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 03-12-2002, 10:18 Post: 36278
Lazy JZ
2002-03-12 10:18:22
Post: 36278
 Liquid Tire Ballast

I'm buying a New Holland TC 30, 9x3 trans, 4WD, 7308 FEL with HD 60" bucket. The dealer is installing liquid ballast in the rear (R4) tires using a blend of water and methanol. I don't know if these tires are tubeless. Here in New Mexico we do indeed need the freeze protection. Is this mixture corrosive to the rims if the tires are tubeless. And if so, can I add some automotive antifreeze as a rust inhibitor? Are the methanol and antifreeze compatible to mix? Any thoughts, experience, and advice would be appreciated.






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 03-13-2002, 04:52 Post: 36299
TomG

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 Liquid Tire Ballast

If it freezes there, something other than water is needed. A couple of things I've heard suggest that maybe alternatives other than methanol might be better. I've heard that some tire shops won't work on tires that are methanol filled. There is the possibility of an explosive, or at least flammable, air mixture inside the tire.

Dealers usually don't do their own tire work. It might be a good idea to identify the shop that does tire work in your area and ensure that they'd be happy with what ever is used--including any sealant products. Most areas also are served by a mobile repair service, which is also good to identify. Repairs to loaded tires can be done with the wheel still on the tractor, which is a lot easier than trying to wrestle with a loaded tire. There also are disposal problems with methanol as well as most tire fill.

However, the above problems may be overstated. People do use methanol for tire fill, and a dealer should be expected to make responsible recommendations. It is good to know about potential problems though.







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 03-14-2002, 05:40 Post: 36322
Paul Fox



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 Liquid Tire Ballast

It's not generally considered to be a good idea to use automotive antifreeze, due to it's toxicity. If you have a leak, you have a problem.

RV-type antifreeze has been mentioned quite often, but I have no direct experience with it.






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 03-14-2002, 06:26 Post: 36324
TomG

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RV anti-freeze probably is what I'd use. It is pricey though and you still can't just run it out on the ground. Beet pulp might be an alternative. I forget the brand name Bird mentioned (rim guard or something like that. I know nothing about it other than it sounds like a curious idea, and it isn't supposed to corrode wheels like CACL. CACL, of course, is the cheapest, heaviest and most traditional. It also is the most corrosive and has the greatest disposal problems.

I'll probably just stay with my unloaded turfs because the traction problems are manageable as long as I'm not in a rush. Yesterday I had to cut some ice buildup off our gravel drive to cure some drainage problems into the house. I used a 6' box scraper with the scarifiers fully up. The hydraulic top-link fully retracted, the scarifiers had just enough bite to cut ice but without grooving the gravel. However the scraper blade wouldn't pickup much of the ice and slush. I made repeated passes cutting with the scraper and picking up ice from previous passes with the loader in float.

I was surprised there was enough traction to make it work. I could have gotten it done sooner with more traction, and loaded tires would have given me that (the scraper doesn't provide rear ballast when it's on the ground). However, the whole thing worked well enough so I think I'll avoid loading the tires and maybe having to deal with all the associated problems.






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 03-14-2002, 06:51 Post: 36327
BillMullens

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Wheel weights are always a possibility.
Bill






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 03-14-2002, 19:55 Post: 36350
Bob in PA



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 Liquid Tire Ballast

Windshield washer fluid is commonly being used in this area. A 55 gallon drum of concentrate is about $140 (if my memory serves me right). It is mixed with 2 parts water to yield approx. 165 gallons (max). That comes in under $1/gallon, as opposed to $3 or $4 for a gallon of RV antifreeze. The freeze point is about -18 deg. F, and can be lowered by mixing it a bit stronger. It is not corrosive and eliminates the need for a tube. Not sure how toxic it would be, but it can't be as bad as the Calcium solution. It is a bit lighter than CaCl, but 75 gallons in each rear tire on my 40D adds quite a bit of weight.






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 03-15-2002, 05:05 Post: 36354
TomG

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I've thought about wheel weights. They seem like a good idea since they can be removed a lot easier than pumping out loaded tires. At least for my Ford, weights also are deadly expensive and for not a whole lot of weight.

I remember seeing a picture from somebody who adapted a weight lifting set to his wheels. I can't remember exactly how. I also recall a comment from somebody who filled old brake drums with lead. I imagine that getting appreciable weight that is removable as well as securely mounted and reasonable well balanced will take some figuring.

Removable weight is desirable. There's still almost 2' of snow, but thaw is starting. After the snow is gone, I won't be able to take the tractor across lawns for awhile without making a mess--even without loaded tires.






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 03-15-2002, 06:42 Post: 36361
BillMullens

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Bob, I believe that windshield washer fluid is diluted methanol. That could be the solution the the dealer is talking about. Concerns of flammability remain. And if you have a flammable substance in a confined space...

I hadn't heard that CaCl was toxic in any way. It is used commonly as road salt. The locals I've talked to about it say that they've drained gallons of it in their fields following the inevitable leak. I thought that was one of the reasons it was used for tire ballast; i.e. it isn't an environmental hazard. I could be wrong!

Tom, I made some wheel weights for my NH TC29. I used the idea from a web page I saw (long forgotten) that somebody had made some for their Kubota. His uses a 1/2" steel backing plate that is bolted to the wheel, then gym weights can be added via a rod welded to the steel plate. I bolted one 50-lb. weight to my wheel, and secured a 1" rod to it; now I can have up to 150 lbs per wheel. I'm friends with a local gym owner and he gave me 4-50 lb weights that he didn't use, so my project was free. I agree that the factory weights are terribly expensive; same with the front suitcase weights.
Bill






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 03-15-2002, 10:32 Post: 36370
DRankin



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I am not a chemist, but I have had the same impression as Bill. CaCL is pretty safe for our soils and environment. While I have never heard of soils needing or being depleted in sodium, I have heard that adding Calcium (as in bone meal) and its neighbor on the periodic table, Magnesium, can enrich the soil under certain circumstances. Calcium and Magnesium carbonates are the 'hard' elements in hard water and are therefore quite abundant in the soils into which we drill our water wells. Maybe we can hear from someone with more training. My chemistry experience is limited to the creation of extracoporeal fluids used in hemodialysis and pure water systems (reverse osmosis, de-ionization and ion exchange).






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 03-15-2002, 13:19 Post: 36375
Murf

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As a true proponent of the theory that there is no such thing as absolutely useless information, this thread set me off on a mission, a phone call to a local company that manufactures windshield washer fluid rendered me a wealth of data. First, yes Methanol is used in the mixture, to lower the freeze point of the mostly water mix, emphasis on mostly. The blend is about 14:1, i.e. 14 gallons of water plus 1 gallon of Methyl Hydrate equals 15 gallons of windshield washer fluid. At these rates, and given the fact that any vapour is also going to be mostly water vapour, the manufacturer states that it is absolutely impossible to reach the point of flamable vapours, it would rain inside the tire long before enough vapour built up to reach flamable levels. In fact they said that they do not even need Haz. Mat. placards on full tractor trailer loads of the stuff. So we're paying $2 / gallon for what?????? Happy St. Paddy's Day & Best of luck.






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