Kubota Historical B6100 and L185

Kubota: Learning from History

In this day and age when built-in obsolescence is standard in so many brands, it is refreshing to hear about brands that still maintain their promise of longevity and durability. The story of Colin Regnard and his two historic Kubota’s – a Kubota L185, which he has had for more than ten years, and a Kubota B6100, which he has had for more than 15 years – is one that has inspired many admirers around the country. He tells his story:

Kubota B6100
Kubota B6100

The first tractor I bought, about fifteen years ago, was the tiny Kubota B6100– 4. It was second-hand and was in relatively good condition. Along with it came an 850mm-wide rotovator, a 900 mm slasher, and a trailer with a 2m x 1m flatbed to which I later added drop-sides, and a hydrolic tipping ram. Later on I managed to get hold of an old caravan chassis to which I added sides, and this 2m x 3,5m trailer has proved to be very useful. When full of 85 bales hay – or even 100 bales – the Kubota B6100 is totally dwarfed, but it pulls the load with ease.

I also have 1000l water tanker trailer (an ex-diesel tanker), which I find very useful during our annual fire-break burning. I really don’t understand how a tractor weighing a mere 450kg can pull a 1,3 ton load even up relatively steep gradients, but it does, and with ease!

Grandpa and Grandkids
Grandpa and Grandkids

Over the next five or six years, that tractor did all the work I gave it to do including rotovating about 3ha of very heavy land near a stream, where I planted tall fescue. I now have three rotovators and the Kubota does the best job of them all. I have also found it very useful in the narrow confines of the vegetable garden, and when I increased my wife’s flower garden by about 400m².

Kubota L185
Kubota L185

For about five years, this was the only tractor I had and then I bought the Kubota L 185 about ten years ago from a friend who was immigrating to the U.K. I remember I drove it home at least 15km on dirt roads. It was quite a difficult drive because this tractor is actually a large ride-on lawn mower straddling a 1,5 meter three bladed mower. It has very small front wheels and large and very wide high-flotation rear wheels.

When I bought the tractor the front wheels were slicks. I don’t know if they originally had treads, but there was no sign of a tread, and after 10 years of use, they haven’t been changed!! It makes for very interesting front-wheel drifts on wet grass! I have to mow at least every week in summer, and it takes about three hours on the Kubota, whereas it was a never-ending job with ordinary mowers.

Apart from my vintage Kubota’s, which have served me so well, I also have a 1983 Merc.300 D and 1987 Honda Ballade 150, both in good condition and, like the Kubotas, they are used all the time!

Kubota B6100 with trailer
Kubota B6100 with trailer

Recently we received an e-mail from an equally vintage-crazy friend. There was a picture of an elderly married couple and they were asked the secret of a long marriage to which, the lady replied. “We come from a generation where if something broke, we fixed it”.

Colin says that’s why he likes old vehicles. “They can be fixed, and, with my Kubotas and cars, spares are still freely available because there are still so many old ones in use,

Finally, Colin, a special character indeed, apologised for rambling on and on with his story: “But that’s what old tractors do!” he quipped.

Colin Reganard, Wife and three Daughters
Colin Reganard, Wife and three Daughters

Deon Engelke, Kubota National Sales Manager at Smith Power Equipment, distributors of Kubota in South Africa, said: “We loved your story, Mr Regnard. We’re proud that you and our Kubota brand are still working together and may you both ramble on for many years to come!

This article was featured in the FarmTech July and Aug 2016.

This article was featured in the Auto Trader – Jan 2017.

For more information please contact Smith Power Equipment on 011 284 2000.

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John Deere marketing manager Carel Theron