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Kubota r520s, pros? Cons?

Discussion in 'Compact Wheel Loaders' started by NumberFour, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. NumberFour

    NumberFour Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Canada
    I have been considering the idea of a 520s but I can't seem to find much consumer input. This machine would be used at the yard to handle small amounts of fill, gravel, and possible feed a small screener. I could also see it being and excellent backup during the winter season for snow removal. My father and I do hardscaping and I wouldn't mind having it onsite at large access jobs, I think the improved lift capacity would be handy with how big these paver bundles are getting or even for armour stone. Our 85xt has been a power house but it seems she's working harder and harder to lift the pallets each year. We wouldnt be doing much, if any, digging and grade work with it, mostly just for load and carry situations of stone, materials, and loading materials. I'm really tired of bouncing around in the skid steers all day :pointhead and could see this being one of a smoother ride.

    We currently own a kx41 and after 4200 hours of serious abuse, and she hasn't exactly always recieved scheduled maintenance, it chuggs along all day, everyday and never complains. I know guys can't say enough good things about kubotas minis and the new SVL series, just not much word about their wheel loaders.
    Any input is appreciated! Also considering a Volvo l35 but would rather start small and find the work first and grow into that machine later down the road.
     
  2. Tags

    Tags Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Messages:
    945
    Location:
    Connecticut
    We have an older R520 with a hoe on the rear and it is mostly used for planting trees, and for a yard machine. It has great lifting capacity and lift height to the bucket hinge pins is 11 feet, it easily loads a tri axel dump. It is terrible at grading hard packed material with the standard bucket but is "ok" at grading screened soil, process, and stone but if I need to spread and grade a lot of material it would never be my first choice. For what you intend to do with it, it sounds like it would suit you well. Ours gets nothing but abuse and the hoe is hard on the center joint and serviceability is not the best but even worse with a cab. Hope this helps
     
  3. lumberjack

    lumberjack Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,037
    Location:
    Columbus, MS
    I own a tree service and got into compact artic loaders back in 2011. For my application, I prefer the Gehl AL540. It's lighter, narrower, and last I compared, about $10k cheaper. The 520 lifts a bit higher (8" I think) is about its only saving grace.
     
  4. NumberFour

    NumberFour Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Canada
    Perfect, thanks. The main reason I want it will be for the lift capacity, ride, and viability unfortunately I'd have to get the cab version so I will be sure to check the serviceability. I'm a licenced heavy equipment tech so I will be hopefully doing all the work on it, so I'm glad you mentioned that. I figured it would a slug grading, typically we have at least one skid onsite so most of the grunt work will be done by them.
    Yea it's impressive how much abuse those kubotas take without talking back. We just retired our old kh-51 and are looking into the newer kc-70 diesel.
     
  5. NumberFour

    NumberFour Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Canada
    Unfortunately we don't have an extensive Gehl dealer in our area and I would be concerned if/when it breaks down. I'd want the extra weight for pushing snow, the foot print isn't too much of a concern because we typically use skids. The lift height is kind of key for us as we often are loading tri-axles or other haulers, also if we use it for retaining walls you can never have enough height
    Though I have heard good things about the gehls lately. Thanks!
     
  6. lumberjack

    lumberjack Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,037
    Location:
    Columbus, MS
    Where in Canada are you?
     
  7. NumberFour

    NumberFour Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Canada
    Ontario, North end of the GTA. I'm sure we have a gehl dealer around but I haven't seen an extensive present of either their support vehicles, or their equipment in our area. We typically deal through strongco.
     
  8. The Learner

    The Learner Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    197
    Occupation:
    Hydraulic specialist
    Location:
    SE Victoria Australia
    i have a weekend job in a garden supplies
    we use a r520 as our .5 yard loader moves plenty fast across the site feels very stable even with a heaped buckets of granite quarter minus
    at a guess i would say you could move a tandem load of product into the stock bin in 5-10 minutes
    very maneuverable i think it makes a nice tight turn and pretty smooth controls to
     
  9. fergy

    fergy Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2015
    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    WA
    I have a r420 it has just clocked 7800 hrs and still runs all day every
    Most things are accesable enough when you consider the size of the machine
    I have an engineering works and it works as a rt fork/crane and also cleans out the blast shed
    Would get another one in a heartbeat when this one dies
    Can lift 1 Aussie ton easy and can lift enough of a pallet of garnet(2aussie tons) to slide it around yard
    Parts here are poison so I get them from the US
    Fergy