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I just recently ordered a new ballast box through my local dealer after a hairy moment moving some timber. I have looked at a lot of post and was curious to get others thoughts. What is the optimal filler for a ballast box? I have seen some that fill with sand, gravel or dirt and others with concrete. I have some reservation about using concrete just from the fact that it is permanent. My thought is to put a plug in the bottom of the box from the outside so that I can easily empty the box after filled and wash it out and allow to drain. I have thoughts of possible using the ballast box as a carry all as well when not needed for ballast. This idea was prompted by those that have welded tubing inside the box for lawn tools and such. My thought is to fabricate a rig for my chain saw and edger on the outside of the box. Any and all thoughts are much appreciated! :thumbup1gif:
 

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Why not get something more useful like a Heavy Hitch or an Omni hitch and hang suitcase weights on it?
 

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Why not get something more useful like a Heavy Hitch or an Omni hitch and hang suitcase weights on it?
I actually was looking at the OMNI heavy hitch and carry all but with shipping and everything it was twice the cost of the ballast box from the dealer. Plus I would then have to purchase suitcase weights as well. The cost on the ballast box was just shy of $300 and I can fabricate most everything else I need with the materials laying around our shop.
 

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I filled mine with steel plates, HERE is the thread. Steel leaves allot of room for other things. It takes up about 1 inch per 100 lbs, and keeps the weight nice and low.
 
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I filled mine with steel plates, HERE is the thread. Steel leaves allot of room for other things. It takes up about 1 inch per 100 lbs, and keeps the weight nice and low.
I agree. I have been adding steel to the bottom of mine as I get this 2.5" thick stock from my friend that works on machinery. Above that I have 4" rock that is temporary. I use mine as a carryall as well so would like the space. A ballast box 1/3 full of steel weights as much one full of concrete. So if you use steel you could have a lot of storage room left.

You can also get lead from a local tire shop from old wheel weights.
 

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Why not get something more useful like a Heavy Hitch or an Omni hitch and hang suitcase weights on it?
That is the route I am going. I bought the Heavy Hitch. and if I need more weight than I can hang onto it, I will use my hitch carrier and load that one up with sandbags (those truck sand tube seem to be optimal for this purpose. The close to 400 lb of the heavy Hitch and the weights, and the 500+ (the weight of the carrier) give me close to 1000 lb, no weight box can match this!
 

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A JD ballast box full of steel is over 2000 lbs.
That is the first time I hear that somebody puts steel into the ballast box. Everybody else seems to use either gravel, sand or concrete.
But I don't like a ballast box because it is just a ballast box, nothing else. A hitch device (either Heavy Hitch or the Omni carrier) is flexible, you can load it up as match as you want, you can use the same device to handle other chores, you can bring your weight very close to the tractor by hanging the weights inside, and you can add a hitch carrier that can carry all kinds of stuff and weight! And I bet that the price is not that much different from that of a ballast box, but you gain a very wide range of flexibility!
 

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I made a heavy hitch. Not hard to do if you can weld. Works well for me as I dont have a loader on my 1026 & I use the suit case weights on the front when useing the brush hog.

Sand or stone is cheap & EZ way to go. Bricks or concrete block would work and be less messy to remove. Lead is getting hard to get as some are useing to cast bullets.
 

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I havent done the math but I would think a heavy hitch loaded up with 600-700# of suitcase weights would cost double what a weight box with ballast cost???

I dont know. Just seems to me that would be the case.

I dont need to tailor my weight needs either. I just need a lot of weight when I run the loader or none at all.

I like the heavy hitch but backing up to a weight box when I add the loader is easy.

Hudsoner you talked about using it for other things. So do you manually add the weight each time you want weight?
 

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Just another option, I made my own last December. I had a foundation poured for my garage and with the excess concrete, I made a form; 24" wide, 20" tall & 12" deep and installed the lower pins attached to angle brackets and the top two brackets are attached to 5/8" threaded rods sunk into the concrete with brackets at the other end when poured. I estimate it must weighs roughly 450 lbs.

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I loaded mine with concrete bricks. They were inexpensive, I have around $50 in bricks. It takes 15-mins to unload if needed. I started with the basic ballast box and then added the extension to give me more weight for my pallet forks. I have a tool box sitting in the top which hold all my tow chains and draw bar components. I'm at 690 lbs. without the tool box.

photo11.JPG Ballast_ext1.jpg E26R0224.jpg
 
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I picked up a used JD box off CL after two years of searching. Like the original poster, for me, concrete is too permanent! I wanted a receiver tube on mine for light towing, so I used some railroad rail that I had to make the base w/the tube. Bolted it on, used plastic conduit to make two tool holders for one side, 1/4" sheet plastic to make a sleeve for my chainsaw on the other side. Box has scrap iron in it for weight, including some lead & a galvanized tray 8" down from the top for chains, drawbar, etc. Total weight is around 640#, recommended for my 790! ~~ Lowell
 

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We grow rocks around here. So mine's filled with rocks from 4-10" in diameter.
 
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I havent done the math but I would think a heavy hitch loaded up with 600-700# of suitcase weights would cost double what a weight box with ballast cost???

I dont know. Just seems to me that would be the case.

I dont need to tailor my weight needs either. I just need a lot of weight when I run the loader or none at all.

I like the heavy hitch but backing up to a weight box when I add the loader is easy.

Hudsoner you talked about using it for other things. So do you manually add the weight each time you want weight?
I use the same weights in the front or the back (those suitcase ones). And yes, if I want more weight, I add it. I don't see any reason to haul 1000 lb around with me if I need only 300 lb. My lawn is very thankful to me not to overload the tractor if I don't need it. I need to go across the lawn to reach almost any place on my land.
 

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My lawn is very thankful to me not to overload the tractor if I don't need it. I need to go across the lawn to reach almost any place on my land.
Yea same here. I agree. Thats the reason I only run the weight box with the loader.
 

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Yea same here. I agree. Thats the reason I only run the weight box with the loader.
I think the tractor size/kind might also make a difference. From appearance it seems to me that the 20XX series tractors have more weight on the rear end than the 10XX series ones. I also have wheel weights on, and the larger wheels accept larger/heavier weights. But the major reason I don't want a weight box is the loss of flexibility with it.
 

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Yea same here. I agree. Thats the reason I only run the weight box with the loader.
Ditto. Since I don't mow with the 2720, during the summer months it wears the loader with either the bucket or Artillian forks attached. When the tractor comes out of the shed it is usually to haul something so the ballast box is on all the time at full weight. If by chance I need to pull a trailer, use the back blade, or just drive around for fun I pull the Quick Hitch levers and drop the ballast box.
 

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I filled mine w/ small stones, then sand. Put 4 3" plastic pipes in it before filling to hold tools, and did not fill all the way to allow for an area to put other items like a chain. Do not know how heavy it is, but must be good enough because works well and tractor seems stable. would guess at least 400 to 500 lbs....Also have loaded rear tires
 

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The ballast box is very cost effective ballast. It does have some drawbacks. It does not provide great flexibility for hitching, other attachments, carrying and has the potential to be a blind spot in certain situations. A Heavy Hitch/Omni style hitch certainly addresses those issues. For those reasons I am going in that direction, but I intend to keep the cost controlled by making my own. Still, I am having a hard time controlling my desire for a rack full of those nifty 42lb. suitcase weights.
This I know, I'm committed to future flexibility and will attach my weight by quick hitch so that I, like Hudsoner, won't abuse my lawn unnecessarily.
 
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