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Discussion Starter #1
A while back I posted some pix of the dollies I made for some new implements, including a ballast box. Well, now it's time to get the ballast box filled with ballast so I can use the front loader on my 4520 to actually load stuff.

I am putting a 2" hitch receiver in the box. I've seen a lot of ballast box pix with a PVC pipe in there to hold shovels and the like, but I'm thinking that one of those hitch carrying cargo holders like this Ultra-Tow Premium Folding Cargo Carrier — 500-Lb. Load Capacity | Receiver Hitch Cargo Carriers| Northern Tool + Equipment might be able to carry more stuff to the job site. With sale and coupons, it's in the $80 range now.

The hitch might also mean I can tow my trailer with small but bulky stuff on it and not have to chain the ball adapter down so it won't pull up. Although that does sound like an assumption accident waiting to happen...:nunu:

I got going on the project and remembered to grab my camera just before I started the drilling, so here are the pix. You can see the hitch and plate I had a local welder make up*(I don't have a welding machine). I put the bottom of the hitch 4" below the bottom of the pins on the ballast box. This should have the box 10" above the ground in order to have the hitch be 18" above the ground, about where it is on my truck. If nothing is in the hitch receiver, I can tilt the box up for better ground clearance when working.

It's a "work in progress" thread, so if anyone has any ideas, let me know.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #2
One idea I'm toying with is to put a 6 weight holder like the one on my 318 on the ballast box so I can add more weight. Here's a shot of the holder. I suspect the ballast box will be about 500#, this would let me bump it up to 750# with 40# weights, or, 900# with 70# weights.
I'll put the holder on the box and submit a shot of that later...

Any thoughts?

Pete
 

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Looking great so far Pete :thumbup1gif:
 

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As far as adding the weight bracket, IMHO I'd pass. I'd make the ballast box as heavy as I could. I can't think of a scenario where you'd need the ballast to be lighter. Plus the added cost of the weights and the labor to remove and install them isn't very beneficial. Is there a reason you want a variable weight ballast box?


Sent from a phone with a tiny keyboard and a crazy auto-correct feature
 

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I like the bolt up receiver idea. I don't particularly like things sticking out too far behind me so I would pass on the weight bracket. I back in the the fence enough with just the ballast box.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
(sigh....)
I wrote up this really long explanation with weights and everything, and when I went to submit it the site says I was not logged in. :nunu:

So I'll skip to the bottom line. Unless someone can show that more weight than the standard ballast box is needed on a 4520 with a 400cx loader and a bucket with 2500#s of material in it, I'm leaning towards skipping the extra weight bracket. More cost, worse clearance. All the JD documents just say "use a ballast box", nothing specific such as you see, for example, with the ballasting requirements for an MX-6 cutter.

The other item of interest I've check is that when the receiver hitch is at 18" above the ground, that is still 4" below the center line of the rear axle. And typically the ball is 2" lower than that. So if a trailer snags, the tractor won't pop a wheelie and turn over. :good2:

Pete
 

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Sorry to hear of your posting trouble Pete...did you happen to try the "restore auto saved content" button in the lower left corner of the text box when you went to reply again? The site auto saves the post as you type just in case this happens.
 
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I really need to install a receiver to my ballast box. Most the time I use an attachment that is on my draw bar but there are a lot of times I need to move the trailer when I have loader/ballast box on. be nice to have that option !

I think I am going to cut mine in flush and run a pipe in to pin it. Just because I know I will bang my shin on it if I don't !
 

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I put my receiver tube under the box. Later, I added another set of lower lift pins about 5" below the originals so it doesn't drag when loading on the trailer. ~~ Lowell
 

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I put my receiver tube under the box. Later, I added another set of lower lift pins about 5" below the originals so it doesn't drag when loading on the trailer. ~~ Lowell
Great idea!
 

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I really need to install a receiver to my ballast box. Most the time I use an attachment that is on my draw bar but there are a lot of times I need to move the trailer when I have loader/ballast box on. be nice to have that option
That makes 2 of us!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Nice welding job on that frame for the hitch below the box!

Here's pix of the "big hole" and the mounted receiver. Next job is to fill it up with concreate, paint the carrier JD green, and then see if I got the height right or not...

Pete
 

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I plan to go a different way. I don't like the ballast box idea, because it makes the setup very long. I plan to use the heavy hitch carrier and hang weights onto this one. I get about 350 lbs with it, and it is hardly any longer than the standard tractor. If I need more weight, I plan to use the hitch carrier that you mentioned (I have one since many years, but hardly used it), and can add another 500 lbs onto this one, and still be not much longer than with a ballast box. I have 100 lbs of weight on each wheel, and two lead plates with 55 lbs each laying on the floor under my feet. At my 220 lbs life weight to it, as well as the weight of the quick hitch and the carries, I will end up with some 1400 to 1500 lbs, and I start to wonder whether the poor rear axles/bearings of the tractor are OK with that weight?

The advantage of this system is that I can adjust the weight by 40 - 50 lbs at a time.

Are there any flaws with my idea?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Sounds like you've thought it out pretty good. I'm going for the convenience of just being able to back up to the ballast box and pick it up with the iMatch. Your plan lets you fine-tune the weight, but at the price of having to life all those weights. The closer I get to 60, the more I want to be SmartLazy[SUP]TM[/SUP]. I figured out lazy pretty early in life, but seems like it takes forever to get that smart part figured out :mocking:.

I don't have wheel weights because I mow a lot and want just enough weight in the front so I can steer. I have a front weight bar that lets me add 12 weights. I have 8 70# and 4 42#. As if often the case, there is no single right answer just the answer that is right for you!

I didn't catch what tractor you have, but for my 4520 I've got a lot of weight that helps, just need that little extra out back. One of the many trade offs in figuring out what answer is right for you is the further back the weight on your hitch, the better it is. More weight close in vs. less weight sticking out. I have a 800# box blade that would be great ballast, but it is too wide and too deep for loader work.
Part of all the grief to half-burry the reciever hitch is an attempt to keep the depth under control.

Pete
 

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Sounds like you've thought it out pretty good. I'm going for the convenience of just being able to back up to the ballast box and pick it up with the iMatch. Your plan lets you fine-tune the weight, but at the price of having to life all those weights. The closer I get to 60, the more I want to be SmartLazy[SUP]TM[/SUP]. I figured out lazy pretty early in life, but seems like it takes forever to get that smart part figured out :mocking:.

I don't have wheel weights because I mow a lot and want just enough weight in the front so I can steer. I have a front weight bar that lets me add 12 weights. I have 8 70# and 4 42#. As if often the case, there is no single right answer just the answer that is right for you!

I didn't catch what tractor you have, but for my 4520 I've got a lot of weight that helps, just need that little extra out back. One of the many trade offs in figuring out what answer is right for you is the further back the weight on your hitch, the better it is. More weight close in vs. less weight sticking out. I have a 800# box blade that would be great ballast, but it is too wide and too deep for loader work.
Part of all the grief to half-burry the reciever hitch is an attempt to keep the depth under control.

Pete
Well, I think I am a little ahead of you in the age front (I will be 70 in a few weeks), I don't know if that also applies to the smart section! Carrying a few suitcase weights does not bother me (putting the wheel weights in is a pain in the ****).

I have a 2320 tractor that is, by nature, not as heavy as your 4520. I thought the wheel weights may be OK for lawn mowing considering the wide footprint surface of the R3 tires. And I believe my bucket is smaller than yours and cannot hold/lift as much weight as yours can. I'll try it as described above, and if that will not work, I'll com back to you for some advise on building my own weight box (if that is OK with you).
 

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I plan to go a different way. I don't like the ballast box idea, because it makes the setup very long. I plan to use the heavy hitch carrier and hang weights onto this one. I get about 350 lbs with it, and it is hardly any longer than the standard tractor. If I need more weight, I plan to use the hitch carrier that you mentioned (I have one since many years, but hardly used it), and can add another 500 lbs onto this one, and still be not much longer than with a ballast box. I have 100 lbs of weight on each wheel, and two lead plates with 55 lbs each laying on the floor under my feet. At my 220 lbs life weight to it, as well as the weight of the quick hitch and the carries, I will end up with some 1400 to 1500 lbs, and I start to wonder whether the poor rear axles/bearings of the tractor are OK with that weight?

The advantage of this system is that I can adjust the weight by 40 - 50 lbs at a time.

Are there any flaws with my idea?
If this is your plan for loader work, you may want to revisit it. The extra weight on your floorboards helps very little as it's very close to the front axle. Loading the rear axle helps, but doesn't help to unload or remove weight from your front axle. You can easily overload your front axle unless you implement ballast behindthe rear axle. Now here's the tradeoff. The further back your weight, the less you need to properly ballast your tractor for heavy loader work. If clearance is an issue, you'll want as much weight as you can. You can use less if it's further behind the rear axle all while sacrificing clearance. This is one of those "you can't have your cake and eat it too" kinda things.

This article has some excellent reading concerning ballast.:thumbup1gif:
 

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If this is your plan for loader work, you may want to revisit it. The extra weight on your floorboards helps very little as it's very close to the front axle. Loading the rear axle helps, but doesn't help to unload or remove weight from your front axle. You can easily overload your front axle unless you implement ballast behindthe rear axle. Now here's the tradeoff. The further back your weight, the less you need to properly ballast your tractor for heavy loader work. If clearance is an issue, you'll want as much weight as you can. You can use less if it's further behind the rear axle all while sacrificing clearance. This is one of those "you can't have your cake and eat it too" kinda things.

This article has some excellent reading concerning ballast.:thumbup1gif:
If I understand you correct, it means that I have to see the rear axle as kind of a pivot point like on a seesaw, and have to counter the weight in the front. This would mean that my wheel weights contribute nothing to the balance, and my lead plates are actually increasing the front weight (cause they are in front of the rear axle). This would require that I use my hitch carrier fully loaded with 500 lbs.
I have to think about how much heavy loader work I want to do, but if it is a lot, a ballast box starts to sound interesting!
 

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If I understand you correct, it means that I have to see the rear axle as kind of a pivot point like on a seesaw, and have to counter the weight in the front. This would mean that my wheel weights contribute nothing to the balance, and my lead plates are actually increasing the front weight (cause they are in front of the rear axle). This would require that I use my hitch carrier fully loaded with 500 lbs.
I have to think about how much heavy loader work I want to do, but if it is a lot, a ballast box starts to sound interesting!
You got it. :drinks:
 

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Really nice mod to your box Pete. That's what I should have done (and was told by members) when I was building mine,but decided against it. Well I eventually had to do something about it. I didn't have the means to cut it being it was 1/2 plate,so I decided on this method. Works pretty good too.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Dieslshadow is bringing up a great point: There is the weight, and there is the "what axel does it pivot on". I glossed over that with a "further back is better". I've got an iMatch so I get a little more back with that. This is definitely a "Kodak Problem"- you have to capture the moment! :laugh:

I like the "Can't have your cake and eat it too" comment, it all comes back to the right trade-offs.

I've still got to fill the box with concrete, put it all together and of course take a picture of it. I'm interested to see how far off the ground the box is when the hitch is about 18" up.

Pete
 
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