Tractor tires are often filled with liquid ballast 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. There are several options for filling tractor tires, including calcium chloride, water, foam, and windshield washer fluid. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to consider the climate of the region in which your tractor operates and the type of work you will be doing with it. Calcium chloride is a popular choice for filling tractor tires due to its dense, widely available, and competitively priced nature.
However, it is highly corrosive and must be used with air tubes to protect the steel wheels from corrosion. It is also freeze-resistant to minus 58 F and weighs 11.3 pounds per gallon, making it a good choice for getting the most weight out of your tractor. If a tire breaks that causes a liquid ballast to leak, the salt is not toxic to animals, but it can damage any plant that grows on the affected soil. Water is another option for filling tractor tires.
It will increase traction of the rear tires and reduce the center of gravity. However, water can freeze in cold climates and cause ice blocks in the tire that make it look like you have a flat tire. When the ice expands, it can push the tire out of the tire. Foam is a viable option for filling tractor tires, but it is expensive and has some drawbacks.
The foam padding weighs up to 50% more than water by volume and gives you a tire that won't flat, which is sure to affect the “ride quality” of your tractor. You'll need to cut the wheel rim or buy new wheels when you want to change them, so be sure to foam new or nearly new tires for the longest tread life. Foaming your tires also means that you can't adjust tire pressure or footprint. Windshield washer fluid is another option for filling tractor tires. It is not as dense as calcium chloride or water, so it limits the amount of weight you can add to your tractor.
However, it is not corrosive and won't freeze in cold climates. Wheel weights are counterweighted plates mounted on a tractor tire that can help reduce its center of gravity if driving on a slope. Rim Guard has a handy tire size chart that shows you how many gallons you should put on your tire, just remember that the chart shows the weight of your product, so calculate the product you use based on pounds per gallon. When choosing which liquid ballast to fill your