Back in 2003, at a media event, Kubota entered the side-by-side utility vehicle market with its RTV900 - a diesel machine that offered power steering and a general "workhorse" attitude. The company says the launch was wildly popular and the machines sold beyond original goals.
But the utility vehicle market is not one for standing still. Competitors are innovating all the time. The RTV1100 with a heated and air-conditioned cab rolled out three years later. Then last year the RTV500 with gas power came to market. Where to go from there?
It's almost like two machines in one, as Kubota enters the convertible side-by-side utility vehicle category. The RTV1140 can convert from two- to four-passenger setup quickly. The dump box works in both modes, and note its extra length in the two-passenger setup.
The answer is the RTV1140, a machine driven by customer requests (just as the RTV1100 and RTV500 were). This longer-bed machine, offers 28.4 horses of 3-cylinder power, a rollover protective structure, and a stretch from 77 inches to 95 inches. And what did the company do with that extra length?
Made room for more passengers. Through an interesting convertible design, the two-passenger side-by-side can be made into a four-passenger model with a few quick moves. Interestingly, in either setup the rear bed will dump its load - so even if you're hauling the crew around you can still get work done.
Kubota continues its tradition of the hydraulic dump bed - which means you can speed it up by revving the engine, which boosts productivity on the job.
In four-passenger trim, there's legroom to spare. And the RTV1140 keeps its power steering, four-wheel drive and differential lock for pull-through-the-mud versatility. List price for the machine is $15,875 and it'll start showing up in dealer showrooms in the May-June timeframe. Learn more at www.kubota.com.