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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    66
    Location
    Southwest suburb of Chicago Area
    Tractor
    JD 4400

    Default Ballast/ Ballast Box question

    Hello All. I have a 4400. I want to be able to do some loader work without dragging my mower around on the 3 point. Rather than purchase a ballast box, can't I just fabricate something that attaches to the 3 point where I can use weight plates from the gym. I think this would be a simplier operation and I literally have a lot of them. Any comments, experience or information on fabrications in this area would be greatly appreciated. I've also looked at getting a trailer hitch adapter and adding the weights to that or some set up for adding weight to the drawbar. By the way, I don't want to load the tires or spend an outrageous amount for rear wheel weights. I researched earlier posts and found where someone had fabricated an adapter for using gym weight plates as wheel weights, Any information or experince on that would also be appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Gold Member slaveToHorses's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    434
    Location
    Oregon
    Tractor
    JD 2355, JD 3720,JD 855, JD LX280

    Default Re: Ballast/ Ballast Box question

    Nothing magical about a Ballast Box. It's just a box with a top link clevis and drag link pin setup. Sure rig something up for the weights. Put em to good use!
    You might want to make sure they are mounted in a way that they won't clank around and make a big racket, or maybe you don't care...

    I have thought about welding on some pins to add those to my ballast box.
    JD2355,JD3720w/447BH,JD855w/7BH,JDLX280,...

  3. #3
    Super Member Bob_Skurka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    7,503

    Default Re: Ballast/ Ballast Box question

    If you can weld, there is no secret to adding weight. You'll be looking for a lot of weight. A good 600 pounds or more.




    Snow Trac, the Swedish Snow Tractor, at Wikipedia
    Never insult a man with a bag of dog poop in one hand and a tennis racket in the other hand!

  4. #4
    Gold Member Cidertom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    472
    Location
    Benton Co Oregon
    Tractor
    JD 4520, 2305 Aktive snow-trac ST4

    Default Re: Ballast/ Ballast Box question

    I saw someone doing "big" lifting weights by using a solid rod through the weights and through the link ends. They were all the same diameter. Seemed to me that they would be a real pain to get aligned and the rod through. Couple of people out here have welded a support for a 55 gal drum that takes a 3 pt and filled it with rocks and concrete.
    One of americas vanishing breed: Volunteer Firefighter

  5. #5
    Elite Member RalphVa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    3,847
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA, USA
    Tractor
    JD 1025, previously Gravely 5650 & JD 4010

    Default Re: Ballast/ Ballast Box question

    You'll find lots of ballast box designs and weights if you search the forums.

    Another option is the KK Carryall. Buy it and design your own box, fill it with whatever. You'll also find lots of carryall box designs in a search. The most ballasted I've ever had my 4010 is with the carryall half full of mulch on the back and the FEL full in front.

    Ballast box or carryall, I'd recommend putting castors underneath to allow it to be moved about on a concrete floor to make mounting and demounting it a lot easier.

    Ralph
    The natural gardener
    God's original intent

  6. #6
    Veteran Member JDFANATIC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,346
    Location
    Central Connecticut
    Tractor
    JD 2210

    Default Re: Ballast/ Ballast Box question

    Ralph,

    That is shamefull! We're talking about a 4400 and not a toy tractor. There is no way a ballast box full of mulch is enough to counterballance the lifting capacity of this machine! Elginfarm, please read you owner's manual, if you don't have one, find out what the recommended ballast requirements are for this set-up.

    Mis-information is as bad as information.
    Cheers!

    JDFANATIC

    JD2210, 62" MMM, 210 FEL, 48" York Rake, 46" Snowthrower, loaded turfs, PTO Spreader, Heated Cab, Plug Aerator, FIMCO Sprayer, Folding Rops

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    744
    Tractor
    John Deere 3320

    Default Re: Ballast/ Ballast Box question

    Quote Originally Posted by JDFANATIC
    Ralph,

    That is shamefull! We're talking about a 4400 and not a toy tractor. There is no way a ballast box full of mulch is enough to counterballance the lifting capacity of this machine! Elginfarm, please read you owner's manual, if you don't have one, find out what the recommended ballast requirements are for this set-up.

    Mis-information is as bad as information.
    Why use a box. Just pick up a couple bags of mulch at the store and rest them on the bars of the three point. That should be enough.

    J/K

    At least 600lbs or more - check the manual - maybe 600lbs and loaded tires. I know the 3320 with IMatch wants a lot of weight on the rear to cb the loader. Some people build a cast for a ballast box from wood, insert the connecting arms and sometimes even a 2" receiver hitch and then start mixing up the sacrete/concrete.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    784
    Location
    A Jersey Boy Exiled to MA
    Tractor
    John Deere 2520

    Default Re: Ballast/ Ballast Box question

    You can also use physics to help you out. First we must find the center of weight of the tractor - I assume it's someplace near the front since that's where the engine is but for all I know they put heavy stuff in the back to make closet to a 50-50 weight distribution. Filling the large back wheels should move it back significantly. Let's assume that the ballast box is 5' from the center of mass and weighs 600 lbs. That means that it produces 5x600=3000 ft-lbs of torque. If you make a 5' extension and fill it with 300 pounds you've now got 10'x300lbs=3000 ft-lbs of torque. The tricky part of this is to figure out the center of mass for the tractor is, but the short version of the story is that less weight farther back has the same net effect. This is why a long rotary cutter provides a more ballast than a tiller or ballast box - but on the flip side you also run the risk of TOO much ballast and lifting the front wheels.

    In an ideal world we'd calculate the max torque generated with a full load, the min torque generated with an empty load, and have a moveable ballast that could equalize things (and move up or down to keep the center of gravity lower...).
    Thanks,

    Jeff

    JD 2520, 62D OnRamp MMM with MCS, 200CX Loader with 53" bucket and forks, RT1250 tiller, DR PTO Chipper/Shredder, iMatch/Pat's EZ Change, 46 BH, Top-N-Tilt

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,437
    Location
    Wheeling, WV
    Tractor
    2006 JD 3520 w/cab & 300CX loader. 1995 JD 870 w/440 loader & 8b backhoe.JD 455 w/54" mower deck.

    Default Re: Ballast/ Ballast Box question

    Ballast box weights are: full of dry sand 616 lbs.
    full of concrete 780 lbs.
    full of portland cement 1042 lbs.
    Thats alot of free weights!
    "Good judgement comes from experience.Experience comes from bad judgement."

  10. #10
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    3,179

    Default Re: Ballast/ Ballast Box question

    Yep, my 4100 manual and the 200CX manual both indicate ballast and filled tires (just got mine done with used antifreeze). i can put approximately up to 1400 lbs between the tires and the ballast box with concrete or the universal weights I have gathering dust.
    Nuru
    JD 3520


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