Most brands already make amazing machines. In fact, there’s so much parity of quality in the American off-highway equipment marketplace that differentiators are often hard to find in machine categories. That’s what makes our Innovative Iron Award winners so special. In the last 12 months, these manufacturers have changed the marketplace and even broken the mold in highly competitive markets that are already filled with excellence. Global manufacturers from Kubota and Caterpillar to JLG and JCB have released products — machines, engines, OEM tech and even apps — that have set new standards for power, versatility, efficiency and design. Our editors have traveled across the country to meet these manufacturers, operate their new products and give detailed reports both in print and online. With this article, we do a final salute to those companies that have changed the equipment market over the last year with their unique, interesting and innovative products.
Keith Gribbins is associate publisher of Compact Equipment.
Kubota Enters the Crossover Market with Options Galore
Kubota is an expert manufacturer of commercial construction equipment, but it also understands what consumers want (think subcompact tractors and mowers). Its newest utility vehicle is proof that the famous machine maker can build work-ready equipment that both consumers and pros can use. The gas-powered RTV-XG850 Sidekick creates the ultimate consumer automotive experience in the crossover category of UTVs. Higher speeds (up to 40 mph). Solid work specs (class-leading, 2,000-lb towing capacity). Choices of color schemes, premium audio systems, LED headlights, branded floormats, fancy rims and onward.
The Sidekick is even offered in four colors — a first for Kubota — Orange, RealTree AP Camo, green and black (the latter is certified badass). To further enhance the driving experience, a full line of new attachments and accessory options, developed specifically for the Sidekick, are available for customers, adding even more comfort and customized preferences, ranging from sports roofs to bed extenders. Additionally, the Sidekick’s cargo capacity enables it to carry up to 15.2 cu ft or half a ton (1,000 lbs/600 lbs for the California models) of gear, tools, spoils or supplies. In conclusion: The Sidekick might be the best multi-use machine on the market. For more info, visit kubotausa.com.