Farmers, highway departments, lawnmowers and property maintenance providers have long recognized the benefits of adding liquid ballast to the tires of their tractors. Water ballasting is a great way 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. In this article, we'll cover the basics of tractor ballast, the different ballast fluids available, a few different methods for filling
tractor tires, and how to fill them. The main reason for filling tractor tires with liquids such as water is to increase traction.
When the rear axle sinks to the ground due to the weight of the implement or traction force, the front of the tractor may have less traction power. To counteract this problem, water-ballasting the front tires is a good solution, since the rear implement is still proportional to the size of the tractor and its power. There are several other methods for adding ballast to your farm tractor that are just as effective, if not more effective than water. For example, on the road or when driving without tools, water ballast is not necessary and can cause additional fuel consumption.
When used at full strength on tires, it provides frost protection down to -20°F and weighs about the same per gallon as water. When it comes to filling tractor tires with liquid ballast, there are two main methods: filling with a mixture of water and antifreeze or filling with a specific fluid designed for ballasting. To fill with a mixture of water and antifreeze, you'll need to fill the tire with a mixture of water and antifreeze to ¾ of its height or until it is at valve level. Adjust the pressure of the remaining air volume.
The other option is to fill with a specific fluid designed for ballasting. This fluid is designed to provide frost protection down to -20°F and weighs about the same per gallon as water. It's important to note that when using this fluid, you'll need to adjust your tire pressure accordingly. When it comes to choosing which method is best for you, it really depends on your needs and climate.
For example, if you live in an area with cold winters, then using a specific fluid designed for ballasting may be your best option. However, if you live in an area with mild winters, then using a mixture of water and antifreeze may be more cost-effective. It's also important to note that when using either method, it's best to fill your tires for several months in a row in order to get maximum benefit from your ballast. This will ensure that your tractor has a correct load balance and that each tire applies an equivalent traction force to the ground.