LG Montana 4540 Review
I figured I owe everyone a fair "consumer" review of my new LG Montana 4540, since I did get some useful information from you guys and this forum while making my purchase decsion.
I now have a ripe 10 hours on my Montana 4540 tractor, I bought a month ago. I bought the tractor unseen and picked it up directly from the factory in Springdale, AR. I saw them for the first time ever at the Tulsa Farm show and did more research on the Internet before deciding to purchase one. My previous tractor was a Rhino Internation 4134, 40HP 4x4 gear shift tractor.
It may be too soon for me to give a full review of this tractor, so I will touch on my 1st impressions and thoughts after 10 hours of light use.
My use so far consist mainly of front end loader, box blade, and hay spear useage. The tractor will spend over 50% of the time mowing with a 6' finishing mower, wrong time of year to try that out, but I think it will excel at that task.
Here's some things I LIKE about my new Montana Tractor:
1. MUCH better hydraulics then my previous tractor. Stronger, faster, and smooter flow from the 3 point hitch, with lots of adjustment options, like draft, speed, etc.
2. Quiter, smoother engine. The 4 cylinder engine delivers nice smooth power and has good low end idle torque, that allows taking off at idle in any gear except 4 hi. Quiter then any other tractor I've operated.
3. Starts easy with automatic glow plugs.
4. Very smooth, easy steering.
5. Very smooth clutch for smooth take offs.
6. I like having 2 sets of remote hydralics available.
7. The engine doesn't seem to smoke at all, even under load, unless you lug it.
8. Has folding ROPS, which I learned is a good think, since it won't fit through the door of my shed without it folded down.
9. Smooth transmission. No grinding gear shifts on the move. Seperior to any tractor I've drove.
Here's some things I DON'T LIKE:
1. It's small!!! I'm 6' 4" tall and it feels a little cramped in the operator station. My Rhino has more room! My knees hit the gear shifter, when in 1st, 3rd or reverse. It's hard to reach the 4x4 and remote hydraulic levers. My 5'4" wife loves it, fits her pefect, not me.
2. Front end loader isn't as strong as I had hoped. Within 10 hours I've already found something it won't lift at all. I was moving some large sand stone rocks that are heavy, it would not lift one of them even an inch. Maybe that rock weighed over 2,000 lbs, which I think is near it's capacity. Maybe I should have gotten a bigger tractor with a bigger loader? I normally apply the rule, if it fits in the bucket it should lift it.
3. The dumping action of the bucket on the front end loader seems slow. The up and down is really fast, but the dump is at least half the speed. Maybe this is normal for FEL, but I would rather them both be fast.
4. The fenders seem flemsy. They look good, but I can move them a lot by pushing and pulling. I worry I will put too much weight on one or bump it with something bending it someday. Luckly the R4 read tire stick out a good foot past the fenders, so I probably won't hit them.
5. Rear implement visiblity isn't as good as the Rhino. Due to the way the tractor is built, it's solid to the top of the fuel tank behind the seat, so you can't look down at the front of your implement quite as easily. Especially when the ROPS is folded down, it blocks your view even more.
6. It doesn't have a very fast highway gear. My 40hp Rhino will run off and leave it on the county road. It does have a nice selection of slow gears, but I think a taller "faster" 4th Hi would be better for moving down the road to the next job.
7. I think it's a little light. Maybe not any lighter then my Rhino, but with 45HP I don't think you will have the traction to realize the engines full potential. I already filled the rear tires with water and antifreeze to help in this department.
8. Sticky throttle! The foot controlled throttle is very stiff and not smooth at all. Applying throttle with it ends up with jerky engine burst instead of smooth acceleration. The hand throttle is stiff too, but you don't notice it as much, since you are usually setting a steady RPM and leaving it. Maybe mine should be lubed or adjusted? Or is this the norm for this tractor?
Things I HAVEN'T DECIDED if I like or not yet:
1. The exhaust shooting out the right side. I like not having a exhaust stack blocking any of my view or getting hit by low trees, but I don't care for the black it leaves on the right FEL hydraulic cylinder. It looks bad after only 10 hours of light use. Also I have to wonder if the fumes aren't worse being spit out the side, instead of put up in the air with a stack. I know several other brands do their exhaust out the side now, so this isn't a Montana exclusive.
2. Electronic PTO control. Haven't used it yet, but I have to wonder if it will be as realiable as a Gear shifted unit. I don't know if it has an electronic breaking system, as I've read some do. I worry that my brush hog will cause damage over time with a PTO system that applies a break after you shut it off. Also is it really abrupt and pull the engine hard when you turn it on with a load attached? I used my 2 stage clucth on my Rhino to gently start a heavy PTO load.
3. While the R4 tires look awesome and leave less of a track in damp soil then ag tires, they don't get very good traction in muddy conditions. I knew this already, but it's amazing how much better my Rhino gets around with 4 wheel drive ag tires in muddy conditions. It'd pull my new tractor backwards all day long on anything other then payment.
Conclusion: The jury is still out, but so far I like it. BUT! If I had it to do over, I would have spent the extra money and got the Montana utility size tractor. It would have fit my 6'4" height better, it weighs more, and has a bigger FEL. All grips I have with mine. Too late now, I'm stuck. Me buying the "wrong" tractor isn't anyones fault but my own. I never even set on one before buying and they sure looked bigger at the farm show. I think the 4540 will do good at mowing, which will consist of 50% or more of it's use. Being small, it will probably be handy when cleaning the barns out too.
So in closing, I like my new Montana 4540, I just wish I would have bought a Montana 4940 or 5740 open cab model.
Re: LG Montana 4540 Review
Thanks for he review. I just had a man in yesterday who has about 60 acres and he is about 6'4" and big. In any case he knew right off he could not be comfortable on the compact 4540. That is the biggest of the compact but still a compact.
All the great things you have mentioned are common accolodes we get. Many people feel it is superior trans, steering etc. to any other they have used so you are consistent with all of my customers.
I do want to address the some of your concerns and maybe be able to help you with some things to make you tractor more comfortable and useful.
Our 4340 utility tractor weighs a very healthy 4188 lbs. This being a compact weighs 3815 W/O ROPS. The kubota L4400 weighs in at 3100 lbs with ROPS, JD990 3175 with ROPS, New Holland TC45 weighs in at 3454 and you could do more but this is a quick comparison in weight.
One more comparison and then I won't do anymore of those. The 3 point lift capacity on The LG Montana is 3262, NH is 2330, JD is 2020 and Kubota is 2310 all in the same model I listed above. Your 45hp compact is actually spec'd out very well for this category of tractor.
Your loader may need to be adjusted for the lift capacity so I would check and see what it is set at. I have seen some as low as 1500. For safety I would not go above 2200 on the bypass. This will help you in all likelyhood.
I would recommend that in operation you use the ROPS in the up position for safety reasons. This will help in the visibility area.
As far as tight throttle both hand and foot you can make some adjustments to your liking on both.
You probably have the Titan tires and in mud or clay they will not be as aggressive as your ag tires but they will last longer and give you more stability.
I think the Rhino is Chinese, am I correct? Their metalurgy(sp) is far different and although it may be heavy the castings, workmanship etc are not to the standards of any of the above mentioned models. Not a knock on the Rhino as it obviously has served you well.
Your PTO is electric hydraulic, manual and independent so in manual you have full use of your two stage clutch. I don't see any problem there for you and once you get some hours on it your will really see the advantages.
Suit on the cylinder will occur but cleans very easily. I like it on the cylinder better than in the face. The tractors as you noticed don't have much smoke at all.
That 4 cyl. Mitsubishi is smooth and will stay that way. I love this engine and they will just continue to deliver smooth consistent power day in and day out.
The top speed is 14mph on the LG Montana. Safety is the key here. With 12F/12R you have excellent gear selection and and have speed range from .50mph to 14mph.
I hope this helps and if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.
Congrats on the new tractor and keep us posted with your feedback.
Re: LG Montana 4540 Review
Yes, "my other tractor" the Rhino International 4134 is a Chinese tractor. Yes it's cheaply built, yes I've had some problems with it, and no it doesn't compare to a LG Montana or any others you mentioned in quality. BUT! It cost less then half as much as my LG Montana! I bought it new in 99 and it now has over 800 hours. I've worked on it plenty and don't recommend one for anyone that isn't capable and willing to do their own fixing. I truly expect and hope the Montana to be quite the opposite.
Just to be fair on comparing the LG Montana 4540 with the other tractors you mentioned. 1st, the lift capacity you listed for the Montana is rated at the ball ends, while the New Holland TC45 and kubota L4400 is rated 24 inches behind the ball ends. I imagine that 24 inches of extra leverage lowers the rating a bunch. Also unless I read it wrong the 3,815 weight for the 4540 Montana is as delivered with ROPS, but no FEL or ballast weights. Still heavier then the others you listed.
I researched some of those tractors too. I agree, the Montana has great specs and a better price.
My advise to ANYONE purchasing ANY tractor, find a dealer, take the time to drive to the dealer for each and every tractor you are considering and actually operate the tractor. There's more to it then specs and the only way you will know if you are going to be happy with it is to set on it and use it.
Re: LG Montana 4540 Review
Thanks for that detailed review. I found it real interesting, and read it in detail. My new Montana 5740C will be here early next week, and like you, I won't be able to evaluate it while doing any pasture mowing yet for several months, but I will be able to use it with regard to most all of the other chores you put yours through.
I'll try to post some pics and a review as you did. I do believe however, that as you have already stated, with the 5740C, a lot of what you found as possible things you disliked with yours, will just not be there with the bigger tractor.
Thanks again for taking the time to post that review.
Re: LG Montana 4540 Review
Hi James, no disrespect on the Rhino as I said it has served you well and seems to be a good machine for you.
I hope I have not offended you and am excited about your new purchase for you. As I said, if I can be of any assistance to you please don't hesitate to drop me a line.
Best of luck and talk to you soon.
Re: LG Montana 4540 Review
No Maka, you didn't offend me at all. I was just giving more details on the Rhino, since I was comparing some things on the Montana tractor to it. They aren't near the tractor the Montana is, but not a bad tractor in their own right.
Nice weather hear today, spent about an hour on the Montana today. It really is a nice tractor. Smooth is the word that comes to mind after todays hour worth of cleaning the barn out.
Just if I wasn't so **** big and tall [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
Re: LG Montana 4540 Review
I've got about 40 hours on my new LG Montana 4540 now. Almost ready for the first service. I figured I would update my initial review of the tractor, since I've had a chance to get some real work time on it and the tractor is gitting broke in.
First let's talk about my initial list of things I did NOT like about the tractor:
1. It's still small, that hasn't changed. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img] Being small has some advantages on certain jobs, like cleaning the barn out, mowing around trees, and getting in tight spots. I would rather have the Utility size tractor though, I'm cramped in the operator station at 6' 4".
2. I think the FEL is as strong as it should be for the size of the tractor. I originally thought it was a little weak. I checked the hydraulic pressure on it and it was 2,100psi, I think close to spec. Again a utility size tractor and loader would have better suited me.
3. The dumping action I think is still a little slow, but probably in line with what it should be for the size hydraulic pump, hoses, valves, etc. Probably not much different then other compact FEL.
4. The fenders are flemsy! So are the platforms. The platforms flex with my 280lbs of weight on them, getting on and off. Also the fenders move as I use the handle to get on and off, which by the way is not too easy, since it's such a small work station.
5. Rear implement visibilty is still not as good as some other tractors I use. I'm getting use to this.
6. It doesn't go down the road very fast. It's got a incredible selection of working gears, but not a very fast "highway" gear for moving jobs.
7. My original observation of it being light was wrong. It's a pretty heavy little tractor for it's class. I should be weighing in at 4,800lbs give or take a little with the FEL on. I filled the rear tires to add addition ballast.
8. The sticky throttle is no more. I think that was a new thing, as it has been used some now, it's very smooth.
Now for the things I wasn't sure about on my original review:
1. The exhaust shooting out the side is not bad. It really is nice not having a stack in the way or getting hit by trees. The really only negative is it turns the right hydraulic cylinder black. It will clean, but will turn back black within an hour of use, so what's the point.
2. I have now used the electronic engaged PTO with a 6' finishing mower. It engages and disengages smoothly. I think it's going to work just fine for all my implements.
3. I've decided I like the R4 tires. At first I didn't like them because they don't get very good traction in mud. As long as you aren't in mud, they get as good as traction as AG tires. I pulled a 12' hair over a 20 acres pasture that was freshly disced deeply. The soil was very loose and the hair load was pretty good, since I was knocking ridges down. It would NOT spin in 4x4, it would pull the tractor down before spining. 2nd gear hi ended up being the gear of choice.
Here's some new comments:
1. The first time I power washed the tractor several of the LG Montana logos flew off. Before you know it everyone will think I have a John Deere, since it won't have any badges saying otherwise. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] They are just stick on stickers, no rivited or painted logos or model numbers on the painted surfaces. This to me means, you won't easily be able to identified used Montanas, as they won't have any model number or names left after a couple of power washings. Not good for Montana, they need their name out there all they can get. Mine aint looking to good on the one side, a few letters and numbers missing on the loader. I thought about asking Montana to send me a spare set of numbers and logos. If they will I would replace them, otherwise my tractor is getting ready to be logo and numberless, as it looks bad now.
2. The rear remote levers are in a terrible location. They are behind your right foot. The operator station is already so tight, you don't have that much foot room. I almost always kick them, run them up the back of my jean legs, or something as I'm getting on. They are also hard to reach if you are using them, where they are located. You have to reach down between your legs or to the right of your legs to make an adjustment. They would have been better putting them somewhere else. I can't suggest anywhere else though, as there is just no room in the operator station for anything else, it's tight!
I like my new LITTLE LG Montana 4540. It runs very good, starts easy, has a silky smooth transmission, and much better hydraulic system then my other tractors. All the things I said I like in my original review, I still like. I still wish I would have bought a bigger tractor, like an LG Montana Utility size or a New Holland TN65 or so. I am now going to have to buy yet ANOTHER tractor because of this. I've decided this one isn't quite big enough for everything I want to do. I will probably keep it though, as it is a great mowing tractor and is awesome at cleaning the barn out. I think I will look for a near 100hp older utility tractor that I can use for the big jobs and keep this tractor for the small, tight jobs, and mowing.
Re: LG Montana 4540 Review
Reading your detailed evaluation, I kept thinking how much I really enjoyed my new Montana 5740C. You're right, it's a shame you didn't get the bigger tractor. In my 5740C, the platform is big enough for our one year old Catahoola pup to have found her spot already, and everytime I turn on the ignition, she's right there to get into the cab with me and lay down while I do my tractor work.
I found your comment about the decals coming off very interesting. I've yet to power wash mine, but will be careful of that because of your post and comments. Thanks!!
So far, I haven't found any negatives with my Montana 5740C and I'm convinced that I made the right choice and decision, when I decided to buy mine, for everything I need it to do. I don't have the problem of it being too slow on the county road, or the highway either, as you have said you do. Mine goes plenty fast if I need it too, which is very rarely.
I believe your decals should be covered under warranty from coming off. I looked at mine and you're right about them just being stuck on there with a sticky backing on each label. I'll just have to see when I do pressure wash mine.
Thanks for your review and good luck with your 4540!!
Re: LG Montana 4540 Review
I test drove one of the 4540's at a dealer a few weeks ago. It had a great price, ran well and was smooth operating. It was, however, smaller than some of the other CUTs I was considering and thusly did not make my final three.