Small tractor leader adds new models and improves existing lineup.

A midst the sea of products at the National Farm Machinery Show, Kubota's new models, upgrades and a new optional all-weather cab stood out.

Its utility M-series, which ranges in size from 45 to 80 PTO hp, offers increased horsepower and an upgrade of the transmission to a new synchro-shuttle type that lets operators shift smoothly between gears in either direction. For heavy-duty work, Kubota's 4-wd models in this series are built with a bevel gear front wheel drive system that allows equal pulling power at all steering angles and delivers a short turning radius made easy with hydrostatic power steering. They are powered by its indirect-injection E-TVCS diesel engines designed for greater power with less noise and vibration and a cleaner emission.

Cab upgrade. For the first time, models M4900 (45 PTO hp), M5700 (52 PTO hp) and M6800 (62 PTO hp) can be ordered with an integrated all-weather cab. It features a flat deck, tilt steering, deluxe reclining seat, right-side control console, hatch-type rear window, concealed pillars and dual-level air conditioning - all designed to enhance operator comfort.

More power. Kubota's second announcement at the show was that it has added stoutness to its Grand L Ten series of 25_1/2 to 40_1/2 PTO hp tractors. The company claims its largest model in this compact range, L-4610, now offers a class-leading 2,470-lb. lift capacity. Its hydrostatic (HST) transmission delivers a top speed of 18.5 mph, or 17.9 mph with the glide-shift tranny. The HST offers three drive ranges and a feather-step hydraulic servo mechanism to reduce pressure needed on the pedal. The hydraulically shifted, mechanical glide-shift transmission offers clutch-free shift-on-the-go operation for smooth front-to-reverse directional changes using its eight forward and two reverse gears.

Powering the compact is a 4-cyl., direct-inject, liquid-cooled Kubota E-TVCS diesel engine, designed to work with Kubota's newly engineered LA852 front loader to speed operation. A high-capacity dual-hydraulic pump is standard: The main pump capacity is 9.6 gpm, and the capacity of the power steering pump increased to 4.8 gpm.

Subcompacts. If you're thinking small, somewhere between a garden and compact tractor, Kubota now offers the first and only models in a new subcompact class: an 18-hp BX 1800 and a 22-hp BX 2200. They feature a _3/8-in. ladder-type chassis with a 55.1-in. wheelbase and are powered by a 3-cyl., liquid-cooled Kubota E-TVCS diesel engine. Both models have 4-wd and a heavy-duty, two-speed hydrostatic transmission, plus a rear differential lock.

For more information, contact Kubota Tractor Corp., Dept. FIN, 3401 Del Amo Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503, 310/370-3370.