Which to buy L2501 or L3301

Porcupine

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L2501
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While I don’t have all that much experience as I’ve had my 2501 for less than a year, I’m pleased with my choice of the 2501.

I use my 2501 mostly as a loader. It does not seem to be lacking in any way for my use.

I do often operate at lower RPM, so I’m glad to not have the DPF system. Plenty of speed even up decent grades, but I don’t have any (current) need for the PTO so I can‘t add anything there.

For my use I believe the 2501 was the right call.
 
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jimh406

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Kubota L2501 with R4 tires
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I'm in the same boat, considering both. My biggest concern is the ability of the L2501 to pull a finish mower up moderate slopes and be able to stay in medium gear. The L3301 is rated for a 6' finish mower also whereas the the L2501 is rated for a 5' finish mower. Sluggishness of the L2501 on slopes seems to be a potential drawback.
I can pull a 6 ft grader/scraper with gravel/dirt in it when I’m doing our community road and my driveway in M between 4000-4500 ft elevation, but not always full pedal. I can’t imagine pulling a finish mower up moderate slopes would be an issue unless you live higher than me. My back field is so steep that I wouldn’t use M even if I could with my rotary cutter.

I’m with others that I’d go a lot bigger than an L3301 if I have to have a DPF.
 
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TomRC

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I can pull a 6 ft grader/scraper with gravel/dirt in it when I’m doing our community road and my driveway in M between 4000-4500 ft elevation, but not always full pedal. I can’t imagine pulling a finish mower up moderate slopes would be an issue unless you live higher than me. My back field is so steep that I wouldn’t use M even if I could with my rotary cutter.

I’m with others that I’d go a lot bigger than an L3301 if I have to have a DPF.
I just want to have enough power to mow with a finish mower up moderate to maybe a little more than moderate slopes in MEDIUM GEAR and medium gear speeds without having to drop down to low gear. Grass is cut weekly to bi-weekly so not thick. I also like that the L3301 is rated for a 6' finish mower. Every foot helps when cutting 4 to 5 acres a week!
 

Porcupine

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L2501
Jun 15, 2021
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I just want to have enough power to mow with a finish mower up moderate to maybe a little more than moderate slopes in MEDIUM GEAR and medium gear speeds without having to drop down to low gear. Grass is cut weekly to bi-weekly so not thick. I also like that the L3301 is rated for a 6' finish mower. Every foot helps when cutting 4 to 5 acres a week!
It would probably be helpful to know the climate/elevation/topography of the are you want to use it.
 

TomRC

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It would probably be helpful to know the climate/elevation/topography of the are you want to use it.
Western KY, slopes are moderate for the most part one area a tad steeper but not terribly steep. My B2601 really struggles in medium gear with the loader on pulling a finish mower on the slopes, does a little better in medium gear with the loader off at the expense of stability. I want to upgrade to either an L series (can't afford Grand L) with enough power to to maintain medium gear speeds without struggling up slopes with the finish mower or buy a 72" commercial zero turn. I've priced everything out both ways and it will cost about $5k more to go the zero turn route as compared to selling my B2601 and upgrading to a L series.

Looking for a solution before next spring.
 

Tornado

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2 years on my L2501 now. The differences in the 2501 and 3301 are very little. If I was going to upgrade above the L2501 I would go to the L3901, which is a more substantial jump. The one thing to keep in mind however is what are you actually getting between these 3 models. They have the same hydraulic pump, same loader, almost identical lift capacity. So L2501 will lift just as much weight as the 3301 and 3901. They all 3 weigh within 100lbs of each other, and are built on the same exact frame. Physically the tractors are the same size. So the main difference you are paying for is the bump in horsepower. Given the weight is the same, I doubt the small extra bump in horse power means you will pull a lot more weight though. Your tires will start to slip in most all scenarios and that will be your limiting factor on pull power - the need for more weight rather than more horsepower. The main highlight of upgrading, is the PTO horsepower bump. This will allow you to more comfortably run a 6' mower for example, or a 6' rototiller. My WG24 pto driven stump grinder for example would also benefit from a little extra pto horsepower. This is the major gain to upgrading. If you dont plan to use the pto a lot, then upgrading has very small benefits. While ive not heard of any issues at all with the DPF on the 3301 and 3901, it is nice that I dont ahve to deal with it at all on my L2501.

Things I have done with My L2501 just so you know: Cleared an acre of woods so far and converted to grass. This involved a lot of very heavy log moving from downed trees., running a 72", 800lbs disc harrow on the ground to break and chop it up. Grinding all the stumps with the Woodland Mills WG24 PTO stump grinder, running a 60" rototiller (6 tine, forward rotating) to seed grass and in my garden, etc. Move 5' hay bales using a 3pt spike (probably 800-1000lb bales). The L2501 is one of the strongest 25hp rated tractors you will see in the market imo. It outclasses the small 25hp machines by a long shot. Dont hang up too hard on the HP rating, as it is only one factor. The size of the engine is important. the weight of the tractor is very important. The L2501 has a large engine, in many cases it doubles the physical size of other 25hp tractor engines from smaller frame models. It has good low end grunt and torque.

You are going to have a hard time finding differences if you just test drive the 3. A good partion of all 3 tractors are the exact same parts. If you plan to use the PTO a lot, meaning mowing a lot, tilling, etc, I would jump up for the extra pto horsepower. The only time Ive ever wished I had just a tad more on the L2501 was in grinding stumps on that stump grinder. I feel it would power through just a tad better with more horsepower. Very few people are running a stump grinder on the pto though. If you just plan to run 5 foot implements, the L2501 handles them fine. If wanting to run 6 foot implements Id want the extra pto horsepower. Best of luck!
 
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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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Using a mowing calculator the 60 inch mower needs 3:03 hrs to mow 5 acres at 3 mph. A 72 inch mower needs 2:32 hrs to mow 5 acres at 3 mph. Not a huge difference. FYI

There are a few reports on DPF problems and a few problems with the ECU, at more then $2000 each, needing replaced . ECU are a dealer repair only item. Not knowing the hours you will put on the tractor nor the length of time that you will keep the tractor I would go for simpler and repairable over a few hp.
 

PaulL

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B2601
Jul 17, 2017
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My maths is simple. The L2501 and the B2601 have the same HP. The L2501 is a heavier tractor and pulls a bigger RFM. If you have problems on a hill with the B2601 then you'll have a bigger problem with a heavier tractor that has a larger mower with the same HP and the same hill.

Get the L3301 or L3901, you'll regret it otherwise.
 

PaulL

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Using a mowing calculator the 60 inch mower needs 3:03 hrs to mow 5 acres at 3 mph. A 72 inch mower needs 2:32 hrs to mow 5 acres at 3 mph. Not a huge difference. FYI
Half an hour is a big difference if it were me!!
 

jimh406

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Kubota L2501 with R4 tires
Jan 29, 2021
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My maths is simple. The L2501 and the B2601 have the same HP. The L2501 is a heavier tractor and pulls a bigger RFM. If you have problems on a hill with the B2601 then you'll have a bigger problem with a heavier tractor that has a larger mower with the same HP and the same hill.

Get the L3301 or L3901, you'll regret it otherwise.
Forget about the HP. HP doesn’t mean a lot without considering the torque. Generally speaking the larger engine will have more torque.

The displacement of a B2601 is 1.1L, and the L2501 is 1.6L or about 1 1/2 times larger. It’s way more capable and the same finish mower is less of a percentage of the entire weight.

Maybe we can get Messicks to do a mowing comparison uphill. ;)

Btw, both the L3301 and L3901 are 1.8L, right?

Anyway, I’d still go much bigger if you are going add a DPF to the mix.
 
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PaulL

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Forget about the HP. HP doesn’t mean a lot without considering the torque. Generally speaking the larger engine will have more torque.
Yes, the L2501 has a lot more torque, and whatever horses they're using are probably Clydesdales. But I think mowing is one of the applications where HP genuinely matters. You should be running WOT and at PTO RPM. In that situation going up a hill at speed is just a function of how much power you have - it takes a certain amount of HP to lift a certain weight over a certain height in a certain time - it's basically the definition of HP.

I think we're agreed though that moving from a 26HP B2601 that weighs 750kg swinging a 60 inch mower to a 26HP L2501 that weighs 1,100kg swinging a 72 inch mower and expecting to go the same or better speed up the same hill is very ambitious. 50% more weight, 20% more mower. And I think OP said he's mowing with the loader on as well. L3901.
 
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TomRC

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My maths is simple. The L2501 and the B2601 have the same HP. The L2501 is a heavier tractor and pulls a bigger RFM. If you have problems on a hill with the B2601 then you'll have a bigger problem with a heavier tractor that has a larger mower with the same HP and the same hill.

Get the L3301 or L3901, you'll regret it otherwise.
I agree with your assessment. Your math is real life math, math calculators fail to take into consideration many factors such as slopes and having to cut around ditches, pond edges, this that and the other. I would love to cut my 5 acres with a 5' finish mower in 3:03.......not happening.

If I went with the L2501 I'd use the same 5' finish mower I'm using now, no way I'd try a 6' finish mower on the L2501 with slopes and I agree I think the L2501 is going to struggle on slopes trying to maintain medium gear speeds even with a 5' finish mower. All I want is to be able to pop it in medium gear and STAY in medium gear. L3301, L3901 with a 6' finish mower or 72" Scag or an ridiculously comfortable 72" Ferris zero turn are more than likely the finalists. I'd like to be able to upgrade for $7k-10k, the zero turn options push that another $5k.
 

Rdrcr

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L2501, B2601
May 7, 2021
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My maths is simple. The L2501 and the B2601 have the same HP. The L2501 is a heavier tractor and pulls a bigger RFM. If you have problems on a hill with the B2601 then you'll have a bigger problem with a heavier tractor that has a larger mower with the same HP and the same hill.

Get the L3301 or L3901, you'll regret it otherwise.
I’ve owned and operated both the B2601 and L2501 on my hilly property. The L2501 handles the hills much better than the B2601, loaded or unloaded. The extra torque provided by the L2501 is a huge advantage over the B2601.

I don’t like your math. ;)

The B2601 is a great tractor. I highly recommend it, however, the L2501 is also a great tractor that is much more capable and gets work done quicker.

Mike
 
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PaulL

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B2601
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I’ve owned and operated both the B2601 and L2501 on my hilly property. The L2501 handles the hills much better than the B2601, loaded or unloaded. The extra torque provided by the L2501 is a huge advantage over the B2601.
I don't disagree. The question is whether it's enough extra to pull a 6' mower up a hill in medium, as well as shifting the heavier tractor. So whilst it's more, I'm doubtful it's enough more. The only real reason I can see not to get the L3901 is the DPF. And people will eventually have to get over that - all future tractors of more than 26HP will have DPF, so unless they plan to only do things that can be done with less than 26HP, people will need to get used to it.

Those who have DPF machines generally say it's not an issue. Those who don't have them generally say they're glad they don't have them. But I wonder how they know.

I'd say mowing once or twice a week for 3 hours is ideal for a DPF machine - running hot for a long period.
 
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jimh406

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Those who have DPF machines generally say it's not an issue. Those who don't have them generally say they're glad they don't have them. But I wonder how they know.
Wonder no longer … many of us have trucks that had DPF issues.

I personally spent a few thousand just on emissions. Also, it was a PITA that I was in the middle of nowhere, hours walking from a town, in rolling mtns, when it decided it didn’t want to regen on one trip. Everything was fine until it wasn’t. Unless I really, really need a diesel with DPF, I don’t see owning another diesel vehicle with one. Since we don’t have the option of gasoline, I’m not doing DPF without a monstrous increase in power.

I feel the software that controls regens needs a lot of work. Owners, should always have the option to force a regen. I can’t why forcing a regen is a bad thing. From what I understand, that was the B3350 issue as well.
 
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ayak

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I got rid of my beloved 2019 Chevy 2500 Duramax for the sole reason of its implementation of those DPF routines. That said, a 2501 on my hills trying to run my brush hog wouldn’t cut it, literally 😉

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the 3301 or 3901 because of their DPFs, though—night and day difference.

A 2501 would be a fine machine if it weren’t for my hills.
 
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PaulL

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B2601
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Wonder no longer … many of us have trucks that had DPF issues.
And what I've seen suggested is that trucks are quite different - road vehicles tend to work hard up hills or to get up to speed, but at constant speed really aren't working at all. In a way it's a bit like idling your tractor all the time. Our VW Touareg V8 diesel has various emissions equipment, never had a problem. My tractor doesn't have emissions though, I have a B2601 and it's all I need. So I can only go on what people say - much more common to run a tractor for 8 hours at day at WOT.

I feel the software that controls regens needs a lot of work. Owners, should always have the option to force a regen. I can’t why forcing a regen is a bad thing. From what I understand, that was the B3350 issue as well.
Agree. No reason why you couldn't/shouldn't have a regen on demand button.
 

Rdrcr

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L2501, B2601
May 7, 2021
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I don't disagree. The question is whether it's enough extra to pull a 6' mower up a hill in medium, as well as shifting the heavier tractor. So whilst it's more, I'm doubtful it's enough more. The only real reason I can see not to get the L3901 is the DPF. And people will eventually have to get over that - all future tractors of more than 26HP will have DPF, so unless they plan to only do things that can be done with less than 26HP, people will need to get used to it.

Those who have DPF machines generally say it's not an issue. Those who don't have them generally say they're glad they don't have them. But I wonder how they know.

I'd say mowing once or twice a week for 3 hours is ideal for a DPF machine - running hot for a long period.
Yes, unfortunately, we will have to deal with DPF for the foreseeable future and no doubt 25/26 HP is a limiting factor.

However, I wouldn’t even consider a L3301 for the additional complexity and minimal gains over the L2501. For the OP’s requirements, the L3901 would be a better consideration, but, depending on speed expectations, may also disappoint.

If it was my money, I would only consider moving up to the Grand L or Mx series for a $10K (+) premium over the L2501.

Mike
 
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boakley

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Dec 2, 2019
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the L3301 has 1/3 more HP at the engine and almost 40% more HP at the PTO! so depends on how you intend to use your tractor. torque similarly higher.
If you plan to work the tractor of that size lightly / gently I would go with the L2501 as its less expensive and less complicated design (no DPF).
If you think you are a moderate or heavy use user of a tractor that size (or plan on using ground engaging impliments or have to contend with hills or softer ground) I would go with the L3301.

Like deciding what engine to buy for you sports car .... small engine / power if you want looks and larger if you want performance. L2501 for light use and L3301 for more moderate / serious work as 33% and 40% gain in power is nothing to ignore.

I have a L3301 and the DPF is a non issue, works as designed, causes no interference to its use.
 
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ItBmine

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Wonder no longer … many of us have trucks that had DPF issues.

I personally spent a few thousand just on emissions. Also, it was a PITA that I was in the middle of nowhere, hours walking from a town, in rolling mtns, when it decided it didn’t want to regen on one trip. Everything was fine until it wasn’t. Unless I really, really need a diesel with DPF, I don’t see owning another diesel vehicle with one. Since we don’t have the option of gasoline, I’m not doing DPF without a monstrous increase in power.

I feel the software that controls regens needs a lot of work. Owners, should always have the option to force a regen. I can’t why forcing a regen is a bad thing. From what I understand, that was the B3350 issue as well.
Same here. I had a couple class 8 trucks with SCR/DPF they made me suicidal, LOL
Even if the tractors do work trouble free......DPF's left a bad taste in my mouth and there will never be one in my yard again. Even switched my pickup from diesel to gas just for that reason.