Ballasting means more than simply adding weight to your tractor. When you get it right, tractor ballasting can help you do more, spend less and reduce soil compaction. Before you launch your fall tillage program, make sure your tractors are properly ballasted. It can be a real moneymaker.
Tractor ballasting influences efficiency and, ultimately, fuel use. Ballasting determines the amount of slip in any given field condition, and that affects fuel consumption, acres covered and tire wear. Tractor weight also impacts compaction, and transmission and tire life, along with tractor safety and stability.1
Proper ballasting is complex. Our online calculator can guide you through the process. It provides results specific to each of your Case IH tractors. So, before you begin, gather information, such as tractor model, tire sizes, hitch coupler, drawbar type, etc. The calculator will analyze your information and provide a printable worksheet to help you properly weight and ballast your tractors.
A little slippage, but not a lot
Monitoring tire slippage when you head to the field can help confirm you’ve accomplished your objective. Most late-model tractors are equipped with technology that provides real-time tire slippage as you move across the field. Aim for slippage between 10 percent and 20 percent. When your tractor performs within this range, it’s generally operating in the sweet spot where favorable traction, fuel use, horsepower to the ground, and wear and tear meet. If you prefer to measure slippage longhand, this guide walks you through the process.
If your tires slip more than 20 percent, you’ll need to add weight. Less than 10 percent slippage indicates your tractor may be overweighted. Remember: Slippage can vary from field to field as soil types and conditions change. It also changes significantly with the type of equipment you’re pulling. So be sure to recalibrate when any of those factors change. If you need more weights or simply need a hand navigating the ballasting process, your Case IH dealer will be happy to help.
Increasing efficiency and decreasing expenses across your farm always makes good business sense. Giving your tractors a ballast check this fall can help on both fronts.
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