/ More impressed with LS MT3 series tractor #11
I used to live < 5 min. away from Village Tractor in Sobieski. They recently upgraded their facility. I bought one of their first XJ2025H tractors at their newly rented Suamico location - before they moved to Sobieski. They wanted $50 to trailer my Tractor a few miles so they could then charge a more than significant fee for the 50 hour service. BTW My recent quote was from their Sobieski location.Village Tractor. I stopped by the one in Appleton. They had a cab version of the 42hp HST that I drove. Didn't get a quote on that one but a ROPS 57hp model was about the same money as you quoted and with the same deal on tires and delivery. Didn't try to haggle - not sure if that is even a thing anymore with the tight supply chain. The store in Appleton is pretty much a sales outlet. I don't think they have enough business in the city to justify a mechanic but they have that capability in the stores north of there. I live about an hour south so that has become one of my biggest concerns. I don't want to drive another hour north to the other stores if the one in Appleton closes.
I've pretty much done the comparison between the Kubota MX6000, Branson 5520H and the LS MT357H. It seems the Kubota is a little better in engine to PTO hp loss coming in around 8 hp. The Branson is comparable with the LS at 11hp loss. Not much difference so probably not a big deal. In regards to ground clearance, on the LS I was referring to the the lower beams of the FEL structure that goes to the rear axle. Probably around a foot of clearance but on the positive side it does protect some hydraulic lines from damage. The Kubota seems to be the best in that regard. I'm used to 2WD farm tractors with lots of clearance. Just wondering if those beams snag on branches and other items when going through uncleared areas. I was surprised on how smooth the LS engine was. I know when I tested the Branson (4 cyl) I noticed quite a bit of vibration throughout the chassis. Can't remember one way or the other on the Kubota.I have the MT357HC and tractor wise I haven't really found a weak point. Engine and PTO power hasn't been an issue.
I'd ask that you look at the brands again because LS doesn't lose more engine to PTO power than the others. They seem to be in line with the other manufacturer's. JD and Massey lose about 14hp and LS is about 12hp.
Ground clearance is always going to be the rear axle. Tough to get around that without taller tires. Certainly haven't run into an issue with ground clearance.
Really look at rear drawbar and PTO distancing as some don't use the standard dimensions. Kubota is one that comes to mind. This can limit PTO drawbar pulled implements. LS meets the standard.
LS uses a 1.9L 3 cylinder diesel and others use a 2.1-2.3L (roughly) 4 cylinder diesel. Displacement wise it's a decent sized engine. The 4 cylinders of Kubota, JD, and Massey will have more torque, smoother running, and should cost more due to the size and added balance shafts. The LS 3 cylinder is capable of easily doubling it's hp numbers as you can find 1.5-1.6L diesels making over 100hp reliably.
Couple things I wish was better was loader lift height, center console and steering wheel sit to low.
Mine listed for about $35-36k. A comparable JD 4066R is $59.5k. Now folks will pay less than list but you cannot make up that difference.
Village Tractor. I stopped by the one in Appleton. They had a cab version of the 42hp HST that I drove. Didn't get a quote on that one but a ROPS 57hp model was about the same money as you quoted and with the same deal on tires and delivery. Didn't try to haggle - not sure if that is even a thing anymore with the tight supply chain. The store in Appleton is pretty much a sales outlet. I don't think they have enough business in the city to justify a mechanic but they have that capability in the stores north of there. I live about an hour south so that has become one of my biggest concerns. I don't want to drive another hour north to the other stores if the one in Appleton closes.
For me it is starting to come down to dealer support. In my area (and I live out in the country in a farming area) the lesser known brands are relatively far away from me except for a Branson dealer (I've got a JD and NH dealer within 15miles). The Branson dealer in my area really spoke highly of the brand which peaked my interest early this year. He even mentioned about how he wished he got on the Branson bandwagon 10 years ago. Fast forward to now - hasn't received a new Branson since March and is worried about staying in business. Wonder if Branson will win the Dealer's choice award this year? I did find another Branson dealer over an hour away that also is happy with the Branson line - when he can get them. This seems to be the story across all brands including the big players. Don't know where all the tractors are going that they are building but it isn't around my area. Maybe they are floating around in the container ships that they can't unload. Also shopping the LS brand with similar results. Kubota dealers seem to be in a little better inventory shape. Might have to wait until next year for a purchase. Good thing I have my 50 year old JD 2020.I purchased at MT3-52HC back in Feb. To date I have about 90 hours on it. Running brush hog, fail mower, stump grinder ,box blade, land plane and a grapple hook on it. It has performed really well. I had a few issues that were covered under warranty and the dealer was quick to jump on it and fix those issues.
I compared Kubota, Deere, LS and Mahindra. I bought mine based on features, functions, price and dealer support. In my opinion there are a lot of good brands on the market these days, some more popular than others. Having a dealer that has been selling and servicing LS for many years really tipped the decision for me.