Tire Ballasting: Tractor Engine Repair Rebuild  -- Tractor Maintenance Discussion Forum and Review Tire Ballasting: Tractor Engine Repair Rebuild -- Tractor Maintenance Discussion Forum

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 06-06-2001, 11:38 Post: 28972
Rob Munach



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 Tire Ballasting

A friend of mine recently got a flat on his tractor (ripped the valve stem off) and a good portion of his liquid ballast came out. He said it was diluted antifreeze. My thoughts were that it is irresponible for a dealer to fill his tires with antifreeze due to the health and environmental consequences of a spill. Is this a standard practice? Wouldn't calcium chloride be a safer ballast?






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 06-06-2001, 12:13 Post: 28973
mlmartin



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 Tire Ballasting

There are environmentally safe antifreezes. When I close up our lake house for the winter I put a potable antifreeze in the water heater and traps. In volume, it doesn't cost much more than automotive antifreeze. I wouldn't want to bet on calcium cloride being all that benign considering how corrosive it is.

While on this subject: I got an estimate for installing Arnco flatproofing into the tires on my JD 870. The cost of installing the material alone would have been over $1,200, which is a little rich for my blood.

Has anyone used this material? Does anyone know the weight per gallon?

Matthew






Link:   Arnco website 

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 06-06-2001, 14:02 Post: 28981
KenB



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 Tire Ballasting

Propylene glycol antifreeze is the safe stuff, ethylene glycol is poison. On the subject of urethane foam, I have the front tires on my little Kubota foam-filled. Yes, they are truly puncture-proof, but they are much heavier than when they contained calcium solution -- the company should be able to tell you exactly how much your tires will weigh full of foam. Also, my tires are much harder than before, which ruts the lawn and gives the steering linkage a real workout on rough terrain. I'm glad chronic flat tires are no longer a problem for me, but there are some trade-offs to foam-filling.






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 06-06-2001, 14:19 Post: 28982
mlmartin



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 Tire Ballasting

> Propylene glycol antifreeze is the safe stuff, ethylene glycol is poison.

I couldn't remember which was which and given the risks, didn't want to name names without being sure. Thanks for finishing my point.

> I have the front tires on my little Kubota foam-filled. Yes, they are truly
> puncture-proof, but they are much heavier than when they contained calcium > solution

Since the foam fills the entire tire instead of 70 - 80%, it would make sense that they could be heavier than calcium chloride, but I've never seen a #/gal specification for the foam.

> the company should be able to tell you exactly how much your tires will weigh > full of foam.

The dealer couldn't (he thought that calcium chloride solution weighs the same as water) and I haven't gotten any response from the manufacturer.

> Also, my tires are much harder than before, which ruts the lawn and gives the > steering linkage a real workout on rough terrain.

Which foam material did you have installed? The website references three. I was thinking of using the heavy duty material to minimize front tire distortion when lifting full loads with the FEL. I have oversized turf tires. At times it has looked like the tire might roll off the rim.

> I'm glad chronic flat tires are no longer a problem for me, but there
> are some trade-offs to foam-filling.

I had tubes installed in the front tires due to (at least) two tire patches that were backing out of the front tires causing slow leaks. The idea of flat proofing is appealing. It doesn't cost me my income to have down time, but I have only so many hours a week to get my chores done. I bought the tractor to save me time and if it's gone for a weekend, that's one less weekend that I can work with it.






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 06-06-2001, 15:56 Post: 28986
mlmartin



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 Tire Ballasting

Sorry about that particularly ugly response. It sure didn't look like that when I previewed it. I've asked if there is any way to get the post to look like the preview. Hopefully, there is.






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 06-06-2001, 20:52 Post: 28999
Rob



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 Tire Ballasting

Matthew, one word of warning on the anti-freeze. I use the non-toxic stuff in our RV water system, for obvious reasons. I spilled a bit one year and it killed the grass very quickly. Took quite a while for it to recover. If you spring a leak in your tire you could have a funny looking trail of dead grass.

Rob






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 06-07-2001, 06:19 Post: 29012
TomG

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 Tire Ballasting

I wonder if there is a potable anti-freeze. I'd be interested in knowing. From reading the label on some propylene type I bought, I don't think it is potable. I think there are just less disposal problems with it than alternatives. The label said '...may be disposed of in septic systems where permitted.' As far as I know CaCl has the greatest disposal problems and really will wipe out the ground where it leaks.






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 06-07-2001, 13:54 Post: 29031
Don M



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 Tire Ballasting

On the general tractors forum at ytmag.com, there are tons of posts in the archives about tire ballasting. In Michigan there are farm co-ops that use a beet juice! It doesn't freeze, is heavy, and safe. A lot of guys use windshield washer fluid, which is methanol. Although it is toxic to injest, apparently animals are not attracted to it and it is not much of a threat to the ground through leakage. Regular antifreeze is attractive and toxic to animals.

-Don M






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 06-07-2001, 20:56 Post: 29037
CaseyR



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 Tire Ballasting

The Material Safety Data Sheet for polypropolene glycol is at:
http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/p6928.htm

However, if you want a less technical treatment, you might look at:
http://www.licoffee.com/pg.html






Link:   polypropolene glycol MSDS 

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 06-10-2001, 06:09 Post: 29120
Dane



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 Tire Ballasting

If you are looking for something safe to keep your water filled tires from freezing, try vodka. I would not use the good stuff like Absolute, but try something cheap the gallon bottles. It's not quite as heavy as water but it does not freeze, it is non-toxic when mixed into a martini, and if your tire springs a leak...well just drink it.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Tractor Engine Repair Rebuild Forum

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