BACKHOE VS BALLAST BOX

Brimfield

Silver Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2004
Messages
168
Location
Mass
Tractor
Kubota L 3800
I just added a log grapple to my L3800. I know I need good ballast to move log length. I have rim guard in the rear tires. Now the choice is ballast box with sand or B77 Backhoe. I would assume the backhoe would be better but how are the ballast boxes? Today I moved a large round to try out the grapple but the snow blower was not enough weight and the rear tires were spinning in sand.

Tractor wGrapple 050421.jpg
 

fried1765

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Jan 6, 2015
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9,083
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Northeast & FL
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Kubota L48 TLB, Ford 1920 FEL, 8N Ford, Gravely 12 HP "Professional", 48" SCAG Liberty
I just added a log grapple to my L3800. I know I need good ballast to move log length. I have rim guard in the rear tires. Now the choice is ballast box with sand or B77 Backhoe. I would assume the backhoe would be better but how are the ballast boxes? Today I moved a large round to try out the grapple but the snow blower was not enough weight and the rear tires were spinning in sand.

View attachment 697277
A backhoe is a good source of ballast weight (I use mine for that), but a ballast box allows for better maneuvering in tight spaces.
 

Berlock

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Mar 18, 2021
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11
Location
Tasmania, Australia
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GC1725M
In my experience with a backhoe ballast:
The backhoe has a lot of weight up high which can cause big, uncomfortable weight transfers in undulating terrain.
They’re also very long so they swing wide when turning. That’s annoying in the bush.
The advantage is that you can slew it to the uphill side on hill crossings for better stability.
 

TractorGuy

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Sep 15, 2013
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4,087
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N. FL
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John Deere 4310 CUT, Ford New Holland 575E Industrial Backhoe, John Deere F725 Front Mount Mower
The backhoe will raise the center of gravity and reduce the ground clearance. Go with added wheel weight and a 3pt ballast
 

check 6

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Sep 7, 2010
Messages
336
Location
South Texas
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B2601 ZD 1211 mower
I use a ballast box on my B2601 . I have modified it to hold garden tools. I use to have a box series with a backhoe and found it to be cumbersome and a little too heavy. Also I found the back home to be limited and required constant movement an set up to dig anything other than a stationary hole . After extensive research I have purschase a mini excavator which allows much more flexibility and retains the maneuverability of the tractor yes a larger over al, expense but over many years I have found combo tools like a tractor with back hoe less functional and flexible than specific tools for specific purposes
 

CoyPatton

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Poplar Bluff, MO
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Yanmar YM2002D with Koyker 110 FEL
If space is an issue, ditch the backhoe for ballast. Concrete will have more weigh than sand. You can buy pre-made metal boxes online in the $250.00 range empty. Some have tubes for tools.
Or you can YouTube search for ballast box and find 100’s if not 1000’s of homemade examples. The best part of building your own after the feel of I did it is with dome thought/preplanning, you get what best serves you. Overall size and shape being biggies. Incorporate the tool holders that fits your needs—chainsaw holder, chain holders, ax holder, and the lust is only limited by you.
 

BoylermanCT

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Apr 1, 2013
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Barkhamsted, CT
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Montana R2844, Hustler X-One
I try to keep the cheapest, heaviest and most durable ballast on the back of my tractor. My $150 John Deere ballast box weighs 900 lbs. I bought it used a couple of months ago and filled it up 2 weeks ago with the extra concrete from my barn floor pour. If I damage it, I'm not out much. If I damage my other ballast options - 700 lb rototiller, 900 lb chipper, 500 lb snowblower, I am out a lot more money.
 

DL Meisen

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A Little Bit West Of Yosemite NP
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MF GC1715
Don't have BH option, made a 600 (+/-) pound ballast box, measure 2x2x1 ft. and holds 4 cubic feet of concrete.... Smaller and more compact than a BH would be.... BUT if you have BH and its mounted it would work just fine, just remember the "bulk" behind you.

ballast-box-jpg.677107
 

4570Man

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Apr 7, 2015
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Crossville, TN
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Kubota M59, Kubota L3800, Grasshopper 428D, Topkick dump truck, 3500 dump truck, 10 ton trailer, more lighter trailers.
I assume you already have the backhoe? The backhoe has the big disadvantage of being in the way but it would take a very heavy ballast box to reach the same effect. The backhoe is already heavy to start with and the farther the weight hangs behind the rear axel the more effect it has. I’ve never used a BB because they’re useless for anything else. A box blade or backhoe or some other implement at least has other uses. Usually if I’m working in tight areas I’m not doing hard work and just drop the ballast entirely. Truth be told usually I loose the loader and use the rear implements for tight work. The loader adds considerably to the turning radius where the rear implement doesn’t have much effect.
 
Last edited:

mikester

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Aug 25, 2012
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1,270
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Canada
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M59 TLB
My BH is my absolute goto ballast for heavy loader work. Hardly ever need to use 4WD with the BH installed.
 
 
 
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