Frequently Asked Questions
Aftermarket Tractor Weights Versus "Factory" Tractor Weights
Aftermarket and Factory Weights
Tractor weights, much like tractor tires produced by third party manufacturers, are almost always produced for the brand manufacturer by third-party foundries. These iron foundries are considered a supplier to the Original Equipment Manufacturer or OEM. Many of these foundries produce and supply the weights that the brand manufacturer uses on their products as well as nearly identical weights for other markets or OEMs. Weights purchased for use, distribution and sale by the brand manufacturer may very well have that buyer’s part number or logo cast into the weights. Identical shape weights produced for other buyers will not have these part numbers or logos or will have different part numbers and logos cast into the weights.
While some of the OEMs may design their weights and actually own the tooling and patterns that are used by the third-party iron foundries to produce the weights, cross brand usage of identical weights is very common. Often the only difference between weights produced for Brand “A” and those produced for Brand “B” will be the part numbers, logo and paint finish. The basic tractor weight can be, and often is, identical.
Where an OEM has a strict agreement with a foundry not to distribute the products to other buyers, generic equivalents are almost always available in the marketplace. When a generic equivalent is not available, a weight with a different design is usually available in the marketplace. In many circumstances these weights, with a different design, are even better and more efficient than those designed by, and produced for, the OEM.
The OEMs usually have a Quality Assurance Plan in force with the producing foundry so that their specifications and uniformity goals are met by the producer. Generic versions or versions with a different design may or may not be produced with the same quality control requirements. We have observed tractor weights that were clearly inferior to those produced on behalf of the OEMs and we have seen tractor weights that were clearly superior to the products offered by the brand manufacturer.
Regardless of where manufactured, the costs for foundries to produce cast iron tractor weights are pretty similar. The ultimate cost to the consumer or end user depends on the number of entities and overhead between the original producer and the end user. A typical OEM (brand manufacturer) has weights produced by a foundry. A trucking company takes the product to a distribution center or assembly facility. Another trucking company takes the product from the distribution center or assembly facility to the dealer. The dealer sells to the end user. Corporate buyers, logisticians, parts analysts, processors, inventory analysts, marketing departments, etc. all add to the ultimate cost of the product. “Aftermarket” suppliers can eliminate many of the middle entities, overhead, and procedures. This streamlined process results in less total cost and increased value for the consumer.
When shopping for an “aftermarket” tractor weight; choosing a well-known, long time manufacturer or distributor of ballast weights is your best option to assure you receive great products, great value, and after the sale support. You will want a company that stands behind their products, understands your needs, and is well versed in the application, installation, and usage of their castings.
Concrete Tractor Weights Versus Cast Iron Tractor Weights
Concrete Versus Cast Iron
The popularity and perceived effectiveness of concrete tractor weights has varied widely over the years. Long the “cheap” alternative for do-it-yourself folks, commercially produced products are also available. Unfortunately, concrete versus cast iron is an apple to oranges comparison. Concrete weighs roughly 150 pounds per cubic foot whereas cast iron weighs roughly 450 pounds per cubic foot. An equivalent weight concrete product would have to be much larger than its cast iron counterpart. From a size and flexibility standpoint, concrete tractor weights will never be as efficient or effective as cast iron. Additionally, it has been our experience that cast iron tractor weights hold their value very well whereas concrete weights do not.
Loaded Tires - Fluid Versus Cast Iron Tractor Weights
Loaded Tires - Fluid Versus Cast Iron Tractor Weights
Every tractor ballast solution has its pros and cons. While less flexible than cast iron ballast, there are many circumstances where fluid filled tires perform well, whether alone or in combination with cast iron weights. There are also many circumstances where the negative aspects of fluid make its use in tractor tires a poor choice. Adherents of one method versus another method abound and their opinions are often biased to their particular application and tire selection.
From an economic standpoint, the initial cost of fluid can be less expensive than cast iron ballast. However, it has been our experience, cast iron weights hold their value very well, with pre-owned weights often selling for more than the cost of new weights.
While manufacturers recommendations should always be considered, operators of MFWD, 4 wheel drive, and all those with radial tires installed should be cautious and well informed when considering liquid over cast iron ballast.
Although we do manufacture and distribute cast iron weights and do not manufacture or distribute tire fluids, we do sometimes recommend fluid where, in our belief, the application and equipment warrants the use of fluid. Where an individual has a concern or is interested in choosing between all the available options, we recommend the following links as a starting point to learn more. We will, of course, be happy to answer any questions or point you to the best source of information for your application. Simply contact us for more information.
Do you Ship to Canada, Mexico, or Overseas?
We ship our products worldwide. As a general rule, we require international customers to have their own customs broker in place at the time of the shipment. If you do not have a customs broker that you regularly use, we can make a recommendation in most cases. In the alternative, especially for Canadian customers, we can ship to a border service that can then broker and forward your items or hold them for you to pick up. Please contact us with your specific requirements and we will be happy to get you a quote.
Shipping Costs: Commercial, Residential, Farm Addresses
Why does it cost more to ship to a residential or farm address?
We negotiate throughout the year with the major trucking companies that service our area in an effort to get the best pricing for our customers. The vast majority of our shipments, due to the weight involved, ship via motor freight (also known as truck freight). Every one of these carriers have tariff rules that apply to their shipments. It is easier and less costly for them, they believe, to deliver to a commercial business in town that has a loading dock and forklift available. This is where we get the best rates. They then tack on additional charges for Residential Deliveries, Limited Access Fees, Liftgate Service, Farm Deliveries, Marina Deliveries, School Deliveries, etc. In real world scenarios these tariff rules and upcharges don’t make much sense but are extremely difficult to negotiate and trucking companies are very resistant to lowering or eliminating these upcharges.
Your shipping cost for our products will always be less if you have a commercial business in town with a forklift that can receive the weights for you. It could be the place you work, a local co-op, gas station, body shop, feed store, etc. The receiving entity does not necessarily have to have an actual loading dock in order for us to get the best rate for your shipment but it should have a forklift or similar equipment available.
How Much Weight Do I Need?
Proper Ballasting for Farm Tractors
Every tractor manufacturer will usually provide guidelines and maximum specifications for ballast weights. Some even offer ballast calculators. That said, every application is different and there are a variety of factors to consider. It is often the case that long-time commercial farmers know exactly what they need; whereas the owners of many compact and utility tractors are often seeking guidance and recommendations. It is not uncommon for many owners of compact and utility tractors to assume that bigger and heavier weights are better. This is rarely the case. We deal with these issues everyday and can provide recommendations for the most common setups for your application and your machine.
For all owners of tractors and especially for owners of large tractors, we recommend the following link for more information about ballasting:
For owners of compact and utility tractors, we recommend that you contact us to discuss your specific tractor and your specific application. Owners of tractors with a loader attached may also want to review our FAQ sections on using front and rear weights with loaders.
Total Weight Per Tractor Wheel
How Much Weight Can I Put On My Tractor Wheel?
As detailed in other FAQ sections, we must know your tractor model, wheel or tire size, and correct wheel weight mounting pattern. The heaviest weight is not always the best option. There will be tractor and wheel specifications that should not be exceeded regardless of whether the heaviest weight available will bolt onto the wheel. Discussing with you to verify your equipment and learn your application requirements is the most fruitful and will result in the most efficient and cost-effective recommendation.
Standard Wheel on Farm Tractors
Standard Wheels on Tractors
We often get inquiries that state; "I have the standard wheel for my model of tractor and I want to know what weight will fit." Unfortunately, almost all tractors have multiple wheel options. A customer may have ordered his tractor from the dealer with a particular wheel. If a person bought their tractor new from the dealer’s stock, it will have the wheel that the dealer ordered when they purchased the tractor from the manufacturer. If a person bought their tractor used, then almost anything is possible. To help us help you, please let us know your tractor model, wheel or tire size and wheel weight mounting hole pattern whenever possible. With this information in hand we can best make the recommendations and present you with a complete array of options for your machine.
For information about wheel weight mounting hole patterns, please see this link:
Using Front Weights With Loader Attached
Front Weights With Loaders
As a general rule, front tractor weights (suitcase style and similar) will not work with a loader attached. Usually the weights will interfere with the loader operation. Where additional front weight is really required, front wheel weights or fluid in the front tires are usually the best options. Please contact us for more information about your specific application and equipment.
Mounting Weights With Square Holes in Wheels
Wheels with Square Holes
Many tractors have square holes in the wheels that are used to mount tractor weights. This has created confusion among some of our customers. Generally square holes are designed to accept carriage bolts as an aid to tractor weight installation. This does not mean that the correct and appropriate weight will also have square holes.
Will Our Weights Stack On "Factory" Weights?
Stacking Weights on Existing Weights
In most cases we can match the weight you already have installed and they will stack correctly with the “Factory” version. To assure fit, it is helpful if you provide us with the part number for the weights you already have installed. We have had instances where the customer believed their previously installed weight to be a current “factory” version but was actually an older or obsolete “factory” version or an aftermarket version. We can also receive pictures by text and email. Simply contact us for more information.
Can I Use Standard Bolts and Nuts Found at the Local Hardware Store to Mount Tractor Weights?
Using Standard Bolts as Mounting Hardware
Very often the correct grade and size of the bolts required to mount wheel weights are not available at the "corner hardware store." We can provide correct mounting hardware for the majority of our tractor weights. In circumstances where we do not provide hardware or where the customer wants to obtain the hardware locally, we can provide you with the specifications to ensure you are purchasing the correct hardware size and grade.
It is very important that the correct size and grade hardware is used to mount the weights. Cheap alternatives can fail under stress resulting in the potential for accidents, damage, and injury.
IMPORTANT - Wheel Weight Mounting Patterns
Wheel Weight Mounting Patterns Apply To ALL Wheel Weights.
All wheel weights have specific mounting patterns required for installation. These will match the mounting pattern that is available in the wheel of your tractor. Different weights for different applications and brands will have different mounting patterns as will the wheels installed on the tractors. While these patterns are fairly standardized among and across most brands, different wheels will have different patterns. We must verify your mounting hole pattern in order to make a recommendation. Please see the link below for more information on how to verify your wheel weight mounting pattern.
Please contact us if you need assistance in verifying your mounting pattern.
The Weight has 3 Hole Pattern but I Have 6 Holes in My Wheel.
Tractor Wheels With Multiple Holes and Multiple Patterns
Some wheels may have 6 holes where only 3 are used to mount weights. This is often so that additional wheel weights can be mounted on the other side of the wheel. It could also be that even though the mounting “pattern” is a 3-hole pattern, the weight may have the same 6 holes as the wheel and additional fasteners may be used. Some wheels have multiple patterns that will allow different weights to be used depending on the application or the desire of the customer. A common two pattern wheel may have 6 round holes in a circle with 4 square holes inside this circle. The 6 round holes allow for mounting a certain style of weight whereas the 4 square holes allow for mounting a different style of weight. The two patterns would not be used at the same time on the same side of the wheel.
For instructions on determining mounting hole patterns and visual examples, please see the link below:
Please feel free to contact us for more information.
Using Rear Wheel Weights with a Front Loader Attached.
Ballasting for Tractors With Front Loaders
We receive many inquiries from tractor owners that have a loader installed and feel the rear end is too light. This is a situation that can be solved but certain caveats apply. Lighter tractors and increasing horsepower both contribute to this situation. Additionally, the loaders now available are exceptional and can often outperform the tractor on which they are installed. While everyone wants to be able to lift the maximum that their loader is capable, the tractor specifications or customer’s application may discourage this maximum usage.
On Compact Tractors and smaller Utility Tractors we can usually advise you on the correct rear wheel weight to achieve the most efficient use of the loader. Larger utility tractors are easier to set up due to their heavier overall weight and stronger frames.
Some of the smaller tractors do not have full frames. They, instead, often use the transmission housing as part of the frame. Too much rear weight coupled with maximum lifting on the loader can create disproportionate stresses on the "frame" and create a need for a very expensive repair.
We routinely receive calls from customers moving round bales that feel the rear is too light. The same for customers handling metals, mud, gravel and other aggregates. Taking the time to discuss and understand the customer’s requirements coupled with a deep understanding of the equipment has allowed us to successfully solve the vast majority of these issues. These are often situations where the biggest and heaviest weight is not the best solution. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us for more information.
Single Wheel Weights Versus Stacking Weights
Single Wheel Weights and Stacked Wheel Weights
Some weights and wheels are designed such that stacking is the only option to achieve the desired weight for the application. Usually, where possible, a single weight is preferable. A single weight uses less hardware, is less likely to shift during use, and less likely to extend out beyond the edge of the wheel. Orchard tractors using “Factory” stacking weights can be problematic as they often extend out far beyond the wheel when the correct amount of weights for the application are installed. We offer a complete line of orchard weights that are single weights and will not extend out beyond the edge or only minimally exceed the edge of the wheel. These orchard weights are also very popular for non-orchard utility tractor owners. They have saved a lot of fence posts, gates, and barn doors while providing the appropriate ballast for the customer’s application. Contact us for more information about specialty weights.
My tractor does not have holes in the wheel for weights.
Tractor Wheels without Weight Mounting Holes.
Some tractors do not have mounting holes for wheel weights in the wheel or rim. Sometimes this is because the tractor is simply not designed to accept wheel weights. Sometimes the original wheels have been replaced. In rare circumstances the wheel weight may mount to the lugs or require a special adapter. In all of these circumstances it is best to contact us for more information about your particular tractor and application.
Tractor Weights for Older Models and Brands
Tractor Weights for Oliver, White, Minneapolis-Moline, Fordson, Allis-Chalmers, J.I. Case, Chamberlain, and others.
We still have some of the patterns and tooling available for older tractors. In general, items listed on our website are for current and popular tractor weights. For older model tractors it is best to contact us to see if tooling and patterns are still available for us to produce the weights. If we no longer have the patterns to produce the weights, we will attempt to point you to the best source to acquire either new or used weights.
Tractor Clubs and Companies that supply tractor restoration products should contact us directly regarding volume purchases or distribution opportunities
What If Your Weights Don't Fit My Tractor?
Issues With Our Products
We stand behind our products and will refund or replace any of our weights that are defective due to material or workmanship or are shipped in error. Detailed warranty information is available on request.
Where Can I Get More Information?
Contact Us For More Information.
We are available Monday thru Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Central Time.