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Discussion Starter #1
I just read the sticky regarding the need for ballast. What an eye opener, I haven’t even gotten the tractor yet and I am trying to learn as much as possible. I had an x728 with a plow and added 4-42 lb weights for additional traction when plowing with a JD 54 blade. I was able to plow through snow higher than the blade, no problem. The increased traction was awesome.

Now I will have an FEL and Mauser cab on my 1025r and the ballast thread has me second guessing my order. I figured the Mauser cab at 440 lbs could be counted for some of my ballast needs so I was going to not get the ballast box and go with a heavy hitch weight bar and 8 42 lb suitcase weights. The ballast box just sticks out so far. Now I’m wondering if I’m making a mistake. I have never used a FEL before and I’m sure I’ll be trying to do everything with it. Weight in the air is new to me.

Please give me some guidance if you believe I need to change my thinking and disregard using any of the 440 lb Mauser cab in my ballast plan .
 

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Now I will have an FEL and Mauser cab on my 1025r and the ballast thread has me second guessing my order. I figured the Mauser cab at 440 lbs could be counted for some of my ballast needs so I was going to not get the ballast box and go with a heavy hitch weight bar and 8 42 lb suitcase weights. The ballast box just sticks out so far. Now I’m wondering if I’m making a mistake. I have never used a FEL before and I’m sure I’ll be trying to do everything with it. Weight in the air is new to me.

Please give me some guidance if you believe I need to change my thinking and disregard using any of the 440 lb Mauser cab in my ballast plan .
Personally, I'd completely ignore the cab as far as ballast goes.

Here's my thinking: The purpose of rear ballast is to counter the effects of the weight of the loader and whatever you're lifting with it. The rear axle acts as your fulcrum. The weight hanging off the back of the tractor takes weight off of the front axle. Another point here is that the primary purpose of ballast has nothing to do with traction. It's all about weight distribution.

But a cab doesn't really do that. Because if it's location and attaching points, it's weight is distributed to both the front and rear axles. So the cab is actually adding more weight to the front axle instead of unloading weight from it. At best it might be equal to having the rear tires loaded (although the center of gravity point shifts much higher with a cab).

Deere recommends fluid filled rear tires (or rear 3 wheel weights per wheel) PLUS 772 lbs of rear ballast on the 1025R with a 120R loader. Eight 42lb suitcase weights doesn't come close to that.
 

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I think your plans are just fine. Rather than go with a ballast box, you can easily add more weight in back with Heavy Hitch products and have an option for front ballast at the same time.

Please see this thread: Flexible Ballast

Congratulations on your new tractor.

Keane
 

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Please consult your loader manual as it will list the minimum required ballast for your tractor. But... I'm pretty comfortable saying that your (8) 42lb weights is only about half of the recommended counterweight. The cab weight helps some but it also hurts some. It does put some weight over the wheels but unfortunately the weight is high so it raises the center of gravity - making things worse. On flat ground the weight is harmless but on any type of side hill it makes you more prone to rollover. You want all your weight to be low low low. Which is why they weight the tires. As for loader counter weight, that can only occur on the 3PH behind the rear wheels. Any weight which is on or forward of the rear axle does nothing to offset the load the loader puts on the front axle.

Perhaps you can get the other style of Heavy Hitch which accepts additional weights.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Jim, so in your information, if the wheel weights are 50? Lbs each that adds 300 lbs plus 772 lbs for a total of 1072 lbs. I have seen pictures of the front bucket lifting 900+ lbs of weights plus the bucket weight. So is it necessary to have offsetting front and back weight? In other words whatever you pick up with the bucket must be offset with an equal amount of preferably low weight ballast # for #?

Hi Keane, I have looked over the thread you referenced and applaud your ability to come up with an innovative solution to your ballast needs. Your total weight does not equal the 1072 lbs that Jim says JD requires. Do you believe the additional leverage of the added receiver weights offsets the need to get to the same weight of ballast? With even 16 weights the heavy hitch and the receiver hitch it looks like you would be about 200 lbs short of 1072 lbs. Do you think JD requires more ballast than necessary?

I’m sure JD must advise on the side of caution so that would tell me going down hill with the most weight the hydraulics will lift requires the 1072 lbs. On level ground would there be a different ballast requirement?

I really appreciate both your answers. I’m new to this lifting heavy things with a FEL and am going by the old adage “no question is a dumb question”

Thank you both for trying to enlighten me.
 

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Hi Jim, so in your information, if the wheel weights are 50? Lbs each that adds 300 lbs plus 772 lbs for a total of 1072 lbs. I have seen pictures of the front bucket lifting 900+ lbs of weights plus the bucket weight. So is it necessary to have offsetting front and back weight? In other words whatever you pick up with the bucket must be offset with an equal amount of preferably low weight ballast # for #?

Hi Keane, I have looked over the thread you referenced and applaud your ability to come up with an innovative solution to your ballast needs. Your total weight does not equal the 1072 lbs that Jim says JD requires. Do you believe the additional leverage of the added receiver weights offsets the need to get to the same weight of ballast? With even 16 weights the heavy hitch and the receiver hitch it looks like you would be about 200 lbs short of 1072 lbs. Do you think JD requires more ballast than necessary?

I’m sure JD must advise on the side of caution so that would tell me going down hill with the most weight the hydraulics will lift requires the 1072 lbs. On level ground would there be a different ballast requirement?

I really appreciate both your answers. I’m new to this lifting heavy things with a FEL and am going by the old adage “no question is a dumb question”

Thank you both for trying to enlighten me.
16 42 lb suitcase weights is 672 lbs, that's plenty seeing how your FEL won't pick up much more than that, and you are close to maxed out on 3 point lift at that point anyway.
 

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Hi Jim, so in your information, if the wheel weights are 50? Lbs each that adds 300 lbs plus 772 lbs for a total of 1072 lbs. I have seen pictures of the front bucket lifting 900+ lbs of weights plus the bucket weight. So is it necessary to have offsetting front and back weight? In other words whatever you pick up with the bucket must be offset with an equal amount of preferably low weight ballast # for #?
You are confusing tire ballast with 3PH ballast. True, the manual tells you to use iron wheel weights or fluid filled tires. It also lists a recommended minimum 3PH ballast. They are completely separate.

The required ballast is not a 1:1 ratio with what is being lifted. There is no calculator for determining X-amount of ballast is needed to list Y-amount on the loader.

There is no need to over think this. If you attach 3PH ballast that is close to what the manual recommends chances are you won't have any stability issues. The Heavy Hitch that accommodates 16 weights is plenty of weight for a 1-series.
 

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Hi Jim, so in your information, if the wheel weights are 50? Lbs each that adds 300 lbs plus 772 lbs for a total of 1072 lbs. I have seen pictures of the front bucket lifting 900+ lbs of weights plus the bucket weight. So is it necessary to have offsetting front and back weight? In other words whatever you pick up with the bucket must be offset with an equal amount of preferably low weight ballast # for #
The wheel weights and 772 lb number I mentioned comes straight from the Deere Owner's Manual for the 120R loader. I'm not sure what the wheel weights weigh but the manual mentions 3 of them per wheel.

Not sure where you've seen pics of the loader lifting 900+ lbs but Deere lists it as having a max lift capacity of 739 lbs to 59" off the ground.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that you have to match things # for #. But the general idea is to try to get close to that. I think for most of us, we very seldom use the loaders at their max capacity at all times. I use mine for moving a lot of mulch and compost and once or twice a year I may hit max capacity. So I don't worry to much that my ballast box is 100 or 200 lbs light. But I am aware that it is light.

I’m sure JD must advise on the side of caution so that would tell me going down hill with the most weight the hydraulics will lift requires the 1072 lbs. On level ground would there be a different ballast requirement?
There are two different (but related) things here. Ballast is all about which axle and tires the weight of the loaded tractor is being distributed to. Going up/down/sideways on hills vs. flat ground is all about your center of gravity. These are related because ballast affects center of gravity but the center of gravity discussion is much more involved than just ballast. The center of gravity has 3 dimensional aspects. Ballast only affects one of those 3.

I agree that Deere probably errs on the side of caution. Their ballast recommendations are built on worst-case scenarios. So you have to educate yourself (as you're doing here!) on what you're doing. The more ya know.. the better you can deal with things. The last thing you want to do is roll the machine and kill yourself (or anyone else!).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The more I think about the ballast weight issue wouldn’t it be more productive to not use either a ballast box or Heavy Hitch and suitcase weights and just put a tiller or some other 600 lb implement on the back. Ballast boxes or Heavy Hitch and suitcase weights are just dead weight. There is no other purpose for it. I’d spend probably $1000 to get the ballast with suitcase weights and the hitch.

I’ve seen King Kutter tillers for less than $1500 wouldn’t it make sense to spend $500 more for an implement and use it as your ballast? A new tiller for $500 would be a great buy. Would the tiller stick out so far that it would make FEL work more difficult? Would tiller weight be a better lever and give you better ballast? I don’t think it would look great but what about another implement?

Please give me your opinions. Spending a lot of money on just ballast is king of like just buying a rock!
 

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The more I think about the ballast weight issue wouldn’t it be more productive to not use either a ballast box or Heavy Hitch and suitcase weights and just put a tiller or some other 600 lb implement on the back. Ballast boxes or Heavy Hitch and suitcase weights are just dead weight. There is no other purpose for it. I’d spend probably $1000 to get the ballast with suitcase weights and the hitch.

I’ve seen King Kutter tillers for less than $1500 wouldn’t it make sense to spend $500 more for an implement and use it as your ballast? A new tiller for $500 would be a great buy. Would the tiller stick out so far that it would make FEL work more difficult? Would tiller weight be a better lever and give you better ballast? I don’t think it would look great but what about another implement?

Please give me your opinions. Spending a lot of money on just ballast is king of like just buying a rock!
If someone has a legitimate need for an implement, then by all means, use it for rear ballast. But you do want to minimize the rear extension for use as eventually it will be important somewhere.

Also, you have to be aware of leaving the implement on the machine all of the time will expose it to weather, and winter with snow melts could be a problem for corrosion.

For example, I need to carry about 550lbs of rear ballast during the winter so I built a carry all platform to be able to haul whatever (walk behind snow blower, snow melt in containers,etc).

I find the carry all is handier than a ballast box as I can add shovels, saws, blowers, bags of stuff, you name it and have it with me. It's seems to be ideal rear ballast for my FEL, which I leave on 99% of the time as I don't mow with my 1025r with a MMM. It's handy having the chain, straps, and other tools with you. My platform is also going to have a 12 volt winch which can work in multiple directions.......

I have used the RC2048 rear brush mower for ballast as well, but it's long, sticks way out, is low to the ground, etc. so I will drop the mower and add the carry all I built in a heart beat.

Plus, when I am moving stone or mulch, I can add suitcase weights to my carry all. When I am done, i can remove them if I don't need them.

I don't own a ballast box and won't at this point. My needs are met with the rear 3 point carry all platform and the way I have been using it.

IMG_20171105_151448667.jpg

Typically equipped my carry all weighs between 300 and 500 pounds......sometimes as much as 700lbs.

IMG_20171105_112038257.jpg

Tool box on tractor side of 3 point carry all under the Imatch....Plus, the I Match adds about 47 pounds if I recall correctly. .
 

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The more I think about the ballast weight issue wouldn’t it be more productive to not use either a ballast box or Heavy Hitch and suitcase weights and just put a tiller or some other 600 lb implement on the back. Ballast boxes or Heavy Hitch and suitcase weights are just dead weight. There is no other purpose for it. I’d spend probably $1000 to get the ballast with suitcase weights and the hitch.

I’ve seen King Kutter tillers for less than $1500 wouldn’t it make sense to spend $500 more for an implement and use it as your ballast? A new tiller for $500 would be a great buy. Would the tiller stick out so far that it would make FEL work more difficult? Would tiller weight be a better lever and give you better ballast? I don’t think it would look great but what about another implement?

Please give me your opinions. Spending a lot of money on just ballast is king of like just buying a rock!
The suitcase weights are very handy to have around. They are light (42# each) and have a good handle on them. I use them to add to my Core Aerator, my box blade for more down force and also to add to the carry all when needed. Easy to carry, easy to safely secure on the machine brackets and a known, specific weight to help you properly balance your tractor.

I would encourage the suitcase weights as you can also hang then safely and securely on the front on the quick mount front weight bracket. There are times when you don't want the loader sticking out there, such as when I am using my tractor and 45 gallon sprayer on someone elses lawn which has tight areas. The 45 gallon sprayer full weighs just under 500lbs......so it's nice to have the proper counter balance for the front.

Keep in mind that the point of ballast front or rear is to equalize the load on the machine and keep it distributed properly between the axles. So hanging front ballast of suitcase weights might be more to properly load the front axle and keep the machine balanced than it is for "traction".

Suitcase weights are around $50 each new if I recall correctly.....So 8 of them would be around $400.......plus tax.
 

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The more I think about the ballast weight issue wouldn’t it be more productive to not use either a ballast box or Heavy Hitch and suitcase weights and just put a tiller or some other 600 lb implement on the back. Ballast boxes or Heavy Hitch and suitcase weights are just dead weight. There is no other purpose for it. I’d spend probably $1000 to get the ballast with suitcase weights and the hitch.

I’ve seen King Kutter tillers for less than $1500 wouldn’t it make sense to spend $500 more for an implement and use it as your ballast? A new tiller for $500 would be a great buy. Would the tiller stick out so far that it would make FEL work more difficult? Would tiller weight be a better lever and give you better ballast? I don’t think it would look great but what about another implement?

Please give me your opinions. Spending a lot of money on just ballast is king of like just buying a rock!
People use implements for ballast all the time. As you read threads on here you'll find lots of people that use their backhoe. Weight is weight. Gravity doesn't care. If you can work with whatever limitations might be created by having an implement hanging off the back end, go for it.

You can always do that and keep an eye out for used suitcase weights. People advertise them on Craigslist pretty often and you can pick them up cheaper than buying new. If you use a tiller and it takes you 3 or 4 years to find enough suitcase weights, so be it, right? It works in the mean time.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
SulleyBear I know you use about a 7 ft plow which I believe is on a quick hitch. I can see the reason you would want a dedicated winch that would swivel in any direction. Plowing at 3 am and getting stuck with no help in sight requires innovative thinking. Well done. The 54” qh blade on my x728 didn’t raise very high and in deep snow it made it necessary to make more passes then I wanted to. Pushing that heavy wet snow back far enough and high enough got me stuck a few times.

The main reason I got a 1025r and cab is because I’m just tired of moving snow at -10F with a wind chill in the -30 range. I have used plow services in the past and some are fantastic. But at $50-100 an event some years can get very expensive and I can’t expect them to come back just to move that 2 ft drift across the driveway. I want it done right away and that’s unrealistic. Sometimes before it stops snowing I’ll start moving snow if a foot or more is forecast. My impatience creates the scenario that I have to do it myself.

I will be using a MMM for grass and doubt I’ll use the FEL very often unless I take it to the cabin. Sure I’ll have a few projects but mostly I’ll either be cutting grass or plowing snow. I considered not getting an FEL but realized it would be like not building a 3 car garage and just building the cheaper 2 car garage. Something most people would regret as long as they owned the property or in my case the tractor. I see so many people with their cars sitting out because their garage is packed with other stuff.

I am convinced of the need for ballast and I’ll. Probably take Sulleybears advice and get some suitcase weights. I plan on buying the CTA FEL mounted 66” plow before winter and the suitcase weights would allow for the most maneuverability. I’m sure I’ll be plowing my neighbors but I’m really not interested in making a business out of it.

Your right I really don’t have need for an implement and the thought of it just hanging out there in the road salt is irritating. I have a heated garage but really can’t wash the equipment easily in the winter.

I’m learning a lot and am anxious to get the tractor, the cab is probably a month out but that’s fine. Getting to know the tractor without the cab on will be easier. I’m sure I’ll be asking more questions and appreciate the advice you guys have given me.
 

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SulleyBear I know you use about a 7 ft plow which I believe is on a quick hitch. I can see the reason you would want a dedicated winch that would swivel in any direction. Plowing at 3 am and getting stuck with no help in sight requires innovative thinking. Well done. The 54” qh blade on my x728 didn’t raise very high and in deep snow it made it necessary to make more passes then I wanted to. Pushing that heavy wet snow back far enough and high enough got me stuck a few times.

The main reason I got a 1025r and cab is because I’m just tired of moving snow at -10F with a wind chill in the -30 range. I have used plow services in the past and some are fantastic. But at $50-100 an event some years can get very expensive and I can’t expect them to come back just to move that 2 ft drift across the driveway. I want it done right away and that’s unrealistic. Sometimes before it stops snowing I’ll start moving snow if a foot or more is forecast. My impatience creates the scenario that I have to do it myself.

I will be using a MMM for grass and doubt I’ll use the FEL very often unless I take it to the cabin. Sure I’ll have a few projects but mostly I’ll either be cutting grass or plowing snow. I considered not getting an FEL but realized it would be like not building a 3 car garage and just building the cheaper 2 car garage. Something most people would regret as long as they owned the property or in my case the tractor. I see so many people with their cars sitting out because their garage is packed with other stuff.

I am convinced of the need for ballast and I’ll. Probably take Sulleybears advice and get some suitcase weights. I plan on buying the CTA FEL mounted 66” plow before winter and the suitcase weights would allow for the most maneuverability. I’m sure I’ll be plowing my neighbors but I’m really not interested in making a business out of it.

Your right I really don’t have need for an implement and the thought of it just hanging out there in the road salt is irritating. I have a heated garage but really can’t wash the equipment easily in the winter.

I’m learning a lot and am anxious to get the tractor, the cab is probably a month out but that’s fine. Getting to know the tractor without the cab on will be easier. I’m sure I’ll be asking more questions and appreciate the advice you guys have given me.
Keep in mind also that you will not need more than 8 42 lb weights on when plowing snow, the weight of a FEL mounted plow already makes the front end lite, add too many weights and you won't be able to steer. I'm speaking from experience here, in a rush late spring I just put my 600+ lb ballast box on and couldn't steer at all, so back to the suitcase weights I went.
 

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People use implements for ballast all the time. As you read threads on here you'll find lots of people that use their backhoe. Weight is weight. Gravity doesn't care. If you can work with whatever limitations might be created by having an implement hanging off the back end, go for it.

You can always do that and keep an eye out for used suitcase weights. People advertise them on Craigslist pretty often and you can pick them up cheaper than buying new. If you use a tiller and it takes you 3 or 4 years to find enough suitcase weights, so be it, right? It works in the mean time.
This brings up an interesting, maybe a bit enlightening, conundrum.

The 260 backhoe weighs in at 610 pounds. WELL under what Deere recommends for counterweight for the loader.
By Deeres specs, we (those of us with 120R loaders, 1025R and 2025R(new) owners) are not able to use the loader with the backhoe mounted.

As I see it, what Deere (most manufactures) says and what works for the situation are generally two different things, though maybe not far off.
Im not saying the recommended weight is incorrect, if you have it, and a way to attach it, use it. The point of my post is to point out that the weight most of us use, and have been for quite some time, is seldom what is recommended nowadays by manufactures. That doesnt mean its unsafe for you or the tractor (there are obviously exceptions, probably all over Youtube). They cover their rears, and yours. Its a sue happy world, and thats what they know will take care of any numb-skull approach to loader use.
What I am saying is that less weight, while not recommended, will work, to a point. Now, take that with a grain of salt, as its up to you to figure out whats right for your application. Do you need 900# hanging off the 3-point to safely lift max loads? Probably not. I know I dont worry too much about it, as I have over 500# just with the Imatch, heavy hitch (I built mine, yours may weigh less), and 8 suitcase weights, hanging well past the link ends.
Which brings up another point, the further away from the pivot, the less weight you need to create the same effect. The backhoe puts quite a bit of its weight on the frame, much closer to the tractor than my other weight combo, but has the boom and bucket further out, which works like a much heavier weight if it were mounted closer.

Anyway, the whole point of it is this, be safe, and take care of your stuff.
If you are constantly overloading the front axle, and youll probably notice if you are by the harder steering, you need more counterweight.

If you really want the best counterweight, either get a double row heavy hitch, or run the 70# suitcase weights, but even with 8 of those, you are only 560#.
 

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This brings up an interesting, maybe a bit enlightening, conundrum.

The 260 backhoe weighs in at 610 pounds. WELL under what Deere recommends for counterweight for the loader.
By Deeres specs, we (those of us with 120R loaders, 1025R and 2025R(new) owners) are not able to use the loader with the backhoe mounted.
They can use the backhoe since it sticks so far out the back, thus creating more leverage.
 

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They can use the backhoe since it sticks so far out the back, thus creating more leverage.

Makes me wonder what else works, and how far back...just the oddball mind I have I guess. I need a computer and program to run calculations based on weight and location so we know for sure! :lol:
 

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Makes me wonder what else works, and how far back...just the oddball mind I have I guess. I need a computer and program to run calculations based on weight and location so we know for sure! :lol:
Couple of 42# tach weights on the end of a 60' boom pole :lol:
 

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Box Blade for counter weight

I just read the sticky regarding the need for ballast. What an eye opener, I haven’t even gotten the tractor yet and I am trying to learn as much as possible. I had an x728 with a plow and added 4-42 lb weights for additional traction when plowing with a JD 54 blade. I was able to plow through snow higher than the blade, no problem. The increased traction was awesome.

Now I will have an FEL and Mauser cab on my 1025r and the ballast thread has me second guessing my order. I figured the Mauser cab at 440 lbs could be counted for some of my ballast needs so I was going to not get the ballast box and go with a heavy hitch weight bar and 8 42 lb suitcase weights. The ballast box just sticks out so far. Now I’m wondering if I’m making a mistake. I have never used a FEL before and I’m sure I’ll be trying to do everything with it. Weight in the air is new to me.

Please give me some guidance if you believe I need to change my thinking and disregard using any of the 440 lb Mauser cab in my ballast plan .
I got a pretty heavy duty box blade for counter weight. It seems to work adequately well for me. Plus, it's much more handy than weights hanging off the back.
 
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