Tractors frequently push, lift and carry heavy loads. Filling tractor tires with water makes the tractor heavier, and therefore more stable. When lifting a heavy load, the liquid ballast in the tires counterbalances the weight of the load, keeping the tractor upright and its operator safe.
There are several kinds of liquid ballast for tires, including water. Water is cheap and convenient, especially if you live in a warm climate where the water won't freeze.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Air/liquid adaptor
- Tire jack
- 3/4-inch standard garden hose
- Tire compressor
Purchase an air/liquid adaptor at a hardware store. The adaptor is a small metal unit that will connect the hose to the tire stem. Adaptors are generally sized to fit TR 218A/220A stems. You may require additional adaptors if your tires have TR 13 or TR 15 stems.
Use the tire jack to lift a tire off the ground. Rotate the tire so that the valve and stem are positioned at the top of the tire.
Remove the valve core. This will cause the tire to deflate. Remove the core housing once the tire has deflated, so that the adaptor will fit properly. Do not remove the rim nut from the stem.
Tightly screw the water hose onto the larger end of the adaptor. Attach the smaller end of the adaptor to the tire-valve stem.
Turn on the main water supply. As water flows into the tire, pressure will build from the remaining air in the tire. Depending on the unit you have purchased, the adaptor may automatically release the air pressure.
If the adaptor requires manual release of pressure, turn off the water supply when you see that too much air pressure has built up within the tire. Press and hold the button on the adaptor to release pressure. At first, you may see water being released along with the air, but this will stop within a short time.
Once you have relieved the air pressure from the tire, let go of the button and turn on the water supply again. Repeat this process when the air pressure builds up again.
Turn off the water supply when the water level reaches the tire valve or the tire is 75 per cent filled with water.
Remove the adaptor from the tire valve. Use the tire compressor to add air to the tire until the pressure is at the level recommended for your specific tire.
Replace the core housing and valve core to keep the tire inflated.
Tips and warnings
- If your tire doesn't have core housing, install an additional small adaptor after removing the valve core and deflating the tire. Screw the larger adaptor onto this smaller adaptor, and then connect the larger adaptor to the hose and the small adaptor to the tire valve stem.
- If excessive tire pressure is not released when necessary, the tire may explode.
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