Liquid vs. Iron – Does it matter? What does matter is…..By
Recently on Green Tractor Talk we had a member tip over his fairly new john Deere 1026R while moving around some dirt with his bucket. The gentleman was nice enough to completely share this event with us, including pictures. As you can imagine, this thread went on for some time and there were many, many philosophies on why he tipped his tractor. Removing our-self from that situation, it got me thinking about the debate of iron bolted on the rims or liquid inside the tires for ballast. I always stood on the iron side as that is the golden rule in today’s agriculture and I grew up watching Calcium Chloride leaks and watching what it does to tractor rims. But, in reality, with today’s liquids, what really matters is that you have one or the other. Yes, I said it, just go out and get one or the other. But also remember, adding weight to the rear tires does little to nothing of removing weight from your front axle. You MUST use a ballast box or use some sort of weight hooked on the three point hitch!
Let have a little fun and look at some pictures.
The gentleman with the 1026R was using a ballast box full of large stones AND had loaded his tires with rim-guard liquid. Things can still go wrong when you are doing everything right, so be safe!
Here is a list of what he states he did right and wrong:
Things I did wrong:
1. I raised my bucket about 3′ high while dumping the small load and that was just enough to start the roll.
2. I failed to foresee and avoid the situation prior to attempting the maneuver.
3. I failed to drop the bucket as the roll over began.
Things I did right:
1. I had the ROPS up and my seat belt on.
2. I was driving extremely slow across the bluff with full ballast and the bucket low (no loss of stability at that point).
3. I had lowered the ballast box until is was just 6″ above the grass.
4. I was in 4 wheel drive, low range with no more than 2,000 RPMs.
5. I was stopped at the moment of roll over.
6. I stayed inside the safety zone and kept my arms inside as well during the roll over event.
Things the tractor did wrong:
1. It rolled over very quickly leaving little time to react to even drop the bucket.
2. It dumped a couple of the rocks out of the ballast box and they rolled down the hill.
3. The battery became slightly dislodged.
Things the tractor did right:
1. It protected me (I didn’t even have a bruise).
2. It killed the engine.
3. It stopped as soon as it was on its side – no other motion in any direction.
4. It only leaked perhaps 8 oz of hydraulic fluid, no diesel fuel and no oil.
5. It restarted a few hours later and now runs fine.
How many people out there wear their seat-belt each time they are on the tractor? You need to. Use these lessons and learn from them. No one was hurt here, but it could have been just the opposite if his seat belt was not used.
Think about it, no matter what you use, liquid or iron, it does not matter. Each have their down side and there is no right answer. Pick one and use a ballast box.