Tractor Stability

bodes1587

New member

Equipment
Kubota B2601
Apr 29, 2022
5
1
1
WV
I just purchased a new B2601 with a 60” MMM and FEL and so far I love it. My use for this will be maintaining my yard and occasional projects that require FEL. We put in a swimming pool and my wife wants river rock all around a 40x80 area surrounding pool. So I’ll be using the FEL a bunch for this project as well as other around the property going forward.

Some background I have about 8 acres and all of my property is on a hillside. Some areas are fairly steep and no place is what I would call level except for my black top driveway. When I purchased the home in 2021 I had a 2008 B2320 that came with the house. I had absolutely zero experience with tractors. Well last summer I used the 2320 and got quite comfortable and was able to mow and maintain the yard safely. This summer the tractor was making a terrible noise so we decided to take it to our local kubota dealership to see what’s up. They informed us that the gear box and transmission were shot. And the quote to fix was north of $5,000. I really enjoyed having a tractor so my wife and I decided to purchase a new b2601 to replace this one.

fast forward I get our new tractor home and I have a huge mound of dirt from the hole that Was dug for the pool that I am trying to slowly move and fill in low spots with etc. I had moved a couple loads last summer with the b2320 with no issue. I wanted to “play” with the new tractor once we got home so I went to fill the bucket up and was going to fill in a spot on the back side of the property and noticed as I made the turn around the pool. Something with a gradual slope before going down steeper that the 2601 rear tire was bouncing. I had the bucket approx 8” above the ground. I had the pucker factor. I lowered the bucket and that steadied me and the tractor. Ended up raising bucket an inch off the ground and very skiddishly backed out of that situation. Sat and pondered and decided to take it slow and keep bucket about an inch above the ground. And it made the turn and got me safely back up to the driveway. Of course I want to note I was in 4WD for the whole thing.
So my sales man followed up next day and I told him the story and that I’d done the same things with my 2320 numerous times and this kind of snuck up on me. He suggestedFilling my tires with windshield washer fluid for stability. I am entertaining this but wonder how would this affect tractor performance from a power standpoint (climbing hills). Or would this give me the much needed and peace of mind stability that would be appreciated. I wondered if anyone would have any thoughts on tractor stability and filling the tires on a somewhat mountainous wv terrain.
Thank you in advance!
Edit: the new tractor has done fine and felt stable without a load in the bucket it has felt stable until then. However I have not mowed everywhere I usually mow with it yet. And now I have the worry in the back of my mind of it not performing the same as the 2320 did in any other unforeseen places while I’m mowing.
 

Mossy dell

Active member

Equipment
B2601 (2021) JD970 (1998) B2100 (1991) B6100E (1988)
Jul 20, 2020
257
105
43
sw VA
Bodes, I am in the VA Blue Ridge. I have rears filled, rears set out with spacers 3”, and carry wt on three point hitch. Seems fairly stable.
 
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bodes1587

New member

Equipment
Kubota B2601
Apr 29, 2022
5
1
1
WV
I don’t mean to sound dumb. But I am uneducated on this. But does the tractor still have a good amount of power to climb for you etc? I didn’t know if the added weight in tires would cause damage to yard when mowing or loss of power on hills
 

Mossy dell

Active member

Equipment
B2601 (2021) JD970 (1998) B2100 (1991) B6100E (1988)
Jul 20, 2020
257
105
43
sw VA
I don’t mean to sound dumb. But I am uneducated on this. But does the tractor still have a good amount of power to climb for you etc? I didn’t know if the added weight in tires would cause damage to yard when mowing or loss of power on hills
Well it slows down going up a 20%+ slope. Not sure if unweighted because safety is a greater concern.
 

OrangeKrush

Well-known member

Equipment
BX2680, LA344 with Piranha tooth bar, LP PF 1242, LP Rear Blade, KK 60" BB
Nov 15, 2020
810
342
63
Indy
Hello and welcome! I'm not sure if it's going to affect power but the tires being filled would really help. Do you have any implements for the rear? That 2320 probably had filled tires..
 
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bodes1587

New member

Equipment
Kubota B2601
Apr 29, 2022
5
1
1
WV
Hello and welcome! I'm not sure if it's going to affect power but the tires being filled would really help. Do you have any implements for the rear? That 2320 probably had filled tires
That Was my thought. It may have had filled tires. Safety is my main concern especially being inexperienced.
I was just unsure of any cons to doing it. From all you guys are saying and other threads I’ve read. I don’t see any cons. I appreciate it.
 
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BigG

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Equipment
l2501, FEL, BB, Rotary cutter, rake,spreader, roller, etc. New Holland TL80 A
Sep 14, 2018
1,823
636
113
West Central,FL
I am sure that your safety is more important then your grass. Load the rear tires. If the wheels will allow wheel weights I would add them as well. Anytime you are using the FEL you need to have a weight hanging off the 3 point hitch. Also continue to use the 4 x 4 as long as you are not on pavement.

Wheel spacers will also help with the stability. Just make sure when and if you spread the rear wheels they do not strike the mmm.
 
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bodes1587

New member

Equipment
Kubota B2601
Apr 29, 2022
5
1
1
WV
I am sure that your safety is more important then your grass. Load the rear tires. If the wheels will allow wheel weights I would add them as well. Anytime you are using the FEL you need to have a weight hanging off the 3 point hitch. Also continue to use the 4 x 4 as long as you are not on pavement.

Wheel spacers will also help with the stability. Just make sure when and if you spread the rear wheels they do not strike the mmm.
Thank you for replying. This is helpful!

what do you guys use for weight off the 3 point hitch?
 

dirtydeed

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
B2650 BH77, BX23TLBM, box blade, rear blade, flail mower, Stump Grinder
Dec 8, 2017
2,051
1,220
113
Wind Gap, PA
forget filling the rear tires if you mow with your tractor. Rather, get yourself a heavy 60" (or 54") box blade. It will help immensely and be very useful for your grading projects.

Honestly, the loaders on these small CUTs are pretty much useless without some 3 point hitch weight.

As others posted, since you're on a hilly piece of property, maybe look into some hub spacers for the rear wheels as well. Just make sure your new box blade will cover your rear width with added spacers.
 
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BigG

Well-known member

Equipment
l2501, FEL, BB, Rotary cutter, rake,spreader, roller, etc. New Holland TL80 A
Sep 14, 2018
1,823
636
113
West Central,FL
I grew up in SE Ohio. My brother worked at the local Wheel Horse dealer. Most of the tractors that were sold went out the door with bar also know as ag tires that were loaded. Clay hills are not conducive to turf tires. Small industrial tires where not common back then either. So I would extend my opinion. Load the tires add the wheel weights if your model will let you and mow the grass.

My dad would not buy the bar tires for our Wheel Horse. He did run tire chains on the tractor year round for 20 plus years with the tires loaded.

The grass will grow back if you happen to scuff it up. Inclines are easier to go up and down without the wheels spinning. Be safe first and the grass will grow.

Add a box blade to the rear for a counter weight. A weight box, rotary cutter or scraper blade are all good for a rear weight.

My current Wheel Horse has loaded tires and ag tires and the grass looks good.
 
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Mossy dell

Active member

Equipment
B2601 (2021) JD970 (1998) B2100 (1991) B6100E (1988)
Jul 20, 2020
257
105
43
sw VA
Bodes, I’ve used a box blade for counter weight a lot. Now I tend to use a Heavy Hitch weight rack because it’s more compact.
 
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85Hokie

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
BX-25D ,PTB. Under Armor, '90&'92-B7100HST's, '06 BX1850 FEL
Jul 13, 2013
9,037
1,084
113
Bedford - VA
Many do not understand the difference between WHEEL WEIGHTS and LOADED TIRES .......

the ground sees NO difference between them - BUT the tractor does.

WHEEL weights are carried BY THE AXLE - the weight pushed DOWN on the AXLE and the rim and the tires - thus adding stability to the tractor by lowering the CG - center of gravity.

BALLAST inside the tire ......... IS NOT carried by the tractor nor axle, the weight simply pushes down on the rubber tire (yes is does push outward a bit too) - when the tractor is rolling, the ballast stays more or less at the bottom of the tire, thus the CG stays lower. WHEN you place a large load on the FEL the rear wants to raise, the front wheels become the fulcrum and the weight in or on the tires counter that weight.

When you are on a hillside - the tipping point of a high CG is offset by the lower CG of the ballast inside the tires just like wheel weights. Lowering the CG is best thing one can do for stability. When the FEL is raised just a bit while fully loaded - the CG raises right along with it.

Now many argue that a ballast box is a better counter weight than a loaded wheel/axle - this is of course true. A 8 foot bear hanging off the rear 3 point adds TREMENDOUS counter balance due to the distance AWAY from the front ends fulcrum.

Wheel weights can be removed somewhat easily - 3 point weight is easily removed, ballasted tires are pretty much ...... forever.

The ONLY real disadvantage of ballasting the tires is prints in the grass - but typically that is the operators fault anyway!
 
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dirtydeed

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
B2650 BH77, BX23TLBM, box blade, rear blade, flail mower, Stump Grinder
Dec 8, 2017
2,051
1,220
113
Wind Gap, PA
The ONLY real disadvantage of ballasting the tires is prints in the grass - but typically that is the operators fault anyway!
They also make the tractor have to work harder when pulling hills. If you read the OP's original post, he mentioned that he's on steep/hilly property and indicated some concern in losing "power". To that, I'd say yes, you will certainly lose some pulling power when climbing hills with any added ballast (whether its on the three point or ballasted tires).

I'm assuming that the OP mows with his machine since it was purchased with a MMM. That's why my suggestion would be to ditch the tire ballast and simply use 3 pt weight when needed for loader work. Its also helpful to ditch the loader too when just mowing.

YMMV
 
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Boss Hog

New member

Equipment
B7610 + other MF tractors.
Apr 20, 2022
12
1
3
Illinois
The trouble with front end loaders is that they put all the weight on the front pivot. And it lifts up on the rear end of the tractor.

I'd suggest putting an implement on the 3 pont when you're working. That will help with stability.
 
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Quick

Member

Equipment
B2601
Sep 23, 2021
59
69
18
St. Clair, MO.
The different forms of rear ballast has been covered above. Spacers have been mentioned as well. Just want to emphasize that it's a night/day different on side-to-side stability adding the spacers.

I have the same tractor with filled rear tires (no MMM.) Adding 3" wheel spacers (on each side) to the rear tires has helped greatly for side-to-side stability. Very helpful when carrying weight in the bucket while on a hill.

Just my 2 cents worth. (-:
 

North Idaho Wolfman

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L3450DT-GST, Woods FEL, B7100 HSD, FEL, 60" SB, 743 Bobcat with V2203, and more
Jun 9, 2013
22,993
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Sandpoint, ID
3" spacers
Load the tires
Get a ballast box or similar weight.
 
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Boss Hog

New member

Equipment
B7610 + other MF tractors.
Apr 20, 2022
12
1
3
Illinois
3" spacers on the rear wheels don't change the fact that the front axle is on a pivot.

Only weight on the rear end will make a significant difference.
 

Henro

Well-known member

Equipment
B2910, BX2200, KX41-2V mini Ex.
May 24, 2019
3,425
1,227
113
North of Pittsburgh PA
The trouble with front end loaders is that they put all the weight on the front pivot. And it lifts up on the rear end of the tractor.

I'd suggest putting an implement on the 3 pont when you're working. That will help with stability.
We need to keep in mind there are two types of stability.

Stability to counteract the effect of the loader, which can cause the rear tires to lift and then the tractor to tilt due to the front axle pivot.

And side slope stability, which is improved the more you space the rear tires outward, and by doing whatever you can to lower the tractors center of gravity.

An implement on the 3PH will certainly help with loader use stability. It MAY or MAY NOT improve side slope stability...
 

rc51stierhoff

Well-known member

Equipment
B2650, MX6000
Sep 13, 2021
439
279
63
Ohio
Ballast is very important, so is speed and choosing your entry/exit if playing on slopes. Dry grass is better than wet, and learning to use the brakes to help you steer to avoid as well as out of a tippy situation…you can always drop the loader. No shame in that or having the rops up and seatbelt on. Don’t try to catch it…it will leave a mark. Think as slow as possible and as fast as necessary. On my B is does absolutely no good to try to drive up a steep incline in anything other than L…it will just bog down the HST…just put it in low and enjoy the cruise to the top of the hill. I would also offer that in my B and a steep slope you only forget to put in 4x4 one time…you will remember a down hill ride N slide…brakes aren’t going to stop it either if steep enough…at least mine don’t…pay attention to where the loader is and the relative to contiurs of the ground.