Subcompact and compact tractors, no matter which brand have a common weakness. They are simply too lightweight to be fully effective. Adding weight to these machines can be the most cost effective performance improvement possible.
Location of Ballast
We’ll discuss two popular locations for ballast on small tractors. Weight can be added on the 3 point hitch, well behind the tractor’s rear axle. Weight can also be attached on our around the tractors rear axle. Let’s examine the purpose and benefits of each one.
3 Point Hitch Attached Ballast
3 point hitch ballast is the most effective ballast for the front end loader. It relieves strain on the front axle by using the rear axle as a pivot point. We discuss 3 point hitch ballast frequently on our YouTube channel, and we highly recommend following the owner’s manual recommendations for 3 point hitch ballast. Check out Heavy Hitch for our recommended 3 point hitch attached ballast…don’t forget to use code TTWT for a 5% discount!
While 3 point hitch ballast is incredibly important, this article is focused on the second popular location for ballast…
Axle Mounted Ballast
Another important location for ballast is on or near the rear axle. Rear axle ballast has many advantages:
- Lowers Center of Gravity (COG) to reduce tipping hazard. Tipping is a major concern with sub-compact tractors.
- Does not add strain to the axle, 3 point hitch, etc.
- Increases the ride quality by reducing ‘bounce’ while driving on rough terrain.
- Increases traction when pulling heavy items (disks, trailers, logs, etc)
Types of Axle Mounted Ballast
There are two primary choices for axle mounted ballast. Wheel weights, or tire fluid. These choices are not exclusive. You can select BOTH fluid AND wheel weights to maximize the ballast on a sub-compact tractor. In fact, I would recommend you do exactly that! You’ve likely seen our first 1025R perform some heroic tasks in many of our YouTube episodes. The double-dose of axle mounted ballast, both Rim Guard and wheel weights give Johnny the extra boost necessary to get the job done.
- Cost. Rim Guard is much cheaper than cast iron. This is exaggerated even more with recent tariffs.
- Hassle. We find that once installed, Rim Guard is out of sight and out of mind. We don’t have to worry about it. It does not take up any space other than useless space inside the tire!
- Loyalty. Rim Guard is made from beet-juice, grown by North American farmers. Cast Iron comes from China and/or India!
How do I get it?
Click here to find your closest Rim Guard supplier. This is usually a local tire shop or equipment dealer. Doesn’t matter if the equipment dealer sells a different brand of tractor than you have, they will happily fill the tires on your tractor.
For example, we recently had our second 1025r tires filled at a local John Deere dealer. Check out the video here:
We haven’t really discussed the reasons for Rim Guard over other tire fluid options in this article. There are several. 1) It’s heavy! The heaviest fluid available. 2) It won’t hurt anything!…not your rims, not your grass or your cats if it happens to spill, etc. 3) It won’t freeze.
We’ve used Rim Guard in our equipment since 2014 when we first got Johnny! We have no plans to change directions now, and we highly recommend it for your compact tractor.