Jun 252017

This weekend, I gave The Orange Dragon a much-needed upgrade: a nice, big rear-view mirror.

Operating my new Kubota L3301HST tractor involves a lot of backing up. I often have to do it in tight spaces, and I often need to do it very accurately (for example, when mounting rear attachments). Unfortunately, the tractor doesn’t come with any mirrors, so this quickly gets really hard on my neck and back.

I bought my tractor with the deluxe fiberglass canopy. The dealer accidentally mounted the larger canopy for M-series tractors; they liked how it turned out so much that they say they aren’t going to bother ordering L-series canopies any more. The canopy provides a natural place to mount a rear-view mirror.

New Rear-View Mirror

New Rear-View Mirror

I started with a section of 1.5" 80/20 extrusion. It is mounted with two-hole 80/20 straight brackets to the front canopy mounting bolts. I needed to enlarge one of the 5/16" holes in each bracket to accommodate the 3/8" canopy mounting bolts. The original canopy bolts were too short, so I replaced them with longer ones. While I was at it, I replaced the rest of the associated hardware (bolts, lock nuts, and bonded sealing washers) with new stainless steel hardware.

The mirror is a "west coast" truck side mirror. It hangs from the 80/20 rail with normal 80/20 L-brackets. It conveniently uses 5/16" hardware, just like the 1.5" 80/20 parts do. I just needed a replacement mirror without all of the large brackets to mount it on the side of a semi tractor, so the mirror just cost about $16.

Mirror Mounting

Mirror Mounting

I bought all of the necessary parts, including the mirror, from McMaster-Carr. I tried it out today, doing some weeding in the sweltering summer heat. It makes backing up a lot easier, and saves my neck from lots of strain. It does cause a bit of a head hazard while getting on/off the tractor, though. Still, I’m calling this upgrade a success.



I think that I will also add some work lights on the same extrusion later. And I might need to add some cushioning to protect my noggin from painful bumps!

  4 Responses to “Kubota L3301 Rear-View Mirror”

  1. Your project looks great. My body doesn’t bend like when I was younger and I was looking for a solution which would help me see what was happening in the back of my Kubota MX5800 without tweaking my back in the process. I see that you performed this upgrade back in 2017? I was just wondering if you are still happy with your solution. Given your usage of the mirror is there anything you would have done differently which improves how well it works.

    Randy Neubauer

    • Hi! I still use the mirror the same way, and I’ve added a pair of LED lights on the same bar that the mirror hangs from (plus another pair at the rear of the canopy, pointing backwards). The one issue with this mirror is that my fat head is in the way when I point it downwards to see close to the tractor. Adding one or more off-center mirrors might be an improvement?

  2. Mark, I lost the list you emailed to me….possible to re-send?


    • No problem. I’ll reply here for all to see. I got the parts I used at McMaster-Carr:

      The mirror I used is part number 6074T5. It’s a replacement mirror for a “west coast” style truck mirror. I bet you can find similar mirrors on Amazon, truck part suppliers, etc.

      I don’t have a detailed parts list or drawings. I just sort of made it all up as I went along. The rail that I hung from the canopy was a piece of 1.5″ square aluminum T-slotted framing, commonly called “80/20”. Search “structural framing” at McMaster-Carr to find it there.

      Here are some individual part numbers, but you’ll still need to figure out the bolts and nuts you’ll need.

      * 47065T102 4′ long piece of 1.5″ rail (cut it to length)
      * 47065T256 Straight brackets that I used to hang the rail from the canopy
      * 47065T241 Big angle brackets for hanging mirror
      * 47065T145 Stainless steel nuts and screws for the T slots