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 01-10-2009, 12:23 Post: 159267
Lwayne



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 John Deere Tractor Ballast Advice

Having spent quite a bit of time working with my dealer this past week I thought it worthwhile to share a few things they've advised me on correct tire pressure and ballast. I've researched these subjects before and find the answers are frequently vague; probably because of the wide amount of variables between real world conditions and research lab results. #1) My salesman regularly attends John Deere seminars and told me that customers often ignore the dead weight of loaders and cabs. This immediately throws off the 40%/60% front to back ratio for FWA tractors, especially considering how far the loader hangs forward of the front axle. Any and all weight on the back of the tractor is most beneficial to the front axle, not forcing it to become a fulcrum. In order to identify the proper traction to weight ratio the front and the back of the tractor must be scaled seperately, configured in their typical operating platform. A proper baseline can then be established for any potential need of ballast. Obviously, the USE of a loader requires additional rear ballast at all times. #2) My tire pressure was correctly set to the recommended specs. I mentioned to one of the mechanics that I'd have to let "some" air out of the tires because the tractor was riding merely on the centers of the lugs. He told me that his rule of thumb is to park with a lug directly on the concrete and let air out until the outside of that lug is pretty much touching the floor - only on the rear, though, as the front tires are supporting the loader (in my case) and whatever is in it. I know a lot of you are experienced operators and have your own ideas about these things but I also know there are a lot of Newbies surfing around that might appreciate the discussion.













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 01-10-2009, 12:31 Post: 159269
kwschumm



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 John Deere Tractor Ballast Advice

Most JD manuals *require* loaded tires when a loader is installed, yet many dealers seem to allow the customer a choice.






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 01-10-2009, 13:05 Post: 159270
auerbach



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 John Deere Tractor Ballast Advice

Questions

1. The "ballast" is liquid in the rears, right?

2. The higher the bucket is raised, the more weight is transfered from front to rear axles. Right?

3. On another topic, I use a tractor-battery-driven pump to ride around spraying. When I hold the wand vertical let's say the spray goes 10' above the reservoir level. If I raise the wand another 5' (by standing and raising the wand), how high would I expect the spray to reach? It's hard to tell by sight.






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 01-10-2009, 15:09 Post: 159278
Lwayne



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 John Deere Tractor Ballast Advice

Auerbach: The ballast CAN be liquid in the rear tires. Technically, ballast is any weight you add for traction and/or stability. Most often it is fluid or cast iron for the rear and cast iron "suitcase" weights for the front. There are also various types of ballast boxes designed to be used on the 3ph (as well as any other 3ph implement with any weight). Yes, the higher you raise the bucket the more the weight is shifted to the back. But also the higher you raise the bucket the higher your center of gravity, making it easier to tip. Here again, having the proper air pressure in your rear tires can help take surplus weight off of the front differential. As far as your sprayer is concerned, my guess would be the power of the pump would determine how high you can raise your wand before the weight of the spray in the hose would overcome its spraying ability.






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 01-10-2009, 15:11 Post: 159279
hardwood

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 John Deere Tractor Ballast Advice

I haven't been a fan of liquid ballast for a long time. Tubes rusted to rims, repair people who would refuse to service a liqid balast tire, etc. My favorite rear ballast for a compact tractor is a box blade, easy on easy off.

Auer, your question about the sprayer wand. OK, my take on it would be if the sprayer pump were a positive displacement pump it would still spray it ten ft. above the nozzle wherever you held it but a fraction more power would be needed to run the pump. Now if the pump is a centrifigal, or however you spell it then probably the stream wouldn't push quite as high when you held the wand higher. Happy Saturday, Frank.






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 01-10-2009, 15:25 Post: 159281
earthwrks

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 John Deere Tractor Ballast Advice

Wayne, nice description. (But what is an FWA?)

Each tractor is a different animal though. And weight in a tire or on the axle is different than having a ballast consisting of an implement that when lowered and sitting on the ground no longer acts as a weight. Other considerations are like my 4wd machine with SuperSteer; it has the axle moved forward about 8" compared to a 2wd. New Holland says that 4wd models need 40-45% of total weight over the front axle.

And in the context of newbies, we're talking using the machine on stable, level ground. Adding weight of any kind depending on where placed can greatly affect the center of gravity. Example: driving with an implement raised whether a loader or rear box blade on an incline or side hill can result in a roll over.

Auer you are right, raising the loader does increase the weight on the rear.






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 01-10-2009, 16:15 Post: 159285
Lwayne



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EW: FWA = Front Wheel Assist.






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 01-10-2009, 16:27 Post: 159286
kwschumm



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Just because people aren't fans of loaded tires doesn't mean they are a bad idea. IIRC, the JD manual for my machine says loaded tires *and* extra suitcase weights or ballast box. You don't have to fill with calcium chloride anymore, there are noncorrosive options.






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 01-10-2009, 19:54 Post: 159291
earthwrks

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KW: Are you referring to my post?






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 01-10-2009, 20:28 Post: 159295
kwschumm



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EW, the guys with experience know about ballasting, but when new guys with their first tractor are advised to perhaps ignore what the manufacturer states as a requirement it's easy to get in trouble (LWayne, I'm not referring to you either, but lots of different people read these threads and it seems like many don't read their manual).

Personally, I like loaded tires. I'm more experienced than when I got my tractor 5-6 years ago, and understand ballasting a lot better than I did then, but have always felt stable while using the loader with loaded tires. Having a box scraper hanging off the rear of the tractor as ballast is a pain around here since it makes it more difficult to maneuver around all the trees.






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