Brand new L3901 - Windshield Wiper Fluid as ballast in Ohio?


Well-known member

B2910, BX2200, KX41-2V mini Ex.
May 24, 2019
North of Pittsburgh PA
You just paid $25-30k for a new tractor. Spend another few bucks for Rim Guard and be done with it. Same goes for OEM filters and SUDT²
I agree, but why not go all the way and foam fill the rear tires then? A punctured filled rear tire is a pain to deal with. I have WW fluid in my rear tires on my B2910, but if I get a puncture I will foam fill them for sure. Hey, it's only the OP's money we are spending! :LOL:

Winter blend WW fluid is good down to about -34F if I remember correctly. That is what I used, in western PA without any issues for 19 years...


Active member

BX23S w/ Cab
Nov 8, 2015
North East CT
Windshield washer fluid is 8# to a gallon, and Rim Guard is 10# to a gallon. I just asked this same question as to the weight of Rim Guard at the dealership this past week. I already knew the weight of windshield washer fluid. Windshield washer fluid is methanol, and a touch of ethyl glycol mixed with water, and a coloring agent. It is extremely toxic to wildlife, and it could be hazardous to your health if it got into your water well. This is why I went with the non toxic fill that the dealer uses. I am not a tree hugger, but I do like pure safe drinking water. Our town has many polluted water wells from the road salt that they have used for the last 75 years, and some from industrial contaminants from mills that were active in the 1800's. I passed up some very nice acreage because I knew that getting a well with clean water was questionable.


Feb 23, 2019
Lincolnton NC
As title says, This past weekend I signed a deal to buy a brand new L3901. It will have the 525 loader and some other goodies... I intend to purchase an aftermarket grapple to move logs.

In the swirl of paperwork and changing numbers - I neglected to ask the dealer about tire ballast. So, I called my dealer today - who said they certainly could add ballast and that they typically used windshield wiper fluid.

This begs some questions:
1. In S.E. Ohio, where the tractor will be stored in an unheated barn, we routinely get below freezing weather.
Is windshield wiper fluid acceptable in such an application?

Seems like frozen ballast could cause expansion damage and even a potentially unsafe condition where much of that frozen ballast is above the axle as the tire rotates during operation. Not good either way.

2. If I end up needing to pay to have ballast added (decision pending) I know windshield fluid isn't as heavy as Mag or sugar water aka Rim Guard. Would I be getting "ripped off" if I needed to pay for wiper fluid since it could freeze and is also not as heavy? Seems like in that case cheap antifreeze solution would be a much better choice.

Not sure if it matters, but I went with the R1 tires due to significant hills and no shortage of slick, clay mud.

I'm pretty handy, and would consider doing the ballast myself if it wasnt too equipment intensive.

Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions/advice you may have to offer up!
[/QUOTE I chose to not fill my tires on L4701 have BH 92 plenty of ballast about 2k in weight.When hoe is off and heavy lifting needed from FEL I have ballast box 1700 lbs quick hitch compatible.My personnel preference is add weight when needed not have it all the time.When I’m in yard where I mow with zero turn doing light task I like rear light in tractor !!


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Lifetime Member

B3200 w/loader, Woods RC5 brush hog, 4' box blade, tooth bar, B1700 MMM,
Apr 13, 2017
West Mansfield, OH
I'm about 60mi NW of Columbus out by Bellefontaine. I did the washer fluid in the rear tires of my B3200. No issues at all with freezing up this winter and it stays in an unheated garage. I got the fluid at Rural King, winter blend rated to -20F and paid around 1.20/gal since I bought around 55 gallons to fill the tires and then have some on hand for the winter. I did the job myself using a small pump and hose that fit the pump and over the valve stem. You can buy a valve that will allow you to purge the air in the tire without letting the fluid drain out of the hose. All in all it took me around 2 hrs to do both tires. I have ag tires so it was difficult to collapse the side wall any to speed up the process.

I had considered Rim Guard but when I did it 3 yrs ago, local dealers / mobile tire repair companies were not carrying it up here. I would have had to trailer my B up to a dealer around Lima and I didn't have the equipment to do that. Add in the cost of getting the tractor towed up to Lima, filled and towed back, I was close to 800 bucks. All in for the washer fluid, I was around 100 bucks.

If you do end up using washer fluid, buy that purge valve and wear gloves. The alcohol in that fluid will strip your hands dry and stain them a nice blue. Also dump your fluid in a 5gal bucket. It goes in pretty quick at the start and you want to keep that bucket full so the pump does not draw air in. If I remember, each tire took around 26gal. Fill to the point where you have the valve stem up top and no fluid runs out. At that point, replace the valve and bring the tire pressure back up. Also have a jack under the rear end so when you pull the valve stem, you can have the weight of the tractor help collapse the rear tire and suck in more fluid.


Lifetime Member

B2601HSD & CK4010HST 4WD/FEL
Oct 19, 2016
im down in SE ohio... but my tractor came from up in NW ohio over at Apple Farm Products....

they use some kind of new stuff in loading the tires that doesnt freeze, wont eat your rims up & doesnt hurt your tires... its redish orange in color & wasnt very expensive either...

no matter what you do: DONT go foam loaded rear tires unless you want to totally ruin any chance of absorbing some of the bumps. had a set of foam filled...... OMG was that a mistake.


Active member

Jan 17, 2021
I used RV antifreeze, sure it doesn't weigh as much as beet juice; but its non toxic and wont freeze. Good to -50C.