THE WEIGHT AT THE REAR AXLE APPROACH
In another tractor tip, we discussed using a 3-point mounted ballast box or a heavy implement as a counterweight type of tractor ballast. In this tip, we’ll discuss when to use wheel weights or liquid ballast in the tires. Wheel weights or liquid ballast can be used when traction or stable tractor control are issues. Wheel weights or liquid ballast are simple to install, do not add length or width in most cases, and make it possible to add significant amounts of performance improving weight at a reasonable cost. Due to the way it installs on the tractor, wheel weights and liquid ballast help maintain the intended center of gravity for the tractor so they tend not to change the tractor’s stable operating characteristics. Wheel weights and liquid ballast add weight while keeping the 3-point hitch free to operate any 3-point attachment whether light or heavy.
Note that liquid tire ballast and wheel weights are less effective in reducing compaction on the front tires because of their position at the rear axle, rather than behind the rear axle acting as a lever to transfer weight from the front to the rear of the tractor. They are not as quick and easy to take on and off the tractor as a 3-point hitch mounted weight.