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I have been asked to help with the filling of a JD ballast box with Portland Cement. Any idea how many bags I should buy? For the most weight, do you mix it, thick or watery?

Thanks all!
 

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Hi,

Concrete is denser than cement. One 60 lb bag makes about about 780 cu in. An 80 lb bag will yield around 980 cu in.

Only add enough water to get the mix to a thoroughly damp slurry, no dry powder but not runny. Tamp it down as you fill. I prefer a headed crowbar for small areas like this, though a flat 6x6" tamper might work ok. If your first batch is a little on the dry side, it's ok in this case because the excess liquid from successive batches will descend anyway.
 

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Also depends on if you want to completely fill or leave room for recessed carry/storage space or plan on adding vertical tubes for handled tool carry/storage. So answer may be 6-8 bags.
 

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I filled mine with (7) 80lb bags of mixed quikrete cement. I mixed it by the directions in one of those plastic mixing tubs you can get at home depot or lowes. 1 gallon of water per bag. The mix was thick not runny.. Worked out perfect. Filled it right up under the ballast box lip. I used a tamp to tamp the cement down inside the box after I poured in each mixed bag 1 at a time. I also added (2) 2" PVC pipes stuck in the cement to hold my rake & shovel.. Hope this helps. If you need a photo just reply back.. There are alot of variations here on this site. Whichever fits your need..



Good luck..:thumbup1gif:
 

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I would watch not to make a ballast box more heavier that the heaviest implements John Deere makes for the rear of a particular tractor to keep from wearing out gears,bushings, wheel bearings and the transmission itself.
 

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I would watch not to make a ballast box more heavier that the heaviest implements John Deere makes for the rear of a particular tractor to keep from wearing out gears,bushings, wheel bearings and the transmission itself.
Optimum ballast box weight for a 2520 is right around 1,000lbs,so you won't have to worry filling it with concrete,because you won't get that close weight wise.


Greg
 

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I filled my bb with extension (heaping) with about seven bags of the 90 lb Portland cement from hd. I bought ten but didn't come close. Was surprised as the weight on the jd website would suggest about ten bags. Maybe I didn't mix it right but did it in two installments with rebar in between to let settle (and because I was damn tired after mixing and shoveling the first 4 bags worth of cement into the box!). Interested to hear how many you fit in.

Dana
 

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Optimum ballast box weight for a 2520 is right around 1,000lbs,so you won't have to worry filling it with concrete,because you won't get that close weight wise.


Greg
The backhoe weighs 900 lbs and is a little further back than the ballast box and I still have managed to get the back wheels off the ground when snagging a root. When I have the 500 lbs box blade on the tractor does not feel nearly as secure. Remember the 3PH is designed for 1200 to 1300 lbs so a thousand pounds is well within its limits.
 

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I know it's an old thread, but I had trouble finding the answer to this question. My ballast box with extension took 11 bags of 47# Portland cement to fill to the rim.
 
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Just for reference, "Portland Cement" is a component in concrete - it is the cement part of concrete. You can get bags of Portland Cement and you can get bags of pre-mixed concrete such as Quikrete. If you are going to mix in your own sand and gravel then portland cement is what you need. If you want to just pour it in and add water then you want the premixed type stuff such as Sakrete, Quikrete or whatever they may be calling it.
 

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Just for reference, "Portland Cement" is a component in concrete - it is the cement part of concrete. You can get bags of Portland Cement and you can get bags of pre-mixed concrete such as Quikrete. If you are going to mix in your own sand and gravel then portland cement is what you need. If you want to just pour it in and add water then you want the premixed type stuff such as Sakrete, Quikrete or whatever they may be calling it.

Correct. But often just "portland cement" is used to fill ballast box's since it is so dense (read heavier that regular concrete), and strength is not required since the steel box hold it all together. The JD loader manuals list estimated weighs using different materials as fill, and straight Portland is the heaviest.
 

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Correct. But often just "portland cement" is used to fill ballast box's since it is so dense (read heavier that regular concrete), and strength is not required since the steel box hold it all together. The JD loader manuals list estimated weighs using different materials as fill, and straight Portland is the heaviest.
Yep, this why I used straight cement. I was after maximum weight, no strength required.
 

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I'm not a fan of cement in a Ballast box. I use steel. This why you can add or remove weight if needed. IF I were to used cement I would leave it in the bag. It will harden over time and you can remove it.
 

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I'm not a fan of cement in a Ballast box. I use steel. This why you can add or remove weight if needed. IF I were to used cement I would leave it in the bag. It will harden over time and you can remove it.
With a 3-series or larger tractor I can't come up with a scenario where I would ever want less ballast weight.
 
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Well it not so much the ballast. It the Ballast box. I my need to go back in the field and cut a tree branch, fix a pole or something. With a empty Ballast box I have a great box to carry all my tools I need with out taking wagon behind me.
We all do thing difference and my way works for me BUT may not work for some else.
 
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Correct. But often just "portland cement" is used to fill ballast box's since it is so dense (read heavier that regular concrete), and strength is not required since the steel box hold it all together. The JD loader manuals list estimated weighs using different materials as fill, and straight Portland is the heaviest.
Trying to figure this out....

Dry Portland cement weighs 94 lbs per cubic foot.
Dry ready mixed bags of concrete weigh ~ 90 lbs per cubic foot. Can't find exact data on that...

Cured concrete weighs between 130 to 150 lbs per cubic foot.
Cured straight Portland cement weighs ______?


Some data from users in this thread;

7 bags of 80# Quikrete (4.2 cu ft) = 560 lbs
11 bags of 47# Portland cement (5.5 cu ft) = 517 lbs

With water added:

7 bags of 80# Quikrete (4.2 cu ft) = 560 lbs + 7 gallons of water = 616 lbs total or 146 lbs per cubic foot. Note that the yield of .6 cu ft per bag includes the water.
11 bags of 47# Portland cement (5.5 cu ft) = 517 lbs, would need 12.3 gallons (1.6 cu ft) to equal the weight of the Quikrete. Note that the ballast box only holds 5 cubic feet so for 11 bags to fit it would have been compacted.

For Portland Cement to be heavier you would need to add about twice as much water - and compact it well.

If we were only talking about dry then I can see that Portland cement is easily heavier per cubic foot. But can you compact it, then still add enough water to bring the weight up past regular concrete?
 

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I am pretty sure I used 7 bags from Home Depot. Unsure of the size of the bag? Sorry.
Im pretty sure they were 80# bags. That would be about 550# to 625# then you have the weight of the ballast box which I think is around 145#
 

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It takes considerably more water to mix up pure cement vs a concrete (sand/gravel/cement) mixture. Since the vast majority of the water is chemically changed during the curing process and the weight retained, cured cement ends up weighing more than cured concrete. I was shocked at how much water I had to add to the cement in order to get all the dry mixed in. I'm used to bags of redimix.
 

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Here are the numbers according to John Deere:

NOTE: This is for the large ballast box, not the one most of us are using, but the percentages will be the same. Cement weighs 25% more than concrete.

Large Ballast Box
 
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