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  1. #1
    Platinum Member Scotty Dive's Avatar
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    Default tire loading or 3pt ballast

    I have ordered up a set of turf tires for my 2020D with FEL. I have a pretty significant hilly portion on my property and will also be using my tractor on the lawn and plowing snow in the winter with a back blade. I plan on getting chains for the rear tires.

    Would appreciate thoughts about loading the tires versus building me a 3pt ballast drum with cement.

    The turf tires filled 75% with Rim guard will add 331 #'s per tire. I have a plastic 55 gallon drum that I can fill with cement and hang from the 3pt. My calculations show that the drum would weigh in around 800 #'s.

    The other concern I have is it that I am keeping my ag's in case I need the aggresive tire when working in the more sloppy areas of the property. Not sure I can handle swapping out the turf tire with that much weight.
    Thanks,

    Scotty Dive
    Yanmar YM2020D "Git er Done Too"
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  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: tire loading or 3pt ballast

    I see loaded tires as a complement to a heavy rear implement for loader use, not a replacement. When you have a load in the bucket, you have effectively created a see-saw with the front axle as the fulcrum. Loading the rear tires keeps the back end on the ground, but presses the front axle down with twice the load that is required to hold down the back.

    If you put a heavy load on the 3 point, you drastically reduce the load on the front axle, because you're moving the fulcrum toward the rear tires, rather than the front. This reduces front axle stress, allows for much easier steering, and gives you much better traction. Even with 4wd, minimizing front axle strain is only better for the tractor.

    Since you also want to change the tires out, I would suggest going with something heavy on the back end of the tractor. If you just have a scraper blade rather than a box blade, you could maybe devise a bracket that bolts onto the scraper frame that holds ballast. I have seen the concrete boxes before, and understand the shorter overall length being attractive, but I'd rather have another tool out back, as opposed to an otherwise useless lump. I have suitcase weights that I hang off my scraper blade. It makes the blade work better, and gives me the ballast I need, which seems like a win-win to me.

    It's pretty obvious what my bias is, I think. I'm defaulting on the side of reducing stress on the tractor and making it easier to drive. There are many threads on building weight boxes; if you're going to do that make sure to put an area to carry chains or straps, and some PVC pipe to hold shovels, rakes, or other hand implements, and maybe a chainsaw. Putting a receiver hitch, or at least an attachment point for a towstrap seems like a good plan too.

    I'm pretty strong, but there is no way I would (or could, really) handle rear turf tires that are loaded to change on and off without a significant mechanical aid. They are just too heavy, and once they start to tip over, one guy cannot catch them. If you're going to do it, an engine lift or something equivalent seems like a necessity to me. One problem is maneuvering the tire around and keeping it upright, too. I would want a rack of some sort to keep the tires upright in storage. They are too dangerously heavy to be tipping over onto boards or something, in my view.

    One tip, if you're going to change them out yourself, would be to put a wheel stud into one bolt hole on each hub. Having a stud gives you a target to "catch" the rim with and then work around to align things properly. Even if the height isn't quite perfect, you can get the stud into another bolt hole on the rim, then manipulate the jack or tire to get the remainder of the holes aligned. One per side is all that's necessary.

    If you're worried about traction and need more weight on the tires than your ballast box/scraper allows, I would put on say 4 studs per hub, then build a spool with a short piece of weightlifting bar welded to a plate with a matching bolt pattern. After your wheel is mounted, the extra length of the studs would fit through the plate on your spool, then fastened with nuts. Install weights in whatever manageable increments (probably 35 or 45lbs at a time) until you're happy, then lock it on with two of whatever retention system the weight bar came with. You should be able to safely add an extra 135 lbs or more per tire that way, and it would be simple and safe for one guy to do by himself.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
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    Default Re: tire loading or 3pt ballast

    Quote Originally Posted by 284 International View Post
    I see loaded tires as a complement to a heavy rear implement for loader use, not a replacement...
    Exactly...filled tires for stability, 3PH ballast for loader work.
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

  4. #4
    Silver Member shawnjvl's Avatar
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    YM2000, JD LA120

    Default Re: tire loading or 3pt ballast

    [QUOTE=If you're worried about traction and need more weight on the tires than your ballast box/scraper allows, I would put on say 4 studs per hub, then build a spool with a short piece of weightlifting bar welded to a plate with a matching bolt pattern. After your wheel is mounted, the extra length of the studs would fit through the plate on your spool, then fastened with nuts. Install weights in whatever manageable increments (probably 35 or 45lbs at a time) until you're happy, then lock it on with two of whatever retention system the weight bar came with. You should be able to safely add an extra 135 lbs or more per tire that way, and it would be simple and safe for one guy to do by himself.[/QUOTE]

    Walmart.com: Marcy 2-lb. Grip MAX Standard Plate: Exercise & Fitness

    I have seriously looked at this myself, Wally world has 50lb plates for $34.00 each free site to store shipping.
    Don't forget you could add tire chains on the turfs when it gets sloppy.

  5. #5
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: tire loading or 3pt ballast

    keep the tire upright.. they roll easilly. i have swapped 13.6-28 and 14.9-28 and even 16.9-24's that are loaded. just be safe.. plan your path and have something to lean them against.. and.. IF they start to go.. let them go.. you can always jack them back up or get a friend to help.. not worth being crushed under one.

    water weight alone on the tires Imention is 360#, 442, and 509#.. not counting the tire, rim, and ballast..

    soundguy

  6. #6
    Elite Member Car Doc's Avatar
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    Default Re: tire loading or 3pt ballast

    I thought this thru also last year and I went with rear wheel weights I built myself out of giant harmonic balancers.

    I can take them off when and if I feel the need (with a cherry picker) and I can handle my tires easier if I need to take them off someday.

    Plus I wasn't too keen on the very real possibility of a flat sometime givin the nail ridden garden property I have and then having all that ballast to deal with. as always ymmv
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -balancer-mods-066-800x600-jpg  
    Last edited by Car Doc; 05-11-2011 at 02:37 PM. Reason: added pic

  7. #7
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: tire loading or 3pt ballast

    i cast some bumper weights out of concrete a while back.. been toying with the idea of using an old tire to cast some wheel weights as well... might have to play this summer.. .. still got a few bags of sakrete left...

    soundguy

  8. #8
    Platinum Member Scotty Dive's Avatar
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    Default Re: tire loading or 3pt ballast

    Wow....great feedback.... and 284 - thanks for making me better understand the geometry. I like your ideas of the suitcase weights and the stud addition.


    I have more thinking to do.....is there a good source for suitcase weights?

    I also think I may install the chains on the turf while using them in the dirt. I keep them on all year long my smaller 12 hp gas tractor with good results in loose soil
    Thanks,

    Scotty Dive
    Yanmar YM2020D "Git er Done Too"
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  9. #9
    Super Member California's Avatar
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    Default Re: tire loading or 3pt ballast

    Quote Originally Posted by Soundguy View Post
    .. still got a few bags of sakrete left...
    My mostly off-topic contribution to the topic :

    I see people work elaborate math to figure the weight of an odd 3-dimensional shape they will fill for ballast, such as filling an old small tire. There are lots of threads on here that include this. Simpler to just read the label on the sakcrete. It tells you the weight! No calculations needed beyond maybe estimating a precise half-bag etc of sakrete.

    And as several have said weight on the rear tires, especially iron weights mounted flush to the outer edges, is the best thing you can do for side to side rollover stability. Get a ROPS too!

    But for counterbalanceing a loader - the farther you move weight back, the better it works. Here's one of my early attempts before I bought a box blade (which still needs ballast added).

    I started with a couple more piers at the back of the mower but that was too much, the pressure relief valve squealed when I went over bumps. Here it's the leverage rather than absolute weight that provides the counterbalance. And be sure to get all the slack out of the 3-point sway chains.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: tire loading or 3pt ballast

    I've changed a 2/3 filled 14.9-28 tire on my IH 464. I never want to do it again. Lifting the tire is impossible, so it has to be precisely aligned onto the centering hub. Then, the bolt holes have to align perfectly. I was having to do it in a field, so it wasn't smooth. The hub has to be spun to line the lug bolt holes up with the holes on the rim, which isn't possible while holding the tire too. My rims are very highly offset, so the only way to get the tire under the hub is to tilt it back. At 6'6 and 260 lbs, I was pushing as hard as I could to keep it from falling onto me while tilted sufficiently to get underneath the hub. I had a strap run through the rim onto a loader bucket to keep it from falling all the way if I lost control, but it was still one of the dumber things I've done.

    Rolling a 600 lb tire through knee high grass that's been partly disked is not easy. Again, I was pushing as hard as I could to even budge the thing. I couldn't roll it up the slight (imperceptible on foot) incline. On smooth asphalt or concrete it's likely better. Soundguy isn't wrong in my opinion, but there's no way I'd try to change them without a safety to catch the tire when it falls.

    I love California's simple solutions to otherwise complex problems: Rather than trying to calculate the volume of an irregular torus, just count bags of concrete, and maybe guesstimate how much water you used in the admix.

    Car Doc's harmonic balancer wheel weights are awesome, if you haven't seen the photographs. I wish I had some of those balancers.

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