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What do I need to know about water ballasting my tractor tyre?

Sun, 23 Apr 2023 | PRODUCTS

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Water ballasting is a widely used method to enhance the grip and stability of farm tractor tyres by adding weight. This process involves filling the tyres with water, which can improve your tractor’s performance and productivity in various farming applications. However, a few critical factors must be considered before water ballasting your tractor tyres. Let’s discuss what you need to know about water ballasting your tractor tyres in the UK.

Water Ballasting Can Affect Tyre Life

Water ballasting adds weight to the tyres, which can increase the load-carrying capacity of your tractor. However, it can also cause increased wear and tear on your tyres, especially if you don’t maintain the correct pressure levels. Overloading your tyres can lead to overheating, deformation, and even tyre failure. Therefore, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on water ballasting and agriculture tyre pressure.

Water Ballasting Can Affect Fuel Efficiency

Adding water to your farm tyre can increase fuel consumption due to the added weight. Do you add weight to your tractor’s tyres using water ballasting? Well, it will become heavier and harder to move. It causes the engine to work harder. Ultimately, it leads to increased fuel consumption. However, the added traction and stability provided by water ballasting can help improve your tractor’s efficiency in specific farming applications, such as ploughing and tilling.

Water Ballasting Requires Proper Filling Techniques

To achieve optimal performance and avoid Ag tyre damage, perform water ballasting correctly. Use clean water and fill the tyres to the recommended pressure level. Overfilling the tyres can cause the tyre beads to break. At the same time, underfilling can lead to uneven weight distribution and affect your tractor’s stability. It’s best to consult your tyre manufacturer or local tyre dealer for water ballasting your specific tractor model.

Water Ballasting Can Improve Tractor Performance

Water ballasting can significantly improve your tractor’s performance in various farming applications. The added weight can provide better traction and stability, making it easier to manoeuvre your tractor on steep slopes and wet or slippery surfaces. Water ballasting can help reduce soil compaction, improving crop yield and soil health.

Before water ballasting, it’s crucial to consider specific radial and bias tyres details. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for compatibility with this inflation process. To fill up your tractor tyre with water, follow these steps:

  • Position your tractor so that the valve is upright and the Agri tyre can be filled up to 75% capacity with water, leaving the height of the sidewall above the valve for air necessary for the inflation pressure.
  • Before modifying the inflation pressure, use a jack to sustain the tyre in its original position during deflation to prevent deflection.
  • Reduce pressure to 0.5 bar and connect the valve to the water supply. A ballast pump will fill the tyre with water while evacuating air.
  • During filling, add anti-freeze equivalent to 1/5th of the water volume.
  • When the water reaches the level of the valve (3/4 of its height or 75%), it will start to come out of the air valve.
  • Inflate the tyre to the recommended pressure or the pressure required for the implements while adjusting the pressure with the air still in the tyre.

Water ballasting is a valuable technique that can help improve your tractor’s performance and productivity in various farming applications. However, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and consult your tyre dealer to ensure proper filling techniques and pressure levels. Water ballasting can affect tyre life, fuel efficiency, and tractor stability, so it’s essential to maintain the correct pressure levels and regularly check your tyre condition.

Professional guidance is recommended when selecting the optimal tractor tyre. CEAT Specialty has a team of proficient technicians responsible for evaluating your needs and offering suggestions.