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  1. #1
    Super Member California's Avatar
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    Sonoma County
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    Yanmar YM240, YM186D, and another YM186D

    Default How much wheel ballast is too much?

    I just brought home a new (to me) little Yanmar YM186D. The manual says it weighs 1535 lbs (plus maybe 400 lbs?? for the loader that's on it).

    It needs rear ballast; its so nose heavy that in 2wd it will hardly back uphill on soft ground.

    I have four 77 lb wheel weights that I could make fit on the rear wheels. Possibly one outer and one inner on each side. Plus loading the rear tires with water would be another 100 lbs per side. (don't need antifreeze here).

    How heavy can I go before operation is sluggish pulling too much weight? Any way this could damage the tractor?

    Here's a photo where I wedged a weight in place temporarily to verify I can make it fit. At 17" diameter on 16" rims it just fits in the bead portion of the rim.

    The bolt circle diameter is larger than the tractor rim's holes for weights. But since the weight's holes are slotted, running the bolts angled should still work. If I decide on double weights (inner/outer) I will bend some threaded rod to go down through the wheel and beyond to the inner weight. Has anyone done this?


    Any advice?

    -p1730884rym186d2sample77lbweights-jpg

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2011
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    Fanning Springs, Gilchirst County, North-Central Florida
    Tractor
    Kubota Tractor Loader L3560 HST 37-hp / 5,400 pounds

    Default Re: How much wheel ballast is too much?

    TractorData.com says the Yanmar 186D was produced 1980 - 1986, so your little tractor is at least 27 years old.

    When new it had 18-horsepower. How much horsepower does engine generate after 27-33 years of use? 14 ? 15 ?

    Maybe you should use the 186D on flat land where the 3-Pt. hitch will transfer implement weight to the wheels.

    Use the YM240 on hills.

    If you MUST rear weight:

    Partially filling the rear tires adds stability. Weighting the wheels, higher, does little for stability. Especially if an employee will operate it, go for partially filled rear tires rather than iron wheel weights.
    Last edited by jeff9366; 11-10-2013 at 04:59 PM.

  3. #3
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Bismarck Arkansas
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    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: How much wheel ballast is too much?

    You should fill the tires to 70-75% full (valve core at TDC and fill till water comes out. I wouldn't partially fill a tire that might cause sloshing around. I also wouldn't try to put a weight inside the rim. Just stack it on to the first one if needed. You only need enough weight to prevent wheel slippage or counteract the FEL weight. YOU need to have some counterweight on the 3 PH so it counterbalances the FEL weight. While rear wheel weights will keep the wheels on the ground for traction, they do nothing to help remove weight from the front axle but will cause even more weight transfer if you pick up heavier loads because you wont feel the rear getting light so you think you are ok.
    Best combination is 75% filled rear tires and heavy equipment like bushhog or tiller on the rear (or ballast box).
    I have never had a sensation of weight stalling a tractor. It takes very little energy to spin that weight on the rim when it is a balanced load so keep it centered on the axle.
    I would think that filled rear tires and one of those bigger wheel weights would be more than enough or perhaps just filled tires might be plenty. I would try it with just water in the rear and if more weight is needed, then add one weight to each rear tire. The weights should be made so you bolt the first weight to the tractor rim then subsequent weights are bolted to the previous weight. I have seen them with up to 10 weights on each wheel.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Southern California
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    International Harvester 284, Yanmar 1401D, Yanmar 240, and others...many others...

    Default Re: How much wheel ballast is too much?

    I bet it will feel sluggish no matter what based on my YM186D, but I don't think that it will make the tractor less useful. You will be able to put about 150 more pounds in ballast on the rear tires compared to mine, and with a loader I bet it will be well worth the effort to ballast the rear as heavily as possible. My YM1401D has the same engine as the YM186; with the loader it is approximately equal in weight to the bare 186D in my estimation, but I keep the 1401D unballasted because I worry the additional pushing force would bend or break something on the loader frame or engine casting. I don't have any empirical evidence this would happen, but the loader frame is not especially strongly built where the brunt of force is taken on my machine.

    I do know that the couple hundred extra pounds the ballasted 186D has over the 1401D gives significantly more pulling/pushing force. Were it me I would put the cast iron weights on first and experiment, then try adding liquid to the tires. My experience is, and the literature supports it, that 150 lbs of ballast on the wheels is superior to 150 lbs of liquid ballast, because the tire is more compliant and flexible. Then, if more ballast is needed, add water to the tires until you are satisfied or at capacity.

    I don't think the extra weight will hurt your power to weight ratio more than it adds productivity in loader work.

    I like the idea of bending a piece of all-thread and cinching the weights together onto the wheel.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    Fairmont, WV
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    Mahindra 4035HST purchased 2013 - John Deere 42" Geardrive w/bagger purchased 2012 - Craftsman 42" HST purchased 2006

    Default Re: How much wheel ballast is too much?

    Doesn't matter what it is, it produces X amount of power and every pound you add, adds to the sluggishness of whatever it is... The key is finding a good working balance between weight, traction, and the tasks you need to perform.

    As was stated above, for FEL work, you want weight behind the rear axle to pivot weight from the front to the rear and reduce wear damage to front axle and steering components.

    Wear from adding weight is unavoidable. You are constantly operating the machine in a state of load. But, when transforming a machine from something unable to do the needed tasks into something able, such sacrifices need to be made. Where it creates wear on some things, it prevents wear on others. It all balances out in the end and when the machine is doing the needed tasks, any sacrifice pays for itself.

    I have to weigh down everything I own or I can go nowhere, the benefits of having weight outweigh the consequences of not.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    Ford 3400, Gizmow ZTR, Simplicity 7116H

    Default Re: How much wheel ballast is too much?

    Quote Originally Posted by California View Post
    I just brought home a new (to me) little Yanmar YM186D. The manual says it weighs 1535 lbs (plus maybe 400 lbs?? for the loader that's on it).

    It needs rear ballast; its so nose heavy that in 2wd it will hardly back uphill on soft ground.

    I have four 77 lb wheel weights that I could make fit on the rear wheels. Possibly one outer and one inner on each side. Plus loading the rear tires with water would be another 100 lbs per side. (don't need antifreeze here).

    How heavy can I go before operation is sluggish pulling too much weight? Any way this could damage the tractor?

    Here's a photo where I wedged a weight in place temporarily to verify I can make it fit. At 17" diameter on 16" rims it just fits in the bead portion of the rim.

    The bolt circle diameter is larger than the tractor rim's holes for weights. But since the weight's holes are slotted, running the bolts angled should still work. If I decide on double weights (inner/outer) I will bend some threaded rod to go down through the wheel and beyond to the inner weight. Has anyone done this?


    Any advice?

    -p1730884rym186d2sample77lbweights-jpg
    I would go the most I could without overloading the axle. Do you know what the axle weight limit is?
    Vets helping Vets: Veterans Benefit Network - http://vets.yuku.com/

  7. #7
    Gold Member stormpetrel's Avatar
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    Block Island R.I.
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    ym2210D

    Default Re: How much wheel ballast is too much?

    Why not fabricate yourself a rear-mounted counterweight?

  8. #8
    Super Member California's Avatar
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    Yanmar YM240, YM186D, and another YM186D

    Default Re: How much wheel ballast is too much?

    Thanks guys, all good ideas.

    I should have made clear this is my second YM186D. Since 2009 I've had one without loader. It has a 75 lb weight on each rear wheel and loaded rear tires, about 100 lbs each. (thread with photos). Plus it has 240 lbs of weights on the front. (photo)

    That first YM186D fits under the orchard trees so much better than the YM240 that I've retired the YM240 to nearly only backhoe work. Photo. If I can ever find the small backhoe originally sold with YM186 then this new YM186D with loader and power steering can take the place of both the 2wd YM240 and the non-loader YM186D. (neither has power steering). It's not quite a match for YM240 in pulling power (18 hp vs 24) but its 4wd makes up some of that gap, and the ability to make a shortcut across orchard rows where headspace is limited makes a big difference in getting things done. Also with Powershift on the YM186D, shifting is just a tug on the lever same as a car's A/T, keeping moving without losing inertia contrasted to the YM240 where I stop (standstill) and shift seemingly every 200 ft all day as the slope changes. See the photo linked at the end of the first paragraph!

    The first YM186D dyno tested over its rated hp when I bought it used in 2009. This new one with loader may be a little less, as would be expected after 30 years, but it feels the same as the first one. I think I can carry more weight before its sluggish but I have no idea where that limit is.

    Weight bolted to wheels has no effect on wheel bearing capacity but of course ballast farther back loads the bearings and axles. The 3-point is rated about 650 lbs measured 24" back, but its not clear if weight approaching that limit continually is a good idea. At any rate I want to ballast for discing (as well as to offset the loader) so I want wheel weights at least matching what's on the non-loader tractor. And probably more, so that the loader is usable without hitching up a weight box. One final consideration, the Operator Manual recommends iron weights in preference over loaded tires, for maximum traction/pulling power. This was the reason I was thinking double iron weights then loaded tires only if needed. Maybe iron wheel weights then a weight box for loader work will be the best combination.

    All comments appreciated!
    Last edited by California; 11-10-2013 at 11:28 PM. Reason: More clearly expressed, hopefully. Same content.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    International Harvester 284, Yanmar 1401D, Yanmar 240, and others...many others...

    Default Re: How much wheel ballast is too much?

    I debated building a ballast box for my 1401D, but decided against it. I found a stack of plate weights similar or identical to what you have on the ground for free, but the guy unfortunately didn't have the center rod with pin holes. I am going to mount longitudinal plates in probably three places across my small (48") box blade and then weld a couple pieces of vertical tubing onto the plates. My weights will then slide onto the box blade and increase its mass, provide better ballast, and improve the functionality of the box blade without inhibiting its use like slipping suitcase weights over the side plates does.

    My weights are 10 lbs apiece, so I'll probably set 7 of them onto each plate. I currently use 6 of the 44 lbs John Deere/Yanmar style weights on the side plates, and under a very few conditions they are just barely too heavy, so the 55 or so pounds off the blade will put me right where I want to be with the 250- 300ish pound box blade. It doesn't really take up more room than a simple weight box except for width, but gives a multi-purpose implement on the back, rather than than an extraordinarily heavy caddy for a couple hand tools and a length of chain. I think I'll weld a couple brackets on to hold a shovel and rake, an ammo can for a tool box, and so forth. Something similar may be viable for you in terms of loader work.

    I'm very interested to hear your comparison between the YM240 and this new machine in disking the orchard. The heavy loader and even more tire ballast than mine has will surely give you more traction, but I also remember you saying that even the gutsy 240 had a hard time pulling uphill in your conditions. My 186 is underpowered for its traction, but I've always felt like this one is less powerful than it should be, in spite of running smoothly, without smoke, and firing up easily at any temperature. I'm curious to see how it works for you with several hundred pounds more onboard than mine. I generally have to use 1st gear/middle range and sometimes can use 2nd gear/middle range, which are both a little slow for ideal operation, but 3rd/middle is too much higher, even though it is nearer the ideal speed.

    Either way, I'd put all the iron weights on the wheels you can. If it won't physically pull the load you need, nothing else matters, and letting the larger diameter rear tires engage the ground more is much better than the front tires churning a deeper ditch you have to push through. When the rears are doing most of the work, the tractors just seem to work better. Luckily you have a similar machine to use a baseline for what you can do. Unless you're using the tractor to dig big holes or ram stumps over, the extra weight on the back tires likely won't increase the wear or breakage factor on anything, and abuse will wreck it anyway.

    I don't worry about running these engines at full RPM and load as long as the fans are in good shape and the radiator clean. With good air filters they'll never wear themselves in my hobby usage so long as they don't overheat, so any theoretical engine wear isn't a worry of mine. As you mentioned, the axles and bearings aren't loaded more heavily by wheel/tire ballast except torsionally, and traction on dirt limits it to thoroughly safe margins I imagine. For loader work unloading the front axle is always my main goal, so I put as much weight out back as I can manage. Even if it blows a seal, I'd rather pull the top cover and replace the O-ring than try to fix a front axle component. I also don't have to bounce around with a heavy implement on the back; my place is pretty smooth.

    I'm excited to see what you come up with to resolve your "problem" of putting your tractor to good work. I think I saw that one listed several weeks back; they aren't common in the state at all.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member Neat 1500's Avatar
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    Melbourne,Australia
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    Yanmar YM1500 Red & YM14 MkII

    Default Re: How much wheel ballast is too much?

    i just built a ballast box for my 1500 to keep it close and compact with the tractor as using a loaded carry-all or slasher was too big. it has 28 house bricks in it but it needs a little more, i am going to add another 6 or 8 to it which i think will be perfect.
    Paul YM1500 & YM14 MkII

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