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 01-30-2003, 11:20 Post: 48413
DRankin



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 Why your John Deere Compact feels light in the rear end.

A must read, ballast numbers: Deere 4100 series, 870, 4200/4300/4400 series.

Some times it is good to review the owners manual on a regular basis.

Lately I have read several posts where folks with 790’s, 4100’s and other compact Deere tractors have commented about weight and balance and how the tractor feels “light” in the rear end.

Well it turns out Deere knows this too, and while I was reviewing the manual for my 410 loader, I found some real interesting ballast numbers.

First of all, if you have the tires on any of the above models set to minimum width and you are using the loader, liquid ballast in the rear tires is MANDATORY.

The following are the MINIMUM safe ballasting requirements for use with a loader according to John Deere.

4100 series/410 loader: six wheel weights (or liquid filled tires) + 3-pt ballast of 750 to 770 pounds depending on the type of tires. Total minimum necessary ballast …… 1130 pounds.

4200 series/420 loader: six wheel weights (or liquid filled tires) + 3-pt ballast of 550 to 660 pounds depending on the type of tires.

4300 and 4400 series/420 loader: six wheel weights (or liquid filled tires) + 3-pt ballast of 550 to 770 pounds depending on the type of tires.

870/420 loader: liquid filled tires + 3-pt ballast of 375 to 990 pounds depending on the type of tires and type of drive train.

Ballast box: Deere recommends a ballast box with an extension for all these models. They also say you can fill it with Portland cement and use it at a total weight of 1330 pounds.

Then (!) they say if your 4100 or 870 is to be used as a forklift or with a bale spear/fork you must ADD an additional 187 pounds of 3-pt ballast.

So here is how your 4100 HST series tractor should look if outfitted for SAFE LOADER WORK as outlined by John Deere:

Tractor………..1540#
Loader………...…600# (no firm number available)
Wheel wts. ……360#
Ballast box…1330#

Sub-total……….3830#

Now add:

Operator……….200# (that’s you, not me)
Load……...………600# (6cu. ft. of damp earth in smallest FEL bucket)
Can of Beverage…..1# (pick favorite)

Now when you back out of that dirt pile, your SAFELY CONFIGURED 1500-pound tractor and load weighs:

4,631 pounds.

Four thousand, six hundred and thirty one pounds.

Just thought you should know why your tractor feels a little light in the rear end.







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 01-30-2003, 17:24 Post: 48426
hardwood

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 Why your John Deere Compact feels light in the rear end.

Mark, I just read the manual to my 4310, and you're right they do recommend using calcium chloride as a liquid tire ballast. We used to use it in "M" Farmalls,etc. because it was cheaper than wheel weights, but if you ever got a slight leak it would eat up rims, rust the tube to the inside of the rim so bad you had to cut the tube in pieces and try to peel it off the inside of the rim. Back in the seventys sometime someone came along with another idea, they would pump small beads of lead into the tire like they did fluid, sounded like a good idea, but if I remember right it would wear the tire or tube out from the inside from the lead chips sliding around in the tire. Last I knew it was pretty hard to get a tire shop to pump fluid anymore, it's a real slimy mess.






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 01-30-2003, 18:10 Post: 48429
DICK-W



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 Why your John Deere Compact feels light in the rear end.

From what I have read, it seems that windshield washer fluid is the hot item for putting in tirs for liquid ballast.Wont eat up any metals,safe to use, easy to get, cheap and it smells good.






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 01-30-2003, 18:20 Post: 48431
marklugo



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 Why your John Deere Compact feels light in the rear end.

I've had problems several years ago with regular washer fluid deteriorating the rubber in the tubes. It ended up a gooey mess.






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 01-30-2003, 18:29 Post: 48432
dwg



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 Why your John Deere Compact feels light in the rear end.

I had some concrete left over from a wall so I filled my ball. box about 3/4 of the way full. I was originally worried it would weigh to much full -but as it worked out I like the 6-8 inchs of space between the conc and the top of the ball. box. Currently it has a chain, one or two wrenchs a couple of pop cans and some other "junk" in it. Make sure when you unhook it its in a nice level spot. Much easier to reattach.






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 01-30-2003, 19:44 Post: 48435
kay



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 Why your John Deere Compact feels light in the rear end.

I have the windshield washer fluid in the Deere 4330 tires as well as a full ballast box, which is easy to hook and unhook when using the I-match quicktach on the 3 pt. Had my carry-all retro-fitted to match the I-match and can now set off a load of firewood in the garage easily and quickly then go back to pick up the ballast box. Use the I-match top hook to carry my logging tongs, for easy retrieval of logs out of the woods for making firewood. Hey, this is FUN!






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 01-31-2003, 04:08 Post: 48450
kdealer



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 Why your John Deere Compact feels light in the rear end.

Try magnesium chloride. I was turned on to it by a customer and it runs about $1.25/gal to install in the tires.






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 01-31-2003, 05:27 Post: 48453
TomG

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 Why your John Deere Compact feels light in the rear end.

That's a good note Mark. The recommendations may be overly conservative due to consideration of corporate liability. The corporate legal folks may be more sensitive to liability issues than to the subject of extra wear and tear from ballast. However, a good point from any perspective is that these tractors do need rear weight.

I wonder how the front/rear weight distribution on these tractors compare to other makes of similar size. I believe that old style tractor design before 4wd was for heavy rear ends. You want the weight on the rear for traction. Weight distributions for 4wd tractors tend to be more even. I wonder if the thinking is that the front wheel drive may not do much on a small tractor that doesn't have a loader and is carrying a heavy 3ph implement; so they make them light in the tail to start with.






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 01-31-2003, 06:11 Post: 48455
Boomer
2003-01-31 00:00:00
Post: 48455
 Why your John Deere Compact feels light in the rear end.

My cousin once had access to powdered graphite years ago and thought it would make a great tire-fill ballast in his Wheel-Horse. It only took a season of mowing his yard and the rear end went out. The dealer told him that the powdered metal caused too much "chucking" in the tires, rather than smoothly rolling as would a liquid and the drives just didn't hold up to it. Do some investigating before trying a non-liquid tire fill.

Also, I bought a NH TC45 used (50 hrs) and the tires are loaded w/ magnesium solution. The dealer says it is about equal (pounds/gallon) to calcium and much more "steel friendly" in the event of leak/seepage. I will be watching it closely because I do see a small spot of discoloration at the base of one valve stem. Time (as always) will tell the story.






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 01-31-2003, 07:28 Post: 48463
hardwood

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 Why your John Deere Compact feels light in the rear end.

It would be interesting to weigh the front and rear axles on a 4000 series. On the 7000 and 8000 series Deere does put some quite specific front to rear weight ratios in the manual depending on the load you're pulling ( whether it be drawn, 3 pt. mounted, etc.). We run about 35 -40% front and60 - 65% rear for drawbar drawn implements, but remember the rear usually has dual wheels, so that might make a difference.






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