How to Add Rim Guard Ballasts to Tractor Tires

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Rim Guard brand liquid ballast is noncorrosive, 30 percent heavier than water, nontoxic, biodegradable and protects from freezing down to 35 degrees below zero F. According to the tractor information website Orange Tractor Talk, beet juice based Rim Guard is the only product that offers this particular combination of features. Added to your tractor tires, liquid ballast lowers your tractor's center of gravity, compensates for heavy front-end loads and improves overall stability. Adding liquid ballast to your tractor tires requires two inexpensive tools: a liquid fill valve and a drill pump. Both tools are easily located online or at agricultural supply stores.

Things You'll Need

  • Hydraulic jack
  • Jack stand
  • Tire core tool
  • Tractor tire liquid fill valve
  • Two garden hoses
  • Drill pump
  • Electric hand drill
  • Air compressor
  • Place a hydraulic jack with a rating in excess of the weight of your tractor under the tractor axle. Lift the tractor until the tire clears the ground.

  • Place a jack stand with a rating in excess of the weight of your tractor under the axle, near the tire you're working on. Lower the jack, transferring the weight to the jack stand. Do not work on a tractor supported only by a jack.

  • Rotate the tire until the valve stem is at top dead center.

  • Insert a valve core tool into the valve stem, and turn it counterclockwise until the valve core is free. This will release all air pressure from your tire. If your tire has a two-piece valve stem, turn the outer section counterclockwise until it is free.

  • Install the liquid fill valve onto the tire valve stem. The exact procedure will depend on which liquid fill valve you have, and the type of valve stem on the tire. The most commonly available liquid fill valve threads directly onto the valve stem base of two-piece valve stems. One-piece valve stems require a threaded adapter, which is normally supplied with the liquid fill valve. Refer to the instructions that accompanied your liquid fill valve if necessary.

  • Refer to the chart on the Rim Guard website to find the volume of ballast needed for your tire size (see Resources). Measure out that amount into an open container.

  • Thread a garden hose onto the liquid fill valve and to the output side of a drill pump. Attach an electric powered hand drill onto the drill pump per the pump manufacturer's instructions.

  • Attach a second garden hose to the input side of the pump, and place the other end of the hose into the container of Rim Guard.

  • Start the drill pump by pulling and holding the trigger on the hand drill. The pump will start transferring the Rim Guard from the container into the tire.

  • Vent the liquid fill valve according to the manufacturer's directions. On the most commonly available model, this involves stopping the pump every few minutes and purging the air pressure in the tire by pressing a small button on the side of the liquid fill valve.

  • Monitor the volume in the container closely. When it has nearly all transferred, watch the purge valve when venting. When the purge valve releases Rim Guard instead of air, the tire has reached the correct fill level. Do not overfill.

  • Unthread the liquid fill valve, replace the valve core using the valve core tool and inflate the tire to its recommended pressure with an air compressor.

  • Raise the tractor off the jack stand with the hydraulic jack, remove the jack stand and lower the tractor to the ground.

  • Repeat for all tires to which you're adding Rim Guard.

Tips & Warnings

  • The precise instructions for mounting the liquid fill valve should come with it, or can be found at the manufacturer's website. In addition, Gempler's provides information for three different models of liquid fill valves (see Resources).
  • Drill pumps are small liquid transfer pumps powered by an electric hand drill. They're available from most home centers and agricultural supply stores in a range of prices and duty ratings; an inexpensive pump is adequate for this job.
  • Always ballast both rear tires equally. Whether you should ballast the front tires is a matter of choice and some debate.

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References

  • Photo Credit tractor image by Aldijana Delibasic-Pasic from Fotolia.com
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