Kioti PX1002 Cabin tractor
Currently the largest in the Kioti range, the new PX1002 Cabin Tractor is delivered to Caramut in the south west of Victoria; my home soil. It’s the perfect place to put this 100hp (74kW) machine to work.
My first thought is it’s impressive. The characteristically modern look of rounded lines and sloping bonnet combined with the striking orange-red Kioti colour mean it will stand out in any crowd. Being an ex-farmer I know farmers want their tractor to look good as well as performing reliably and economically.
I tested out the PX1002 on a 2.4m 6 disc mower, 3,000-litre hydraulic boom spray and 18 disc one-way plough I set up prior to the day to really put the tractor through its paces.
Like most other manufacturers, Kioti has gone with all plastic body panels and mouldings allowing the PX1002 to rebound from fairly substantial impacts.
At the front and either side of the bonnet are large perforated panelling, providing terrific ventilation into the air intake area, radiator and air-conditioner system.
Stepping into the cab through the generous doorway is fine, however as I slide my hand along the door rail, it slams straight into the door strut mount managing to draw blood. This small but annoying piece of engineering will have to be addressed or will certainly end up driving me mad.
I also found the handbrake lever mounted too close to the driving seat, causing my fingers to get jammed each time I use the handbrake.
The rest of the cabin experience turns out to be very pleasing. All the modern accessories: radio, air-conditioner, heater and even a 12-volt heater/cooler come standard for either hot pies or cold drinks.
The flat floor allows easy access and movement within the very spacious and well finished cab. If required the roof hatch can be opened to allow extra air circulation, while lots of glass including below the rear window gives a sense of good vision and an unobscured view of the linkage and drawbar hitch.
As with most tractors now, all the PX1002’s control levers and buttons are colour coded making identification of hydraulic, linkage, power take-off (PTO) and transmission functions easy to identify.
More importantly, they are all comfortably accessible with no reaching required. Discovering the declutch button mounted on the gear lever of the PX1002 turns out to be a highlight of the test drive and I will explain its function in more detail when covering transmission.
KIOTI PX1002 ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION
Pulling ploughs and cultivation implements quickly reveal any weaknesses in a tractor. It’s a job that draws on all its resources of power, transmission and traction. Being deficient in only one of these can render the machine useless.
I rev up the 4 cylinder liquid-cooled Perkins diesel engine to about 1,800 revs and select medium range first gear, assured this will provide enough grunt. Moving the power shuttle lever forward, I gently transfer drive to the wheels. Working to a depth of about 10cm, the PX1002 easily pulls the plough, showing no sign of wheel slippage.
Whenever conditions get a bit tough, all I have to do is push the low-speed button, on the high/low gear splitter located on the gear lever, to provide a bit more power.
Medium-range first gear delivers good results for ploughing on this occasion and Kioti’s Synchro Mesh gearbox with power shuttle and hydraulic high/low offer plenty of options throughout the day’s drive. In total 32 forward and 32 reverse gears allow me a speed range between 0.82km/h up to 38.36km/h.
Top marks go to Kioti’s synchro mesh, power shuttle transmission which offers smooth and trouble free gear changing. In particular I’m enamoured with the inclusion of an electronic declutch button located on the 4-speed gear stick.
During jobs where high levels of clutching are required, I soon stop using the foot clutch and simply push and hold the declutch button down to change gear instead. Apart from saving time and energy, it gives me the feeling I am driving a clutchless transmission.
KIOTI PX1002 LINKAGE AND PTO
The quick hitch Category 2 ball system means attaching the mower is an absolute breeze. Just back in and raise the lower link arms from within the cab, and guide plates on the side of each ball manoeuvre the arms effortlessly into place.
Hook up the top link and job done. Standard on the Kioti PX1002 are two sets of hydraulic remotes on the rear. For jobs that require continuous flow, one set can remain open by pushing the control lever fully forward to the locked position.
Kioti’s use of traditional hydraulic couplers using locking collars requires a little more effort than the simple push-in ones, but the whole job still only takes me about five minutes.
A 100hp (74kW) tractor is always going to run a mower easily so there are no surprises there in terms of the PX1002. Despite this, the smooth and gradual transition of the PTO into drive without loading up the mower gearbox too harshly is impressive.
Gradually increasing engine speed up to 2,200rpm has the mower running at 540 PTO rpm. When required the PTO can also be run in 1,000rpm mode. More impressive is the auto function which automatically turns off the PTO when the linkage is lifted to prevent shuddering. When the linkage is lowered, the PTO then re-engages smoothly.
Hooking up the boom spray is also predicably simple. Unobscured vision through the lower rear window takes all the guesswork out of lining up the draw bar with the spray unit.
Again it is a bit annoying having to wrestle with the older style hydraulic couplers, but what the machine lacks in this regard is more than made up for by its hydraulic oil flow.
Total maximum flow of 79.2lpm, (48.4 lpm/main pump and 30.8lpm/steering pump), provides ample pressure to operate the 16m hydraulic fold booms.
Pressure pumps on a spray unit don’t require a lot of power to run so to be more efficient you can run the PTO in 1,000 rpm mode then drop engine speed which in turn reduces actual PTO speed back to the required 540rpm. This procedure mimics all the benefits of operating the tractor in economy mode.
Finishing up the test requires attaching a KL901 loader and 4-in-1 bucket. Sometimes hitching an unfamiliar loader can be a bit tricky, but in all honesty it was totally painless. In step-by-step fashion I drive up to the loader and turn off the tractor.
Oil pressure is released by moving the loader joystick in all directions. I connect the loader hydraulics to the two sets of valves mid-mounted on the chassis and importantly connect the electronic lead enabling the operator control of the third function, in this case four-way bucket, via a thumb switch on top of the joystick controller.
Simply restarting the tractor and crowding the bucket down pops the loader back into the mounting assembly. Inserting one pin either side is all that’s required to lock the loader in place.
Now the Kioti PX1002 is transformed from a mowing, spraying and ploughing tractor to a capable loader as well.
However, I should point out it is very awkward to insert the safety clips into the pins given the lack of space between the loader frame and the bonnet.
Apart from three minor areas of concern, I am very impressed with the overall performance of Kioti’s PX1002 Cab tractor — it will definitely dish up strong competition within the mid-size tractor market.
Kioti PX1002 Hits
- Push button hand clutch
- Smooth forward/reverse shuttle
- High ground clearance
- Powerful Perkins diesel engine
- Auto PTO shut-off
- Good vision
Kioti PX1002 Misses
- Door strut mount on handrail
- Handbrake lever too close to seat
- Front-end loader locking pin safety clip hard to access