The Industry's First
Medium-Speed Engine Is Born

Water-cooled horizontal diesel engine

In the 1950s, price controls and distribution controls were abolished and the era of free competition finally arrived.

At that time, the star of the market was the oil engine, and farmers longed for an engine that was both easy to carry and easy to handle. Kubota met these needs with advanced technology.

Around 1950, as postwar turmoil subsided and Japan moved toward reconstruction, food production increased and the government no longer needed to strictly control the market.

That year, price and distribution controls were abolished, beginning the era of free competition. Companies regained the freedom to produce and sell what they desired and set their own prices, and people were able to buy what they wanted.

The most popular engines on the market at that time were oil engines. Kubota, which listened to farmers and fulfilled their requests through research and technology, was committed to creating a new lightweight and portable engine that was easy to operate.

Demonstration of medium-speed H-type kerosene engine in 1950
Demonstration of medium-speed H-type kerosene engine in 1950

Pioneering Development Capabilities,
Weight Reduction, and Miniaturization

Evolutions in weight reduction and miniaturization

The industry's first water-cooled horizontal diesel engine, the H-type, completed in 1950, was chosen for the Minister's Award as a result of comparative performance tests performed by Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry in 1953.

In that same year, Kubota also announced its SH-type ultra-compact engine, which weighed only 40 kg and was easy to transport.

In 1955, the company launched the N-Type water-cooled auto engine equipped with a radiator, which could automatically switch between being used with gasoline or kerosene.

The company also produced an air-cooled four-stroke gasoline engine capable of high-output continuous operation.

In 1953, the Sakai Plant set a new engine production record of 3,590 units per month, and the following year, engine production surpassed 7,000 units per month, taking the market by storm.

In 1960, Kubota launched the T15, their first tractor for dry field crops. This tractor featured both an engine and body that were made in Japan and was powered by diesel fuel. It weighed only 900 kg, yet boasted 15 horsepower, which was revolutionary for its time. It was equipped with the UH, a vertical two-cylinder, water-cooled, four-stroke, fuel-injected diesel engine.

At the time, horizontal diesel engines were the mainstream for agricultural use in tillers and other equipment, but the UH pioneered the use of vertical diesel engines.

40-kg SH-type ultra-compact engine
40-kg SH-type ultra-compact engine

Next Story

1970 -

Evolving with Agriculture


Postwar Reconstruction
Increases Demand for Engines

  • The Industry's First
    Medium-Speed Engine Is Born

  • Pioneering Development Capabilities,
    Weight Reduction, and Miniaturization