Innovative Iron Award Winner: Kubota’s SVL75-3 Compact Track Loader

Kubota's SVL75-3 Compact Track Loader

The Top Construction Landscape and Rental Equipment Launched in 2023

Innovative Iron Logo 2023

The world of off-highway machinery is evolving — battery-powered units, hydrogen engines, luxury and economy tiering, machine control automation — but maybe the biggest evolution is that everyone wants a compact machine. Small, tool-carrying construction equipment now make up about 50 percent of the U.S. machinery market with mini excavators and compact track loaders being the two most popular categories in America. To meet this enormous demand, machine makers released some pretty awesome machines in the past 12 months: advanced skid steers, electric asphalt pavers, entry-level grade control attachments and so much more. The 2023 Innovative Iron Awards celebrate the best of these compact equipment launches. Scouring tradeshows, visiting manufacturers, operating units, interviewing experts, this annual compilation represents the best equipment we’ve seen and experienced all year, including…

Kubota’s SVL75-3 Compact Track Loader

Kubota‘s track loader trio got its first big makeover in 2023. At CONEXPO-CON/AGG, I saw the new SVL75-3 compact track loader unveiled — and heads turned and eyebrows raised. As a relative newcomer to the market — the brand launched CTLs in 2010 — Kubota SVL-2 track loaders have become some of the highest selling units in America. The next generation SVL75-3 is looking to cement that SVL popularity once again, and it’s definitely got the chops to do it.

“This is far more than just adding a dash to a machine,” said Jerry Corder, Kubota product manager of construction equipment, during a CONEXPO press conference I attended in March. “It’s more than just adding a new sticker to it. In fact, someone told me this morning outside of its orange color and the rollup door, pretty much everything else has been touched or changed.”

Powered by (of course) a Kubota engine (74 hp), the SVL75-3 brings the specs — 2,490 lbs (35 percent) rated operating capacity, an impressive 6,191 lbs of breakout force and a hinge pin height of 122.7 in. (that’s like 10.2 ft). The SVL75-3 is also a great tool carrier. Its hydraulic system features an innovative advanced multifunction valve, ensuring smooth movement of all hydraulic functions and allowing operators to run the auxiliary hydraulics, bucket and loader arm at the same time with a lower risk of stalling. It’s also full of cool tech. Updated travel features include faster two-speed travel and the advanced auto downshift system from Kubota compact excavators that automatically downshifts from high to low gear while making turns. Operators can even change the travel response sensitivity with the choice of three track response settings: mild, normal and quick.

Visibility and Attachment Usage Have Improved

Kubota SVL75 lifting rocks cab shot

Front and rear LED work lights and a large upper windshield allows for increased operator visibility, day or night. “We’ve also got a rearview camera that’s incorporated into the bonnet,” explained Corder. “This is a 176-degree wide angle camera that gives you three side-to-side visibility angles from the cab.”

Of course attachment usage will be enormous on this new unit. As mentioned, the SVL75-3’s hydraulic system features the innovative advanced multifunction valve or AMV that helps to ensure smooth movement of all hydraulic functions when operated simultaneously. The Electronic Travel Torque Management System enables operators to work faster and with more power by constantly monitoring the load of the machine to optimally control hydraulic pump output according to the load, reducing engine stalls. There are two options for auxiliary hydraulic flow to the attachment –19.2 gpm standard flow or 29.9 gpm high flow — both at 3,185 psi.

“We borrowed a couple of things from other equipment. From our SVL65-2, we’ve borrowed that advanced multifunction valve,” said Corder. “This enables simultaneous function between the machine and the attachment. So rather than bogging one another down, when you engage something, it prioritizes it all so everything is smooth, which increases productivity quite a bit.”

Cab and Maintenance Have Improved

SVL75-3 Studio One Piece Cab

The SVL75-3 is equipped with Kubota’s new one-piece sealed cab that helps prevent dirt, dust, rain and debris from entering the operator space while also reducing noise levels. Operators step into a wide cab entrance through a sliding front door that can be opened regardless of the position of the bucket or loader arms. Machine operation is possible with the door open.

“Inside the cab we redesigned the entire HVAC system,” explained Corder. “We’ve added vents to it, and we’ve repositioned where the vents are so you get more consistent cooling and heating. We’ve back lit the switches and labeled the grip functions for two reasons. No. 1: If you’re not familiar with the machine, you can at least find where things are pretty easily. No. 2: When the light conditions are low, you don’t have to memorize where all the switches are. Then the big change, obviously, is we’ve added a touchscreen.”

A new 7-in. color LCD touch panel with jog dial comes standard in the SVL75-3. Additional features include keyless engine start, with the ability to save up to 51 user pass codes, and a new integrated Bluetooth radio that provides streaming and hands-free calling, available in closed cab models only.

SVL75-3 Cab LCD Panel

When it is time to service the SVL75-3, maintenance is a breeze thanks to easy access to the engine compartment, battery and fluid filters, while the radiator and oil cooler are conveniently located on top of the engine compartment making them easy to reach for cleaning and routine maintenance. The one-piece sealed cabin can be tilted up 56.5 in. without having to lift the boom, providing access to the hydraulic pumps, valves, lines and hydraulic tank.

“We also now have a reversing fan, and this blows air back up through that top deck, so we keep it clean so that the air flow is unimpeded,” said Corder. “Continuing on, we’ve added a standard in-engine pre-cleaner, and there’s also a lock for your fuel fill, which seems like a minor thing, but in some parts of the country is very important to maintain your fuel.”

Learn more at this link right here, and big congrats to Kubota on winning yet another Innovative Iron Award. Can’t wait to see what the brand does in 2024. They’re already teasing something cool at CES 2024.

Keith Gribbins is publisher of Compact Equipment.