Water Ballasting Your Tractor Tyres

Ballasting is used to improve the stability of your tractor and provide efficient traction when your rear mounted implement is heavy or requires a lot of tractive force.

The most common ballasting technique involves adding weights to the front to re-balance the load distribution over all four wheels and make it possible to increase traction capacity and control slippage.


Water ballasting is a simple and cost-effective solution to increasing the weight of your tractor if you work frequently with heavy implements. This type of ballasting may be used to re-balance the vehicle permanently if you are using the same implements in similar conditions.

As a rule, weight distribution is 60% on the rear axle and 40% on the front axle.

You may have several reasons to add ballast to your tractor, but the main reason is that your tractor is too light overall compared to the weight of your implements.

There is a basic rule to follow to establish whether your tractor is too light or not, which is the power-to-weight ratio: this ratio must be at least 49 kilos per horsepower.

What are the benefits of water ballasting my tractor tyres?

  • Good ballasting helps you take advantage of the capacities of your agricultural machine, your tyres and your implements creating optimal traction and minimal slippage.
  • Water ballasting only requires a set of valves, a few hoses, some anti-freeze and water, which is why it is an economical solution.
  • Reduction in slippage which reduces tyre wear.
  • Improved traction resulting in time saved.

What are the disadvantages of water ballasting?

  • It is not suitable for travelling at speed on the road.
  • The movement of the water mass in the front tyres produces a pendulum effect when driving and braking, which can create a loss of steering control.
  • Increase in fuel consumption.
  • Constant tyre pressure monitoring (When you ballast your tyres with water, the volume of air in the tyre drops to only 25% and the slightest loss of air may lead to a major variation in inflation pressure, which means that you need to check inflation pressure constantly).
  • Water ballasting could be useful for load balance, but it could be worse for your soil compaction.
  • If soil protection is your first concern, water ballasting is not an ideal solution.



Water ballasting clearly appears to be an economical solution at first glance. However, with the increased fuel consumption linked to pulling the dead weight all year round, this technique is not necessarily the best way to improve tyre grip when working with heavy implements.

Sometimes it is simpler to consider the quality of your tyre. Low-pressure tyres are equipped with very supple sidewalls which make it possible to distribute weight more evenly simply by adjusting inflation pressure and which can carry heavier loads while preserving your soil at the same time.

Contact a Tyrezim representative for more technical information and advice on all your agricultural tyre needs.

@tyrezim | 08677 200 300  | [email protected]



Article reference

  1. firestone-agriculture.eu. (n.d.). You want to know everything about water ballasting your tractor tyres. [online] Available at: https://www.firestone-agriculture.eu/blog/you-want-to-know-everything-about-water-ballasting-your-tractor-tyres [Accessed 15 Jun. 2021].