Kioti to finally launch its first CTL and skid steer

Kioti will be formally launching itself into the compact construction equipment market with the release of its first skid steer and compact track loaders in the first half of 2023.

The Daedong-owned brand, which has been a fixture in the hobby farm market with its compact utility tractors, introduced its dealers to the concept of entering the compact construction equipment market in late 2020.

Design changes, supply chain challenges and the pandemic set back the official debut of the machines, originally slated for early 2022.

A key component for Kioti is that the new machines are designed, engineered and manufactured by the company. Kioti has emphasized that it is not privately labeling anyone else's machines.

"The design, engineering and manufacturing, everything is being done in-house," said Jason Boerger, Kioti product manager. The company's goal is to bring a product to the market that will benefit its customers at an affordable price. At the 2022 Equip Expo in Louisville, Boerger said there were just a few things to line up before the SL750 and TL750 hit the market in 2023.

“The machines themselves, the design, everything is pretty well raring to go,” he said.

Pricing on the new machines is still being finalized, but Boerger said Kioti would be aggressive and competitive.

At the heart of the Kioti loaders is a 4-cylinder 74-horsepower Daedong engine, the newest engine entrant among CTLs and skid steers, competing against such established compact engine manufacturers as Yanmar, Kubota and Kohler. Almost all Kioti's under-75-horsepower products, except for the zero-turn mowers, have Daedong engines. Engine software has been updated to include an anti-stall function.

All specs remain preliminary; however, the 74-horsepower compact track loaders and skid steers will be positioned mid-range in both markets. Preliminary specs have the TL750 CTL weighing 9,315 pounds, and the SL750 skid steer has an operating weight of 8,157 pounds.

“A lot of the specs will look very similar to some of the things you see in the industry, but we always try right out of the gate to one-up each other and come up with a new model," Boerger said. He cited the Kioti lift heights to the pins of 126 inches as the spec that sticks out compared to some other brands.

“The theory that we're working with is we're trying to be very competitive due to being a new entrant into this need space,” he said. “Part of that is we're just going to offer a lot of standards."

For example, the layout of the control buttons was shifted so it lines up with what's common within the industry, geared toward potential rental customers.

"We kept that in mind when looking at this from a rental perspective," Boerger said. "As a rental customer is jumping in from one to the other, or a customer needs to rent for a short time, they're not going to jump in this and be completely lost." If someone owns a Bobcat, Case or Cat loader and a short-term rental, generally everything will be the same if they rent a Kioti machine.

“We kind of took a look at it from the perspective of how can we make this as simple as possible and try to match the industry the best we can,” he said.

Plans are to offer open and enclosed cab versions of the two machines. The enclosed-cab machines would include several standard items including front and rear LED lights, two speeds, self-leveling, a hydraulic pilot joystick, an in-cab display, a suspension seat. From a comfort perspective, Kioti is going with a roll-up style door, which Boerger says customers requested.

Kioti SL750 cabKioti is going with a roll-up style door and customers who have seen the machines up close have commented on the overall roominess of the cab. “We've gotten a lot of comments on the door, which might not look like anything, but just overall, it's a lot easier to use,” he said. Also, those who have seen the machines have noted the overall size and roominess of the cab.