
West Central,FL

We are the second largest airshow in the country and have to maintain our portion of the leased airport property year-round. All our proceeds go towards youth aviation education and scholarships.
Are you familiar with private messaging on this site? Would like to talk to you in private.
 

PaulL

Active member

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B2601
Jul 17, 2017
945
212
43
NZ
If you really just need a machine for loader work and mowing, seems like you're paying a lot for features you're not using. Is there a different machine that just does those things well without the extras? Might mean a second hand / older machine, or maybe even another brand?
 

shapleigh1

New member
May 29, 2021
4
0
1
Lakeland, FL
If you really just need a machine for loader work and mowing, seems like you're paying a lot for features you're not using. Is there a different machine that just does those things well without the extras? Might mean a second hand / older machine, or maybe even another brand?
I completely agree with your points on price and features versus the applications we are using it for. Generally I've been loyal to Kubota with great experiences on our family's L3901 and the build quality I've seen compared to similar tractors. With this purchase we are entering a capability and price point I am not as familiar with. Absolutely open to any other suggestions, but have dedicated most of my research on the larger Kubota's vs John Deere.
 

PoTreeBoy

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L35 Ford 3930
Mar 24, 2020
489
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WestTn/NoMs
It looks like the M6 is only available with 4WD and cab. Using the Build Your Kubota tool, it looks like these 2 items add about $25k to an M5 vs 2WD open station, so that may be a big part of the difference you're seeing between the M5 and M6.
One thought: consider JD, CNH and other dealers in the area.
Two thought: I wonder if there is a shop that could PTO dyno your old JD to see how much HP you really have now?
Three thought: would your dealer let you trial the M5 (or both) at your place to see if it meets your needs?
Four thought: How sharp are your blades? A lot of us keep dull blades because we're cutting a lot of brush and saplings. But if you're cutting primarily grass you'd save HP and get a better cut with sharp blades.
.
There was a guy on here, SidecarFlip, that has 2 larger M's for baling hay. You might search through his old posts and benefit from his experience.
 

PoTreeBoy

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L35 Ford 3930
Mar 24, 2020
489
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43
WestTn/NoMs
Our horse rescue pastures get mowed by a 12' batwing pulled by an M7040 (67/62HP) or M7060 (71/64HP). Apparently, the founders own the property across the road. When he finished the pastures, he went across the road and mowed the vacant field. I don't think that field was mowed at all last year. The grass and weeds were taller than the tires, and there were a bunch of saplings starting up through it. We've had a lot of rain, so it was plenty juicy. He was mowing it pretty low, going slow, but I think it pretty well reinforced the 5HP/ft rule of thumb.
Sorry I didn't think to get a picture.
 

BAP

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2012 Kubota 2920, 60MMM, FEL, BH65 48" Bush Hog, 60"Backblade, B2782B Snowblower
Dec 31, 2012
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New Hampshire
According to the Kubota spec sheet, the M5-111 is 89 PTO HP. I don’t have any experience with either models you are looking at, however I do have a lot of experience with a John Deere 6410 which is basically the same tractor as a 6405. That 6410 was an underperforming tractor. Running out of power when working hard, running hot unless you were careful. I think that you would have more tractor with the Kubota of the same size. It’s too bad that Kubota doesn’t make an economy version of the M6 without some of the bells and whistles, keeping the price down.
 

Bmyers

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Grand L3560 with LA805 loader, EA 55" Wicked Grapple, SBX72 BB, LP 1272 mower
May 27, 2019
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Southern Illinois
What about the M6S-111

The M6S-111 are value-minded, economy utility tractors built with the small farmer/rancher, property maintenance professional and municipalities in mind. Packed with Kubota quality horsepower and deluxe tractor features, the M6S-111 adds productivity and efficiency to any operation on a budget.

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SDT

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Equipment
multiple and various
Apr 15, 2018
1,861
222
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SE, IN
It looks like the M6 is only available with 4WD and cab. Using the Build Your Kubota tool, it looks like these 2 items add about $25k to an M5 vs 2WD open station, so that may be a big part of the difference you're seeing between the M5 and M6.
One thought: consider JD, CNH and other dealers in the area.
Two thought: I wonder if there is a shop that could PTO dyno your old JD to see how much HP you really have now?
Three thought: would your dealer let you trial the M5 (or both) at your place to see if it meets your needs?
Four thought: How sharp are your blades? A lot of us keep dull blades because we're cutting a lot of brush and saplings. But if you're cutting primarily grass you'd save HP and get a better cut with sharp blades.
.
There was a guy on here, SidecarFlip, that has 2 larger M's for baling hay. You might search through his old posts and benefit from his experience.
Bingo regarding blades.

I keep the blades sharp on all of my mowers from 5' to 15' BW. Cuts better and requires less HP and fuel.

No, I do not mow saplings.

SDT
 

SDT

Well-known member

Equipment
multiple and various
Apr 15, 2018
1,861
222
63
SE, IN
I would love to hear from anyone with experience operating or purchasing a M6-131 or M5-111 for heavy mowing. We have a Woods 1800X, 15 foot batwing rated from 75hp up to 250hp. Currently we are running an early 2000's John Deere 6405, when new it was rated at 84hp out the back (on a good day). There is about 300 acres to mow and most of it is rough Florida pasture of thick wild grass clumps and knee - waist high weeds. The JD 6405 is worn out and struggles to maintain any speed and will start to run hot, making for very slow mowing and unproductive hours in the seat.

50% of our time is loader work that is well within the load capacity of the M5. 50% of our time in mowing the 300 acres. The M5-111 is 94hp PTO and just doesn't seem like it is going to be a significant improvement on mowing performance (although I'm sure it'll be a vast improvement over our current tractor). Stepping up to the M6-131 (104hp PTO) is a big jump in price and has a lot of technology (AG implement controls and displays) that we won't need. But the horsepower and weight would be beneficial with the 5300lb batwing. We could never match the maximum horsepower rating of the batwing at 250hp but we would prefer not to be at the lower rating for these dense fields of wild grass.

We are a non-profit and this is a big purchase for us that will be used for the next 20 years. We can afford either model, but it will be a significant hit to the budget approaching $92,000 on the M6. Is the $30,000 jump going to be worth it? Should we be considering going even further with the M6-141 for the added power? Any insight or experience is appreciated.

All the best.
If planning to keep a tractor for 20 years, I would be MUCH more concerned about the Tier IV nonsense than anything else and would be looking for an, admittedly tough to find, late model pre emissions model.

SDT
 

PaulL

Active member

Equipment
B2601
Jul 17, 2017
945
212
43
NZ
M5-111 looks like much better buying than the M6S-111. Giving up 8HP to save 35% looks like a good deal to me.