Tractor tires are an essential part of any farm or agricultural operation. They provide stability and traction, allowing tractors to perform a variety of tasks. To get the most out of your tractor, you need to make sure that the tires are properly ballasted. Ballasting is the process of adding a fluid or liquid to the tires to increase their weight and improve stability.
There are several different types of fluids that can be used for ballasting, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Polyurethane foam is one of the most popular options for ballasting tractor tires. It is injected into the tire in liquid form, but then hardens, increasing the weight of the ballast by up to 50 percent compared to normal weight. This makes it an ideal choice for those looking for maximum stability and traction.
However, it is important to note that foam padding can be expensive and may require professional installation. Calcium chloride was once the go-to liquid for ballasting tractor tires, but it is known to rust wheels over time. It is also highly corrosive and can damage any plants that come into contact with it. Despite these drawbacks, calcium chloride is still widely used due to its affordability and its ability to increase the weight of the ballast by up to 40 percent compared to running water.
Antifreeze is another option for ballasting tractor tires. It is freeze-resistant down to minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit and weighs 11.3 pounds per gallon, making it a good choice for those looking for maximum weight in their tractor tires. However, antifreeze is toxic to animals and can be attractive to them if it leaks from a broken tire. Windshield washer fluid is another option for ballasting tractor tires.
It is relatively inexpensive and weighs 7.6 pounds per gallon, making it a good choice for those looking for a lighter ballast. However, it does not provide as much weight as other options and may not be suitable for those looking for maximum stability and traction. The best way to fill tractor tires with any of these fluids is with a filling device, such as a liquid drum in the tractor bucket or a hose between two buckets. This allows you to rely on gravity to do the work for you and ensures that all of the liquid enters the tire safely and securely. Once all of the liquid has entered, you can put the valve core back on the stem and pressurize the tire to about 20 psi. When choosing a fluid for your tractor tires, it's important to consider your needs and budget.
Polyurethane foam provides maximum stability and traction but can be expensive, while calcium chloride is affordable but highly corrosive. Antifreeze provides freeze-resistance but can be toxic to animals, while windshield washer fluid is relatively inexpensive but does not provide as much weight as other options. No matter which fluid you choose, make sure that you use a filling device and pressurize the tire properly so that you get the most out of your investment in tractors.