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  1. #11
    Platinum Member bubbacuse77's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
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    544
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Tractor
    John Deere 3520, John Deere X749

    Default Re: wheel weights or fill the tires?

    Quote Originally Posted by North Country View Post
    True, but the weight's on the *axle*, not the wheel bearing. I haven't ever heard anyone even suggest that this could casue a failure, let alone heard of an actual incident. People have been adding weight to wheels for years.


    This effect is so small that if you notice this, then you don't have enough rear ballast to be safe for the load you're lifting. Add a counterweight.
    sorry bad choice of words on my part.
    Bearing as in: The force of the weight is acting on something in a particular direction, not refering to the actual wheel bearing (adj vs noun)

    Yes I do use counter weight in addition to loaded tires, but that doesnt' change the laws of physics.

    I'm not advocating one or the other. In my case I probably would have put steel weights on if the cost would have been less. Everybodys situation is diffent and there are advantages to both.

  2. #12
    Platinum Member bubbacuse77's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    544
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Tractor
    John Deere 3520, John Deere X749

    Default Re: wheel weights or fill the tires?

    Quote Originally Posted by greg_g View Post
    You've got the wrong concept. Tire ballast (liquid or solid) is intended to improve traction and increase transverse stability. Think lateral. Weight to counter front loads should be behind the rear axle. Think longitudinal

    //greg//
    I think we are saying the same thing. All I am say is that no matter what/or were you put the weight on the back of the tractor when you lift a load with the FEL you will take ground pressure off the backtires proportional to where your center of gravity in the longitudinal axis. With the fluid in the tires the fluid weight does not become effective until the squat is taken out of the tires and the fluid wieght transfered to the rear axle.

    Keep in mind that once your rear wheels do raise off the ground you have just moved your center of gravity over the front axle and all that weight you put in/on/behind the tractor is (bearing) directly on the front axle as it is now a fulcrum.

  3. #13
    Bronze Member wh22366's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    68
    Location
    Gilmanton, NH
    Tractor
    MF 1540

    Default Re: wheel weights or fill the tires?

    I can still remember my wife driving past me with my old Ford 1710 with the (full) bucket sorta high and the hub of the right rear wheel at my chest height. I yelled and she saved it, but I know my heart stopped for a time...

    The nice thing about loaded tires is that the weight is always there. For most chores using the loader, the beet juice gives me enough anchorage to avoid lifting a wheel. But when I'm moving stone or anything that might be a challenge, I add a box blade with weights.

    When I do have to remove a loaded wheel and move it, I'll call a neighbor!

  4. #14
    Gold Member North Country's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    368
    Location
    VT
    Tractor
    John Deere 2305

    Default Re: wheel weights or fill the tires?

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbacuse77 View Post
    I think we are saying the same thing. All I am say is that no matter what/or were you put the weight on the back of the tractor when you lift a load with the FEL you will take ground pressure off the backtires proportional to where your center of gravity in the longitudinal axis. With the fluid in the tires the fluid weight does not become effective until the squat is taken out of the tires and the fluid wieght transfered to the rear axle.

    Keep in mind that once your rear wheels do raise off the ground you have just moved your center of gravity over the front axle and all that weight you put in/on/behind the tractor is (bearing) directly on the front axle as it is now a fulcrum.
    Sure, but as I said - if you can notice your wheels "unsquatting," you need more rear ballast. (And possibly more air in the rears.)

    If you notice your rear wheels raising off the ground, you REALLY need more rear ballast!

    Anyway, the OP was specifically asking about traction. Steel's 2-4x more expensive than beet juice but doesn't leak and can be taken off when lighter ground pressure is desired. That about covers it.
    NC

    My hills have hills.

  5. #15
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    2,273
    Location
    western NC
    Tractor
    JD 2320; 4520

    Default Re: wheel weights or fill the tires?

    Each has pro's and con's. In most compact tractors, the big advantage of fluid is that one can get more weight on the wheel. With JD tractors, the wheel weights are very expensive from the company and do not add all that much weight relative to the ballast that can be achieved with fluid. The drawback to fluid is that one is stuck with it all the time. My little 2320 has loaded rear tires and though great for loader work, snow removal, etc., the machine can compress delicate grass/lawn and the fluid cannot be taken on and off. In this case I would have probably been better choosing weights. Smaller tractors, like sub-compacts, have the opposite problem. The rim size, relative to the tire volume, generally means much more weight can be added to the wheel than to the tire. For example, on a JD 1026 with 26x12x12 tires (which are pretty small), the machine can hold about 50 pounds of ballast per tire but can be spec'd with up to 172 pounds of cast iron ballast as wheel weights per wheel (72 pound starter and two 50 pound add-on's). The opposite almost always holds true on larger tractors, except with R1 style tires. As for center of gravity (COG) there is little difference. Most places that ballast try to fill the tires as fully as they can to achieve maximum weight. This means that even with some air in the casing the tire is pretty full of fluid, usually passing the centerline of the axle easily. Wheel weight v fluid both add stress to the axle. Most companies consider this when designing their machines because they know most folks are going to need to ballast. Also, the axle stress from this is much less likely to be harmful than having excess slippage and the stresses associated with that. There also is the consideration that in most compact applications the amount of on-wheel ballast recommended by the manufacturers exceeds what can be specified with EITHER liquid or cast iron weight, so one could argue many of us need to be running both to meet factory recommendations. All this said, my general advice has been: for small sub-compacts or compacts less than 25 HP with smaller tires/wheels one can almost always add more ballast with cast iron than fluid. For all other compacts, the opposite is more likely true (but I realize not always). Unless one has a specific need to remove the weight (finish mowing a delicate lawn, large time periods of non load-bearing tasks on pavement or concrete), or in an instance where an attachment offers significant ballast (compact with a back hoe for example), I recommend liquid ballast. In those other unique applications, one would probably want to consider removable ballast unless it is cost prohibitive. I like Rimguard. From an environmental standpoint it makes sense, but from a practical standpoint it does as well as it is very heavy and has a high solute.

    John M.

  6. #16
    Platinum Member Henri88's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
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    759
    Location
    Northern N.B.
    Tractor
    2008 JD 2305, 600hr

    Default Re: wheel weights or fill the tires?

    John M. very nice writing! The only thing that I don't quite understand (wouldn't be the first time) is when you mention the stress on the axle when adding weights to the wheel in the form of wheel weights or liquid. I can see adding stress on the axle by adding a ballast box. For example, if I was to remove the axle with the wheel and tire still attach to it, and would hold one end of the axle and have someone adding the weight to the wheel, it would not put any more stress to the axle in my opinion. I would still only have the weight of the axle and it would be the same at the other end where the wheel is bolted to the axle, but if I was to ask him to add weight to the axle itself which in this case would be comparable to the tractor weight plus ballast box, now we are adding stress to the axle. Yes, yes, I know, I would've drop the hole thing a long time ago, So my point is, if you add weight to the wheel, the only stress is on the rim and tire or am I missing something here.
    Henri

    How could you be told I was french?

    Rotary cutter 4' Howse , mid mount mower 54'' , f.e. loader 200CX , tiller RT1150 Frontier , cultivator PC1001 Frontier , middle buster PM1001 Frontier , JD 47'' front snowblower , pallet forks , 4' boxblade Agriease , grass-sweeper , quick hitch Speeco , trailer hitch , cab Jodale-Perry , trailer 16' galvanized Easy-Hauler ,

  7. #17
    Gold Member North Country's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
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    368
    Location
    VT
    Tractor
    John Deere 2305

    Default Re: wheel weights or fill the tires?

    All the talk about "stress on the rear axle" is misleading. First, adding weight by hook or crook to the rear tires/wheels doesn't increase axle stress when the tractor's on level ground. Second, the rear axle is built to take the additional stress you'll get from sidehilling with loaded tires or weighted wheels *and* rear ballast.

    What's *not* built to take the stress is the front axle. If you are ever lifting your rears off the ground, or lifting so much that your rears "unsquat," you're overloading your *front* axle. Keep doing this and you'll break it or at the very least need new bearings sooner than expected. Both of these, of course, assume that you live long enough to break the axle and don't kill yourself with a rollover.

    I've never heard of a rear axle breaking because someone added weight, loaded the tires, or even did both. It's just not a problem worth worrying about.
    NC

    My hills have hills.

  8. #18
    Platinum Member Henri88's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
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    759
    Location
    Northern N.B.
    Tractor
    2008 JD 2305, 600hr

    Default Re: wheel weights or fill the tires?

    Quote Originally Posted by North Country View Post
    All the talk about "stress on the rear axle" is misleading. First, adding weight by hook or crook to the rear tires/wheels doesn't increase axle stress when the tractor's on level ground. Second, the rear axle is built to take the additional stress you'll get from sidehilling with loaded tires or weighted wheels *and* rear ballast.

    What's *not* built to take the stress is the front axle. If you are ever lifting your rears off the ground, or lifting so much that your rears "unsquat," you're overloading your *front* axle. Keep doing this and you'll break it or at the very least need new bearings sooner than expected. Both of these, of course, assume that you live long enough to break the axle and don't kill yourself with a rollover.

    I've never heard of a rear axle breaking because someone added weight, loaded the tires, or even did both. It's just not a problem worth worrying about.
    Agree 100%! This is the first thing the service manager told me when he saw that I wasn't using my ballast box with my snowblower. I told him that I did not need it for traction and he said that it was not only for traction but for eliminating excessive stress to the front axle due to the extra weight of the blower.
    Henri

    How could you be told I was french?

    Rotary cutter 4' Howse , mid mount mower 54'' , f.e. loader 200CX , tiller RT1150 Frontier , cultivator PC1001 Frontier , middle buster PM1001 Frontier , JD 47'' front snowblower , pallet forks , 4' boxblade Agriease , grass-sweeper , quick hitch Speeco , trailer hitch , cab Jodale-Perry , trailer 16' galvanized Easy-Hauler ,

  9. #19
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    389
    Location
    Frozen part of WI
    Tractor
    John Deere 855

    Default Re: wheel weights or fill the tires?

    I loaded my rears with anti freeze and windshield washer fluid.
    (22 gallon each) That is the best products available for me to use here and now. I'm sure there are other products available that are better options for others.

    I have an older JD855 with 33" turfs and 2 link ladder chains.
    Made a BIG difference. Wish I had done it earlier.

    Good luck

  10. #20
    Bronze Member boughtaJD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    60
    Location
    mid Michigan
    Tractor
    JD 2320

    Default Re: wheel weights or fill the tires?

    Elk Lake Doug - from another Doug in Michigan - I have rim guard in my rear tires and love it. I also throw on the box blade for extra weight for heavy loader work or snow removal with my FEL plow (like the 9" we got dumped on us yesterday).
    JD 2320, 200CX FEL, Frontier box blade, 54D MMM, LX5 rotary cutter, pallet forks, FEL plow, grapple

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