MT3 reliability

   / MT3 reliability #1  

CloverKnollFarms

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2021
Messages
2,168
Location
Indiana
Tractor
TYM4820H
So I admit I’m really on the fence between LS and Branson. The Branson I like due to the mechanical, non ECM Kukje diesel. I admit I’m a member of a couple LS groups on FB and see post after post about error codes, limp mode, DPF issues etc. I know many join such groups because they have issues they wish to resolve. The Branson group has many fewer issues. Not scientific.
I’d be looking for the MT352 or MT357, so I’m curious if any owners here have had regen issues, or electrical issues that should give me pause?
In this area LS has a slightly larger presence, and I do prefer the cab on the LS and like the rear 3 point lever. The draw of the Branson is the mechanical nature of the machine, alleviating a lot of electrical gremlins.
 
   / MT3 reliability #2  
So I admit I’m really on the fence between LS and Branson. The Branson I like due to the mechanical, non ECM Kukje diesel. I admit I’m a member of a couple LS groups on FB and see post after post about error codes, limp mode, DPF issues etc. I know many join such groups because they have issues they wish to resolve. The Branson group has many fewer issues. Not scientific.
I’d be looking for the MT352 or MT357, so I’m curious if any owners here have had regen issues, or electrical issues that should give me pause?
In this area LS has a slightly larger presence, and I do prefer the cab on the LS and like the rear 3 point lever. The draw of the Branson is the mechanical nature of the machine, alleviating a lot of electrical gremlins.
I have a 2019 XR4145HC (predecessor to the MT3, and I believe the same engine) with 180 (not a lot) of trouble free hours. My guess (I don't know) is that many of the dpf problems are caused by not running the engine at sufficiently high RPMs. The engines should be ALWAYS run at 1,800+ RPM, except when warming up and cooling down (for 1-2 minutes only).

When running mine at 1,800 RPM, I go into regen every 30 hours. If I run it at 2,500 RPM (what I always run it at now), it goes into regen automatically (software controlled/mandated) at 50 hrs, as opposed to going into regen because the DPF is full.
 
   / MT3 reliability #3  
My LS is only 35HP and so far, no issues with regen. Word on the street is run them at 2k RPM or better and have fewer issues. I really like my LS Tractor. That said, when I was shopping, the nearest Branson dealer is 100+ miles away vs 8 miles for LS. Otherwise, I would have likely bought a Branson for a simpler machine with less to go wrong. Especially when ECM's have trouble, you're not likely going to be able to fix it yourself.
 
   / MT3 reliability #4  
Owning and operating a more mechanical tractor, such as Branson, is a nice thing to have! Nothing wrong with them at all. They are simple, rugged, and reliable (from my limited experience with them).

LS (and other "computer controlled" tractors) are a bit more... complex. But not so complex that they are a bad tractor. ECU tractors are just as easy to work on, and if operated and maintained correctly, will last a lifetime. Branson's are a bit more forgiving, but LS's are a bit more comfortable.

Many people like to crap on these "Chinese" tractors because they are not made in the US (Seriously, the comments I get on my YT channel, people say the strangest things without a hit of homework). They join groups and watch videos of LS (and others) breaking down and having issues. Trouble sells. One of my most watched videos was when I broke down (caused by operator error). I try to paint the LS tractors for what they are, a reliable, affordable, feature rich tractor that is just as capable as a JD or Kubota.

My tractor, the XR4145C, is the father of the MT3 series. It's essentially the same tractor, with the same engine, but with less features. I have owned it since April 2018 and the only issues I have ever had with it was all due to my negligence. I have since looked at a friends Branson (model escapes me) and I honestly like it. Its just a simple tractor. No frills, no electronics, no amazing features.

If I had to do it over again, I'd still buy my LS. Even if my budget allowed for a John Deere or Kubota. Id buy the LS. I'd probably go a bit bigger though, since bigger is almost always better.
 
   / MT3 reliability #5  
I spent most of last year trying to decide between Branson, Kubota, and LS. On price, Branson and LS win the battle over Kubota with way more standard features for the price. I drove them all and was nearly convinced to buy a Branson due to its simplicity. The Kubota tractor is probably built better since they have been at this for a long time and understand their customer. LS gives you the upper end Kubota features and an equivalent or lower price than a Branson - plus a New Holland dealer won't be afraid to work on it. What killed my choice of Branson was the unavailability of their product and its effect on the dealers in my area. My closest Branson dealer maybe got 3 or 4 tractors all year! How can a dealer network survive with that lack of product? I could have bought a Kubota from multiple dealers all year long. In the end I bought the LS MT3. While some dealers in my area could hardly get product, the dealer I bought from stated they sold 350 tractors last year in northern WI. I think they are trying to sell 500+ in 2022. I think they will be in business for a while.

There seems to be a tremendous fear factor of the emission controls on the new tractors. Kind of reminds me of the 70's with catalytic converters on cars. That technology was in its infancy back then. Electronics are much better now. Would I rather not have a DPF and DOC on my tractor? From a simplicity standpoint yes, but when I'm using the tractor in the shed it is nice to not have the heavy diesel fumes and soot. I would like to be able to idle a little more without the buildup of soot in the DPF though. These newer diesels run so nice that running them at higher speeds is no big deal. They also probably use less fuel than older diesel engines even when running them up in speed. Just about every new tractor has around a 6 year warranty on the powertrain which would include any issues with the emissions equipment.

Bottom line for me was that I'm not a high hour user so maybe the Kubota or JD was not what I needed. I like the extra features of the LS (like extra rear remotes, cruise control for speed and engine rpm, and a reasonably priced cab version). I probably would have bought a Branson but there were none available even for a test drive which lead me to the LS brand. Haven't had a problem and don't regret the purchase.
 
   / MT3 reliability #6  
It took me 2 month to pick my LS from all the compact tractors out there. I have 6 different tractor dealers about an hour plus away. Mine is the smaller than the one your looking at but it has done every thing I needed it to do and more. I now have over 152 hours on her and I am still loving her.
 
   / MT3 reliability #8  
I'm totally happy with my MT352 with cab. Its bigger than I need (for now) has every feature you can get on a tractor standard with Cab model.

I just spent 6 hrs pushing snow on Monday in -10C temps while it was still snowing.

I was REAL nice had to take off my jacket and open a side window to keep cool and my coffee fit nice in the cup holder. lol

Was real nice just set the rpms at like 1800rpms and go - Ive got the shuttle shift and doing FEL work with snow was a breeze. for 52hp its got plenty of grunt and built like a tank.

No issues here very happy owner.
 
   / MT3 reliability #9  
I looked at the LS for about a year. Since I waited the MT3 came out and the PTO neutral was a big deal for me. I have about 120 hours and have no mechanical complaints. It starts and does its work every time.

I did have some warranty work done last year, 3pt valve, PTO and 4wd seals. Still waiting on a right hand loader mount as the original is a bugger to get the pin in and out. Small things but the dealership is taking care of me.

I have only had JD compact tractors for the 20+ years prior to the LS, New Holland 40 (XR3140) and the MT3. I will say that the capability is on par with JD/Kubota/Massey but some items takes a bit of adjustment on the LS. Call it OCD or whatever, but I've modified just about all of the "bug me items" or have plans to complete them, for all the items I wanted to adjust to suit me better.

I like the tractor and its capability. Would definitely buy again.
 
   / MT3 reliability #10  
LS XR 4155 owner here, 165 hours and I believe it has only regenerated twice so far. It seems to start and run perfect, does everything it’s supposed to do and does it very well.

Seems like way to many owners fail to read the owners manual that comes with the tractor when new, failing to read that pretty simple manual often leads to trouble that could of been easily avoided.

The newer MT series has some very nice miner improvements but it obviously costs more as well.

I also like the Branson tractors but when buying my LS the nearest Branson dealer was about 100 miles away, they do have a much closer dealer now.
 
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