Kubota Tractor Corporation is targeting those consumers looking for a compact, high-performing utility tractor with its new 2001 model L48 series.

With a suggested list price of $32,300 for the L48TL and $43,000 for the L48TLB, Kubota is betting the 48 horsepower utility tractors will find a niche among farmers, small construction firms and rental operators.

At a recent dealer meeting in New Orleans, Kubota gave its dealers a sneak peak of 22 new machines the company will release in 2001, including the L48 tractor-loader and L48 tractor-loader-backhoe

According to the company, the L48 is a versatile tractor with a performance-matched loader and backhoe providing the user with more dynamic power and ease of use.

The new utility tractor line offers increased horsepower and enhanced operational performance with a new four-cylinder V2403-M-ETLB diesel engine with dual, internal balancers, and a hydrostatic transmission.

"This quiet, environmentally friendly diesel engine enjoys impressive torque rise and power delivery while producing fewer emissions than competitive models," Kubota says.

The new L48's increased capabilities deliver a backhoe dig depth of more than 11 feet and a loader lift capacity of 2,540 pounds. The utility tractor offers maximum lift height of nine-feet, seven-inches and uses a four-bar linkage system to facilitate its 45-degree bucket rollback and dump angle.

"Kubota's self-leveling valve automatically maintains a level bucket as the boom is raised or lowered. An optional rod-type bucket level indicator accurately monitors bucket position when on the ground. These and other design features enable the L48 to successfully undertake major loader applications normally reserved for larger equipment," the company says.

The L48's heavy-duty Category I, three-point hitch with position control is lift rated at 3,000 pounds. The live 540-rpm PTO provides ready-to-go power adding further value to the tractor's engineering menu.

The operator's area of the tractors feature a full-floating ISO-mounted flat deck and a one-touch reversible seat to switch between loader and backhoe positions.

"Our goal is to continually provide our dealers with competitive market segment exclusives and technologically advanced, yet fairly priced, agricultural, construction and consumer equipment. Kubota's growing corporate infrastructure in the United States and our global engineering and manufacturing capabilities contribute to the achievement of that goal," says Mori Hayashi, president of Kubota Tractor Corporation.