Ballast Box, type of fill?
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    GigaWatt's Avatar
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    Ballast Box, type of fill?

    In my 50 years of owning tractors, I've never owned a ballast box. Recently I was doing BB work in a couple of acres of trees then coming back with FEL to move the dirt. Some of the trees are fairly close together so I decided to remove the BB for clearance. I have wheel weights and filled tires on my 2305 but I still had a close call on some uneven ground with the bucket full.

    Recently I purchased a JD Ballast Box with extension in very good condition on Craigslist. I'm going to place a couple of pvc pipes then fill the box. I'm studying the pros & cons of concrete vs. rock fill. I was leaning towards concrete however if a pipe were to get broken that might cause replacement problems. My only concern with rock fill is moisture buildup in the rock causing rust problems. My tractor is always stored in my shop however with heat buildup from being in the sun then stored inside there will likely be condensation forming in the rock. I suppose if using rock it would be best to drill drain holes in the box.

    Any suggestions from members on either fill method?
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    I've had both in my BB crushed concrete and now concrete I just put in some steel tubes for tools and I like it much better. the only problem I had with gravel was moister even though I drilled a couple of holes in the bottom still held the moister
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    I filled mine with concrete on the front and back sides. I didn't want mine to weigh any more than it does, so I didn't cement in tubes. The center is open, so I can still carry things or add more weight if necessary. Check it out in the attached link.

    What did you do with your SCUT Deere today? - Page 1072
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    You may very well get condensation forming on rocks if you use them. But then you're going to get condensation on concrete too. The box itself may get condensation forming...

    All of which is just to say, if it's going to happen, it's going to happen no matter what. I wouldn't let that issue be a driving factor.

    I used pea gravel in mine only because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do long term and I needed a box in the mean time. I can always pull the gravel out if I decide to go concrete. Pulling concrete out would be a much more complicated chore.

    I've had the box for 2 years now and still haven't figured it out.
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    I like the idea of being able to vary the weight if necessary so I would go with pea gravel or similar. Chances are you aren't going to want to lighten the ballast box, but at least you can if the need or desire ever arose. Let's say you decide to add something to the box and were going to be welding on it, etc. It would be easier to be able to work on the box if you could empty it.

    The experience of when the rear of the tractor gets scary light is an eye opener for sure. Glad you are taking the safe route by adding the ballast.
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    I ended up going with pea gravel. Mine (no extension) weighs 640# with the Artillian wheels attached. With it up on the wheels, any moisture drains out the corners, but I made a HDPE lid for it anyway to keep the gravel from bouncing out and create a place for a toolbox to be bolted on.
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    I put pea gravel in mine. I was going to put in concrete, but I needed the ballast in a hurry (before I could pour concrete into it) so I drove my tractor over to the local gravel pit (about a 2.5 mile drive on back roads) and filled it up. They didn't even charge me anything. So far I've had no need to pull the gravel out.

    I might pull some of it out and drop in some old wheel weights off my Grandpa's Farmall Cub. Might as well put them to use. I'll drop in the weights and then fill in the voids with gravel again.
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    I too have the JD box with extension. Mine is filled with a witches brew of heavy things. Lots of scrap steel which is considerably heavier than concrete as well as pieces of granite counter top, limestone, sand, you name it. All free and heavy things.

    My opinion: do not overthink it. At the end of the day it has one primary function - be heavy and provide counterbalance. Whatever you fill it with is going to work great.
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    Ballast Box, type of fill?

    Scrap nuts and bolts, window weights, scrap steel, granite scraps, chains are all in mine.
    Last edited by rydplrs; 08-22-2019 at 06:53 PM.
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    It's too bad these aren't readily available. They are what I use in my box. I was lucky to get these from my work. They are calibration weights. These are old metric ones that we used. They are 44 lbs apiece. I have 12 of them. For heavy loader work, I use all 12. In winter I counter the plow with 5, and some other loader chores I usually use 6. Variable weight is an awesome plus for sure!

    Being my box is 380 lbs empty, the 12 weights give me a 908 lb ballast box!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WEIGHTS.JPG  
    Last edited by glc; 08-22-2019 at 09:09 PM.
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