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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am currently looking at different ballast options for 1025R, such as the Heavy Hitch Offset bracket or the Heavy Hitch Dual Weight Bracket and suitcase weights.

1. I am curious what is the maximum weight you have used on the rear 3 point hitch and how much rear tire/wheel weight in lbs when using front attachments such as the FEL?

2. How much front ballast weight have you used for rear attachments?

I am trying to determine how much weight that I should buy. I know the loader owners manual states a recommended ballast weight, but I am curious if people have been using more or less weight then what is specified in the manual. I have been watching a lot of videos on Tractor Time with Tim and noticed many videos that he has used (8) 70 lbs weights on rear 3 point hitch and has weight on rear wheels and sometimes still has people standing on the ballast to lift heavy items.
 

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I am currently looking at different ballast options for 1025R, such as the Heavy Hitch Offset bracket or the Heavy Hitch Dual Weight Bracket and suitcase weights.

1. I am curious what is the maximum weight you have used on the rear 3 point hitch and how much rear tire/wheel weight in lbs when using front attachments such as the FEL?

2. How much front ballast weight have you used for rear attachments?

I am trying to determine how much weight that I should buy. I know the loader owners manual states a recommended ballast weight, but I am curious if people have been using more or less weight then what is specified in the manual. I have been watching a lot of videos on Tractor Time with Tim and noticed many videos that he has used (8) 70 lbs weights on rear 3 point hitch and has weight on rear wheels and sometimes still has people standing on the ballast to lift heavy items.
I don’t have any 3-pt implements heavy enough that front ballast is required. The most ground-engaging that I do is with a pine straw rake.

I do have an FEL with bucket and pallet forks, so rear ballast is occasionally necessary. I saw those charts when I scanned through the operators manual but found them to be too complicated. These tractors are very versatile ... huge variety of applications. Different people have a variety of different needs, but my needs are simple. I elected to use a ballast box for $275 instead of $1200 worth of rack and weights, so my rear ballast condition is either 650 lbs, or zero. Some people need the flexibility of suitcase weights...I don’t, and like the ability to spur-of-the-moment just back the iMatch up to the ballast box and go. My little tractor’s FEL capacity is such that it won’t lift anything heavy enough that 650 lbs of rear ballast isn’t enough.

If my tractor use included heavy 3-pt attachments in addition to FEL loads close to the maximum, then I’d surely have to bite the bullet and get $500 worth of front/rear weight racks and about $750 worth of suitcase weights. Just seems like a lot of effort and a lot of money that, fortunately, I don’t have to spend. Yet.

I drive this thing around my yard a lot and wanted to limit the weight I carry (limit the tire marks and possible sprinkler head damage) to the times only when it’s necessary, so I decided to forego wheel weights and filled tires.
 

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I have my rear tires filled with RV antifreeze and 2 sets of 50lbs wheel weights. I have 8 42lbs suitcase weights that I can put on the 3pt. I have a box blade that I added a concrete block to that I use for heavy loader work.

I have put 8 42lbs suitcase weights on the front when using my rear rotary cutter .
 

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When doing FEL work, use 385lb box blade with 4x42lb suitcase weight in the back. Have quick hitch too. It’s about 550lbs total but it is really far back. Also have filled tires and wheel weights. Definitely feels like more than enough - I’ve not been able to pick up anything that made that setup feel uncomfortable.

If I need front ballast i just keep the loader on.
 

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I have my rear tires filled with RV antifreeze and 2 sets of 50lbs wheel weights. I have 8 42lbs suitcase weights that I can put on the 3pt. I have a box blade that I added a concrete block to that I use for heavy loader work.

I have put 8 42lbs suitcase weights on the front when using my rear rotary cutter .
I am running the same setup as Eric, except for the 50 lb wheel weights
 

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For heavy loader work I run eight 70 lb weights and up to eight 42 lb weights on my heavy hitch weight bracket. I say up to because depending on what I’m picking up I adjust the rear ballast. I do not have filled tires or rear wheel weights.

For front ballast I use the heavy hitch front weight bracket and run eight 42 lb weights when I have my aerator, bagger, tiller or drop spreader on the 3pt. If I am hauling water on my hitch carrier I will put whatever weights are closer. Last time it was five 70 lb weights, but I’ve used eight 42 lb weights as well.

I used to use the John Deere front weight bracket which holds seven weights, but my wife and kids gave me the heavy hitch bracket for Father’s Day. It holds eight weights and carries them a bit higher off the ground allowing the 70 lb weights to be used on the front.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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The amount of ballast needed has been discussed sooo much on this forum.

It seems like your question is which Heavy Hitch to buy, not how much ballast??!! :dunno::dunno:

IMO, if you buy a Heavy Hitch, buy the dual weight bracket model, you will not be sorry. If you use 42 lb. suitcase weights, this will enable you to be able to use enough weights to get the maximum recommended 601 lb. of ballast when using the FEL at full capacity (notice, the 601 lbs. of recommended ballast also requires that the rear tires are filled). You can use up to 16 suit case weights, which you will never need that many on a 1 series.

Considering the Heavy Hitch weighs 60 lbs. and if you have an I-Match quick hitch, which is about 50 lbs. This gives you 110 lbs. of ballast already, so you need approx. another 490 lb. of ballast. 12 - 42 lb. suitcase weights are 504 lb. so you will never need more than 12 - 42 lb. suitcase weights if you have an I-Match quick hitch when using the Heavy Hitch dual weight bracket. Now, if you use 70 lb. suitcase weights, then obviously you will only need 7 - 70 lb. weights so then the standard Offset Heavy Hitch will suffice.

Now, the Heavy Hitch weight bracket is really nice, I have one, but you will need to buy 12 - 42 lb. suitcase weights which is not cheap. I had many 42 lb. weights, so the weights were not an issue for me which made the Heavy Hitch the no brainer way to go. By the way, I have a JD ballast box also and never use the ballast box anymore. I use the receiver on my Heavy Hitch all the time so having an attachment that allows me to use ballast when needed and have the versatility to have the receiver is nice. I have my Heavy Hitch on my tractor all the time with a ball or flat receiver installed.

Another Option: If you have a BH, all you need to do is attach the BH for ballast. The BH is heavy enough to ballast anything the FEL can lift.

Economical Option: If you are looking for the most economical way to get ballast, then the ballast box is the way to go, if you do not have a BH.

All of this said, when using the FEL, put ballast on the tractor and make sure you have enough before starting the job because you may not get a second chance. If in doubt, put the maximum recommended ballast on the 3 point.

Concerning rear attachments. Well, if you hang the 600 lb. ballast box on the 3 point, the tractor will steer really easy, if you know what I mean.

Options for front ballast:
1. Attach the FEL. This will be enough ballast for anything the tractor can lift on the 3 point.
2. If you do not have a front blade or snow blower, you can hang 4 - 42 lb. suitcase weights on the front of the tractor which would marginally be enough, depending on what you are using on the 3 point, or JD makes a front weight bracket that they recommend to use. https://www.greenpartstore.com/John-Deere-Weight-Bracket-Kit-BLV10623.html This weight bracket allows for 7 suitcase weights. (you cannot use the JD weight bracket if you have a front blade or snowblower unless you want to unbolt the front hitch bracket to use the weight bracket) I understand if you do not use the weight bracket, the suitcase weights are really close to the grill of the tractor. :dunno:
3. If you have a front blade or snow blower, then buy the Heavy Hitch front weight bracket. This weight bracket utilizes the same attaching brackets that the blade/blower front hitch uses. If you do not have the JD attaching brackets that are a part of the blade/blower front hitch, you can buy the complete kit from Heavy Hitch which includes the attaching brackets. https://heavyhitch.com/product/quick-attach-front-weight-bracket/ The Heavy Hitch front weight bracket enables using 8 - 42 lb. suitcase weights on the front. I have a Heavy Hitch front weight bracket. It is really slick and it can be easily removed when not using it. When I use my hydraulic lift MCS, I use all 8 on the front. Again, make sure you have enough.
 

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Ray_PA sure did a great job of summing it all up. I can't add anything he hasn't already stated in terms of what your options are.

As to your survey, my response is:

Dual Row Heavy Hitch Receiver

16*42 pound suitcase weights (no imatch)

Both rear tires filled with washer fluid, just under 10 gallons each

While the most expensive form of ballast, I went with suitcase weights as I also have a number of rear implements that require front ballast. I also have the Heavy Hitch front weight hanger mount that allows for 8*42 pound suitcase weights---I'm not sure if the 70 pound weights will fit on it. I went with the 42 pound weights for ease of handling and I'm not getting any younger.

I also have the Heavy Hitch weight receiver storage cart. I can mount/dismount the dual weight receiver with all 16*42 pound suitcase weights in place with ease. It also make it a lot easier and quicker to move them, when necessary.
 

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Eight 42lb suitcase weights on a heavy hitch on a quick hitch, which is 336 + 55 + 61 = 450lbs. This is very good ballast and I'm happy with it. It suites my needs for most everything I do. But I can feel that another 200ish pounds would be helpful with really heavy loader work. If I could do it over again, I would have bought the offset bracket and probably used (4) 72s and (4) 42s. The heavy hitch makes the weight very low profile and easy to maneuver. I have the cart for the heavy hitch to make it super easy to use. I think if I didn't have the cart, laziness would win quite often and I wouldn't use the weights when I should.

Alternate weight is a the box blade on the quick hitch (395 + 61 = 456lbs). I believe this may functionally be "more" ballast since the weight is further back compared to the heavy hitch. You get more leverage out of that so what is basically the same weight is more effective. The downside of this, is the box blade is a massive honking hunk of steel sticking way out back far and wide. It makes maneuvering much more complicated in tight spaces. And if you're not paying attention, it will destroy anything you swing it into.

When I'm using the custom loader mounted snow plow, I will put 5 of the suitcase weights up on the front bumper to help with steering authority. I also do this if I'm using the box blade without the loader attached, which can make the front end a bit loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The amount of ballast needed has been discussed sooo much on this forum.

It seems like your question is which Heavy Hitch to buy, not how much ballast??!! :dunno::dunno:
Ray_PA, thanks for the very long helpful post. Can you please provide some of the good ballast discussions. I was searching on the Sub Compact and did not see much about ballast specific to the 1025R.

Anything that I have read about ballast on this forum and others have been more basic, not very specific. I have read comments such as I either us nothing or 600lbs, or what feels right, or if it is a little tipsy, then I add more. Some of these statements might is more shoot from the hip answers, or maybe based on experience. Since I am new and do not have much experience with tractors, which is the reason I am looking for guidance, or any other techniques people have used to determine the proper ballast. I am looking to purchase ballast right the first time so I do not have an accident or do not need to buy a different setup for the future because I need more ballast.

To answer your question, my main question is how much ballast do I need which would help me pick which Heavy Hitch to buy. I was leaning towards the dual weight bracket. I contact Heavy Hitch and it was recommended to me just an offset bracket will be good for the 1025R and a dual weight would be too much. Heavy Hitch offers a Dual Receiver Hitch with an offset option for such items with baskets that can be mounted on top etc.

But I was still concerned that the single offset might not be enough. (8) * 70lbs = 560lbs. Offset Bracket = 55lbs. Total weight is 615lbs which is near the minimum ballast requirements stated in the 120R manual that would include fluid filled tires. Note that the manual does say minimum ballast. This was the reason I was trying to get an idea what others with a 1025R have been usingfor ballast, how much weight and if they think they need more.


thank you everyone that has provided feedback with the amount of ballast that you have been using.
 

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Anything that I have read about ballast on this forum and others have been more basic, not very specific. I have read comments such as I either us nothing or 600lbs, or what feels right, or if it is a little tipsy, then I add more. Some of these statements might is more shoot from the hip answers, or maybe based on experience. Since I am new and do not have much experience with tractors, which is the reason I am looking for guidance, or any other techniques people have used to determine the proper ballast. I am looking to purchase ballast right the first time so I do not have an accident or do not need to buy a different setup for the future because I need more ballast.
Ballast is important, but easy to overthink, in my observation. My needs are simple and the "all-or-none" concept works perfectly for me...I either have an FEL bucket full of dirt or rocks, a 500 lb stump on the forks, or I don't. If your needs are more complex (heavy 3-pt attachments), or if you want to be absolutely certain that you are purchasing ballast "right the first time, then I'd recommend front and rear Heavy Hitch brackets ($340 dual bracket on the rear, $229 bracket on the front), and start with fourteen 42-lb weights (~$840). That way you'll be covered for any eventuality.
 

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I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone ballast up the full owners manual specified amounts + filled tires except maybe TTWT's rig. I'm sure there are, but they don't stand out in my mind. That's a tremendous amount of weight, at a very high cost. If you can afford to purchase and store all that weight, by all means. But if your budget doesn't allow that much, getting 450-600lbs of ballast is very good and much less of a financial impact. If the alternative is no ballast, go with the less amount and you will likely be fine just like most other people are.
 

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Go with the dual Heavy Hitch bracket, even if you don't use the extra capacity, you will have it.

I use a combination of things at different times for ballast. I need flexibility as I have 9 implements (I have to stop and count.....) and some rear 3 point implements require ballast to function properly, and even that can depend upon the soil conditions. For example, the Core Aerator from Frontier (I have the 60" wide model) works just fine on my lawn as I have extensive irrigation and my irrigation goes from "Head to Head", verses "Spray to Spray", which means my lawn irrigation is very consistent across the entire lawn.

Yet, the second I leave my lawn and go my neighbors to core aerate, I have to add a minimum of (3) of the 42# weights on the frame of the core aerator, to pull the plugs I desire, due to their lawn not being as irrigated and the ground being harder. This is why I really like the suitcase weight version of the ballast, as I can use as needed and as desired, to get the results sought.

I also always run with a rear 3 point carry all, which alone, adds about 200 pounds of rear ballast and then I also run with the IMatch hitch on the 3 point, which adds another roughly 60 pounds. On my rear carry all, depending upon what I am doing, I may add as much as 650 pounds MORE, to the rear carry all, to get the necessary traction.

Usually, I have only needed to have 850 pounds on the rear 3 point during very icy conditions, when its so slick, one can barely stand on a flat surface. Otherwise, I run with the rear carry all and 300 to 350 pounds of additional ballast (rear carry all at 200 pounds, plus the IMatch at 60 pounds plus the additional 300 to 350 pounds for a total rear ballast of 560 to 610 pounds), when plowing snow. Now, my snow plow is 87" wide, which is 7'3" wide, not the 4'6" wide which is the John Deere 54" front plow. The larger the plow, the more ballast required as it can and does push a much greater load. The closer the temps are to freezing, the more ballast is required to plow snow. In sheet ice conditions, which we don't have often, fortunately, I have gone as high as 850 pounds of total rear ballast. When it's colder, traction conditions are much better, the snow is not as heavy to push and less ballast is needed. You learn this with experience and years of using this equipment.

WHy would I remove rear ballast when the snow plowing conditions are improved, such as when its much colder outside? To retain proper machine balance. You will feel the machine's balance when using it and know when you are nose heavy or arse heavy when making turns and using the machine. Proper Ballast provides proper machine balance and this is likely the most important thing to always keep in mind.......

As I mentioned in another thread, don't forget the operators weight weighs into the total equation as well. We have some operators that are a buck twenty soaking wet and others who are nearly 4 times that amount. I am in the 260 pound range at 6'4" of height and I also have the Mauser cab on my tractor, which adds another 400 pounds of rear weight, but totally changes the rear dynamic of balance for the machine.

You will likely find that your ballast needs will vary slightly, or maybe even significantly, depending upon the implement in use. That's why I am such a fan of the suitcase weights, as you can add them where needed, when needed. I personally have no use for a ballast box for a couple of reasons, first, its an all or nothing option and as I have described, the best use of my machine requires various ballast amounts to achieve the results I am seeking. The second reason I don't own a ballast box is because it ties up the 3 point hitch to meet the ballast requirements and then I can't use other rear implements on the tractor when the ballast box would be on it.

As far as front ballast, I only need to add front ballast when I remove my FEL, which I do when using the Frontier 3 point PTO driven fertilizer spreader or my 48 gallon, rear 3 point sprayer.........as they add anywhere from 300 to 600 pounds on the rear 3 point with the FEL removed. The reason the FEL is removed when using these implements is the desire and need to get into tighter corners on the lawn and property. Plus, I don't like to have the FEL hanging out in front of the machine when I am in some of the areas which need to be sprayed or have fertilizer spread on them. The tractors turning radius is better without the FEL and bucket on it. Also tight turns with the front wheels without the FEL are less disrupting to the grass and soil.

You will find you develop your own needs and methods of achieving them with the equipment you own or acquire to get the most of your machinery.

Basically, think about keeping the tractor balanced at all times. Whatever you hang on the rear to complete tasks, should be offset with what you hang on the front for ballast so the machine remains with the proper front to rear balance. A balanced machine performs better, has more consistent traction and better balance when being used. It will consistently produce better results.

Don't fall into the thinking of only using ballast because YOU HAVE TO. Use ballast because it maintains proper balance on the machine. You can look up the weight of each implement you purchase and keep a list of the actual weights for reference. The more implements you own, the more difficult it is to remember everything off the top of your head. Keep in mind that adding fluid to your implements, like spray to the sprayer, usually adds about 7 pounds per gallon as a general rule of thumb. So when you put 50 gallons in the 48 gallon sprayer, you are adding about 350 more pounds of rear weight.

You will need to use some trial and error to see what works best for you. But always keep the idea of the machines balance in mind as the things you do with the machine change this balance very rapidly. Yesterday, I was moving dirt piles for a neighbor. Sometimes, I had the bucket full with dirt, which would add at least 400 to 500 pounds of weight on the front end. Without rear ballast, it will make the rear of the tractor extremely light and even cause the rear wheels to lift when going across uneven or bumpy terrain. This makes the machine operation very dangerous, not to mention stressful on the machine without proper ballast.

When you pick up 80 pounds with one hand you can feel the extreme weight difference on the side which you are using to lift. Pick up 80 pounds in each hand at the same time, and your body is much more balanced and while it is strain on your spine and frame, its better to have the load balanced than all on one side. Much is the same way with tractor ballast. If you are using the FEL to carry loads with the bucket or using the pallet forks to move heavy objects, maintain proper balance on the machine. Its better off for you and the tractor in the long haul.

I personally do not use wheel weights because I don't like putting them on and taking them off and dealing with pinched and or smashed fingers. Soil compaction on a lawn is an important issue and can dramatically affect its overall health over time. I try to keep the tractor's weight down when just driving across the lawn if my ballast needs aren't necessary adds to the soil compaction over time.

Keep your machine balanced, determine how you are going to use your machine and pay attention to how your machine responds to your use and input and you will find what works best for you. Plus, keep asking how others are using their machines and what they use to complete their tasks.

You will find that some operators can seem to do anything with their machines, where others will constantly seem to have trouble. There were many who told me I was crazy for building my front snow plow blade and how this machine would NEVER handle it. Perhaps the way they use the machine, that's true, but I have had no issues. In fact, I successfully plowed for two seasons with the 87" wide plow with the rolling top flap and the rubber squeegee edge for two seasons with my 455, which is comparable to the new x750 L&G tractor. Two wheel drive and about 1,100 pounds of tractor.

The key is ballast and balance and learning how to achieve the most results with your equipment for your desired tasks. Focus more on what and how GTT users actually do achieve safely and without damaging their equipment, than listening to the naysayers who insist it isn't possible or can't be done because they haven't been able to do it.........

Remember, always carry all heavy loads low to the ground and always use 4wd when on any sort of incline or uneven surface, as it helps you maintain more control over the machines operation. Always be stopped and have the front wheels straight when you are raising the bucket to dump FEL loads, or lifting heavy objects with the pallet forks. Don't lift loads higher than the machine's hood height unless you have a reason. I see so many get a bucket load of soil and then lift the bucket way up to dump the bucket. Avoid raising the load if there is no need, as it can quickly lead to an unstable machine and possibly a tractor rollover or other type of accident, which you don't want to experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have read this thread before and read it again. I think this is a good basic starting point, that basically explains the importance of ballast and why you need it, but not enough detail for me, in how much ballast people are using specifically for the 1025R for the different implements.

I think this new thread that I started has been very helpful, and already has provided more information on the amount of ballast people are using specifically with the 1 Series tractor. Some people have less demanding work and need less ballast and some are push there tractors to the limits and need maximum ballast, but now we can see what the ballast ranges that people are using.
 

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Initially I just used the BH for stability, but that gets old quickly as it is just too big to constantly worry about hitting something when maneuvering, and doesn't help much with side to side stability.

With the BH off, I use the dual HH, up to 12 42# weights (what I have, I would consider four more), plus Pat's hooks rather than the iMatch or quickhitch. In the winter when plowing with the FEL mounted plow, I move four of the weights to the front and put the rear weights front facing to move more weight forward. This is more for traction and control (which I suppose is the result of keeping the weight in balance). Prior to, I used a full Titan ballast box, and that was very effective at balance for the FEL, but too much for the plow. If I have to move a heavy trailer around the yard, I'll put the 42# weights in the bucket, or if available, grab a load of sand or rocks to balance the load on the back. If I have an impliment such as a ripper that wants down pressure, I'll add a few 42# weights, they are very versitile.

I my view, none of the above was enough for side to side stability on my hilly property, so I filled the rears with washer fluid and added 50# weights and 1.25" spacers. I'm pretty happy with this setup and probably am done with adding weight. It is a modular system and the base tractor seems stable.

See where we are going? The objectives are:

1. Implement ballast (either front or back depending on task).
2. Enough weight for traction, but the distribution of it isn't very important.
3. Side to side stability, which means filled tires and/or wheel weights. Wheel spacers on the back help tremendously.

I have no quarrel with the ballast recommendations in the manual, it is just part of the story however.
 

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Eight 42lb suitcase weights on a heavy hitch on a quick hitch, which is 336 + 55 + 61 = 450lbs. This is very good ballast and I'm happy with it. It suites my needs for most everything I do. But I can feel that another 200ish pounds would be helpful with really heavy loader work. If I could do it over again, I would have bought the offset bracket and probably used (4) 72s and (4) 42s. The heavy hitch makes the weight very low profile and easy to maneuver. I have the cart for the heavy hitch to make it super easy to use. I think if I didn't have the cart, laziness would win quite often and I wouldn't use the weights when I should.

Alternate weight is a the box blade on the quick hitch (395 + 61 = 456lbs). I believe this may functionally be "more" ballast since the weight is further back compared to the heavy hitch. You get more leverage out of that so what is basically the same weight is more effective. The downside of this, is the box blade is a massive honking hunk of steel sticking way out back far and wide. It makes maneuvering much more complicated in tight spaces. And if you're not paying attention, it will destroy anything you swing it into.

When I'm using the custom loader mounted snow plow, I will put 5 of the suitcase weights up on the front bumper to help with steering authority. I also do this if I'm using the box blade without the loader attached, which can make the front end a bit loose.
this is what i have too Eight 42lb suitcase weights on a heavy hitch on a quick hitch, which is 336 + 55 + 61 = 450lbs. and It still doesn't feel like enough to me. Front tires get really low moving dirt.


I'm looking to get 4 70lb when they run a sale sometime.
 
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