Kubota SSV75 vs. Bobcat S650 Skid Steers

From the Kubota engine to the heavy duty Quick Attach Coupler, the SSV is built tough where it counts to take abuse and go right back to work, to provide maximum uptime performance. The Kubota SSV75 features the widest cab on the market, focusing on operator comfort and ease of use.

  • Kubota SSV75

    Kubota SSV75

    • 74.3 gross hp @ 2,600 rpm
    • Kubota is only skid steer with standard 2-speed!
  • Bobcat S650

    Bobcat S650

    • 74.3 gross hp @ NP rpm
    • Other OEM’s have 2-speed as an add-on option for extra cost

Engine

  • Kubota SSV75 engine.

    Kubota SSV75

    • Kubota V3307-CR-TE4
    • Tier 4 Final – DPF
    • 74.3 hp @ 2,600 rpm
  • Bobcat S650 engine.

    Bobcat S650

    • 2.4L Bobcat Engine (Doosan)
    • Tier 4 Final – DOC
    • 74.0 hp @ 2,600 rpm

The SSV75 is using the proven Kubota V3307. Bobcat built their brand around the durable, powerful, smooth running Kubota engines. Now we have a Kubota skid steer built with the proven reliability of our engines.

The S650 uses a Doosan engine with Bobcat private labeling and is marketed as the new Bobcat engine.

Bobcat likes to promote the simplicity of their non-DPF Tier 4 solution. The non-DPF solution is a similar looking canister that contains only the DOC (Diesel Oxidation Catalyst). However, to run a DOC there has to be a continual fuel source provided to keep the DOC’s “furnace” burning all the time. This is extra fuel consumption and extra heat that the Bobcat has to deal with. The Kubota DPF only runs during determined regeneration cycles, minimizing fuel consumption and excess heat.

Running a DOC has other challenges. Since all Particulate Matter (PM) has to be burned in the engine cylinder, the engine will not throttle up until coolant temps are high enough. This limits throttling for as much as 60-90 seconds, even on an 80°F summer day.

The Kubota can be throttled up and off to work before the Bobcat can even get out the barn door.

Cooling System

  • Kubota KX018-4 engine.

    Kubota KX018-4

    • Self-cleaning bonnet screen
    • Side-by-side Oil Cooler and Radiator
  • Bobcat S650 engine.

    Bobcat S650

    • Dirt trapping bonnet screen
    • Oil Cooler layered on top of Radiator

Better Path of Air Flow

The differences are in the path of the air flow. First, the air is pulled through a ribbed screen.

The bottom of the Bobcat screen is capped trapping debris, while the Kubota is open, allowing the material to slide off the back. When the air goes in, the Bobcat cools the oil cooler first, then the radiator. Kubota places the radiator and oil cooler side-by-side so there is no parasitic load to the cooling.

Throttle Knob

  • Kubota SSV75 throttle knob.

    Kubota SSV75

    • Throttle knob easily reached with right hand still on right-hand joystick
  • Bobcat S650 throttle knob.

    Bobcat S650

    • Throttle knob is located above and to the right of the right-hand joystick
  • The throttle knob on the SSV is easy to reach from the joystick lever while driving forward if you need to increase ground speed. The throttle knob is easy to adjust from its electronic potentiometer with no cables or stiffness.

    The Bobcat throttle knob is located on the front pillar, so the operator has to stop forward motion and take their hand off the joystick to change engine rpm. Lost forward motion is lost productivity. Bobcat does say that they moved the throttle to a forward position.

    Transmission

    • Kubota SSV75 transmission.

      Kubota SSV75

      • Direct drive HST pumps
      • Standard 2-Speed
    • Bobcat S650 transmission.

      Bobcat S650

      • Transverse mounted HST pumps
      • Optional 2-Speed

    HST Pumps

    The Kubota uses a direct drive pump for consistent hp delivered to the HST and Loader pumps. No belts or gear reduction drives. With the cab flipped up, the pumps are in the center of the chassis. HST linkage adjustments are easy to access here as well.

    Bobcat promotes their transverse, belt-driven pump, as a way to run the engine at lower rpm (but they don’t publish their rated engine speeds). The belt drive just becomes another maintenance point. Belts, due to slippage, can cause inconsistent power transfer from the engine to the pumps.

    The transverse pump creates other issues. HST linkage on the Bobcat has to travel from the joystick levers all the way to the rear of the chassis. This length in the linkages allows a lot of flex and makes adjustments harder to maintain.

    Axles and Brakes

    • Kubota SSV75 chain cases.

      Kubota SSV75

      • Outboard Chain Cases
      • Short outboard axles
      • Adjustable axle flanges
    • Bobcat S650 chain cases.

      Bobcat S650

      • Centerline Chain Cases
      • Long outboard axles
      • Non-Adjustable axle flanges

    Chain Cases

    Bobcat uses a center line chain case. They promote it as maintenance free. Due to its location, it had better be maintenance free, because when a failure does occur, it is a hard job to access.

    Bobcat Pre-Stressed #120 Endless Chains Issues

    Since their axles are non-adjustable, there is no way for the customer to adjust tension during initial break-in of the chains. Bobcat pre-stresses the chain to take out the break-in process. At what point does a chain stop breaking-in? This has always been an issue in the design.

    The chains are promoted to be 38% heavier than the competition. The heavier chain was not to make the Bobcat tougher, it was only to slow down the natural wear and tear on the chain.

    The chain case design also forces Bobcat to use longer axles that will have to be supported through holes in the outer chassis, and this prevents the axles from moving or adjusting chain tension.

    Kubota Easy-to-Maintain Chain Cases

    Kubota, on the other hand, is keeping it simple. Kubota offers four matching, heavy-duty chains with short axles that are easy for the operator to adjust and maintain, with easy access to two large side panels.

    Steering System

    Joystick Levers

    Kubota offers two styles of lever grips, depending on whether the unit is configured with Hi-Flow AUX hydraulics. The Standard grips include buttons and rockers for Horn, KSR, Variable AUX hydraulic flow, 2 AUX Electrical circuits, and continuous AUX flow & 2-speed on the trigger buttons. The Deluxe grips give the operator two extra AUX Electrical circuit for a total of four.

    Bobcat offers the Standard for Hand & Foot, Advanced Control System (ACS) for Hand & Foot or H-pattern, and Selectable Joystick Controls (SJC) for H-pattern or ISO. These extra control options also come packaged with more complex features and higher price tags.

    HST Linkages

    • Kubota SSV75 steering system.

      Kubota SSV75

      • HST linkage: rods
      • Solid, direct response to HST
      • Heavy return to Neutral spring and balancing plate
    • Bobcat S650 steering system.

      Bobcat S650

      • HST linkage: flat bars with slots
      • Lots of flex
      • Two light spring struts for return to Neutral

    The SSV Hand & Foot Control Machines use two steel rods to connect the joystick levers to the balancing plate. Adjustment is easy with loosening and adjusting the bolts on the balancing plate. There is one central Neutral spring to keep both levers equally balanced.

    The Bobcat Hand & Foot Control Machine uses two long flat bars with a twist to connect the joysticks to the HST (transverse pump at the engine). These bars have a lot of flex, which makes adjusting a true neutral position difficult and tedious. The long slots provide a lot of movement when tightening the two bolts, that can slide while tightening throwing off the adjustment. The linkage also has to make a 90° turn on top of the HST. This adds up to a lot of components and wear points for multiple adjustments. Bobcat uses two light spring struts to control returning to Neutral.

    Electrical System and Lighting

    • Kubota SSV75 electrical.

      Kubota SSV75

      • Simple Intellipanel
      • Mounted in a natural line of sight
      • Includes throttle control
    • Bobcat S650 electrical.

      Bobcat S650

      • Two different Intellipanels
      • Mounted up high, out of line of sight
      • Digital Display is an upgraded feature only

    Intellipanel

    The SSV uses a basic Intellipanel located in a natural line-of-sight location to alert the operator while running the machine. Most Foot & Hand machines are used by regular operators, not owner-operators. The advanced technology is great for the fleet manager or owner-operator, but it can be intimidating or confusing to hired operator.

    Bobcat uses two Intellipanels. The “Standard” upper left Intellipanel is more basic and similar to Kubota’s with warning lights and analog gauges.

    The “Optional” upper right Intellipanel has the digital display with functions like keyless start, job clock, and function lockouts, all with extra cost.

    Side Lighting

    • Kubota SSV75 side lighting.

      Kubota SSV75

      • Standard side light assemblies
      • Well lit area to sides of attachment
      • Well lit in front of machine
    • Bobcat S650 side lights.

      Bobcat S650

      • No dedicated side lights
      • Side lighting is delivered through prism lenses
      • Light pattern extends in front of machine
    Kubota uses standard light fixtures with independent forward and side lights. Lighting is pointed downward to light the area in front of and to the sides of the attachment for easier turning. By pointing the lights slightly downward, the area immediately in front of the unit is brightest, without shining bright light into the eyes of people working around the machine.

    Bobcat uses a single light fixture with the light primarily facing in front of the machine. The lights illuminate far in front of the machine, which also shines in the eyes of the nearby people. The side lighting is very fractured from the prisms in the light lens. This can make side objects blurry or be distracting in the operator’s peripheral.

    Operator’s Station

    • Kubota SSV75 operator's station.

      Kubota SSV75

      • Roll-Up Cab Door
      • Can be opened regardless of boom position
      • Maintains full width of cab opening
      • Can be stored in open position
    • Bobcat S650 operator's station.

      Bobcat S650

      • Swing Out Cab Door
      • Boom has to be lowered to open door
      • Restricts full cab opening

    Cab Door

    The cab door is the number one feature for the SSV cab. Borrowed from the SVL, the door can be raised inside the cab frame. This means not having to make sure the boom is fully lowered or accidentally breaking the glass from contact with tilt cylinders. The large door also allows excellent visibility to the attachment and quick coupler without the operator having to lean forward.

    With the full width of the cab opening, entering and exiting the cab is easier than ever. And if it is a cool spring day, the operator can run the SSV with the door and windows open to take advantage of the fresh air.

    The Bobcat still uses the swing open door. The door gets close to opening at 90° but still, restricts the opening. Now the operator will have to enter angled as they get their feet positioned in the awkward foot wells.

    Side Windows

    • Kubota SSV75 side windows.

      Kubota SSV75

      • Window slides, infinite positions
      • Sliding window track is inside cab
    • Bobcat S650 side windows.

      Bobcat S650

      • Window slides, 5 fixed positions
      • Sliding window track is outside cab
    Both have glass on the outside of the cab, to allow better cleaning of dirt grime. Here is another case of two similar looking designs, but look what makes the SSV different.

    The Bobcat sliding window has five fixed positions, which may limit the operator from communicating with outside crew or getting good air flow. The sliding window’s track is also on the outside, where it can fill with dirt or sand and make the window stick.

    The Kubota’s sliding window has a compression latch that allows the operator to set the window wherever needed. The sliding window’s track is also on the inside of the cab. This protects it from accumulating dirt or sand in the track.

    Cab Visibility

    • Kubota SSV75 cab visibility.

      Kubota SSV75

      • Full Visibility at front door
      • Side Visibility of tires with boom down
      • Top grating with narrow 1/4” bars
      • Standard Rear View Mirror
    • Bobcat S650 cab visibility.

      Bobcat S650

      • Front Visibility blocked by wiper assembly
      • Restricted Side Visibility of tires with boom down and cross members
      • Top grating with wide 5/8” bars
      • Light glare from black cowling

    Kubota Cab Visibility Excellence

    Kubota provides full front visibility out the door. Can you see the cutting edge without leaning forward? Are door handles or windshield wipers blocking sight lines? If you are leaning forward, the seat back is not supporting your back and shoulders, creating fatigue.

    Cab Grab Handles

    • Kubota SSV75 cab grab handles.

      Kubota SSV75

      • Bolt-On grab handles
    • Bobcat S650 cab grab handles.

      Bobcat S650

      • Welded grab handles
    Another Kubota exclusive is bolt-on grab handles. If you look at any well-used skid steer, the handlebars have taken some damage, usually from an attachment or material spilling off an attachment. Once the grab handle is bent, it is very difficult to grab onto, especially with work gloves on. Now a damaged handle can be repaired.

    Bobcat skid steers, like other OEM SSL’s, have welded grab handles. Once damaged, the operator has to either make due or cut the damaged area & weld new bars on, except this voids the ROPS certification of the cab structure.

    Cab Comfort

    • Kubota SSV75 cab comfort.

      Kubota SSV75

      • Cab Opening – 30” wide x 39” tall
      • Inside Cab Width – 36.5” wide
      • Lap bar room – 27”wide x 19.5”deep
    • Bobcat S650 cab comfort.

      Bobcat S650

      • Cab Opening – 29” wide x 41.5” tall
      • Inside Cab Width – 32.5” wide
      • Lap bar room – 25”wide x 15.5”deep
    The SSL cab is the operator’s office for 8-10 hours a day. They need it as comfortable as possible to reduce fatigue and stay productive.

    Bobcat promotes a 20% larger cab than the competition. Not sure how you can have a bigger cab with a cab-forward design pushing the operator to the front, and then shaving 4 inches off the width of the cab. The halo bar is snug with only 15.5 inches of room in front of the seat.

    Kubota’s cab is the widest. The extra room allows for a larger lap bar. There is also more room for joystick levers that do not crowd the operator’s legs.

    Foot Wells and Floorboard

    • Kubota SSV75 foot wells.

      Kubota SSV75

      • Full level foot area
      • Heels are level with straddle
      • Boom pedal angle: 19°
      • Tilt pedal angle: 15°
    • Bobcat S650 foot wells.

      Bobcat S650

      • Two separate wells of 7.5” x 18”
      • Heels are below the straddle
      • Boom pedal angle: 27°
      • Tilt pedal angle: 24°
    After 8 hours in the seat, who doesn’t want to wiggle their toes and stretch their legs. The SSV has a large continuous floor board from the pedals to raised platform. There is plenty of room for the largest work boots and the pedal angle is a more natural angle for the ankle in both directions. Compare the Boom Raise motion between the Kubota and Bobcat and see which pedals angle feels more natural.

    If you rest your feet on the SSV’s center platform, your knees do not disturb the lap bars. Try this with the Bobcat and you lift the halo bar enough to reset the hydraulic interlock. Remember the Bobcat straddle hump is a side effect of the center line chain case. Bobcats individual wells are small and not very accommodating to large work boots.

    And check out the pedal linkages. The SSV linkage goes through short rods to the control valve directly underneath. The Bobcat linkage takes up foot room on the side and travel halfway back to the control valve under the operator’s seat. This also leaves the linkages exposed to mud trapped in the foot wells.

    Maintenance

    • Kubota SSV75 maintenance.

      Kubota SSV75

      • Engine oil filter mounted low
      • Battery positive terminal is easy to access
      • Easy to change air filter
      • Coolant overflow reservoir on door
      • Fuel Tank and Fuel Fill on door
      • Clear Fuel/Water separator
    • Bobcat S650 maintenance.

      Bobcat S650

      • Engine oil filter mounted over starter
      • Battery positive terminal is facing inside chassis
      • Air filter latches are hard to access
      • Coolant reservoir under top bonnet screen
      • The fuel tank is in the belly of chassis under the engine, and the fuel fill is behind the door.
      • Closed fuel filter with manual priming pump

    Ease of Maintenance

    The most common maintenance item is refilling fuel. Kubota’s door mounted fuel tank is well protected behind a solid 1⁄4” steel door but is easy to fill with an access panel at the top, without opening the door, unlike on the Bobcat. The Bobcat has to have its rear door for fuel filling. This is difficult in confined spaces like when loaded on a trailer.

    Or what about changing the engine oil, dripping oil on a starter will make simple maintenance into an expensive repair? How easy will it be to jump a weak battery from a key switch left on? On the Bobcat, either the battery will have to be loosened and slid out, or be prepared for sparks trying to attach the jumper cables to the positive terminal.

    Cleanout Panels

    • Kubota SSV75 cleanout panels

      Kubota SSV75

      • 3 large clean out panels
    • Bobcat S650 cleanout panels

      Bobcat S650

      • Multiple small cleanout panels

    Kubota Tabs Keep Plates from Falling

    Kubota uses three large clean out panels. Each one has tabs to support the plate when two bolts are removed. The tabs make the plates into ramps for washing mud and manure out of the chassis. With the front plate opened, the cab floorboard can be washed out the front of the machine.

    Bobcat Cleaning is Challenging

    The Centerline Chain case divides the belly into two chambers to clean (which equals twice the time to clean). The “keel-shaped” bottom means the cleanout plates are attached on inclines or to the sides of the unit. This means the mud has to be washed uphill, with tiny water drains at the bottom. Mud usually washes downhill easier than uphill. Some openings like in the front have lips that trap some mud inside. The floorboard has an opening in each foot well, but it only washed the mud into the belly, to then be washed out one of the uphill cleanout panels.

    Capacities and Dimensions

    • Kubota SSV75 dimensions.

      Kubota SSV75

      • Overall length without bucket of 115”
      • Wheelbase of 47.2”
      • Weight Ratio of 34/66
    • Bobcat S650 dimensions.

      Bobcat S650

      • Overall length without bucket of 108.4”
      • Wheelbase of 45.3”
      • Weight Ratio of 30/70

    Dimensions

    The length and wheelbase improve stability, especially when climbing hills or going over uneven terrain. The weight ratio helps the machine’s balance and turning ability. Ride both machines and you will find the Kubota makes much smoother turns, more consistently.

    Notice the longer wheelbase and different weight ratio on the Kubota. This means the rear axle is moved further back under the weight of the engine. With slightly more weight on the front axle, the SSV still turns easily, but without the front of the machine jumping and bucking.

    Front Loader

    • Kubota SSV75 front loader.

      Kubota SSV75

      • Height to Pin: 128.3”
      • Lost Height to boom design: 2”
      • Dump Reach: 36.9”
      • Bucket breakout force: 5884 lbs
    • Bobcat S650 front loader

      Bobcat S650

      • Height to Pin: 124”
      • Lost Height to boom design: 5”
      • Dump Reach: 31.5”
      • Bucket breakout force: not published

    Loader Arm Design

    The Kubota is set to lift higher and reach farther to the center of a truck for even loading. Especially when you look at the boom profile of the Bobcat, the cross tube is mounted near the end, close to the pin. This actually causes a significant loss of 5” for clearance when measuring pin height.

    The profile of the Kubota boom, with a higher-moved cross tube higher for a sleeker boom near the pin, allows the operator to get a truer lift height. The Kubota can also reach almost 5.5 extra inches closer to the center of a truck bed, allowing more even loading. This makes it easier for the Kubota to fill a truck from one side.

    Breakout force would be nice to compare since this is the spec for breaking loose material for filling buckets. Bobcat does not publish these specs.

    Hydraulic Quick Attach Coupler

    • Kubota SSV75 hydraulic.

      Kubota SSV75

      • Hydraulic Quick Attach Option
      • 1-1/4” cylinder rod
    • Bobcat S650 hydraulic.

      Bobcat S650

      • Hydraulic “Bob-tach” Option
      • 1” cylinder rod

    Kubota offers the option between a Mechanical and Hydraulic Quick Attach couplers like most OEM’s. Just like on the SVL’s, the Hydraulic quick attach still uses the orange tabs for the operator to identify locked and unlocked positions.

    The cylinder on the SSV is a larger diameter than the Bobcat. Kubota also mounts a separate step on the Quick Attach frame, instead of letting the operator step on the cylinder.

    Kubota’s Quick Attach frame is built heavy to withstand punishment from side loads (like grading along embankments) or twisting from lifting and prying heavy wet clay or cement slabs. The side flange plates that support the pivot pin and attach the tilt cylinders are the heaviest in the industry.

    Where are the Bobcat grease zerks for the tilt cylinder? Right on top to get packed with dirt.

    Boom Durability

    • Kubota SSV75 boom durability.

      Kubota SSV75

      • Tilt Cylinder Guard: Standard
      • Outward Facing, Recessed Grease Zerks
    • Bobcat S650 boom durability.

      Bobcat S650

      • Exposed Tilt Cylinders and Pipes
      • Hidden Grease Zerks on Cylinder Bosses
    More Kubota Durability is designed into all aspects of the boom. Protective plates for the tilt cylinders and hoses are standard equipment. The hoses are run inside the boom and the grease zerks all face the outside of the unit to be found easier and maintained.

    The Bobcat does not have Standard tilt cylinder guards, which exposes them to damage. Bobcat does run the hoses inside the boom arm, but at the rear, the hoses are exposed and looped where they block visibility out the rear window. The grease zerks are pointed in every direction with some in hidden angles. Greasing takes more time at the start of the day, wasting time.

    Hydraulic AUX Couplers

    • Kubota SSV75 hydraulic AUX couplers.

      Kubota SSV75

      • Hydraulic AUX Couplers are Horizontal
      • Bolt-On Guards for Hydraulic AUX Couplers
    • Bobcat S650 hydraulic AUX couplers.

      Bobcat S650

      • Hydraulic AUX Couplers Point Downhill
      • Welded Bar Guard for Hydraulic AUX Couplers
    For easier connection, both brands use pressure release couplers, but the angle is important to note. The Kubota has the couplers mounted horizontally, versus downhill.

    The guards on the Kubota also give the operator more space for coupling hoses with work gloves on. The Kubota guard extends in front of the couplers. This helps protect the coupler on the hose. With the bolt-on guards, the SSV can be repaired if necessary. The Bobcat’s welded guard is small and close to the side of the fittings. If the guard gets damaged, there are no replacement parts to fix it with.

    KSR (Kubota Shockless Ride) versus Ride Control

    • Kubota SSV75 KSR.

      Kubota SSV75

      • Optional KSR easily activated inside the cab
    • Bobcat S650 ride control.

      Bobcat S650

      • Optional Bobcat Ride Control with valve located behind rear door
    Kubota’s KSR system allows the operator to easily turn it on and off, with a simple tap of the KSR button on the joystick grip. This is handy as applications change rapidly and you want to turn KSR off to have steady control of the boom and tilt functions. Once you scoop a full bucket full of dirt, you would then want to activate the KSR while carrying the material from one location to another.

    Bobcat’s Ride Control valve is mounted in the engine compartment. No quick and easy activation, without stopping and getting out of the cab.

    Kubota SSV75 Specifications

    Kubota SSV65 vs Bobcat S570 specs

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