Looking to buy first tractor - B26 TLB??

UnderwoodTractor

New member
Oct 7, 2023
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1
Saxonburg PA
Hello,

I just bought a 5acre former horse pasture that I intend to keep sheep on, grow a large seasonal garden, keep an acre sized orchard and maintain a home on. We already are planning a few home projects (deck, 10x20 addition) and have several trees bordering the property that we need to trim/remove, and would like to dredge an existing small pond on the property. With that all in mind we want our first tractor and are looking for input. I just found a b26 TLB with about 2600 hours on it that I am considering but wanted to ask
1. Good price for this machine if it is in good, working shape
2. What to carefully inspect when I go look
3. Is this a good machine for my intent
4. Other models to consider?
I am already x-ing the x’s so aside from that??

thanks for anything you can offer! I do have a little time that I can be patient with to find the right deal but I am excited to start this chapter!
 

85Hokie

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I would make sure you get ALL the documentation on all maintenance records.

How many owners? And how was it treated?

Those hours are up there - worn out, perhaps not - but that should be considered in the price.

It is a great machine, but I would look it over very carefully
 
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UnderwoodTractor

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Oct 7, 2023
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1
Saxonburg PA
I would make sure you get ALL the documentation on all maintenance records.

How many owners? And how was it treated?

Those hours are up there - worn out, perhaps not - but that should be considered in the price.

It is a great machine, but I would look it over very carefully
Considered in the price… what would you be expecting to get for that many hours? 16k?
 

Smokeydog

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M59, B26 grapples, backhoes, tillers, graders, diesel atv
Jun 2, 2020
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knoxville, Tennessee
We like our B26. Replaced a B20 model we had for over 20 years. Tough, capable little TLB tractors with a big heart.

Often used by rental companies even Home Depot. Operator friendly. How well it was maintained an issue with any used tractor. We bought ours used from a local rental company with 50hours, <year old with every option, buckets like brand new. Auction saved us about $10k from a new one. It might gone up in value in 7 years.

Maintenance is critical with any machine. Kubota filters and oil. Greased regularly? 3pt arms? Thumb? QA backhoe buckets? 3rd function? Weather worn or shedded? Manuals? Recent repairs?
 
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PaulL

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B2601
Jul 17, 2017
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B26 is a great machine. Tough.

You pay quite a bit extra for that backhoe. Are you really sure you need one? It may not have enough reach to dredge a pond, nor enough power to do a good job on stumps. It would dig footings for deck posts, but that may be better done with a borer to get nice round holes for concreting. In short, for your money you may be better renting the couple of machines for the specific tasks if they're things you only do once or twice.

B26 is a very common rental machine. That's good - they're very tough because they have to be. It can also be bad - many higher hour machines are ex-rental, and they've been worked hard. It's not a deal breaker, my father had an ex-rental Takeuchi mini-ex and it went fine for years - if it hasn't broken in a rental fleet it probably won't break for you. But it won't be tight and pretty either - everything will be a bit sloppy.

If you don't really need the backhoe, you'd probably be better served with a second hand B2601 or B2650 with low hours. It'll be cheaper and in better condition, and it'll do everything the B26 will do except the backhoe.

Also be aware if you want to run 3ph implements (rotary cutter, back blade, box blade, chipper etc) you probably will have to buy the 3ph kit. Many second hand B26s don't come with them. You also don't generally get a belly mower with a B26 (although I think they may be able to take one), and the loader isn't removable - I always remove my loader for mowing.
 
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fried1765

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Kubota L48 TLB, Ford 1920 FEL, Ford 8N, SCAG Liberty Z, Gravely Pro.
Nov 14, 2019
6,464
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113
Eastham, Ma
Hello,

I just bought a 5acre former horse pasture that I intend to keep sheep on, grow a large seasonal garden, keep an acre sized orchard and maintain a home on. We already are planning a few home projects (deck, 10x20 addition) and have several trees bordering the property that we need to trim/remove, and would like to dredge an existing small pond on the property. With that all in mind we want our first tractor and are looking for input. I just found a b26 TLB with about 2600 hours on it that I am considering but wanted to ask
1. Good price for this machine if it is in good, working shape
2. What to carefully inspect when I go look
3. Is this a good machine for my intent
4. Other models to consider?
I am already x-ing the x’s so aside from that??

thanks for anything you can offer! I do have a little time that I can be patient with to find the right deal but I am excited to start this chapter!
The B26 TLB is a nice machine.
A 2600 hour B26 TLB is not such a great idea.

And......."dredge a small pond"?
Surely you must be kidding!
The B26 TLB is a SMALL (26 HP) machine, with an absolute maximum 11' horizontal reach.
In addition: It has a pathetic 1,300 lb. loader lift capacity.

Even the 63 HP M62 TLB (Kubota's largest TLB), would likely be WAY undersized .
Hire an excavating contractor for the "small pond"!










B26 is a great machine. Tough.

You pay quite a bit extra for that backhoe. Are you really sure you need one? It may not have enough reach to dredge a pond, nor enough power to do a good job on stumps. It would dig footings for deck posts, but that may be better done with a borer to get nice round holes for concreting. In short, for your money you may be better renting the couple of machines for the specific tasks if they're things you only do once or twice.

B26 is a very common rental machine. That's good - they're very tough because they have to be. It can also be bad - many higher hour machines are ex-rental, and they've been worked hard. It's not a deal breaker, my father had an ex-rental Takeuchi mini-ex and it went fine for years - if it hasn't broken in a rental fleet it probably won't break for you. But it won't be tight and pretty either - everything will be a bit sloppy.

If you don't really need the backhoe, you'd probably be better served with a second hand B2601 or B2650 with low hours. It'll be cheaper and in better condition, and it'll do everything the B26 will do except the backhoe.

Also be aware if you want to run 3ph implements (rotary cutter, back blade, box blade, chipper etc) you probably will have to buy the 3ph kit. Many second hand B26s don't come with them. You also don't generally get a belly mower with a B26 (although I think they may be able to take one), and the loader isn't removable - I always remove my loader for mowing.
 
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Smokeydog

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M59, B26 grapples, backhoes, tillers, graders, diesel atv
Jun 2, 2020
571
526
93
knoxville, Tennessee
The B26 TLB is a nice machine.
A 2600 hour B26 TLB is not such a great idea.

And......."dredge a small pond"?
Surely you must be kidding!
The B26 TLB is a SMALL (26 HP) machine, with an absolute maximum 11' horizontal reach.

Even the 63 HP M62 TLB (Kubota's largest TLB), would likely be WAY undersized .
Hire an excavating contractor for the "small pond"!
IMG_2369.jpeg

B26 with chainsaw tree trimmer.
B26 is an expensive but extremely useful first time tractor. Easy to learn to operate. More powerful FEL and backhoe than it’s AG cousins.
IMG_2759.jpeg

Fits where the bigger tractors can’t. Many modifications to better serve our hillside farm.
 
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PoTreeBoy

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L35 Ford 3930
Mar 24, 2020
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WestTn/NoMs
Hello,

I just bought a 5acre former horse pasture that I intend to keep sheep on, grow a large seasonal garden, keep an acre sized orchard and maintain a home on. We already are planning a few home projects (deck, 10x20 addition) and have several trees bordering the property that we need to trim/remove, and would like to dredge an existing small pond on the property. With that all in mind we want our first tractor and are looking for input. I just found a b26 TLB with about 2600 hours on it that I am considering but wanted to ask
1. Good price for this machine if it is in good, working shape
2. What to carefully inspect when I go look
3. Is this a good machine for my intent
4. Other models to consider?
I am already x-ing the x’s so aside from that??

thanks for anything you can offer! I do have a little time that I can be patient with to find the right deal but I am excited to start this chapter!
A B26 should be appropriate for your place
IF the price is right, and
IF you are able to and have the time to do repairs

I paid $14k an L35 four years ago with 2000 hrs showing. I'm almost sure the tach was working when I tested it, but was disconnected when delivered, hmm. I've had no engine or transmission issues, which was my greatest concern.

I've replaced: seat (obvious at test), hydraulic suction hoses, almost every hydraulic hose on loader and hoe (I marvel at how the seller knew to sell just before they failed), seat belt, fuel lift pump, fan belt (not trivial) and glow plug timer. I've repacked several cylinders and a crushed hydraulic suction pipe and installed LED lights. All in, maybe $1,500 parts plus my labor. But, if I had to take it to a shop, $$$.

I also bought the 3pt arms which weren't with it when I bought it. Not because I have an immediate need, but just in case.

The loader is in pretty good shape. It came with a pin-on bucket, but I've since added an SSQA adapter and forks. I haven't modified the bucket for QA yet. The backhoe needs pins and bushings in the swing and, to a lesser extent, the boom, but it's usable. The 12" bucket had some cracks that I had welded up, and it has survived some strenuous stump digging.

Hopefully, this gives you some insight. There are a lot of potential failure points (there are 30+ hydraulic hoses), but most are not too expensive to repair, just time-wasting. Lately, mine has been maintenance free, just fuel, oil and grease. I bought mine from a heavy equipment dealer. It was, by far, the smallest thing on the lot. It was his FIL's (?), originally a Texas utility's, and had obviously seen some heavy action.
 
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GreensvilleJay

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go for it ! Unlike the 'nay sayers', that TLB will dredge a small pond. yes, it'll take longer than using a bigger, more expensive to buy and run TLB, but it WILL dredge a pond. heck I used my lowly BX23S to dredge out a small pond, just a 1/4ac then clean out and reshape the 'stream' for better flow. I wasn't in a hurry,slow and steady won the 'race'
 
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PoTreeBoy

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Mar 24, 2020
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Someone always, rightfully, brings up justifying a backhoe. I probably haven't used mine as much as I anticipated, but it sure comes in handy when it's readily available.

My BIL has used it to dig several pet graves. Sure, he could have used a shovel but . . .. I used it to dig out several stumps that were too big to pull up with the loader, while clearing the lot for my shed. Also to dig the trench for the electrical service conduit. A trencher would have been more appropriate, but I already had the backhoe at hand.

The TLB's cost a bunch more than the regular tractors. This is largely because there is a lot more metal in the frame to strengthen it. I would never have spent the $$ on a new L47, its replacement, but I'm happy with what I have for my use.
 
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Smokeydog

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M59, B26 grapples, backhoes, tillers, graders, diesel atv
Jun 2, 2020
571
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knoxville, Tennessee
When we needed to replace the B20 tried several HD mowers and small ag tractors. Nothing worked as well and kept wife happy. Wife thinks the B26 is hers which is OK. She does most of the mowing with a 6’ finish mower.
 
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fried1765

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Kubota L48 TLB, Ford 1920 FEL, Ford 8N, SCAG Liberty Z, Gravely Pro.
Nov 14, 2019
6,464
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113
Eastham, Ma
A B26 should be appropriate for your place
IF the price is right, and
IF you are able to and have the time to do repairs

I paid $14k an L35 four years ago with 2000 hrs showing. I'm almost sure the tach was working when I tested it, but was disconnected when delivered, hmm. I've had no engine or transmission issues, which was my greatest concern.

I've replaced: seat (obvious at test), hydraulic suction hoses, almost every hydraulic hose on loader and hoe (I marvel at how the seller knew to sell just before they failed), seat belt, fuel lift pump, fan belt (not trivial) and glow plug timer. I've repacked several cylinders and a crushed hydraulic suction pipe and installed LED lights. All in, maybe $1,500 parts plus my labor. But, if I had to take it to a shop, $$$.

I also bought the 3pt arms which weren't with it when I bought it. Not because I have an immediate need, but just in case.

The loader is in pretty good shape. It came with a pin-on bucket, but I've since added an SSQA adapter and forks. I haven't modified the bucket for QA yet. The backhoe needs pins and bushings in the swing and, to a lesser extent, the boom, but it's usable. The 12" bucket had some cracks that I had welded up, and it has survived some strenuous stump digging.

Hopefully, this gives you some insight. There are a lot of potential failure points (there are 30+ hydraulic hoses), but most are not too expensive to repair, just time-wasting. Lately, mine has been maintenance free, just fuel, oil and grease. I bought mine from a heavy equipment dealer. It was, by far, the smallest thing on the lot. It was his FIL's (?), originally a Texas utility's, and had obviously seen some heavy action.
An excellent outline for what the OP might/should expect!
 
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fried1765

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Kubota L48 TLB, Ford 1920 FEL, Ford 8N, SCAG Liberty Z, Gravely Pro.
Nov 14, 2019
6,464
4,102
113
Eastham, Ma
go for it ! Unlike the 'nay sayers', that TLB will dredge a small pond. yes, it'll take longer than using a bigger, more expensive to buy and run TLB, but it WILL dredge a pond. heck I used my lowly BX23S to dredge out a small pond, just a 1/4ac then clean out and reshape the 'stream' for better flow. I wasn't in a hurry,slow and steady won the 'race'
Depending on the definition of "small pond", it may actually be necessary to get IN the pond to get the necessary digging reach.
Digging for a 1,500 gal concrete septic tank, I had to get IN the hole with my 10' dig Ford hoe.
 
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PoTreeBoy

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Depending on the definition of "small pond", it may actually be necessary to get IN the pond to get the necessary digging reach.
Digging for a 1,500 gal concrete septic tank, I had to get IN the hole with my 10' dig Ford hoe.
Yeah, one thing often overlooked is a backhoe can dig, for example, 9' deep at a point but has to move every 8' when digging a 4' deep trench. And it may be able to reach back 12', but it can't dig or drop more than a couple of feet at that distance.
 
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UnderwoodTractor

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Oct 7, 2023
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Saxonburg PA
The B26 TLB is a nice machine.
A 2600 hour B26 TLB is not such a great idea.

And......."dredge a small pond"?
Surely you must be kidding!
The B26 TLB is a SMALL (26 HP) machine, with an absolute maximum 11' horizontal reach.

Even the 63 HP M62 TLB (Kubota's largest TLB), would likely be WAY undersized .
Hire an excavating contractor for the "small pond"!
The B26 TLB is a nice machine.
A 2600 hour B26 TLB is not such a great idea.

And......."dredge a small pond"?
Surely you must be kidding!
The B26 TLB is a SMALL (26 HP) machine, with an absolute maximum 11' horizontal reach.

Even the 63 HP M62 TLB (Kubota's largest TLB), would likely be WAY undersized .
Hire an excavating contractor for the "small pond"!
Double checked and pond’s largest diameter is 17”, the b26 backhoe will reach to a depth I am quite comfortable with Thanks.
 

UnderwoodTractor

New member
Oct 7, 2023
8
0
1
Saxonburg PA
B26 is a great machine. Tough.

You pay quite a bit extra for that backhoe. Are you really sure you need one? It may not have enough reach to dredge a pond, nor enough power to do a good job on stumps. It would dig footings for deck posts, but that may be better done with a borer to get nice round holes for concreting. In short, for your money you may be better renting the couple of machines for the specific tasks if they're things you only do once or twice.

B26 is a very common rental machine. That's good - they're very tough because they have to be. It can also be bad - many higher hour machines are ex-rental, and they've been worked hard. It's not a deal breaker, my father had an ex-rental Takeuchi mini-ex and it went fine for years - if it hasn't broken in a rental fleet it probably won't break for you. But it won't be tight and pretty either - everything will be a bit sloppy.

If you don't really need the backhoe, you'd probably be better served with a second hand B2601 or B2650 with low hours. It'll be cheaper and in better condition, and it'll do everything the B26 will do except the backhoe.

Also be aware if you want to run 3ph implements (rotary cutter, back blade, box blade, chipper etc) you probably will have to buy the 3ph kit. Many second hand B26s don't come with them. You also don't generally get a belly mower with a B26 (although I think they may be able to take one), and the loader isn't removable - I always remove my loader for mowing.
I have a zero turn to mow and the b I am looking at has the 3point already installed
 

Garvini

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Kubota b26 hydraulic thumb pallet forks
Apr 4, 2022
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3
Hingham, Massachusetts
It’s a great little machine…it’s like the 2601 on steroids, all the specs are pushed up….I got mine it was a former rental with and I am very happy with it…first thing I did was have the local kubota dealer do a full field service on it…one of my filters was never changed and over due but everything else checked out…2600 hrs is a lot but it’s a tough machine…good luck
 
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Smokeydog

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M59, B26 grapples, backhoes, tillers, graders, diesel atv
Jun 2, 2020
571
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knoxville, Tennessee
I can afford a new but have found used a much better bargain. There has been equipment that I walked away from. Some auctions seen people bid higher than new. Trick is to know what you want and quickly buy at a fare price.
 
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