Do Kubota Tractor Tires Have Tubes? [How to Tell The Difference]

Kubota Corporation was formed in Osaka, Japan, in 1890, initially manufacturing cast-iron water pipes. Then, in the early 1900s, they started building diesel and gasoline engines, and amazingly a century later, they’re still powering on and are the largest diesel engine manufacturer for engines under 100 HP.

Kubota tractors have tubeless tires as a standard. Tubeless valves are bulged at their base and fit tightly into the rims valve stem hole. The tire will also be marked “Tubeless” on the side wall. In older Kubota tractors, tubes are often fitted inside tubeless tires to extend the tire life.  

Replacing a tire on your Kubota Tractor can be daunting if you need to do it for the first time. In addition, knowing which tire to buy and how to tell if the tire uses a tube or not can be confusing. 

We’ve researched the topic and found the answers. Read on to learn more.  

Do Kubota Tractor Tires Have Tubes?

Kubota has found their niche in the supply of compact tractors but also offers a vast range of agricultural tractors, construction vehicles, ride-on mowers, RTVs, and farming equipment such as balers.

Kubota vehicles, including tractors, drive on rubber tires. The type of tire used depends on the equipment to which it is fitted, but one thing is common to all. All Kubota tractor models are equipped with tubeless tires as standard, regardless of the size. 

Inner tubes, or tubes made of rubber or silicon-based materials, fit inside a tire and provide an airtight donut or cylindrical-shaped vessel that keeps the air within the tire from escaping. 

The tire protects the tube from being punctured while the tube keeps the tire inflated.

Inner tubes are fitted primarily to older tractors with a split rim design or rims designed specifically for tubed tires. 

To confuse things a little, many Kubota equipment owners opt to fit a tube into their tubeless Kubota tractor tires to extend the life of a leaking tubeless tire or to seal a leak caused by a damaged tire bead or damaged rim.

Tubeless tires have been available since 1949, although they took a long time to displace their tubed counterparts. Today, virtually all rubber-tired vehicles run on tubeless tires, including motorcycles, bicycles, etc. 

How Can You Tell If A Kubota Tractors Tire Is Tubeless?

Tubeless tires are easily identifiable in two ways. Firstly, a tubeless tire is marked “Tubeless” on the side wall. If no marking exists, the tire is made specifically for use with an inner tube. 

A thorough check may be required if the tire is old, as the wording can be small or even partially rubbed off.

The second way to see if the tire is tubeless is to check the valve type protruding from the rim. Tubeless valves bulge in shape where the valve meets the rim. 

A tubed valve stem is straight-walled or evenly tapered along its length to where its valve cap thread starts.

Tubeless valves, most commonly of the Schrader Valve Type (Also called the American valve), are pressed into the valve hole, forming a tight seal against the rim. A valve attached to a tube fits loosely through the rims valve hole and will be easily movable when deflated.

If the tube is inflated, the tubed valve will sit tight, but a gap between the valve stem and the rim will still be visible.

Why Are Tubeless Tires Fitted To Kubota Tractors?

Tubeless tires offer several significant advantages over the traditional tubed tire when fitted to your Kubota tractor. Below are some of the reasons people prefer tubeless tires. 

Fewer Punctures

Firstly, tubeless tires are less likely to puncture than their tube-filled counterparts. This is because most tubeless tires have a liquid sealant that automatically plugs any small punctures. 

This sealant can also be replenished as needed in some cases.

Easier to Repair And Less Maintenance

Tubeless tires are generally cheaper to purchase, don’t need a tube which adds cost, and are easier to work on than a tubed tire. 

If you have a tubeless tire, taking it off and putting on a new one is significantly simpler than having an inner tube. With an inner tube, it would flop around, waiting to be pinched by the rim and tire, and gets in the way while you’re trying to repair it.

Tubeless tires are less prone to punctures; when they do happen, they’re easy to repair with a tire plug or patch. Again, this is much cheaper than replacing an inner tube. 

Tire maintenance is significantly reduced as the risk of valve shear, tube wear, and debilitating punctures are no longer a problem.  

Tubeless Tires Are Lighter

Tubeless tires weigh less than those fitted with an inner tube. Smaller-sized tire tubes weigh less, but when combining the weights of all the tubes on, for example, M8 Kubota tractor tires, it becomes a lot of additional weight to drag around.

Adding additional weight to the tractor’s overall mass increases tire wear as it increases the power required to move the tractor, which means higher fuel consumption over time.

Tubeless Tire Can Operate At Lower Pressure

Tubeless tires have the advantage that you can deflate them to a lower operating pressure than tires fitted with a tube. 

Deflating your tires slightly before driving in sandy or muddy terrain will improve traction without the danger of valve shear or the tire getting punctured.

Valve shear occurs in tubed tires when the tire pressure is too low, allowing the rim to rotate inside the tire. Inevitably the tube will stay in position within the tire and results in the valve being torn out of the tube, allowing all the air to escape, causing a flat tire.

When a tubed tire is under-inflated, the tire sidewall and the tube inside the tire can be pinched between the rim and a hard object like a rock or tree trunk when driving over the obstacle. 

Pinching the tube usually results in the tube being cut, causing a puncture.

The risk of sidewall damage under the above condition does exist with a tubeless tire. However, the side wall is far more rigid than a tube, so the tubeless tire will likely be unscathed even if under-inflated.

Tire Sealant Compatible

Many tire sealants are available for use, specifically in tractor tires. However, a downside to virtually all tire sealants is that none of them can fix a puncture in a tractor fitted with an inner tube.

Tire sealants only work well when used in tubeless tires.

Sealants don’t work well to plug holes in tubes because most tubes are silicon-based, which repels the sealant and prevents the sealant from bonding to the tube wall to plug the leak.

Deflate Slower Than A Tube

The most practical advantage of fitting tubeless tires to your Kubota tractor is when things go wrong. By this, I mean when the tire is punctured by a thorn, nail, screw or wire, etc. 

Tubed tires rely entirely on the integrity of the inner tube to keep the tire pumped and useable. As a result, when even the tiniest punctures occur in a tube, air outflow is significantly more dramatic than in a tubeless tire.

The air escapes from the puncture hole and enters the cavities between the tube and the tire casing. From here, the air escapes through small openings between the tire and rim and the space around the tire valve.

When driving far from home, the speed at which the tubed tire deflates is often faster than the tubeless tire, invariably leaving you stranded with a long walk home. 

Tubeless tire casings are many times thicker than a tube. 

When a foreign object pierces the tire, the surrounding tire material naturally expands into the puncture hole, slowing the deflation rate, often enough to get you home safely before the tire deflates completely.

When driving at higher speeds, the sudden deflation of a tubed tire can have tragic results resulting from loss of control of the tractor, especially if one of the front tires is punctured. 

Final Word 

Modern-day tractors, including Kubota tractors, are fitted with tubeless tires when they roll off the factory assembly line. 

The advantages of fitting tubeless tires, such as being lighter, having better durability, deflating slower, being easier to repair when punctured, and not having the problems associated with tube care, make it a no-brainer to fit only tubeless tires to your Kubota tractor.  

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