KIOTI (pronounced “coyote”) tractors are very new to North America, only arriving 24 years ago. KIOTI is a subsidiary of Daedong industrial Company, from South Korea, and is headquartered in Wendell, North Carolina. Daedong has been in the tractor business since the 1960’s, but its first KIOTI only came to American shores in 1986. Daedong, USA was established in 1993 and KIOTI’s North Carolina headquarters was built in 2004. Southwest and Pacific regional distribution centers were built in 2005 and 2006. There are currently over 290 KIOTI dealers in the United States and Canada.
Before launching the KIOTI brand, Daedong teamed up with Kubota in the early 1980’s to release the Kubota 02 Series of tractors (the L1802, L2002, L2402, L2602 and L280). Daedong provided the design, body, and transmission, while Kubota provided the engine and other components. The 02 series tapered off after 1983. Because the 02 Series were made up of mostly Kubota parts, replacement parts are still available for them today. The two companies parted ways when Kubota suspected Daedong of stealing engineering secrets. It is hard to ignore the similar looks of the Kubota and the KIOTI. They have similar shapes and the same bright orange color. Kubota sued KIOTI in 2002 because they felt the Kubota trademarks were being infringed upon. The lawsuit dragged out for five years when the companies issued a press release stating that the matter had been settled privately. The settlement was not disclosed, but KIOTI tractors are still bright orange and their looks are still similar to Kubota.
KIOTI offers a full line of compact tractors, implements, and attachments. The CK series (CK20 S, CK20 S H ST, CK27, CK27H ST, CK30, CK30H ST, CK35, CKH ST) are 20-35 horsepower. The DK series (DK35 SE, DK35 SE H ST, DK40 SE, DK40 SE H ST, DK45 SE, DK45 SE H ST, DK50 SE H ST, DK55, DK75. DK90) has 35-90 horsepower. The DS series (DS4110, DS4110 HS, DS4510, and DS4510 HS) has 40-45 horsepower. The LK30 is a 30 horsepower tractor suitable for commercial and industrial use. All KIOTI tractors feature Daedong fuel efficient, low emission engines with quiet operation and lower vibrations than in comparable models. Parent company Daedong manufactures all of KIOTI’s components, allowing for stringent quality control. KIOTI stands behind its tractors with a four-year warranty that covers residential and commercial uses with no hourly usage limit.
Available implements include: 8 different rotary cutters, 3 sizes of finish mowers, landscape rakes, turning plows, tillers, heavy duty tillage disc, sub-soiler, middle buster, one-row cultivator, field cultivator, fertilizer spreaders, box blades, boom pole, post-hole digger, rear grader blades, yard plugger, yard aerator, carry-all, trailer mover, hay lift, hay spear, pull-behind spreader, wire unroller, disc culti-packer combo, 8-blade disc harrow, flip disc, and chain harrow. Also available are nine different sizes of front loaders, 3 different backhoes, brush guard, grill guard, and sunshade.
Though new to the market compared to other tractor manufacturers like Kubota, John Deere or New Holland, KIOTI has already established a reputation as a very solidly built, hard working machine. A quick look at any Internet tractor forum makes it obvious that people are impressed with the KIOTI brand. Time will tell if a KIOTI tractor has the longevity of a John Deere or Kubota, but the company is off to a solid start and is growing year by year. In 2009, ten KIOTI dealers each reached the million dollar mark in sales. In 2010, KIOTI added ten new dealers. KIOTI appears to be giving Kubota, John Deere, and New Holland some serious competition.