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This question is about loaded tires on a tractor. This appeared to be the best group for this question to be posted on.

Traditionally, calcium chloride mixed with water has been the standard for loaded tires. It is less than ideal, because eventually something leaks and the calcium chloride solution eats rims fast. It also kills plants where it leaks.

Sugar beet juice has been used for a while, and the AG tire dealers seem to carry it, or at least a variant of it. While it is much pricier than calcium chloride, it is not corrosive, and leaks tend to not rapidly destroy rims.

Some locals have mentioned other solutions, which involve a different antifreeze agent, mixed with water. However, it seems that the local AG tire shops don't offer anything else. I suspect the popularity and availability are regional.

My particular application is with 13.6-16 on 12" rim rear turf tires, on a Ford 1510 tractor.

Does anyone have a list of current products, or better yet, recommendations for filling loaded tires?

  • The "best" solution I have seen to avoid any freezing issues are the cast-iron inner wheel weights - about 20" or 24" in diameter they fix via the existing wheel studs.... – Solar Mike Feb 19 at 14:20
  • So the basic requirements are an antifreeze effect, non-corrosive to metal, and harmless to plants?FWIW 30% calcium chloride (by mass not volume) freezes at about -50C (and more is worse, not better). Beet sugar is being used for snow clearance: inverse.com/article/39632-beet-juice-melt-snow-ice?refresh=82 – alephzero Feb 19 at 14:22
  • @SolarMike, that option would be nice, but in 35 years of looking, I have not found them for the tire and wheel configuration I have. A – mongo Feb 19 at 15:02
  • I know they exist - as I have had to fit and remove them, so you tend to remember... Just mentioned as older ones may work with a conversion plate... – Solar Mike Feb 19 at 15:05
  • @SolarMike use of a conversion plate would require a wider bucket, as the tires just fit within the bucket width, which is nice when digging big trenches (last one: 75ft x6ft x 10 ft deep). Also the tires are turf tires and not using conventional tractor rims. The Tires are 13.6-16 on 12" rims, which leaves little room for bolt on weight. Mounting the weight on the three point hitch, which a neighbor does, eliminates the use of the TPH for other implements. – mongo Feb 19 at 17:30
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Not intended as a definitive answer, and not posted to discourage any other answers, but I just found this rather recent article, which addresses the issues, in part.

https://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/homesteading/tractors-farm-equipment/ballast-the-tractor-tire-fluids-rundown/

From that article:

What Options Are Available
Farmers will always be a breed of their own, but rest assured they will find the cheapest and/or most rugged way to achieve something, and tractor tire fluids are no exception. Some common materials include water, calcium chloride, antifreeze, windshield washer fluid, beet juice and polyurethane foam.

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