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I know there are a few threads with this topic, but wanted to start a new one so it was easier to follow. If I understand my 120 loader manual I should have 720# ballast when using my FEL. The tractor came with a JD iMatch.

The main reason I purchased the tractor is to plow snow. I will get a 60 inch FEL mounted blade for that. I don't see using the loader to lift a lot of heavy items. Moving some dirt or stones, etc. will be my main use. I only have a couple acres of land. So with that said here is my thought process for ballast. All input is welcome!!

1. I have beet juice in the rear tires. I was told that is about 130#s per wheel. If this is true then I have 260# to start.
2. I was looking at a ballast box, but don't like how low it hangs.
3. I like the looks of the suitcase hangers folks have. If I got one of those then I would need 460# of weight on it. I was thinking of getting 4 100# and 1 75# to get to the 460 total. I would mount the 75# in the middle of the 4 100# for balance. Is there an advantage of having more smaller weights to equal 460 or is the above combo OK?
4. Other concern is; I was told you need to have ballast when plowing snow. I know it helps give more traction, but not sure all 720# would be needed in the winter. Will be plowing on paved surfaces. The plow I'm looking at will have a rubber blade.
5. Do I need more then 720# of ballast. If so an you give me some examples.

Thanks,
Dave
 

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I’d check your manual closely. Does it say 720# of weight on the 3 point in addition to wheel weights or filled tires? My heavy hitch will take 70# suitcase weights but not 100# ones. I believe there is one model that will hold 100# weights. There was just another thread in the last say or so where a member approximated the weight of a bucket of soil or gravel. Look for it. You need serious ballast weight to over come “a little load of stone”. As for plowing, yes ballast on the wheels to keep them planted. Look for member @SullyBear posts on plowing
 

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'20 1025R, 120R, 54D
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If you're going to use the loader, you need at least the minimum ballast required as listed in the loader manual. Period.

To be effective, ballast needs to be hung off the 3-point hitch, and as far back as practical. Filled tires help, but are not truly ballast as the weight is centered on the rear axle.
 

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Two separate considerations regarding the OP's post.

1. Rear 3 pt ballast will balance the bucket load more on the rear axle taking damaging weight off the front axle. Wheel ballast will not. Either will add stability when the FEL bucket, full or not, is up high while the tractor is moving. The 3 pt ballast would be best for balancing fel bucket weight.

2. Rear 3 pt ballast would lighten the front end which would hurt traction and take contact weight off of your plow blade. The rear (only) wheel ballast would be best for plowing.
 

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Heavy Hitch makes an offset weight bracket and a dual weight bracket , both will hold the 42 and 70 pound weights.

Check out Tractor Time with Tim videos on YouTube. He does a great job showing the differences between the Heavy Hitch weight brackets.
 

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If you're going to use the loader, you need at least the minimum ballast required as listed in the loader manual. Period.

To be effective, ballast needs to be hung off the 3-point hitch, and as far back as practical. Filled tires help, but are not truly ballast as the weight is centered on the rear axle.
I respectfully disagree. The FEL will pivot around the front axel. Any weight to the rear of the pivot will counteract the moment arm of the FEL. So yes wheel weights or filled tires are part of the counterbalance system required to keep the machine from tilting around the front axel. That is why mama Deere has both wheel weight and 3 point weight required.
 

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Yes, you will need rear ballast to plow snow. I plow a LOT of snow, between 500 to 1,000 driveways a winter with my 1025r with the Mauser cab, so I have some experience in this area. Yes, you will need more ballast, as at times, I go to 850 pounds, but that's usually a couple of times a year.

Here are two reasons why I wouldn't go with the 100# hang on weights;
  • It limits your ability to "tune" the rear ballast to find the optimum amount for conditions as 100# at a time is 15% or more of your normal ballast needs.
  • Unless you can easily lift the 100# weights, as you age, its only going to get tougher. I would limit the 100# weights to maybe 2 for the rear ballast.

The loaded tires really don't count for ballast since it is center line axle. Think of the leverage of the load out ahead of the tractor with the FEL and the use of forks, the bucket, etc. You need to counter the load out front with the load on the rear 3 ph. Just as a 600 pound operator doesn't count as ballast (because the second the driver exits the tractor, so does the weight....) loaded tires simply help with traction, while also causing compaction issues.

I prefer to think of the ballast as BALANCE on the machine. In order to balance any load which sits on a pivot point, I need to counter the load amount with the balance amount. The balance of the tractor makes it steer easier, drive easier, have better traction and plow more snow and function as intended.

I would bet 98% of new SCUT owners significantly under estimate the future use of the FEL. When I hear a comment like "I only have 3 acres so I can't imagine lifting much with the FEL" I simply smile........You are going to find so many ways to use the 1 series to help improve your work and improve your property.

Plus, once your neighbors and friends learn of the machine, they will have all sorts of projects for you to lift. Just yesterday, I off loaded a 485 pound pallet from a semi trailer for the new neighbors new basketball back board and pole assembly. Otherwise, he was going to have to pay an extra $125 lift gate service fee for the delivery. Then, later in the afternoon, my neighbor went and picked up 900 pounds of cement mix for the base in the ground for the new pole. The place he bought it put the 10 bags of them on pallets of 450 per pallet and I lifted them out of the truck, verses unloading by hand.

Another neighbor had 50 bags of landscape mulch delivered with 17 bags per pallet, I lifted those off the trailer and staged them around his house for his application of the mulch this weekend.

So you will need ballast and you will need it for things you haven't even thought of. As far as plowing snow, its a learning process and takes practice. Having ballast which is easy to change and alter sure makes the learning process easier. Also, I NEVER use the FEL plow Float as I find it much easier to control the plow with the down force I put on it.

I don't care for ballast boxes for a number of reasons, many already outlined. But I would rather someone use a ballast box than not have the ballast. I use a 512# cement cylinder which was a street light pole base as the foundation of my ballast on the rear of my 3ph carry all. Then I add either bags of snow melt at 50# each and or suitcase weights.

I also have the I Match and chain boxes and other weight on the rear at all times. I am likely going to the Big Tool Rack this summer to help me with various projects and carrying more items as needed. On that, I will also be able to hang suitcase weights as needed to reach the weight I desire.
 

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The FEL will pivot around the front axel.
The fulcrum point is the rear axle, not the front. Ballast behind the rear pivot point is what removes weight from the front axle.
 

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The fulcrum point is the rear axle, not the front. Ballast behind the rear pivot point is what removes weight from the front axle.
The FEL bucket will pivot around the front axel not the rear. I think I see what you are trying to say... but if you raise your loaded bucket with no ballast the tractor will tip around your front axel not your rear. No ballast will cause the rear ended to come up off the ground. With the load in from it the front axel it will happen.
781407
 

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The FEL bucket will pivot around the front axel not the rear. I think I see what you are trying to say... but if you raise your loaded bucket with no ballast the tractor will tip around your front axel not your rear. No ballast will cause the rear ended to come up off the ground. With the load in from it the front axel it will happen. View attachment 781407
I understand what you're saying, but the fulcrum point for ballast is the rear axle. The whole point of ballast is to remove weight from the front axle while counterbalancing the load in the bucket. The only way to do that effectively is to place weight behind the rear axle. If you put ballast between the axles, weight is added to the front and the counterbalance effect is negligible.

Also remember that the front axle has a single small pivot point in the center. While you have 4 wheels on the ground, the machine is only providing a 3 point stabilty triangle. The effects lateral stability as well. More weight behind the rear axle helps that as well.
 

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If wheel weights and beet juice are for rear wheel traction,

And rear ballast is to reduce the effects of loader bucket or pallet fork carried weight on the front axle,

What effect does the MMM weight have?

If you leave the MMM installed while doing work with the FEL, what is its effect? Does it reduce the effect of rear ballast, so you need more ballast weight? Should you add rear ballast while mowing, to counterbalance the weight of the MMM on the front axle? The 60D weighs around 260 pounds, which is not a negligible weight. And then, of course, there is the effect of the weight of the operator, which varies. Is more rear ballast needed for a 300 pound driver versus a 100 pound driver?
 

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Cross posting gravel weight post:

A full bucket of gravel is pretty close to a 'max' load.

Some math behind the gravel weight:
1 Yard of gravel is Apx 2200lbs
27 Cu/Ft Per Yard
53" 1025 bucket holds 7.8Cu/Ft (3.46 buckets to a yard)
2200/3.46 = 635lbs
A heaping gravel bucket would likely be pushing 700lbs.
 

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If wheel weights and beet juice are for rear wheel traction,

And rear ballast is to reduce the effects of loader bucket or pallet fork carried weight on the front axle,

What effect does the MMM weight have?

If you leave the MMM installed while doing work with the FEL, what is its effect? Does it reduce the effect of rear ballast, so you need more ballast weight? Should you add rear ballast while mowing, to counterbalance the weight of the MMM on the front axle? The 60D weighs around 260 pounds, which is not a negligible weight. And then, of course, there is the effect of the weight of the operator, which varies. Is more rear ballast needed for a 300 pound driver versus a 100 pound driver?
IMO the only effect I can see is a DAMAGED MMM that could cost you $15-2500.00 or what ever the cost of a 54 or 60" mmm.
For the few minutes it takes to remove and install the mower is it really worth the risk . A couple bags of Sand or gravel or other heavy items in the ballast box is pretty cheap compared to repairing or replacing a mmm. Just my 2 cents.
 

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IMO the only effect I can see is a DAMAGED MMM that could cost you $15-2500.00 or what ever the cost of a 54 or 60" mmm.
For the few minutes it takes to remove and install the mower is it really worth the risk . A couple bags of Sand or gravel or other heavy items in the ballast box is pretty cheap compared to repairing or replacing a mmm. Just my 2 cents.
I had a premonition that a "just take off the mower" response was coming almost before I hit the send key. I just didn't expect it to arrive so quickly.
 

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If wheel weights and beet juice are for rear wheel traction,

And rear ballast is to reduce the effects of loader bucket or pallet fork carried weight on the front axle,

What effect does the MMM weight have?

If you leave the MMM installed while doing work with the FEL, what is its effect? Does it reduce the effect of rear ballast, so you need more ballast weight? Should you add rear ballast while mowing, to counterbalance the weight of the MMM on the front axle? The 60D weighs around 260 pounds, which is not a negligible weight. And then, of course, there is the effect of the weight of the operator, which varies. Is more rear ballast needed for a 300 pound driver versus a 100 pound driver?
The MMM will help lower the CoG providing some additional stability. However, its common practice to remove the MMM for basically all non-mowing tractor activities to increase ground clearance and prevent damage to deck. - Removing it will also lower the overall load on both axles, considering max ballast and FEL loads are a lot of weight on the tractor.

Edit: Clarity
 

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The MMM adds weight to both axles. It's effect as ballast is negligible.

Not confirmed but I've heard that Deere's ballast recommendations do not consider the weight of the operator. Some operator weight gets applied to the front axle due to its position on the frame.
 

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The rear axle is the pivot point between the rear ballast and the front axle load. The front axle becomes the pivot point if the load in front of it is greater than the load behind it. If those loads are equal, there are no pivot points, since all four tires are sharing the load. Any time the front axle becomes the pivot point, it is overloaded and under potentially damaging stress. The front axle is the weak link, whereas the rear axle is built to handle extreme loads. The front axle is there to balance the nomal load, steer the tractor and provide 4WD as needed, but never to be a pivot point.

Would the MMM add any additional load to the front axle? Absolutely. The driver is closer to the rear axle, so would have add minimal weight up front. John Deere designed the front axle to support all of the normal weight distribution it arrived at your home with.

One added point. I may be the minority here, but I never use the FEL with the mower installed and never mow with the FEL hooked up. One has to be detrimental to the functionality of the other. My next door neighbor mows her 3 acres with her 1025R with FEL and bucket attached. She might use the FEL once a year. I'm always entertained watching her seesawing fore and aft at wide open throttle. I've offered to go through the FEL Install/Uninstall procedures with her, but she says, thanks, but it's too much bother.
 

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I understand the "take off the mower" comments. If I used the tractor to mow a yard just one day every week I would do that.

But I typically spend some time mowing pastures about 5 days a week. In between mowing hours every day I have other tractor jobs like dragging the riding arena between lessons, filling holes, moving manure and soiled bedding, and occasionally having to pause to unload deliveries. So I often mow with the FEL frame still installed, and do FEL tasks with the mower still installed. Only on rare days with no mowing needed and FEL work planned all day do I remove the mower.

It would be nice to be able to divide each week into separate mow days and loader days, but the reality is that horse farm jobs just don't allow that to happen. And, the head of family finance fails to see why I need two tractors- a mowing tractor and a loader and 3-point using tractor.

Do you guys with lives like mine really take off the mower every time you need to use the loader or 3-point?
 
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