MF 1455v Comments
I thought it might be helpful to post some of my thoughts and experiences with this tractor. In July 2003 I traded for a MF 1455v 4wd R4’s, FEL, dual rear remotes and hydraulic side link, Hydraulic top link, canopy, right side step, 72" HD bucket/toothbar, Quick-Attach kit for FEL implements. Might have paid a little too much but I guess they've got to make a living somewhere. I traded a NH TN65 2WD that I had no problems with, but I wanted a FEL with 4WD and needed to keep the weight down to trailer it with the loader. I've put about 150 hours on it now and have been very satisfied.
My first complaint was the "rattling" of the FEL frame when bush-hogging the pasture. I mentioned this to the dealer and they had a “fix” by welding some shims to the loader mount base to tighten it up. Very little noise now, but it does make it more difficult to put on after removal.
The next problem that I noted was nuts/bolts loosening. The movement of the tractor over rough ground causes a lot of movement in the canopy/ROPS structure. The ROPS is secured to the rear axle assembly with 4 U-bolts on each side, and several of these nuts loosened, losing one 6” bolt. Replaced and tightened all but keep an eye on them.
The movement of the canopy/ROPS resulted in another little problem. There is a frame supporting the fenders and seat that is bolted to the ROPS on each side of the tractor. A part of this frame extends from side to side over the rear axle housing, made of about 1” round tubing, and bolted in the center. Excessive movement or vibration caused this tubing to break on each side of the plate where it bolts in the center. This was replaced under warranty in Dec at about 135 hours.
The telescoping “sway-bars” on the 3PH are nice to have as they make it much easier to adjust your implement. However, this model seems to have a little problem where it ties to the rear axle housing. There is a pin arrangement that creates a “hinge” effect and will allow the sway bar to push past the plate holding the sway bar to the axle housing, bending the plate. This can occur for instance using a box blade and pushing a load in reverse or at times turning with a bush-hog when it catches on a high spot, as it is difficult to get the sway adjustment tight enough to prevent the bar pushing past the plate. I believe that some of the “slack” in the system is due to this “hinged” attachment and I’m considering replacing it. My previous tractor (NH TN65) sway bars were designed so they couldn’t hinge or flex at the attachment point to the axle housing. The pressures had to go straight, and it made for a tighter adjustment.
In December I was using pallet forks on the FEL pushed together as a spade to transplant some trees when suddenly I noticed that the clutch was slipping when I went to reverse. There was also a sudden drop in my clutch pedal, in that it was about four inches lower than it should be when released. I stopped what I was doing and went directly to my shop and tried to adjust it, but still didn’t have the normal clutch pedal travel and no free play. I was able to adjust the clutch enough to load it on the trailer and took it immediately to the dealer. Their first response was that I had burned the clutch out! I knew better but things were pretty hairy for a while. MF told them to replace the clutch, pressure plate, and throwout bearing under warranty so they went to work. There was no apparent wear on the clutch and no obvious problem with the pressure plate or throwout bearing. After waiting for too long on parts (wrong parts ordered) they had it back together Jan 2. Guess what? No free play in the clutch, and the pedal still about four inches lower than normal. THE CLUTCH RETURN SPRING WAS BROKEN and a part of it wedged behind the clutch pedal arm within the cowling. This held the clutch down and caused the slippage.
I also need to see about some flow restrictors in my tilt link cylinder that will make it smoother to operate. The 1” ram responds to lever adjustments too quickly but restrictors should slow the response. When bush-hogging with high RPM I often have to readjust the side link and without the restrictors it’s difficult.
Another issue related to the tilt link cylinder that causes me more problems is that it leaks down gradually. This results in having to readjust the side link after four or five passes around a 20 acre field when bush-hogging. I believe that this issue can be resolved by adding dual piloted check-valves to the cylinder, and intend to do this within the week to be ready for spring. The dual-piloted check valves lock the cylinder in place and prevent the leak-down. They require pressure from the hydraulic system control valve to open and permit cylinder movement the way I understand…
Visibility is somewhat restricted by the hood when using the FEL, either with bucket or forks. I’ve overcome this problem for the most part with experience, but it would be nice to see better.
All of the above should not be interpreted to mean that I am dissatisfied with this tractor. They are issues that arose that I felt might occur with other users. Anyone in the market should be aware that there will be such things with any brand.
Now for some positives…
I prefer geared tractors. There’s no need for anyone to try to convert me. I have a 23HP JD 455 hydro to cut grass and it’s great for that. The three ranges and four speeds in the gearbox gives me the ability to select just what I need for the job at hand. The shuttle shift is great in going quickly from forward to reverse. For me the electronic PTO engagement is much handier than the lever on some other tractors.
It seems to me that the four cylinder engine in this tractor is smoother than the three cylinder I had. HP is rated about the same, and I can’t really tell a difference there but I prefer the four cylinder.
When the dealer was setting the tractor up for delivery I had them put the joystick controller for the rear remotes behind the seat on the right side of the tractor so that I could reach it from the ground behind the tractor when attaching implements. If this isn’t specified most dealers will put the controls forward, where you must walk around the wheel to make an adjustment on the ground.
For pasture clipping and brush cutting I use a Bush-Hog 286 cutter that I think weighs about 1200 lbs. I thought it might be too heavy for this tractor, but have been satisfied after using it.
I’ve pulled a single-shank sub-soiler 18” deep in dry clay hardpan with slow but steady results. Loaded tires would probably have helped with traction there, but I don’t need it when wet weather comes. Maybe I’ll get some wheel weights.
Using a middle-buster to dig trenches for water lines/conduit was quick and easy.
During the summer of 2003 I dug a ditch about 600’ going from “nothing” to about 5’ deep at the end to drain standing surface water from the back of a field. I started this project with the box blade and much appreciation for the top&tilt setup to make on the fly adjustments. As I reached the deeper end of the ditch I resorted to the FEL 6’HD bucket and toothbar to move dirt quicker. The box blade had already set the slope of the ditch bank and with the FEL I made much faster progress. I sloped all the ditch-banks so I could drive across or bush-hog with ease. The project at the deep end was probably 30’ wide when I finished.
I have property at another location that was clear cut about fifteen years ago, and a lot of it was grown up in gum thickets and privet. The toothbar is a great tool for grubbing out shallow rooted privet and sweetgums up to 5” diameter. I pushed off about five acres of that growth and pushed the growth off about a mile of road in about a week. Then I borrowed a broadcast seeder and planted annual rye to help keep down erosion.
As I mentioned above, I’ve pushed the pallet forks together and used as a spade to transplant trees this winter. The 42” forks will pop out a pretty good root ball if you work around the tree at an angle, and will also dig the hole to put the root ball in. I’ve moved some oaks that were about 10’ and will just have to see if they live… If so, that’s several years jump on what I could afford to buy from a nursery.
I also found the pallet forks handy to raise 2x12’s to attach to 6x6 posts as supports for a drop-shed on my shop. 20’ 2x12’s are difficult for one person to handle going up 9’, but it was easy this way!
The box blade was the implement of choice when spreading and leveling dirt for the concrete slab when building my shop. I’ve also used it to spread gravel and maintain the drive.
We are in flat Louisiana delta ground, and when it’s wet it’s often soupy. When It’s dry it is often like concrete. I opted for the R4’s primarily for the additional flotation provided by the wide footprint, and also hoped that they wouldn’t tear up the yard as much as R1’s. They are also thicker tires usually, and resist punctures better. I’ve been satisfied with my choice, but will probably consider wheel weights for added traction during the summer.
Since getting the tractor with the FEL I’ve discovered new uses for the FEL regularly! I also have several implements that I haven’t used since the trade. A 30” dirt scoop would feel neglected if it had feelings, because I haven’t hooked it up on this tractor. I also have a 6’Wx8’L platform that I used to transport mulch, dirt, quick-crete, etc. with the 3PH on the other tractor. Since getting the FEL I just use the bucket because it’s usually there.
Re: MF 1455v Comments
Good review of tractor and initial ownership problems. You should also post this under the review section.
Re: MF 1455v Comments
Tractor Supply has several flow restrictors in stock at my store. There were about 3 different threads on the shelf.
Re: MF 1455v Comments
We don't have a TSC here, but there is a "Hydraulic Warehouse" or something like that near the MF dealer. I'm going to take the cylinder off and carry it there soon. I want to see about adding the DP checkvalves at the same time.
In response to posting this as a review... I tried it but for some reason had to log in again at that page and it doesn't recognize my username/password.
Re: MF 1455v Comments
I believe that there is washer like ones and there are also ones that are threaded that screw in between two hoses. Let us know how you make out with the check valves.
Re: MF 1455v Comments
The place here is Hydraulic Depot, not Hydraulic Warehouse... I took the cylinder off and carried it there to get an estimate. The guy is supposed to call me after he gets the prices on parts for the double-piloted checkvalves. He indicated he had the flow restrictors on hand. I'll post when I know more.
Re: MF 1455v Comments
Glen, thanks for the info. A lot of this you had sent me a few weeks ago. I checked my ROPS and had several bolts loose. I have only 60 hrs on mine and the bolts were a half turn or so loose.
So far I have not had any problems with the tractor but its nice to know what to watch out far. Thanks again!
Good people here on TBN!