Made myself a ballast box for my Bx

AL A

Member

Equipment
BX1880
Aug 25, 2019
33
14
8
Dracut Massachusetts, USA
Managed to complete another little project before the weather gets too crummy here. Even though I'm pretty new to all this small tractor stuff it didn't take long to realize the truth of what everyone says about how unstable these machines can be when the bucket is loaded. While I have not come close to rolling or anything like that, it sure felt sketchy when lifting stuff at near capacity with my pallet forks out of the bed of my truck.

My rear tires are filled with rim guard from the factory but it feels like ballast would help. I had this old ammo can that has been hanging around here for years awaiting a noble purpose, so i welded some angle iron to it so it would attach to my 3 point.



As the box is not huge I wanted something dense and heavy as possible to fill it with. I was able to get some scrap lead from a bullet trap at a local gun club. I did not want to just fill the box with lead dust and small particles, so I melted the lead down, skimmed the crud off and poured it into these tomato sauce cans. After removing the tomatoes, of course. Filled up, each one weighs about 19 pounds. I dropped the old can tops on and hammered the rim down over it to hold them in place. Not pretty, but keeps the lead contained and makes it easier and cleaner to handle.





I have about 200 pounds of lead, but have not gotten it all into cans yet. But I put the 8 I had done into the box, along with some old cast iron window sash weights I had. Currently there is a bit over 200 pounds of ballast there. Though I've not done a lot of lifting with it on there yet it makes a noticeable difference in the way the machine handles and feels. Once I have all of the lead cans in there, I think I'll still have room to drop a square of plywood on top and have a bit of room to store a chain or a few tools on top under the cover. The box is nice and compact and is easily unloaded for storage or if I need to adjust the amount of weight for some reason.


As
 
Last edited:

shelkol

Active member

Equipment
bx-2200, Woods BH6000 backhoe, Tach-N-Go quick attach bucket, snow blower
Nov 12, 2015
182
137
43
Westford, Massachusetts
shelkol.com
Nice job!

I made mine out of an old beer keg and have maybe 700# of lead. I made a movers dolly that will fit under the keg when raised so I can just take it off and roll it to storage in the garage.

I have to add a hose from the top of the keg going into the cab - should get some people talking LOL
 

hope to float

Active member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
L3450
Feb 18, 2018
467
60
28
Ireland
Don't mean to take away from your project (which looks beautiful), BUT, you need to connect the lower lift arms at least halfway up the front of the weight. At the moment, going by your photos, you are carrying the weight above the centre of your back axle. The weight needs to be be as low as possible to gain the maximum benefit. Having a rear weight above the centre of the back axle is going to raise your centre of gravity on a slope and increase your chances of rolling over
 

AL A

Member

Equipment
BX1880
Aug 25, 2019
33
14
8
Dracut Massachusetts, USA
Don't mean to take away from your project (which looks beautiful), BUT, you need to connect the lower lift arms at least halfway up the front of the weight. At the moment, going by your photos, you are carrying the weight above the centre of your back axle. The weight needs to be be as low as possible to gain the maximum benefit. Having a rear weight above the centre of the back axle is going to raise your centre of gravity on a slope and increase your chances of rolling over
That's a valid observation and honestly not something I'd given a lot of thought.
The three point arms are raised up in that photo, so I can simply run with them in a lower spot to get the majority of the weight (most is in the lower half of the box) at or below the level of the axle and almost dragging on the ground if needed. I figured on being able to lower it onto a couple of 4x4's set on the ground or a small furniture type dolly when I wanted to take it off without unloading the lead.

Modifying the attachment point for the three point would be pretty easily accomplished if that looks to make sense.

Thanks for chiming in, I very much appreciate the input. I've still got a lot to learn...
 

AL A

Member

Equipment
BX1880
Aug 25, 2019
33
14
8
Dracut Massachusetts, USA
Nice job!

I made mine out of an old beer keg and have maybe 700# of lead. I made a movers dolly that will fit under the keg when raised so I can just take it off and roll it to storage in the garage.

I have to add a hose from the top of the keg going into the cab - should get some people talking LOL
Thanks very much. A beer keg sounds like the ideal size for a small tractor. Lead is great ballast if you have a cheap source, lots of weight for a small volume. I think I calculated that my box could be almost 900 pounds if I completely filled it with lead, probably more than I need for that small a machine.

I see you are right nearby. I work in Littleton, so I'll have to be on the lookout for a guy on a tractor sucking beer from a keg on my drive into work...
 

skeets

Well-known member

Equipment
BX 2360 /B2601
Oct 2, 2009
14,038
2,706
113
SW Pa
Guy got a couple hundred pounds of scrap lead in the back of his tractor in #10 mater cans :rolleyes: , you guys distract him till I get the truck loaded :D
Looks like a nice set up
 

skeets

Well-known member

Equipment
BX 2360 /B2601
Oct 2, 2009
14,038
2,706
113
SW Pa
LOL,, naww just lead, its hard to find around here, even on the range but then we aint got no traps just slate piles behind the butts :D