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In my 50 years of owning tractors, I've never owned a ballast box. Recently I was doing BB work in a couple of acres of trees then coming back with FEL to move the dirt. Some of the trees are fairly close together so I decided to remove the BB for clearance. I have wheel weights and filled tires on my 2305 but I still had a close call on some uneven ground with the bucket full.

Recently I purchased a JD Ballast Box with extension in very good condition on Craigslist. I'm going to place a couple of pvc pipes then fill the box. I'm studying the pros & cons of concrete vs. rock fill. I was leaning towards concrete however if a pipe were to get broken that might cause replacement problems. My only concern with rock fill is moisture buildup in the rock causing rust problems. My tractor is always stored in my shop however with heat buildup from being in the sun then stored inside there will likely be condensation forming in the rock. I suppose if using rock it would be best to drill drain holes in the box.

Any suggestions from members on either fill method?:dunno:
 

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I've had both in my BB crushed concrete and now concrete I just put in some steel tubes for tools and I like it much better. the only problem I had with gravel was moister even though I drilled a couple of holes in the bottom still held the moister
 

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I filled mine with concrete on the front and back sides. I didn't want mine to weigh any more than it does, so I didn't cement in tubes. The center is open, so I can still carry things or add more weight if necessary. Check it out in the attached link.

What did you do with your SCUT Deere today? - Page 1072
 

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You may very well get condensation forming on rocks if you use them. But then you're going to get condensation on concrete too. The box itself may get condensation forming...

All of which is just to say, if it's going to happen, it's going to happen no matter what. I wouldn't let that issue be a driving factor.

I used pea gravel in mine only because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do long term and I needed a box in the mean time. I can always pull the gravel out if I decide to go concrete. Pulling concrete out would be a much more complicated chore.

I've had the box for 2 years now and still haven't figured it out. :laugh:
 

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I like the idea of being able to vary the weight if necessary so I would go with pea gravel or similar. Chances are you aren't going to want to lighten the ballast box, but at least you can if the need or desire ever arose. Let's say you decide to add something to the box and were going to be welding on it, etc. It would be easier to be able to work on the box if you could empty it.

The experience of when the rear of the tractor gets scary light is an eye opener for sure. Glad you are taking the safe route by adding the ballast.
 

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I ended up going with pea gravel. Mine (no extension) weighs 640# with the Artillian wheels attached. With it up on the wheels, any moisture drains out the corners, but I made a HDPE lid for it anyway to keep the gravel from bouncing out and create a place for a toolbox to be bolted on.
 

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I put pea gravel in mine. I was going to put in concrete, but I needed the ballast in a hurry (before I could pour concrete into it) so I drove my tractor over to the local gravel pit (about a 2.5 mile drive on back roads) and filled it up. They didn't even charge me anything. So far I've had no need to pull the gravel out.

I might pull some of it out and drop in some old wheel weights off my Grandpa's Farmall Cub. Might as well put them to use. I'll drop in the weights and then fill in the voids with gravel again.
 

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I too have the JD box with extension. Mine is filled with a witches brew of heavy things. Lots of scrap steel which is considerably heavier than concrete as well as pieces of granite counter top, limestone, sand, you name it. All free and heavy things.

My opinion: do not overthink it. At the end of the day it has one primary function - be heavy and provide counterbalance. Whatever you fill it with is going to work great.
 

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It's too bad these aren't readily available. They are what I use in my box. I was lucky to get these from my work. They are calibration weights. These are old metric ones that we used. They are 44 lbs apiece. I have 12 of them. For heavy loader work, I use all 12. In winter I counter the plow with 5, and some other loader chores I usually use 6. Variable weight is an awesome plus for sure!:good2:

Being my box is 380 lbs empty, the 12 weights give me a 908 lb ballast box!:)
 

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Ballast Box fill

I found some ammo boxes that fit perfectly (2 side by side), went to an auto salvage yard and got 4 ammo boxes worth of old wheel weights for $20.
Plenty heavy, and I can have anywhere from 1 to 4 ammo boxes on the BB, depending on what I'm doing.
 

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Portland cement.

I had river sand from my creek for a long time thinking I would need to vary the weight for the task at hand. Found out quick that too much rear ballast with loader work is never going to be a issue, but too little ballast is a scary ride. Use the post's that have been made on GTT and figure out the best setup, PVC tubes, hitch, modifications, etc and then fill the rest with cement.

People say they have enough weight with rock, old weights, gravel, blah blah blah, but I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that they don't equal the weight of filled Portland cement. Too many voids btwn the material. Most will say I have around XXX lbs but have never measured what they have. I know it's scary to think about cement being permanent but a well thought out ballast box can be obtained, take your time.
 

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Pea rock for me. My particular ballast box has a little door at the bottom so that i can empty it if the mood strikes me. My needs are simple. My ballast approach is either 600 lbs, or zero. I only need to be able to accommodate a full bucket.
 

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I've got the Titan box filled about 3/4 full of brick pavers (5.4 lbs. apiece) which with the weight of the box and the I-Match, I'm at about 525 lbs. I have enough room to add another 100 lbs. if I needed it but my current setup seems to be fine. And if I want to reduce the weight it's easy to take them out. I already had the brick from a previous project.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the replies! Seems the most popular method is fill the box with what you have on hand.

Since I have 6 bags of pea rock left from a landscape project and some pavers, that will be my initial fill along with some pvc pipe. I have about 100 bucket loads of dirt to move and fall cleanup fast approaching, so I need to get the box mounted. With the wheel weights and filled tires I don't believe I'll need the extension however I will leave it on for now. The extension might be handy to carry tools in.

This winter, after I've had time to use it, I'll likely clean it up, modify to fit my quick hitch and give a fresh coat of paint.
 

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Thanks for all the replies! Seems the most popular method is fill the box with what you have on hand.

Since I have 6 bags of pea rock left from a landscape project and some pavers, that will be my initial fill along with some pvc pipe. I have about 100 bucket loads of dirt to move and fall cleanup fast approaching, so I need to get the box mounted. With the wheel weights and filled tires I don't believe I'll need the extension however I will leave it on for now. The extension might be handy to carry tools in.

This winter, after I've had time to use it, I'll likely clean it up, modify to fit my quick hitch and give a fresh coat of paint.
That's pretty much what I did when I filled mine. A couple spare cinder blocks, a couple spare landscape pavers, and several bags of pea stone. I threw a few bricks on top of that too, so I can remove those if I need a little room to carry something. I also added the PVC pipes, which make fantastic tool holders.
 

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I have scrap iron in mine, including some lead, along with the RR rail runners: HPIM1260.JPG

I have my tool storage tubes & chainsaw holder on the outside of the box.
 

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I just use pea rock - concrete is so permanent. I don't need the weight more than I want the ability to empty it easily. The nice things about this ballast box (other than the fact that it was $319 shipping included) is:

- the little door that slides up and allows me to easily empty the thing
- the slots at the bottom that allow me to pick it up with forks
- the 2" receiver that lets me add on a carrier. I use it for tools, or I throw some sandbags on there if I need additional ballast for some reason​


 
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