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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Forest Ranch, CA
    Kubota L3540

    Default Loaded Tires - any down sides?

    I'm new to TBN and planning my first tractor purchase.

    Liquid ballast in the rear tires sounds like a good idea, especially if you pick the right fluid. But are there any down sides to the extra weight? Any operations that are more difficult or less safe with loaded rears?

    thanks a bunch,


  2. #2
    Veteran Member Treemonkey1000's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Renton, Washington
    Kubota L3750

    Default Re: Loaded Tires - any down sides?

    If you drive across soft yards it leaves imprints and tears up the grass if you have Ag tires on. Great traction for snow moving and that sort of stuff
    1st Peter 1:6-9

  3. #3
    Platinum Member bdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    John Deere 4440

    Default Re: Loaded Tires - any down sides?

    If you get a flat it is a big mess and more expensive to repair. That being said I wouldn't have a tractor without loaded tires. They help traction so much.
    1980 John Deere 4440 with duals
    2006 John Deere 322 compact track loader

  4. #4
    Gold Member Grayson Klassen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Fort St John, BC
    John Deere 4020

    Default Re: Loaded Tires - any down sides?

    I pushed a trememndous amount of snow this year and never chained up once.

    If checking air pressure in tires or adding air make sure stem is at the highest point.

    Oh and the flat thing, even just replacing tires costs more because they have to purge the liquid and put it back in once done
    Grayson Klassen
    Fort St John, BC, Canada

    JD148 FEL

  5. #5
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: Loaded Tires - any down sides?

    As noted, there are, but I load all our tires as the pros far outweigh the cons.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations:

  6. #6
    Elite Member gwdixon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Northern CA

    Default Re: Loaded Tires - any down sides?

    Forest Ranch probably doesn't get extended periods of freezing temperatures so that won't be a factor. The type of fluid can avoid this problem anyway.

    Some have complained about rim corrosion but it doesn't seem to be a major factor otherwise we would hear about it a lot more on TBN.

    You'll probably be looking for more weight for the rear if you have a FEL. Thinking that loaded rears will counterbalance that huge rock in your bucket may lead to overconfidence and some butt crimping.

    Welcome to the site.
    2009 Kubota M7040, R1s, LA1153 FEL, fork lift, 3 rear remotes, T&T
    2002 Kubota L48 TLB, 12", 18", 24" HD buckets
    2001 Kubota BX2200, Turf, LA211 FEL
    7.5' Howse 3PT disc, 88" Gearmore 4G4 box scraper, 4' box scraper, Gearmore GB85 blade, LandPride RCR2596 cutter, 6', 4' flail mowers, 6', 4' rototiller, 4' Bush Hog cutter, HD subsoiler, Bearcat 70554 chipper, Bush Hog PHD w/ 12", 6" augers, Ford 101 3-bottom plow, 8' land leveler, 6' rake, lots of misc.

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    central New York
    all makes and models

    Default Re: Loaded Tires - any down sides?

    The good and the bad,
    Liquid is the cheapest system. Cheaper then cast iron wheel weights.
    It is often used to counter balance the tractors same as cast or by using three point hitch weight.
    Often used for loader tractors.

    The Bad
    While doing field work work, testing was done with radial tires(they will give less traction) then with comparable cast weights. Never tested but I don't see why it would be different.
    With the facts of above ag tractors get 2,000 hours on loaded tires they will double the tire life to use cast ballast.
    You carry it all the time so it reduces drive train life and increases day to day fuel use.
    When you get a flat it costs more to fix.
    When and if you would like to go light, you might have to call someone to help remove it.
    After you have had a flat, you might never get the tractor the same weight from side to side. You will loose some fluid everytime.

    If you choose to go with cast wheel weights, you only buy them once.

  8. #8
    Gold Member dmay's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    2010 JD2320

    Default Re: Loaded Tires - any down sides?

    Quote Originally Posted by caspar3259 View Post
    I'm new to TBN and planning my first tractor purchase.

    Liquid ballast in the rear tires sounds like a good idea, especially if you pick the right fluid. But are there any down sides to the extra weight? Any operations that are more difficult or less safe with loaded rears?

    thanks a bunch,

    Welcome Jeff,

    It would help if you detailed what size of tractor you are planning to purchase and the primary uses. Personally I think when it comes to ballast the first question and answer should:

    Got a loader? Get a ballast box! Then when you need ballast, attatch. When you dont need ballast, remove.

    Whether you get your tires loaded depends on the primary role and size of the tractor. If your primary role involves ag or dirt work, load. If the primary role is finish mowing your lawn, don't load.

    JD2320, 200CX, 53" Bucket, 54" QH SnowBlower, iMatch, Ballast Box, LR1072, RC2048, GM3060, 647 Tiller, SS1023B

  9. #9
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Kubota L5030 HSTC, MF 5455

    Default Re: Loaded Tires - any down sides?

    The reason cast gives better traction with radials is because the fluid in the tire pushes down and outwards on the lower part of the tire and sidewall making a rounded profile. Cast helps load the tire squarely onto the ground.

    Also, small bumps are absorbed with air in the tire while with loading, it has to shove the liquid out of the lower half of the tire and there is a much smaller airspace making the tire stiffer for the same inflation pressure.

    You can really notice the ride difference with cacl as the tire is filled to over the rim to prevent rusting.

  10. #10
    Super Member JDgreen227's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Central Michigan
    4210 MFWD Ehydro--'89 JD 318

    Default Re: Loaded Tires - any down sides?

    Salesman offered to load the rear tires of my 4210 with FEL when I purchased it, I told him NO, PERIOD. He was concerned about stability mainly. 90% of my operating hours are mowing. Why would I want to drag around all that excess weight when I only needed the stability of loaded rear tires 3% of the time? I have MFWD and turfs, have NEVER wished for more traction in the rear more than twice in 900 hours of ownership. MY property is full of nails, didn't want the headache of having liquid weight in the rears to deal with if I ever got a puncture.

    My terrain is mostly flat, and all my serious rock and dirt moving is done. I have picked up the rear end once or twice trying to lift too much with the FEL but am smart enough not to do that again.

    Lots of variables to adding ballast, for me it was a no-brainer not to have it done. In the wintertime I install a 6 foot RB and that's all I need for rear weight.

    Lets see now, for 3% of my operating time with the safety of loaded tires, I get increased wear and fuel costs for the other 97%. But everybody's situation is different. Choose well after weighing the pros and cons.
    Rather than worry about the things you want but don't have, be grateful for the things you don't want and don't have.

    I didn't plan to do much of anything today, but by noon I was almost half done.

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