Any Ideas for a Cheap Compact Rear 3 Pt Counterweight?

   / Any Ideas for a Cheap Compact Rear 3 Pt Counterweight? #41  
Tire weights or ballast aren't a counterweight. They do nothing to lighten the front axle load. In fact, it only has the potential to increase the load on the front. Both are nice for ultimate stability and traction. But if you can only pick one for fel work, counterweight on the 3ph is the smarter pick

Thanks for adding that, I thought about going back and adding this to my post but didn't. A lot of people call it one in the same but they are not.

How does a counterweight on the 3 pt not lessen the load on the front axel? Being behind the rear wheels, it has to lighten the front end. If you could put enough weight there, you could take the front end right off the ground. No?

Yes a counter weight on the 3pt you could get the front off the ground, ballast is different
 
   / Any Ideas for a Cheap Compact Rear 3 Pt Counterweight? #42  
What size form would I need using concrete fill to get around 1200 lbs. Thanks for any info.
 
   / Any Ideas for a Cheap Compact Rear 3 Pt Counterweight? #43  
Mine is

40" Wide

24" Tall

16" Deep

For 8.89 cubic foot at about 1330 plus the steel makes it just shy of 1400
 
   / Any Ideas for a Cheap Compact Rear 3 Pt Counterweight? #44  
Here is mine, made a form out of plywood put a 24" draw bar inside for the 3 point arms to lift, Eye bolts welded to some rebar and filled it with leftover
4000 psi concrete with fiberglass when I was pouring the concrete pad for a now garage. You can just get a few bags of ready mix and do the same.
Front eyebolts are for the toplink, middle eye bolts are centered so I can lift it the the front end loader.

IMG_0778.JPGIMG_0779.JPGIMG_0780.JPG
 
   / Any Ideas for a Cheap Compact Rear 3 Pt Counterweight? #45  
If adding weight to the back of the tractor does nothing but reduce the load on the front axle, don't manufacturers have recommendations about the limitations of same? Yes, the loads on the front axle are lower, but they're increased on the rear axle (which admittedly are usually bigger and more robust), but doing so increases the bending moment of the tractor frame itself about the rear axle, and it certainly does nothing to mitigate loads on the FEL arms, pins, and cylinders as well as the 3Pt cylinders and linkages. Does anyone know of a situation where a front axle has been damaged by a manufacturer's supplied, matching FEL for a given tractor without any weight on the 3 pt hitch?
 
   / Any Ideas for a Cheap Compact Rear 3 Pt Counterweight? #46  
If adding weight to the back of the tractor does nothing but reduce the load on the front axle, don't manufacturers have recommendations about the limitations of same? Yes, the loads on the front axle are lower, but they're increased on the rear axle (which admittedly are usually bigger and more robust), but doing so increases the bending moment of the tractor frame itself about the rear axle, and it certainly does nothing to mitigate loads on the FEL arms, pins, and cylinders as well as the 3Pt cylinders and linkages. Does anyone know of a situation where a front axle has been damaged by a manufacturer's supplied, matching FEL for a given tractor without any weight on the 3 pt hitch?
Tire/wherl ballast adds traction & to some degree stability.

3pt weight adds traction & unloads the front. The Front Wheel Assist on the front axle looses a little traction, but it doesn't take much figuring to realize which axle on a tractor is designed for more traction than the other. Weight on the loader counteracts any decreased front axle traction.

Think of a tractor like a teter-totter. Put the fat kid on the 3pt end & the front comes up. Put the fat kid on the pivot (rear axle) & it doesn't change the balance at all.
 
   / Any Ideas for a Cheap Compact Rear 3 Pt Counterweight? #47  
If adding weight to the back of the tractor does nothing but reduce the load on the front axle, don't manufacturers have recommendations about the limitations of same? Yes, the loads on the front axle are lower, but they're increased on the rear axle (which admittedly are usually bigger and more robust), but doing so increases the bending moment of the tractor frame itself about the rear axle, and it certainly does nothing to mitigate loads on the FEL arms, pins, and cylinders as well as the 3Pt cylinders and linkages. Does anyone know of a situation where a front axle has been damaged by a manufacturer's supplied, matching FEL for a given tractor without any weight on the 3 pt hitch?

Yes. There have been many instances of front axle failures from abusing units. It generally isn't an immediate thing, but occurs after a couple hundred hours of such abuse (when it shouldn't happen for a couple thousand). Manuals for all units clearly state when using the front loader you should have counterweight one the 3pt. If you have a backhoe, that is generally the best counterweight.

The rears are made to take substantially more weight, well beyond the entire weight of the tractor. Loading the rear tires adds no stress to the tractor frame. That weight sets directly on the ground. The tractor isn't supporting that weight. Adding weight to the 3 point acts like a child's see-saw with the rear axle being the pivot point. The 3 point is protected by the tractor's hydraulic relief and cannot lift more that the tractor can support. Loaders also have the hydraulic relief to rely on to prevent breaking themselves, but can easily be damaged with misuse.

Maxing both, the three point and the front loader at the same time is something they expect and design for. Lifting with either individually is not advised due to safety, stability, and causing uneven stresses in the unit.
 
   / Any Ideas for a Cheap Compact Rear 3 Pt Counterweight? #48  
The rears are made to take substantially more weight, well beyond the entire weight of the tractor. Loading the rear tires adds no stress to the tractor frame...

Maxing both, the three point and the front loader at the same time is something they expect and design for. Lifting with either individually is not advised due to safety, stability, and causing uneven stresses in the unit.

The front axle has to have all the complex expensive steering parts & still spin the front tires. The rears just have to spin, so over-engineering them is trivial.

Lifting the 3pt at max capacity really isn't a problem. Steering might get light or worst case scenario you may notice your front end off the ground. If the load is to heavy for the tractor the relief valve will kick in & the hydraulics won't lift it. Adding a loader or ballast on the front resolves that issue.

If you try the opposite, lifting heavy on the loader multiple bad things happen. The most dangerous is you realize the front axle articulates on a pin, usually as the tractor starts rolling over when the rear tires come off the ground. The other is the comparatively light weight, complex & expensive front axle takes the weight of the entire tractor & any ballast along with part of the loader & whatever you were lifting weight. Either promptly or over time the bearings, seals & gears for your steering will get worn & crushed.

The rear axle can take it, the front, especially the steering gear can't.
 
   / Any Ideas for a Cheap Compact Rear 3 Pt Counterweight? #49  
How does a counterweight on the 3 pt not lessen the load on the front axel? Being behind the rear wheels, it has to lighten the front end. If you could put enough weight there, you could take the front end right off the ground. No?

No one is saying that adding weight to the 3PH doesn't lighten the front. In fact, thats exactaly what we ARE saying and why it is BETTER than adding fluid or weights to the wheels. Which is what does nothing to reduce front axle load

What size form would I need using concrete fill to get around 1200 lbs. Thanks for any info.

Cured concrete is ~150# per cubic foot. So you would need 8 cubic ft. (which would be a container that holds 60 gallons). A 55 gallon barrel filled to the brim (which is closer to 60 gallons) would be right on 1200#. Or any other shape that equals 8 cu ft.

A 2' x 2' x 2' box = 8 cu ft = 1200#


If adding weight to the back of the tractor does nothing but reduce the load on the front axle, don't manufacturers have recommendations about the limitations of same? Yes, the loads on the front axle are lower, but they're increased on the rear axle (which admittedly are usually bigger and more robust), but doing so increases the bending moment of the tractor frame itself about the rear axle, and it certainly does nothing to mitigate loads on the FEL arms, pins, and cylinders as well as the 3Pt cylinders and linkages. Does anyone know of a situation where a front axle has been damaged by a manufacturer's supplied, matching FEL for a given tractor without any weight on the 3 pt hitch?

When the MFG's actually publish both rear and front axle load rating the rear is usually rated about double what the front is. There have been several front axle failures noted here on TBN on FEL equipped tractors. Never hear about rear axle failures.

Most people use their FEL at 100% capacity weather they realize it or not. Pulling into that pile of dirt and trying to take too much and the loader wont lift it unless you curl/backup to breakout....thats 100%. Trying to lift a log and the tractor just wont....thats 100%. Trying to pry out a stump that wont budge....yep, 100%.

Sufficient ballast suggestions rarely exceed 50-60% of what the rear 3PH is rated for. So yes, you are putting more weight on the rear axle. But unlikely overloading it. By not having weight on the 3PH when using the FEL, or insufficient weight, especially with loaded tires, you are most certainly overloading the front axle if you are using the FEL hard.
 
   / Any Ideas for a Cheap Compact Rear 3 Pt Counterweight? #50  
Not all concrete is 150#/cf. I contacted the Sakrete people to ask them a question and what they told me worked out to 128#/cf, about 15% short of the 150# rule of thumb. Just so ya know.
 
 
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