To Fill or not to fill - the tires
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Thread: To Fill or not to fill - the tires

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    Nelson's Avatar
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    To Fill or not to fill - the tires

    I am undecided as to filling the rear tires on my 2305. I went as far as to get a valve but haven't decided yet. I mow about 50% of the time and don't have any steep slopes or banks that I use the tractor on. I have a ballast box for FEL work. The only time I think I need extra weight is when using the rear blade. Could someone give me a little input as to your thoughts?

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    has15's Avatar
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    I have the rear tires on my 1026R filled with RIM GUARD and that works fine with the FEL, I did not even consider buying a ballast box. The filled tires also helps keep the center of gravity lower amd makes the machine more stable. Hope this helps you out a little bit.
    Jeff


    2012 X540
    Rim Guard loaded rear tires
    48'' Snow Plow with Angle Kit
    52''X24'' Lawn Roller

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    BethesdaEC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by has15 View Post
    I have the rear tires on my 1026R filled with RIM GUARD and that works fine with the FEL, I did not even consider buying a ballast box. The filled tires also helps keep the center of gravity lower amd makes the machine more stable. Hope this helps you out a little bit.
    You must use ballast when operating the FEL. Loaded tires add weight exactly at the rear axle where as the ballast box add the weight 3 to 4 feet behind the rear axle. The ballast box acts like a see-saw and removes some of the load from the front axle. Tractors have very strong rear axles and relatively weak front axles, without this transfer of weight the front axles can become overloaded when the FEL is lifting a large load and you can destroy your front axle not to mention the safety aspect. I operate my FEL with a 900 pound backhoe counterbalancing the FEL, even with a 500 pound box blade I can feel the loss of stability when lifting large loads.
    JD 2520 w/ Loader and 46 BH. BB1060, Front Blade, Artillian Forks and Wallenstein BX42r.

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    Nelson (09-17-2011)

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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    I have always been on the fence with this issue. Running compact tractors now for about 24 years I have never had filled tires. I have done a lot of FEL work and have done much work with the forks. Rear ballast is all I have ever used. I always figure if I got a flat tire it would be a PITA but never got a flat tire. With these smaller tractors I am not sure what the gain really is. Somewhere I read fill tires would help with BH work and I guess that makes sense but then again I have done a tremendous amount of BH work also with both the JD650 and the JD2320 and never felt I needed filled tires. I go on the theory, "if it ain't broke don't fix it".
    Keith

    JD 2320, 200CX FEL/61" bucket , 46 BH/16" bucket, Artillian Forks, 72" Snow Blade, Landscape Rake, Ballast Box, PHD,
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    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nelson View Post
    I mow about 50% of the time and don't have any steep slopes or banks that I use the tractor on. I have a ballast box for FEL work. The only time I think I need extra weight is when using the rear blade.
    These three sentences tell all for me...

    a) you don't need it to mow with...
    b) you have weight for FEL work so you don't need it for that...
    c) just add weight to the blade...
    Kenny

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    ive been giving this issue of ballast a lot of thought. i looked around for credible websites as reference. there is a website for the govt of alberta, ca that says the only reason for ballasting is to control wheel slip.

    to me this makes sense. if you think about it, 500lbs in the bucket is still 500lbs no matter how much you have hanging off the back of the machine. and the resulting force on the front axle will be the same also. putting weight in the rear will increase traction by adding weight to the rear axle not by relieving any of the stress on the front axle. its not really like a teeter-totter because there are 2 axles, not just a single pivot point like a teeter-totter.

    now im not a physicist or a tractor engineer so this might not make sense to anyone else at all.

    but i think its a good idea to ballast for traction reasons, not to save the front axle. the only way to reduce the stress on the front axle is to put less weight in the bucket.

    it seems like they would engineer the front axle to be able to withstand any weight the cylinders will actually lift. because it the load is too much, the cylinders will actually stop because of the check valve, right?

    just my 2 cents and you guys know more about these tractors than i do so im just throwing this out there.

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    glc
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    its not really like a teeter-totter because there are 2 axles, not just a single pivot point like a teeter-totter.
    J,
    Actually it is. Look at it like this. The rear axle is the pivot point,the bucket is one "seat",and the ballast box is the other "seat".
    Not sure why that "credible site" has the only reason for ballasting is wheel slip. Are you sure they aren't talking about ballasting the tires,because that definitely is for wheel slip/traction/stability,and not for weight transfer.
    When you have your max ballast box weight, and your bucket is empty,that front axle is basically floating. Add a full bucket of heavy wet gravel,now that ballast box is doing its job, taking the majority of that bucket weight off the front axle,thus keeping the axle within its load bearing limits.

    Greg
    Greg from western pa



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    GTT Vendor Artillian's Avatar
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    Nelson,

    Forget filling your tires. In your situation (...50% for mowing...), filling your tires will have a visible negative impact on your lawn and only marginal gain when using your loader. For the 2305, you should be able to get enough counterweight from your ballast box. If you fill your tires, your lawn will suffer and your wife won't be too happy with you or your tractor!

    But don't take my word for it. Search DT for "Ballast Calculator" and you will find a great spreadsheet made by John Deere. In your case, fluid filled rear tires will move your center of gravity from a 49/51% front-rear split to a 46/54%; hardly worth bothering. And as for the front axle, the load exerted on it is the same either way (loaded or unloaded rear tires), according to the calculator.

    So take the money for the fluid and go buy something nice for your lady instead. It will be a win-win!
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    kjung17's Avatar
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    I have been following this thread. Some of the theories are interesting. There is more than one way to skin a cat.

    Here is some information from the Deere site.

    Ballasting tractors

    Proper ballast is very important. While ballasting is not required in all applications, it significantly improves a tractor's safety, performance, and economy in most applications.



    What is ballast?

    In simple terms, ballast is counterweight that is used to improve stability and performance. In terms of compact tractors, ballast is weight that is added to the front or rear of the tractor to optimize the load distribution.

    Fact: As a rule of thumb, the following should be maintained:

    a 60/40 rear/front weight ratio for ground-engaging work
    a 50/50 rear/front weight ratio for loader work


    Why is ballasting necessary?

    Proper ballast maximizes a tractor's overall stability and productivity by keeping all four wheels on the ground. For instance, when doing loader work, rear ballast provides a counterweight for material in the loader bucket. This counterweight keeps the most powerful part of the tractor's drive system, the rear wheels, planted firmly on the ground.



    In addition to improving the tractor's performance, proper rear ballast will also maximize the life of the front wheel drive axle, as well as other drivetrain components. For tractors equipped with loaders, signs of improper rear ballast may include premature tread wear on the rear tires, leaking front axle or pinion seals, and premature failure of drive line and front axle components.



    Similarly, when using heavy 3-point hitch implements, it is important to have adequate ballast on the front of the tractor to optimize steering and increase traction of the front axle (for tractors equipped with 4WD). For example, when using an MX6 Rotary Cutter on a 4720 Compact Utility Tractor, the factory recommends adding 705 lb (320 kg) of ballast to the front of the tractor, when not equipped with a loader. In general, a loader will provide adequate ballast for factory recommended rear implements.

    Ballast also affects the towing capacity of a tractor. Generally speaking, the heavier the tractor, the more you can tow. The maximum recommended towing capacity of a John Deere compact utility tractor is equal to the total ballasted weight of the tractor and operator (for a trailer or towed vehicle without brakes). See the smaller chart for example

    Ballasting will also maximize side-to-side tractor stability. When operating on slopes or uneven terrain, proper ballast will lower the tractor's center of gravity, thus increasing stability. This holds true for open station, as well as cab tractors.



    How to ballast

    How a tractor should be ballasted depends on the application. Weight can be added to a tractor in several ways as follows:

    FRONT:
    Front weights attach to the front of the tractor and provide a counterweight for heavy 3-point-hitch-mounted implements. Front Quik-Tatch
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ballast2.JPG   ballast1.JPG  
    Thanks,
    Kevin

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    Advanced Service Technician, John Deere C&CE, North America

    We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, have done so much, for so long, with so little that we can now do anything with nothing.

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    eepete (09-17-2011), Nelson (09-17-2011), Uncle Wayne (09-29-2011)

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    eepete's Avatar
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    Great data kjung17!

    There's a picture of a spiffy 4520 with an MX6 and front ballasting in upper right of the GreenTractorTalk site. Truly a tractor that is outstanding in it's field and that's an unbiased opinion .

    And in case that picture changes, here's a shot of front ballasting for the MX6. I'm about 100 #s short of that the 700#s the book says, but that's because I'm trying to be overly frugal and use 4 43# weights I already have. Around my somewhat hilly place, no ballasting means the front wheels won't steer on anything but flat. Using the 6 weight positions is better, but turning uphill you still have the front tires sliding. At 6 70# and 4 43#, everywhere but one place there is no slippage. Just can't see spending $240 to get 100 lbs more weight.

    I can also tell the difference when using the box blade with 4WD kicked in. The front weight helps with traction.

    I should take the weight off when I sickle mow the edges of the field twice a year, but I'm lazy. I'm sure someone will remind me of that when my front axle leaks in 20 years.

    Now, , and rear ballasting/tire filling.

    Pete
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 53_inside_final_deere.jpg  
    '09 JD4520 Cab (60HP), '97 KubotaB21 TLB (21HP), 400cx loader, MX6 rotary mower, SB1106 6' Sickle Bar, BB3272 6' box blade, GradeMaster 7' Landplane, Frontier AF11E Front Blade, 4' Pallet Forks, 6' landscape rake, ballast box, Woods GTC 40" tiller, PHD 9" auger, 4' x 8' chain harrow, '16 X755 (23HP Diesel) w/front PTO, 60" deck, 72" front blade, '90 JD318 (18HP gas) with 48" MM mower, 54" front blade, 47" snowblower.
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