Cub Cadet Yanmar has added a new 45-horsepower machine called the Ex450 to its compact tractor lineup. According to Roger Gifford, Cub Cadet Yanmar product manager, the new workhorse stacks up well to the competition in terms of features, capabilities and cost of ownership, and like other Cub Cadet Yanmar machines, it is backed by a two-year warranty (3 years on engine and drive train) and a product team that holds quality control at the forefront of its entire operation. I had a chance to spend time with a couple of iterations of the Ex450 yesterday at the Yanmar plant in Georgia. I was pleasantly surprised.
I found the Ex450’s direct-injected Yanmar diesel engine to be easy to start and a fearless powerhouse over a wide range of engine speeds and loads. This largest of the Cub Cadet Yanmar tractors (to date) features an integrated triple-range, three-speed sliding-gear transmission with synchronized shuttle – you get nine speeds all together in both forward and reverse. The multi-disc wet clutch had a smooth and confident feel, and the engine’s governor was plenty quick to adjust fueling with load changes. One of the most enjoyable aspects to the Ex450 is its robust hydraulic system that’s capable of keeping remote valves active and the power steering smooth.
The Ex450 won’t be available until next spring, but if you are in the market for a robust tractor with some of the best diesel engine technology out there, and a drive train that’s well overbuilt, it’ll be worth the wait. Rumor has it that you can get a sneak peak at the Ex450 at the GIE Expo in Louisville later this month.
Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on Google+.