Tractor Tips

Ballasting to improve tractor performance

The 3-point attachment approach

Have you ever experienced challenges to maintaining traction and having a feeling of stability while using the front loader? Maybe you’ve considered ordering a larger front tire package to support the weight that shifts to the front tires when using the loader. What if we told you that the solution may be simpler and more affordable than new front tires? Proper ballasting of a tractor is often the only adjustment needed to improve traction. If you have been using a loader without a ballast box or similar counterweight such as a heavy rear implement (like a box scraper or rotary cutter), the majority of your tractor’s weight may transfer to the front tires when you are carrying a heavy load in the loader bucket. When the weight transfers off of your main drive tires, rear traction is reduced. In addition, when too much weight is on the smaller front tires, more weight is concentrated on a small portion of the soil increasing compaction. Excessive soil compaction is not something you want to happen on your lawn, garden, or crop fields.

When a proper ballast box (or similar counter weight) is attached to the rear of your tractor with a loader, the weight that would otherwise transfer to the front tires is more evenly distributed between the front and rear tires, allowing for a more balanced tractor. This aids in traction at the main drive wheels and helps minimize compaction because much of the weight remains on the rear tires which spreads the load over a larger area of the soil due to the larger rear tire size. It may seem counter intuitive to add weight to reduce compaction, but in this situation, it helps considerably.

By attaching a ballast box or a heavy rear implement, you will give your tractor more traction and stability to get more done.