Kubota recommends being easy on the tractor the first 50 hours (should I even mow?)

Redhawk454

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BX1880
Mar 12, 2023
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About to take delivery in the next few days of a BX1880. 80% of the time it will be used to mow with amid mount mower. I was gleaning the owners manual to see what Kubota said about break in or run in of the tractor

I know in vehicles you should be soft on the truck/car for the first 300-500 miles. In my Ram 3500 it wasnt advised to tow right away but to wait 500 miles before towing or hauling anything

anyway. Kubota recommends something similar. It reads this in the owners manual


"A new tractor just off the factory production line has been, of course, tested, but the various parts are not accustomed to each other. So you should take care of the tractor. You should operate the tractor as follows for the first 50 hours until the various parts become broken-in. • Operate the tractor at a slower speed • Avoid excessive work or operation of the tractor The manner which the tractor is used during the breaking-in period greatly affects the life of your tractor. Therefore, to obtain the maximum performance and the longest life of the tractor, it is very important to properly break-in your tractor. In using a new tractor, follow the following precautions. Do not operate the tractor at full speed for the first 50 hours. • Do not start the tractor quickly. Do not apply the brakes suddenly. • In winter, operate the tractor after fully warming up the engine. • Do not run the engine at speeds faster than necessary. • On rough roads, slow down to suitable speeds. Do not operate the tractor at fast speed. The preceding precautions are not limited only to new tractors, but to all tractors. But you should especially follow the preceding precautions in the case of new tractors."


My only issues is I have to mow.. and I know any kind of pto operation puts a load on the engine and transmission. I'm pretty sure you have to be close to wide open throttle to operate a mower, even a mid mount mower. I've operated Compact tractors before with a 60" brush cutter, and usually to be at 540 rpm you are pretty darn close to wide open throttle.

I'll talk to a Kubota tech in person on Monday but just wanted to know what you guys think?

Thank you guys for your time.
 
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kubotafreak

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The engine needs to be thoroughly warmed up before being loaded, but will seat rings well being used. Your tractor may have even come with a tag showing California epa compliance indicating the engine is broken in already. Pto use is already under max rpm. The hst transmission will wear some in the first 50 hours, so taking it easy on the trans is encouraged. Just avoid max speed. Importance is not overheating anything. (Personal opinion)From a mechanically inclined individual.
 
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Redhawk454

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BX1880
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The engine needs to be thoroughly warmed up before being loaded, but will seat rings well being used. Your tractor may have even come with a tag showing California epa compliance indicating the engine is broken in already. Pto use is already under max rpm. The hst transmission will wear some in the first 50 hours, so taking it easy on the trans is encouraged. Just avoid max speed. Importance is not overheating anything. (Personal opinion)From a mechanically inclined individual.
just curious, if the rings aren't already seated before i lay eyes on it, wont they seat within the first 30 minutes of use?

I didn't know ring sitting was still a thing

Like my 6.7 Cummins was broken in at the factory but they recommend towing between 500 to 6,000 miles to "enhance" run in of everything else (transmission, differentials etc.)
 

kubotafreak

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just curious, if the rings aren't already seated before i lay eyes on it, wont they seat within the first 30 minutes of use?

I didn't know ring sitting was still a thing

Like my 6.7 Cummins was broken in at the factory but they recommend towing between 500 to 6,000 miles to "enhance" run in of everything else (transmission, differentials etc.)
Yes the rings are already partially seated, but you ensure to run them in the optimal condition for full break in. As far as a 6.7, that is mainly for the rear end gears. It is fairly easy to gum up a diesel up from not being run under enough load.
 
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hoot owl

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I have 60 hrs. on mine and 55 of them are using the backhoe to remove tree stumps. I run it at PTO speed most of the time. I would not sweat it. Tractors are made to work hard. They word things like that to protect them selves.
 
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D2Cat

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And that paragraph you quoted may have very well be the same one Kubota used in the 1980's!

Be careful in warming up the engine and hyd fluid before use for a few minutes, then use your tractor without "babying" it.
 
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The Evil Twin

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Thats Old skool advice. Today's machines don't really require the soft break in period. On road vehicles do need time to bed in clutches (even a auto tranny has clutches), hypoid/ helical gears in the diff, etc. But that's only for a couple hundred miles. I probably wouldn't go redline in the first few hours but you'll be fine.
FWIW, we break in brand new bike motors in 4 hours total labor time. Then it's tune time. Redline/ full throttle pulls.
 
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mcfarmall

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I doubt that people who really use their tractors pamper them for the first 50 hours. What would you actually do with a combine, for example, for the first 50 hours? Drive it in a parade?
 
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rc51stierhoff

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Break in for an engine is ‘final machining’. Also remember that engine wear is a direct result of the crud in your oil…first oil change is the most important. An engine requires heat and friction to break in…there is only one good way for that to happen. By all means follow your manual. IMO the key really is two things…1. let it warm up at idle for more than normal, look listen and smell for any leaks smoke unusual noises. 2. If all ok from number 1., then Apply load so it can properly heat up and finish the ‘final machining’ / wearing in of those precision parts to one another. (Diesels are different than 4 stroke and friction / heat comes from the compression & rpm’s).

Personally I’d check the torque on a couple of the wheel lug bolts while you let it idle and also take your manual and find all the grease fittings. And also after you get to your 50 hrs change the oils and filters, check your wheel bolt torque and grease it. If you have dealer do the service still check the wheel bolts yourself…owner is responsible for keeping bolts torqued and wheels on.
 
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mikester

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Right on rc51stierhoff. Check you machine out looking for loose or missing stuff the high school dropout assembler forgot, torque your wheels, mark the bolts at the 12 o'clock positions for the wheels and loader frame, use it like normal don't abuse it. Do the 50 hour service. Enjoy your new toy!
 
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Pawnee

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I've wondered about the "Do not operate at full speed" for the first 50 hours. My conclusion is that Kubota doesn't want a wheel to fall off or the like so they want the 50 hour service done first in the hopes that it catches something like that.

Just keep an eye out for overheating, low fluids, and anything that seems wrong for the first couple days.
Don't ever run it like you stole it.
Mine was fine, hope yours is too.
 

RBsingl

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Mowing is one of the easiest ways to put a less than full load on a new tractor powertrain. Run it at 80-90% of rated PTO RPM for a few hours and don't load it down so much that the governor is going to full fuel trying to maintain set RPM (lift the deck a bit or reduce forward speed if in heavy grass).

I ordered a Kubota F2690 with 72" rear discharge deck back in June and it was finally delivered a week before Christmas. In early January we had a brief warm period and I used it to run over the 5 acre lawn to chew up some leaves and dead grass left over from the summer before; enough to provide some load but nothing excessive. For the first couple of cuts this spring, I will also manage loading via speed and deck height. The slower speed will also be a good chance to get used to the front mount deck compared to the Deere 955 compact utility with midmount deck I have been using to cut for the past 25 years.

Running a diesel for extended periods of time under very light load for long periods of time is one of the worst things you can do for it because it won't get hot enough for clean combustion. My 40KW standby generator is powered by a Mitsubishi 4 cylinder 3.3L turbo diesel and during its monthly exercise cycles I make sure enough stuff is running so it is supplying at least 12 KW during the exercise cycle. When power fails, the auto transfer switch starts the generator and gives it a 4 minute warmup at its governed 1800 RPM speed and then transfers power. It would be nice for it to be able to do a loaded warmup the way GM sets up their 6.6L pickup diesel (transmission is engaged with the output shaft locked a few seconds after cold start as the idle speed is slowly ramped up) but that isn't possible. One of the main reasons I set up the generator system with a commercial auto transfer switch instead of the typical consumer style is I didn't want the generator cold starting and then 3 seconds later getting hit with a full load.

Rodger
 
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DustyRusty

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Treat it like your last girlfriend that you hated, not like your first girlfriend that you adored. Its a tractor, not a finely tuned piano.
 
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Runs With Scissors

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I worked as a dealership heavy mechanic for about 18 years and I never saw one vehicle come back cause someone didn't "break it in" properly. If its a sh!tty motor or trans, then it's doomed from day one, but if it's a good motor/trans, then your all set. Just maintain it properly.

IMHO diesels need to be run hard from day one to help seat the rings. But I have no evidence to prove it, just an opinion.

Me personally I "run it like I stole it" from day one. My truck has ~250 K on it and my TDI Jetta had over 300K and was running fine when I sold it. (I kinda miss that little car sometimes)

In the end, it's yours so, you do whatever your gut tells you.
 
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atitus

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I have a BX1880 purchased in 2018 in the summer. Dealer delivered it and explained how to use it. Sadly I've learned from this site that not all dealers do that, which is really a shame. Key things have already been shared here. Run the engine at low rpm until it warms up ( for me I run until the temp needle is moving 1/2 to 3/4 of it's normal operating temp). Engage mower at "low" rpm like around 2000 and then increase throttle to working rpm for the PTO -- it's marked on the gauge. I have a grass catcher, so when I stop to empty it the engine rpm lowered for a min or two. If you aren't doing that, maybe just take a quick break every 45 min or something would be equivalent?
 

atitus

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One thing I forgot to add, the working rpm for the PTO is definitely not full throttle.
 
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Springer

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I bought my BX 2 years ago and I just hit 50 hrs. In fact, I just added a Dirt Dog 48 box grader.
I've mowed a lot of grass. I have a grapple and picked up logs, firewood, RR ties and brush.
I usually let her warm up after start. I do a walk around inspection checking for fluid leaks, tires, etc.
Other than grease and hydraulic fluid, I have not performed any maintenance though I'm coming up on that now, I think.
 

jyoutz

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I worked as a dealership heavy mechanic for about 18 years and I never saw one vehicle come back cause someone didn't "break it in" properly. If its a sh!tty motor or trans, then it's doomed from day one, but if it's a good motor/trans, then your all set. Just maintain it properly.

IMHO diesels need to be run hard from day one to help seat the rings. But I have no evidence to prove it, just an opinion.

Me personally I "run it like I stole it" from day one. My truck has ~250 K on it and my TDI Jetta had over 300K and was running fine when I sold it. (I kinda miss that little car sometimes)

In the end, it's yours so, you do whatever your gut tells you.
It appears that the “break in” concept is now in the same category as the 3,000 mile vehicle oil change.