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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Mar 2010
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    Blue, Texas
    Tractor
    Branson 2910i

    Default Operating loader without rear ballast

    Hey there,
    I'm a relatively new owner of a Branson 2910i with 4wd and a BL-20 loader I just had installed. I was recently talking with my brother, who has a John Deere of similar size. A dealer told him he shouldn't operate his loader without some sort of ballast on the rear, as it will ruin the front end (bearings?). I understand the need for rear weight for trying to life anything heavy, but never thought about the other issue. Can anybody fill me in on this?

    Thanks alot.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
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    634

    Default Re: Operating loader without rear ballast

    Quote Originally Posted by RonnieB2 View Post
    Can anybody fill me in on this?
    Without enough weight on the rear of the tractor, every time you pick something up with the FEL you are in effect trying to tip the tractor forward and stand it up on the front axle -- meaning the front axle is carrying the entire weight of the tractor AND the load in the FEL. Whether this causes damage in the near- or long-term is dependent on about 87 different factors.

    For this reason, suitable ballast at or behind the rear axle is needed. Filled tires and/or a heavy implement (such as a ballast box) are the solution(s).

    Wrooster

    (*) By the way, if you ever do find yourself in a situation with the rear wheels of the tractor off the ground (TPH ballasted or not) -- do not let go of the steering wheel unless you really like excitement...

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Trivoli, IL
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    SSTT (Sideways Snake Tain Tractor) and STB (sideways train box) tractor, dirt harvester

    Default Re: Operating loader without rear ballast

    tetter totter effect.

    no ballast on rear = front tires. will end up seeing more weight being placed on them.

    when there is more weight on rear. the "fulcrum point" changes. below the tetter totter errr on the tractor. further back towards rear wheels. other words. if you added a huge amount of weight on rear end of tractor. the tractor would end up doing a "wheelie" were front tires come off the ground. *been there done that* disc, and bush hog i have for the old allis chalmers tractor will get front end to want to easily come off the ground.

    your "MANUAL" for tractor / FEL should state approx how much weight to add to rear of tractor. when doing FEL work. so the correct ratio of weight on front tires and rear tires is placed. and help prevent flipping tractor backwards doing a wheelie. or prevent doing a front wheelie.

    a heavy 3pt hitch implement, such as a box blade, rear blade, bush hog. etc... many folks have used as rear ballast weight. if tractor is more dedicated and/or you will be maneuvering in ugly sharp small areas. a rear 3pt hitch ballast box can help reduce how much sticks out behind the tractor.

    many folks fill rear tires with a fluid. rear tires with fluid adds weight, and the added weight is not placed on the axle. the added weight is also lower on tractor, and helps lower "COG" (center of gravity). and can help deal with tilting (working tractor on hills). be careful some fluids can be toxic, if they leak, some fluids can rust the rim out. it is normally not that expensive, to get a "tube" installed. tube might help prevent a leak from a thorn or nail as well. due to some extra thickness of rubber thorn or nail has to stick through.

    some folks go with rear wheel weights. they bolt onto the rim / rear axle.

    one of the regular maintenance things. more so when ya know you will be doing FEL (front end loader) work. is verifying you have front wheels PSI up to were it needs to be. to low PSI in front wheels, and risk running the tire right off the rim.
    Ryan

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor k0ua's Avatar
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    Branson, Mo.
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    Kioti DK35se Hydrostat

    Default Re: Operating loader without rear ballast

    Pretty much what everyone else has said. Get proper ballast before you pick up anything with the FEL. Even picking up the empty bucket and traveling with it high in the air (always a no no) can be scary. Some dealers will not let a tractor with a loader out of their dealership without having proper ballast (box or implement) on the rear. As others have said, filling tires or weights is also recommended for the times when the loader is off and a heavy rear implement is on the 3pt. This will aid traction, and also stability. I made it a point when I got my last new tractor off of the truck, without any 3pt ballast, to go over to the gravel pile and scoop up a load.. talk about scary even with loaded tires.. You need that ballast for sure.. I see newbies on you tube all the time trying to use their loader without ballast, and it just scares the he77 out of me!. And then they take off with the loader bucket up higher than the hood.. No wonder so many of tip overs occur in the first few days of tractor ownership. We see and hear about them here on this forum all the time.. But if you want tip over trouble, just don't put anything on the 3pt, get a big scoop of something heavy and drive around with it on uneven ground with the bucket as high as can get it. Be safe out there.

    James K0UA
    James K0UA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner NRA Life Member How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN .


  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    New Holland Boomer 50

    Default Re: Operating loader without rear ballast

    It should be said that loading the rear tires, while improving some things, does not reduce the load put on the front axles. For ballast to achieve that goal, it must be behind the rear axle. It must, in effect, attempt to wheelie the tractor. Only that effect is reducing load on the front axles.

    xtn

  6. #6
    Silver Member
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    Love, VA
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    Kubota B7100 HST 4WD

    Default Re: Operating loader without rear ballast

    Quote Originally Posted by xtn View Post
    It should be said that loading the rear tires, while improving some things, does not reduce the load put on the front axles. For ballast to achieve that goal, it must be behind the rear axle. It must, in effect, attempt to wheelie the tractor. Only that effect is reducing load on the front axles.

    xtn
    Agreed- the same amount of weight is bearing on the front end. If the front bearings won't handle the load, then the tractor shouldn't have a loader on it. No sense in paying hard earned money for something that isn't designed to do the job that it is designed to do, or something to that effect.
    My dad has a New Holland 3930 with a loader. The rear tires are loaded, but that's it. We've never needed ballast, and wouldn't use it because it would increase the length of the tractor.
    "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ..." Romans 1:16
    Kubota B7100 HST 4WD
    94 Dodge Ram 2500 CTD

  7. #7
    Gold Member
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    Omaha, Ne
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    New Holland 1520

    Default Re: Operating loader without rear ballast

    to say nothing about the pucker factor when it wants to roll over on you. (this is the short version of all said above)

  8. #8
    Platinum Member BIG DOOLEY's Avatar
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    JOHN DEERE 2320

    Default Re: Operating loader without rear ballast

    Try driving down hill and stopping or backing up grade without balast with the FEL attached.
    Its a treat
    Weight behind the rear axle is great!
    2012 JD 2320, HOMEMADE CANOPY, 54" FRONT BLADE, 54" MID DECK MOWER, HYDRAULIC ANGLE 60" REAR BLADE, QUICK HITCH, STAINLESS FRONT MOUNT SPRAY TANK W/BOOM, 200CX LOADER W/ 61" BUCKET, HOMEMADE BALLAST BOX,HOMEMADE BUCKET GRAPPLE
    1998 "BIG DOOLEY" Chevy K3500 Crew Cab (36.000 miles & counting)

    United Steel Workers Union 12934

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor k0ua's Avatar
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    Branson, Mo.
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    Kioti DK35se Hydrostat

    Default Re: Operating loader without rear ballast

    Quote Originally Posted by BIG DOOLEY View Post
    Try driving down hill and stopping or backing up grade without balast with the FEL attached.
    Its a treat
    Weight behind the rear axle is great!
    That going down hill can get pretty "sporty" real quick.

    James K0UA
    James K0UA

    Kioti DK35se hydrostat with 2 QA buckets, 48 inch. King Kutter Rotary Cutter. 750 lbs ballast box. Loaded tires, Construction Attachments SSQA Lightweight Pallet forks. EA 50 inch single lid "wicked" Grapple. Satisfied Everlast PA160 welder owner NRA Life Member How to add a link to a post . Best way to search TBN .


  10. #10
    Veteran Member Deere Dude's Avatar
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    Hohenwald, TN
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    John Deere 3720

    Default Re: Operating loader without rear ballast

    Quote Originally Posted by RonnieB2 View Post
    Hey there,
    A dealer told him he shouldn't operate his loader without some sort of ballast on the rear, as it will ruin the front end (bearings?).
    Thanks alot.
    One thing to consider also, look at the size of the front end and then look how beefy the rear end is. If the rear is properly loaded with a ballast box and weight box and maybe even wheel weights, the rear end will be planted even harder and do most of the work then. You want the read end to handle the bulk of the pushing and straining. With all the weight in and on the rear end you shouldn't wreck any bearing in the front.
    JD 3720 with R4s and bulldozer capabilities.
    X740

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