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Discussion Starter #1
Hi
I thought I would post a few pictures of how I use my Kubota B2601 to launch and retrieve my boat at our cottage in North Bruce Peninsula.

The boat and trailer weigh in about 3,000 pounds, and I put the boat in and take it in and out daily, this way I protect the condition of the boat. It takes me about 10 minutes , probably about the same time to pt a cover on the boat. We used to have a track and winch system for the boat but it cluttered up the shoreline, the tractor works fine and has many other uses as well.

We have built an attachment for the front forks; this attachment clamps onto the 2 forks and is also secured with a safety chain to the forklift carriage as well a sling to the safety chains on the trailer to the front FEL carriage. These precautions are taken since there is a good slope from the garage down to the lake, and a runaway would not be pretty (known from experience with another utility trailer:tango_face_sad:).

WE also built a weight box that hangs off a quick release attachment (we also built, off of the 3PT). The weight box weighs about 600 pounds. This was built for a couple of reasons: 1 to add FEL capacity, 2 to give better traction to the back wheels when pulling the boat out.

I have taken the tractor out to about floor board level as seen in one picture from last year, this is a bit deeper than I like, typically I go out about centre of the rear axle.

The nice thing about using the front to move the trailer around with is added control, and its easier on the neck.

Thanks, B2601
 

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OLD TIRED CDN. MECHANIC
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Just a thought, how about using the loader to make a launching groove for the boat, in the sandy bottom. Or would the enviroment guys be after you for altering Mother Nature's original layout?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This is a small inland lake, and we are fortunate for a sandy bottom for some of it, however the base under the sand is either rock or muck. I prefer to not disrupt the natural bottom for fear of loosing the sand we have.

Launching the boat has become easy the more experienced I have come with it, as well I now spray the bunks on the trailer with "Liquid Roller" which makes an easier time in shallow waters.

The lake level is high in the spring and drops nearly 2 feet by the end of summer.
 

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You were really pushing the depth in the last picture.:eek:

If you are trying to keep the hull clean have you thought about a boat lift rather than launching it every day?
 

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I also have a B, but I have never looked at where any of the vents are. have you had any trouble with water intrusion into the front axle or anything?

This kind of relates to what a Kubota rep at a dealer show once told me though.You see all these people concerned about the pressure that builds in the front axle when you remove the filler plug, so they put vented caps on. he said they are designed to have that pressure to keep anything from ever getting in past the seals.
 

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OLD TIRED CDN. MECHANIC
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Don't know about these later models, but weren't Kubotas "the original Rice Paddy Paddlers"?
 

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They were and still are, Larry, but slightly different. :tango_face_grin:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I must admit not being aware of vents. I tried to find a vent in maintenance manual, there is reference to an o-ring sealed dipstick but not a vent. I will take a look in the spring, currently cottage is a 4 hour flight and 3 hour drive away. Thanks for the heads up.
B2601
 

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Hey, as long as the oil is not getting water in it, it's all good. LOL.

I don't launch boats, but I use mine to move trailers around the yard. They are great for that. So much maneuverability.
 

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On my B the vent for the front axle is right beside the filler plug on the left side of the tractor. The vent is an upside-down "U" shaped pipe. I doubt any water would enter there during a short dive but I wouldn't delay getting back on dry land. The seals could allow water in. Expensive parts in there. I had to go through a puddle once that was about 1/2 way up the wheel so I changed the front axle lube right away.

I see a lot of boat trailers along the side of the road. Most times I suppose a flat tire is the reason but sometimes I think it could be bearing trouble. If the area on the spindles where the bearing seals run becomes pitted by rust the seals wont keep water out. It only takes very little water to keep grease from doing what it's supposed to do.
 

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Synthetic diff oil has a better chance of providing lube than regular diff oil which turns white when mixed with water. The Synthetic diff oil will not turn white when mixed with water. It is just water and oil. Still not good because the metal will rust but Synthetic diff oil is a better deal around water if you are going to dunk your axles.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Square Dude,
Thanks for the information. I will check it out in the spring when I can get back to the tractor, and will advise what I see. I have checked out maintenance manuals on-line and now see the vent you are speaking of. My tractor was bought in 2016 and has about 85 hours on it. I purchased it to launch the boat and seadoo, lift out docks, maintain the shoreline and other stuff around the cottage. If there is or is not water in the front I will extend the vents up with hose to get them out of the water and keep an eye out for water.

B2601
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Coxhaus,

Thanks for info.
When I check for water in the spring I will change oil and use the best I can get. The tractor will be used in the water, so I need to have the best lube to suite.
B2601
 

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Boat trailers on side of road - often it is bearing trouble. Why? Couple reasons...
Bearing buddies. People just keep adding grease. Couple pumps here, couple pumps there. They never take apart their hubs and get the old grease out of there. It just keeps accumulating. (I often wonder if those people ever change their engine oil. I can picture them just adding a few quarts every 5,000 miles). Eventually the hubs are so packed with grease the seals blow, hence grease/dust mixed all over the trailer’s rims so often seen.

Next reason for bearing failure common on boat trailers - boat hauled down the highway for many miles, bearings and hubs warm up. Now, warm hubs meet cold water and rapidly cool. In effect, small amounts of water get sucked into the empty spaces between the bearings as they cool. That’s okay though... the owner will just add more grease. That’ll push out that water, right?

Sometimes it really is just tire failure. Tire pressure is often set too low. Some of those smaller tires require 80 PSI, believe it or not. Those little tires can be under an unbelievable amount of stress. It’s even worse if people don’t notice the recommended pressure and only mistakenly set them to 50 or 60 PSI... 50 and 60 can look a lot like 80 when reading that tiny text on the sidewalk.
 

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Also, I see in one of your pictures that at times the tractor is in deeper water. It looks like the clutch and throw-out bearing are submerged. I've never done it but have heard that splitting a tractor to replace the throw-out bearing is one of those life changing events. I think I would worry more about that than the front axle. There's no way to know about the bearing until it starts squalling. I hope this saves you from trouble down the road.

I am assuming your tractor has a regular transmission with a clutch like mine. Of course if it is a hydro transmission maybe my concern is not appropriate. On the other hand, water could cause problems with that too. Bottom line is it might not be to a good idea to submerge your nice tractor like that.

I like your pictures!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Square Dude,

My Kubota B2601 is Hydrostatic so I don't have a clutch, that I know of. That picture where the tractor is in quite deep was from last year, and I have not been in that deep since, and hope not to have to. I have found different locations in the lake are better for launching the boat (quicker drop off), as well I now use liquid roller on the trailer bunks, the boat moves much easier and requires less water for launch and retrieval. We used to use a trolley and winch for the boat, but I did not like it on the coastline, so the tractor now launches the boat and sea doos and helps with dock removal and the like.

I will be checking all lube points over in the spring with information from this forum, however I hope to continue to launch the boat and do work in the water. I do keep the tractor inside at all times when not being used and hope to have it for many years to come. It is perfect for my use with the boat and FEL work around the cottage.

Thanks, B2601
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, spring has come and we returned to the cottage Monday. Today I checked out the concern with water in the front axle/ drive of the B2601. First off there is not a vent on the front axle housing, there is a boss that is not used, next to the dipstick/filler port where perhaps in earlier models there was a vent. I had checked out a new B2601 at the Kubota dealer, no vents on them either.

I drained the front on both left and right side and there was no water present. We set a glass aside to see if water settled out after a while, still none. I will say however the oil was very grey in colour but no water.

I put new Kubota oil in the front and seems all is well. I will check regularly as I will continue to use the tractor in the water... looks like Kubota is a good water machine, living up to it’s rice paddy heritage :tango_face_smile:

Regards, B2601
 

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Yesterday, I started preparing my hay mower for a new season. I've found that the metal gear box sweats inside during the winter (more so when I cover the unit with a tarp) and when that happens the gear oil becomes grey in color. Actually, not until I run the unit for a minute or two. I believe the water settles to the bottom of the gear case and gets mixed in with the oil when it runs. I think you are seeing water in your front axle oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
To be on the safe side I am going to take the sample I have in for ferrography / testing so I will know for sure. After more than 24 hours I still cannot see any water in the oil :tango_face_plain:
 
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