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Tractor: John Deere 1025R
Loader: 120R with 53” bucket

I know ballast has been discussed in the past and I have been looking at several different forums and discussions about tractor ballast. I found a ballast calculator that someone created for the 1025R, and what I am confused about is that when I put in the recommended ballast and bucket lifting capacity at the max load of 518 lbs at 500mm forward of pivot pin (in 120R Manual), the calculations show you are over both front and rear axle capacity (continuous) based on Owners manual spec for load lift capacity and ballast recommendations. The front axle is over about 330lbs, see charts below. I do not understand why the manual provides a listed bucket capacity and ballast that would be over the rated axle capacity. Does anyone know what is the maximum axle capacity of the 1025R because the manual show the continuous axle capacity and not max?

Is the axle capacity listed in the manual for 2 front or rear wheels (so 1 axle) or is the axle capacity for each individual wheel. I am trying to determine if the axle or the tires are the limiting factoring in the amount of weight that can be lifted.

When looking at the tire load index / Speed it seems that the tires can hold more weight than the tractor axle can hold assuming axle capacity is for 2 wheels. So it seems like the limiting factor is the tractor axle capacity. I am been looking at the Heavy Hitch or Omni Transformer for rear ballast and trying to determine how much ballast I need to see if I need the Heavy Hitch Dual bracket and also using 70lb suitcase weights. 8 weights * 70lbs = 560lbs which is in the ballpark of the recommended ballast according to the manual but I might need more weight, meaning a dual bracket or weights mounted on hitch. I have been watching many 1025R videos from Tractor Time With Tim and I have seen many videos that he seems to use more than (8) 70lbs weights for ballast.

See attached pictures of spec of load and tires, and excel ballast calculation.

In the end I want to correctly ballast my tractor so I can operate the front end loader safety, and also not damage or stress the axles or tires.
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Tractor: John Deere 1025R
Loader: 120R with 53” bucket

In the end I want to correctly ballast my tractor so I can operate the front end loader safety, and also not damage or stress the axles or tires.
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
You can pretty much forget that Excel ballast spreadsheet. It is designed primarily for ballasting rear implements like brush hogs, rotary cutters and other very heavy implements. The majority of the calculations are for adding FRONT weights to avoid doing a wheelie when picking up a heavy rear implement.

For your FEL, simply add the 3PH ballast as recommended in your loader manual and you will be fine. Don't over think it. :)
 

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Take some of the things you find with a grain of salt. That ballast calculator isn't what you may be thinking it is. The ballast calculator is showing you the total ballasted tractor weight and front/rear weight distribution that you'd see if you parked your tractor on a scale. But that is not the weight being carried by the axles.

Your tractor's tires rest on the ground, not the axles. The wheel's weight is supported by the tires, not the axle. Neither of those add to axle load. The weight that IS being supported by the axles is then transferred onto the wheels and, from there, the tires. The same thing happens with loaded tires. Loaded tires add to the total machine weight but they don't add any weight to the axles.

It would probably be helpful if the calculator had some means of removing the tire and wheel weights from that calculator to show you actual axle weights... but that function isn't there.



When looking at the tire load index / Speed...
Keep in mind that you listed 26x12.00.12 R4 (rear) tires in the ballast calculator but you are looking at 305/60-12 R4 (rear) tires for your tire capacity listing. They aren't the same tires. I have no idea what the weight capacity difference is between those but.. apples to apples and what not.
 

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I'm speculating the ballast calculator you utilized does not take into account leverage factors and the rear axle as a pivot point When you have ballast aft of the rear axle, the rear axle becomes a pivot point--much like a playground teeter-totter. This combination transfer FEL loader weight that would be on the front axle, without aft rear axle ballast, to the rear axle. I can't recall where off the top of my head. but I've seen a thread with illustrations that provides an excellent explanation of this.
 

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I'm speculating the ballast calculator you utilized does not take into account leverage factors and the rear axle as a pivot point When you have ballast aft of the rear axle, the rear axle becomes a pivot point--much like a playground teeter-totter. This combination transfer FEL loader weight that would be on the front axle, without aft rear axle ballast, to the rear axle. I can't recall where off the top of my head. but I've seen a thread with illustrations that provides an excellent explanation of this.
The ballast calculator spreadsheet does take into consideration the FEL and rear implements, including a ballast box but like mentioned earlier it is primarily for balancing the tractor with heavy rear implements.

For the FEL there is no need to worry about axle loads and pivot points as JD has already did all these calculations for you and listed the proper ballast configurations in the loader operator’s manual. JD has been putting loaders on small tractors for over 30 years. They have it figured out.
 

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I'm speculating the ballast calculator you utilized does not take into account leverage factors and the rear axle as a pivot point When you have ballast aft of the rear axle, the rear axle becomes a pivot point--much like a playground teeter-totter. This combination transfer FEL loader weight that would be on the front axle, without aft rear axle ballast, to the rear axle. I can't recall where off the top of my head. but I've seen a thread with illustrations that provides an excellent explanation of this.

Surprisingly, it does take leverage into account. If you use it and indicate that you have a ballast box, it takes weight off the front end and loads it to the rear. It even makes the distinction between a ballast box mounted on the 3pt arms and one mounted on an iMatch which puts the box back about 3" to 4" farther. I can't vouch for how accurate their numbers are, but they did try to cover that particular issue.
 

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I didn't see a link in the OP post for the calculator utilized. Thus, why I was speculating. Sounds interesting, however. Can someone post a link to the calculator(s)?
 

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I didn't see a link in the OP post for the calculator utilized. Thus, why I was speculating. Sounds interesting, however. Can someone post a link to the calculator(s)?
Here ya go...
 

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Tractor: John Deere 1025R
Loader: 120R with 53” bucket

I know ballast has been discussed in the past and I have been looking at several different forums and discussions about tractor ballast. I found a ballast calculator that someone created for the 1025R, and what I am confused about is that when I put in the recommended ballast and bucket lifting capacity at the max load of 518 lbs at 500mm forward of pivot pin (in 120R Manual), the calculations show you are over both front and rear axle capacity (continuous) based on Owners manual spec for load lift capacity and ballast recommendations. The front axle is over about 330lbs, see charts below. I do not understand why the manual provides a listed bucket capacity and ballast that would be over the rated axle capacity. Does anyone know what is the maximum axle capacity of the 1025R because the manual show the continuous axle capacity and not max?

Is the axle capacity listed in the manual for 2 front or rear wheels (so 1 axle) or is the axle capacity for each individual wheel. I am trying to determine if the axle or the tires are the limiting factoring in the amount of weight that can be lifted.

When looking at the tire load index / Speed it seems that the tires can hold more weight than the tractor axle can hold assuming axle capacity is for 2 wheels. So it seems like the limiting factor is the tractor axle capacity. I am been looking at the Heavy Hitch or Omni Transformer for rear ballast and trying to determine how much ballast I need to see if I need the Heavy Hitch Dual bracket and also using 70lb suitcase weights. 8 weights * 70lbs = 560lbs which is in the ballpark of the recommended ballast according to the manual but I might need more weight, meaning a dual bracket or weights mounted on hitch. I have been watching many 1025R videos from Tractor Time With Tim and I have seen many videos that he seems to use more than (8) 70lbs weights for ballast.

See attached pictures of spec of load and tires, and excel ballast calculation.

In the end I want to correctly ballast my tractor so I can operate the front end loader safety, and also not damage or stress the axles or tires.
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
The limitations are the tires!! You also have to look at the tire chart carefully. Maximum loading is based on speed. The easiest thing to do is look at the sidewall of the tire. That will tell you the maximum allowed load at the maximum air pressure.

That all said, if you can lift it with the FEL and you have the recommended amount of rear ballast and tires filled, you will be fine, just don't move in high range and carry the FEL too high.
 

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The primary reason for proper ballasting is to move the CG to it's proper location which is between the axles but closer to the solid rear axle - for stability, primarily lateral stability.

Yes, I know we have all heard knowledgable people say that you need to ballast to protect the front axle, and that seems to be the first reason given when the subject comes up. The second is to keep the rear wheels on the ground. Keeping the rear wheels on the ground and taking weight off the front axle are only correlations, they are not why proper ballasting is necessary.

Once you have achieved proper ballasting the CG will be moved away from the pivoting front axle and closer to the solid rear axle. The further forward the CG is, the easier it is for the tractor to tip over sideways. This should be the first reason for ballasting. When you have done that, then you will also have the rear wheels firmly planted on the ground and the weight on the front axle will be reduced, the latter being the least important.

I think that knowing the most critical reason for ballasting is important. If someone were to believe that ballasting is only for keeping the wheels on the ground or to save some wear on the front axle they may decide that it is not worth the trouble. After all, how many busted front axles have we heard of? Maybe they never lift anything heavy enough to raise the rear wheels. That person will be at a significantly increased risk of tipping over sideways.

As far as the stated front axle capacity, yes, it is easily exceeded when carrying a load in the FEL. This was one of the first things I noticed when comparing tractors. The equivalent Kubota had a higher number for the front axle capability. Why did Deere decide upon that number, who knows? It's just a number derived from some unknown formula.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
This calculator is not one that I created. It looks like John Deere produced a ballast calculator for the 2 series and higher tractor. Someone else modified this calculator for the 1 series, so not sure how accurate it is, but I would think it is close enough. I understand that the tires and wheel ballast do not add to the axle weight.


It would probably be helpful if the calculator had some means of removing the tire and wheel weights from that calculator to show you actual axle weights... but that function isn't there. It would probably be helpful if the calculator had some means of removing the tire and wheel weights from that calculator to show you actual axle weights... but that function isn't there.
I know there is some items such as the tires which are not accurate to what I have on the 1025R tractor, but is close enough. Actually for the rear wheel, there is options to select the amount of steel weights added to the rim. Currently as shown my original post it is 0. I agree that the the tire weight is not included for the axle capacity, and I can manually remove the weight from the excel spread sheet, and the amount of weight is still over the rated axle capacity.

Yes the ballast calculator does take leverage into account. I have adjusted ballast numbers with ballast mounted on the 3 point hitch or ballast in the tires. You can see when weight is added to the 3 point hitch that is reduces the weight on the front tires.


For your FEL, simply add the 3PH ballast as recommended in your loader manual and you will be fine. Don't over think it. :)
The 120R loader manual provide 3 ballast options as seen in original post. All options either use fluid in tires, weights in wheel or combination. I do not want to put fluid in tires, the wheel weights would be ok, but seem difficult to remove. I would personally like to avoid any wheel weights. Is the wheel weights required, or the weight that I would put in the wheels could I just add the extra to the 3 point hitch to make up the difference? I currently use the tractor for mowing primarily with landscape work that needs to be done around the house as secondary project, so I would like to avoid carry extra weight for mowing.


For the FEL there is no need to worry about axle loads and pivot points as JD has already did all these calculations for you and listed the proper ballast configurations in the loader operator’s manual. JD has been putting loaders on small tractors for over 30 years. They have it figured out.
I have watched videos and see the amount of hard work the 1025R is performing and know as an engineer that John Deere has safety factor built into the equipment. I would think that if you went from the specs in the John Deere manuals, that if you used the spec lifting of the FEL and the recommended ballast for the tractor that it would not be over the spec axle capacity, but it is over. It would be similar to saying that a 1 ton truck can only carry 0.5 tons in the pickup bed because the suspension or axles can not handle 1 ton.

I understand that the owners perform much more then what John Deere specs, but now that puts the responsibility on the owner if the equipment breaks. When you following the John Deere manuals for spec for FEL lifting and amount of ballast you are over what John Deere specs for axle capacity which seems weird to me; am I not understanding something? I know I maybe be overthinking this put as an engineer I know there is specs equipment, and if it was not important than John Deere would not provide axle capacity or tires would not have a load index rating.


Also note in the ballast calculator that is many hidden columns and sheets that you will need to unhide if you want to see how the calculations are performed. See attachment showing the hidden columns and sheets in the red boxes.
 

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