Tractor tires are often filled with liquids, such as water, for three main reasons: to increase traction, reduce the center of gravity, and prevent the rear tires from lifting off the ground when lifting heavy objects or adding bucket loaders and other accessories to the front of the tractor. This practice has been used since tractors began using tires and is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve tractor stability and traction. When a tractor has a balanced load, each tire applies an equal amount of traction force to the ground. Adding liquid ballast to the tires can help achieve this balance.
Foam padding can also be used as a ballast, but it weighs up to 50% more than water by volume and affects the “ride quality” of the tractor. Additionally, foam padding does not allow for tire pressure or footprint adjustment and can freeze at relatively warm temperatures (32 degrees F), leading to the risk of ice expanding and pushing the tire out of the wheel. Ballast in
tractor tires, whether in liquid or steel wheel weights form, provides better traction on the rear wheels, reduces the center of gravity, and moves it back to the rear. This is especially beneficial when using bucket loaders or other implements on the front of the tractor.
However, there are some drawbacks to using liquid ballast. It takes 2-3 hours to fill the tires and another 2 hours to empty them. Additionally, it is important to follow the recommended pressure and ballast settings found in the tractor manual in order to get optimal performance from your tractor and avoid voiding warranties. In conclusion, filling
tractor tireswith liquid is an effective way to improve traction, reduce center of gravity, and prevent rear tires from lifting off the ground when lifting heavy objects or adding implements to the front of the tractor.
It is important to follow manufacturer instructions for optimal performance and warranty protection.