Kubota Tractor Corporation’s Sidekick, the company’s largest gas-powered utility vehicles joins the RTV lineup. With a 48-hp gasoline engine, operators can reach speeds of up to 40 mph, compared to the top speed of 29 mph for its RTV-X models. All the company’s utility vehicle line is assembled in their Gainesville, Ga., facility.
“On the farm, around the pasture and in the woods, the Kubota Sidekick is the best multi-use machine on the market and is Kubota’s fastest, strongest, and most agile utility vehicle yet,” says Roger Gifford, Kubota product manager, utility vehicles. “Customers can confidently take on any task or terrain with comfortable, convenient and capable features, and with the speed to get there fast, up to 40 mph fast.” (See more about the Sidekick below.)
Kubota's utility vehicles are manufactured in Gainesville, Ga., by order only. Parts travel alongside the machine as it goes through the assembly line. Photo: Sara Brown
The 502,000-sq.-ft. Gainesville plant opened in February 2017, offering a two-line assembly of all the company’s RTV models. With 170 employees, robotics and cross training maintains the facility’s efficiency goals. All utility vehicles are built to order, with a capacity of about 75,000 machines per year.
“One of our big challenges right now is getting enough trucks to supply our product to customers. That’s not just a Kubota issue, that seems to be a national [transportation] issue,” said Brian Arnold, vice president of operations at the plant.
A Work-Ready Utility Vehicle
The Sidekick’s quick acceleration and high transport speed are matched with a Continuously Variable Transmission with a centrifugal clutch (CVT Plus). This gives the vehicle a plenty of torque for a quick and smooth take-off, Gifford says. Watch the video below to learn more about the Sidekick's Idle Speed Control (ISC) and highland correction ensure stable power for hauling or towing.
Maneuverability is improved with a speed-sensitive Electronic Power Steering (EPS) that offers stability to the machine under load. Tuned front and rear independent suspension offers a smooth ride, and engine-assisted braking allows for greater control and increased safety during descents. A selectable full-time 4WD system gives the operator optimum traction and control on any terrain.
2018 Kubota Sidekick Photo: Sara Brown
The Sidekick has a 2,000 lb. towing capacity, with recommendations of 1,550 lb. on inclines. A trailer hitch comes as standard equipment.
There’s 15.2 cubic feet of space in the steel cargo box and offers an optional electric hydraulic lift for dumping. The Sidekick offers electrical power for a wide variety of equipment. The regulator and fully-shielded generator are controlled by a microcomputer to ensue stable power for attachments, such as work lights, LED headlight, heater or wench.
An ergonomic meter panel, steering wheel and shift knob, as well as bright LED headlights are standard features on all models. Photo: Sara Brown
There are more than 50 new attachments and accessories, developed specifically for the Sidekick, such as a premium audio system, LED headlights, sports roof or bed extender.
The Sidekick will be offered in four colors: Kubota Orange, RealTree AP Camo, Green and Black. For more information, visit KubotaUSA.com.