Are Kubota Tractors Better Than John Deere?

Both Kubota and John Deere are among the leading tractor brands. But does one of these tractor brands produce higher quality products than the other? Are Kubota tractors better than John Deere? 

an array of Kubota tractor models are on display at an agriculture expo in California
Kubota Corp. tractors sit on display | Chip Chipman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Even after perusing the web to find a definitive answer to this question, there’s really no straight answer. The tractor that’s better for any given job will depend on the specifics of that job. While John Deere loader tractors (all but one) come standard with a quick attach bucket, Kubota tractor models have buckets with superior maneuverability. 

When it all boils down to it, these are both great tractor brands. They are known for their longevity and durability, as well as function and performance. Let’s do a quick run down of areas where Kubota outshines John Deere and vice versa. 

Is John Deere better than Kubota? 

a lineup of green John Deere tractors at a dealership in front of a John Deere sign
Deere & Co. tractors for sale at a John Deere dealership | Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

While the final decision for which tractor to buy ultimately comes down to preference and job priorities, there are a few places that John Deere tractors do in fact reign supreme over Kubota models. One is that the polymer plastic on John Deere tractor models doesn’t fade in color the same way the painted metal in a Kubota does. Plus, the metal is more prone to dings and it can rust while the polymer does not. 

According to the pros at Good Works Tractors, it only takes a good cleaning, wax, and shine to get a John Deere tractor looking like new. The Kubota orange can fade to a pinkish hue in the sun, and it’s hard to get it looking nice again. John Deere tractor models also have a different hydrostatic pedal configuration. 

Kubota tractors have all of the pedals on one side in a treadle pedal. Operators push with a toe to move forward and the heel to move in reverse. The brake is in a spot just in front of the pedal to move forward. 

John Deere tractors on the other hand have two pedals on one side of the driver’s seat for forward and reverse, then the brake pedal is on the left side of the driver’s seat. Some tractor operators might prefer the John Deere hydrostatic pedal configuration.

Kubota tractors beat John Deere tractor models in some areas

large Kubota tractor models on display at an agriculture expo
Kubota Corp. tractors | Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Virtually every Kubota front end loader tractor has a “quick park” bucket. In a tractor with a belly mower, this comes in particularly handy. Some popular John Deere models like the 3e Series and 4m Series are fixed mount loaders, so it’s not easy or fast to change out loader buckets.

Another notable Kubota tractor feature is the Skid Steer Quick Attach (SSQA) system. John Deere also has a similar proprietary system for its loader attachments. The SSQA Kubota tractor feature is an upgrade. However, it is compatible with a much larger array of attachments across the industry. 

So for operators that want more interchangeability with loader attachments, a Kubota equipped with the SSQA system will likely serve them better than the John Deere option. Another Kubota tractor feature that outshines the John Deere models is cabs. The Kubota factory cabs are available with both heating and cooling on virtually every Kubota tractor model across the lineup. 

Finding a good tractor

a John Deere tractor is shaping rows with a bed shaper in a large unplanted crop field
John Deere tractors bed shaping | Andrew Michael/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Whether you are buying your tractor new or used, the final decision is going to come down to a few different variables. First, you’ll want to find a dealership you feel good about. You’ll also want to assess different tractor brands to find which model is the right fit for your specific needs. 

Are Kubota tractors better than John Deere? Not necessarily. However, for certain jobs a Kubota model is the better option

For other needs, it’s the John Deere tractor model that makes more sense. That said, both Kubota and John Deere are considered high-quality brands that produce a versatile range of models.