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  1. #1
    Veteran Member General Lee's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
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    Mid-Atlantic
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    Kubota, L4400, BX1870

    Default Rear Ballast Gentlemen, Rear Ballast

    I'm closing in on the end of my rookie year of tractoring Although I've haven't done a whole lot of things with my tractor, I've been really starting to put it work clearing under growth and small trees on my land. (with the use of the FEL)
    I began this task the other day without using any rear ballast, mainly because I didn't have anything on the rear and didn't feel like putting anything on. So at it I go and I was a little disappointed in my B3200 performance. The rear was bouncing around even with loaded tires while I was attempting to pluck small trees from the ground.
    I know rear ballast can help with a lot of things so I began thinking what route I want to take for ballast weight. I was going to build my own and finally decided to just use my carry all box I built for hauling firewood. I put 11 cinder blocks in it. They weigh 36 pounds a piece so that gave me nearly 400 pounds, plus I'm guessing the box weighs about 150, plus the weight of the loaded rears. I went to work with the tractor and BAM! what a difference. Much better performance.
    I know the veterans here know the importance of rear ballast and I have have now seen it first hand the difference it can make. This post is mainly for the other rookies out there wondering about rear ballast.
    Most kubota owners know the B3200 lacks in the weight department but adding weight helps the performance out quite a bit. I may try adding some more cinder blocks to see if it helps more. Now I need a tooth bar to help with digging up these root balls........
    Kubota L4400 - Land pride rear scraper blade, 6 foot landscape rake, 72'' Frontier Box Blade, Land Pride 60'' finish mower, Land Pride Q/A pallet forks, County Line Carryall built to haul and loaded R-1's
    Kubota RTV500
    Kubota BX1870

    Previous Tractors: 1978 B7100, 2009 B3200

  2. #2
    Veteran Member lawn_king's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
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    Hanover massachusetts
    Tractor
    kubota L 3540 hsdc,B 2320 hsdc & lots of other stuff!

    Default Re: Rear Ballast Gentlemen, Rear Ballast

    If you do a lot of loader work without a counter weight not only do you put excessive wear & tear on the front axle, you can say goodbye to your front axle seals. Its also a good way to lay your machine on its side!
    We have done so much, for so long,with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing!

  3. #3
    Elite Member Baby Grand's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
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    3,814
    Location
    Windsor, CT.
    Tractor
    Kubotas: L3240GST B2320HST B5100D & G5200H

    Default Re: Rear Ballast Gentlemen, Rear Ballast

    Quote Originally Posted by lawn_king View Post
    If you do a lot of loader work without a counter weight not only do you put excessive wear & tear on the front axle, you can say goodbye to your front axle seals. Its also a good way to lay your machine on its side!
    Truer words ...

    Another benefit of running your rig with adequate ballast is not having those skinny little front wheels drop down & bury the axle in a soft spot, requiring you to back out by curling with your FEL and making a huge mess of said soft spot. With your wife watching. It just doesn't get much more humilliating.

    -Jim
    That's the problem with trouble.
    It always starts out as such fun."
    - Randall Brown

  4. #4
    Veteran Member JDGreenGrass's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
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    Maine
    Tractor
    John Deere 770

    Default Re: Rear Ballast Gentlemen, Rear Ballast

    I too am a first year rookie tractor owner and I learned fast that rear ballast is a real good thing.

    I was moving gravel and on about the 4th load I looked down at my front tires and they were about flat.!! I just about popped my eyes out.!! And, I thought I was a bit under powered because I wasn't getting into the pile very well. Went out and got me a JD Ballast Box, filled it with cement and oh my.....what a difference. It seemed like I gained 15hp and the traction became excellent. Felt like I could move the world.

    Balllast is a very good thing.!!
    JD770 '92 4x4 SMC FEL JD Ballast Box 6' CountyLine Back Blade 6' CountyLine Rake CountyLine CarryAll
    64" Frontier Snowblower

    Favorite Color....Green

    The sky was yellow and the sun was blue.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member
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    Oct 2004
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    16,854
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    First organized permanent settlement in the northwest territory
    Tractor
    2003 Kubota BX1500/2004 Kubota Bx23/2005 Kubota BX1500

    Default Re: Rear Ballast Gentlemen, Rear Ballast

    Quote Originally Posted by lawn_king View Post
    If you do a lot of loader work without a counter weight not only do you put excessive wear & tear on the front axle, you can say goodbye to your front axle seals. Its also a good way to lay your machine on its side!
    It's also a good way to flip it over forward.
    Tractors 2003 Kubota BX1500 / 2004 Kubota Bx23 / 2005 Kubota BX1500.
    Attachments 60'' Front Blade/48'' Rear Tiller/FEL/Back Hoe /
    60'' MMM/Clamp on Forks/48'' MMM
    South of Canton Ohio L .B

  6. #6
    Veteran Member lawn_king's Avatar
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    Hanover massachusetts
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    kubota L 3540 hsdc,B 2320 hsdc & lots of other stuff!

    Default Re: Rear Ballast Gentlemen, Rear Ballast

    Quote Originally Posted by LBrown59 View Post
    It's also a good way to flip it over forward.
    Agreed! Over foward, over left or right or even backwards, over is not good!
    We have done so much, for so long,with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing!

  7. #7
    Veteran Member General Lee's Avatar
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    Kubota, L4400, BX1870

    Default Re: Rear Ballast Gentlemen, Rear Ballast

    Quote Originally Posted by lawn_king View Post
    Agreed! Over foward, over left or right or even backwards, over is not good!
    Well, I left this part out of my original post when I started the thread, but figured I'll share what happened.

    The day I was working without rear ballast, I almost tipped over sideways. I was attempting to uproot a group of small trees (4 of them close together). I cut them down leaving about 2-3 feet to have something to push the FEL against. I had dug down on one side of them but the other side I could only access from a hillside. They weren't budging much so I decided to try them on the hillside. I came at them facing straight forward down hill. I'm plucking and pushing, meanwhile the tractor is bouncing around slowly working itself sideways on the hill. I was aware of this but figured just take it easy. Well, the FEL lifted the front up and as I was trying to level it back out I didn't realize the bucket was on top of tree stubs. I made the wrong move with the joy stick and the right rear jacks up and the tractor starts to go over. I yelled OH **** and prepared myself for the ride. I just knew I was going over. I reacted by attempting to brake but missed the pedal and hit the forward pedal. This saved me, because the tractor lunged forward and came back on the ground. Shewww.....
    I drove back on level ground and called it quits. Next day I added rear ballast and attacked the trees again from the same hillside. Within 2 minutes I had the root ball out. Go figure
    Kubota L4400 - Land pride rear scraper blade, 6 foot landscape rake, 72'' Frontier Box Blade, Land Pride 60'' finish mower, Land Pride Q/A pallet forks, County Line Carryall built to haul and loaded R-1's
    Kubota RTV500
    Kubota BX1870

    Previous Tractors: 1978 B7100, 2009 B3200

  8. #8
    Super Star Member
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    Aug 2001
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    12,099
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    Upper Midwest USA
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    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Rear Ballast Gentlemen, Rear Ballast

    Quote Originally Posted by LBrown59 View Post
    It's also a good way to flip it over forward.
    That possibility puzzles me. With a FEL on, and load in the bucket (or on forks), my imagination doesn't compute a forward flip. Care to enlighten me?

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Timber's Avatar
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    East Bridgewater Massachusetts
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    Kubota B7800

    Default Re: Rear Ballast Gentlemen, Rear Ballast

    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    That possibility puzzles me. With a FEL on, and load in the bucket (or on forks), my imagination doesn't compute a forward flip. Care to enlighten me?
    Loader and fork operating have the same caution. Your front axle becomes a fulcrum. I have several fork lifts and Clamp trucks as well as my loader. Picking up wt is 1 thing but moving with wt is another. Stab the brake with a load and you will go right over forward. This is why you travel with the load near the ground. When your stacking, lifting or loading a trailer or truck you have to raise the load. All it takes is a jerky movement and you can knock a stack over on you, tip your tractor into your truck or trailer.
    Kubota B7800, Sundown Loader Forks, Landpride PHD, Sundown 66" Box Blade, 800 pound Ballast Drum with chain storage, ATI Grapple, 60" WR Long Diverter, Landpride Brush mower, 7' Landpride Rake,Manlift platform, Bucket mounted 6' Snow Plow, 3 point Cherry Picker, Subsoiler

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: Rear Ballast Gentlemen, Rear Ballast

    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    That possibility puzzles me. With a FEL on, and load in the bucket (or on forks), my imagination doesn't compute a forward flip. Care to enlighten me?
    "Flip" is to strong of a word. If the back end is not weighted correctly, when you lift the fully loaded front end loader up, the load may stay down and the rear wheels will go up. It would take a rather foolish and slow learning type person to not notice the back end going up and to continue to work the FEL controls until the tractor was doing a nose stand. I guess that if you were in 4wd and had nearly 100% of the total weight on the front tires only and had the loader fully up and you did something silly, it could teeter totter over and flip, but that would be pretty silly.

    In nearly all things tractor, more weight is better. The only counter activities are ones that are on ground you don't want disturbed. So mowing calls for a light machine, but all ground engaging activities (plow, disc, blade, etc), FEL or Backhoe call for a heavy machine. Old tractors like mine can have the weight of the attachments, tire fill, wheel weights and other ballast be 1.5 - 2X the weight of the tractor alone.

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