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Construction Depot

Safety and health newsletter for the Oregon construction industry

March 13, 2015

 
Tire track through mud

Using liquid ballast in off-road tires

Liquid ballast has been used for many years in agricultural tractor tires to maximize the tractor's traction and stability for farm work. The practice is also spreading to vehicles used in off-the-road construction work. The liquid ballast adds substantial weight to the vehicle's drive axle, which can improve traction and increase drawbar pull. Other benefits include less slipping, less tire pressure loss, and less fuel consumption.

However, liquid ballast is not the only way to improve traction. Many tractor tire manufacturers now recommend cast-iron weights for ballast instead of liquid.

If you are thinking about using ballasted tires for off-road work, the first thing you should do is to confirm that your vehicle's tires can be ballasted – check with the tire manufacturer or your tire dealer to be sure.

You will also need to know how to install the ballast, which takes special equipment and training, or have it done professionally by your tire dealer.

Tips on ballasting tires

 

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