A simple question of user interface...

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Meet Buttercup -- our tractor:
buttercup-kubota.jpg
She is a Kubota L4300DT 4WD diesel and was delivered to our farm on St. Valentine's day of 2004. A wonderful steed and a dear part of our household. Ran into a little problem a few days ago and it was not a mechanical failure but a user interface issue... We have had a stretch of warm weather so I was out cutting some of our 20 acres of pasture and orchard. The fields are not level and while moving from area to area, I was playing with the seat adjustment underneath the center of the seat. Something about tractors; they have zero suspension, no shocks, no springs. The only thing smoothing out the ride is the spring in your seat and I was getting bounced around a little too much for comfort. So I was tweaking this knob and not really getting any good results, bagged it and continued to cut. I then raised the cutter and moved to another area, started cutting and went about 10 feet when I realized that the sound was all wrong. The cutter connects to the three-point hitch at the rear of the tractor and you quickly learn to clue in to the auditory cues of how something is running. What I was hearing was cutter blades spinning but no pasture being cut. Turned my head around and saw that the cutter was at it's highest position, a good ten inches above the grass. I moved the height adjustment up and down a few times to no effect. Dang! Drove back into the barn and found something else to do. This morning, I called the local Kubota store, got their service department and told them my story. Their first question: Do the linkages work? (yes) Their second question: Had I changed the setting on the descent rate adjustment knob? (Huh?) This knob is located under your seat. (DOH!) It seems that for this tractor, the knob that controls the descent of the three-point hitch is located right in the center under the drivers seat while the knob that controls the comfort of the seat is located under the seat at the back. A set-it and forget-it knob is very handy and in a location that would make it seem to affect the seat while the knob that controls the comfort of the seat is in a position that requires the driver to stop the tractor, dismount, tweak the knob, get back on, work and see if the setting is OK, lather, rinse, repeat... On the plus side, I will not forget this. Ever. On the minus side, Kubota could have re-jiggered things to make it a little more intuitive. Outside of that, Buttercup is awesome. Very reliable and perfectly matched to what we want to do.

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We are considering buying a Kubota L4300DT for our farm in Indiana. I was searching the internet for personal reviews of this tractor and found yours. I have a chicken named Buttercup - well, Princess Buttercup to be exact. Enjoyed your tractor story. We can buy an L4300 DT with loader, bush hog, chipper and grader blade for just about $15,000. From what I see on the internet so far, that is a fair price. Any thoughts or suggestions? We currently have a small John Deere. My husband is jealous of the relationship between me and my tractor - Big John. Sounds like you are a woman who can relate.

I did not find a website for your family, just the posting on your tractor but wondered what the music was all about in the heading "Synthstuff Music Photography .... Music is a huge part of of family's rural Indiana lifestyle. My girls both play the harp - my oldest soloed with the Philadelphia Orchestra at 11. Most people can't relate how I have to shovel the manure out of the back of the truck before I can put the harps in. Sounds like you might understand! Look forward to hearing back from you.

Best regards,
Barrie K.

Heh. It's always the piddling little interface issues that get ya.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on June 26, 2006 10:36 PM.

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