:thanku:just bought a bx 2360 with a bucket. need some input. Do really need a rear ballast? Just moving dirt around & gravel & doing some scraping. I didn,t buy one yet & well hold off if that,s what i get back in feedback
I would recommend ballast in the rear while using the FEL. Some memebers have fabricated their own for allot cheaper than what you pay for a ballast box. The FEL can easily lift over 500 lbs and even if it doesn't lift the rear tires off the ground (which it might) you will put unwanted stress on the front end and lose traction in the back. Plus, if you go down any kind of decline you risk going @$$ over tea kettle.
Rear ballast when using the FEL makes good sense to me. Personally, though, I'd rather use a box blade for the rear ballast. It's a good complement to the FEL (IMO) and supplies plenty of weight to offset a loaded FEL.
I have found that for occasional use, I can use the FEL on my 2660 with quite a load of soil w/o rear ballast. However, I would agree that for moving gravel or other heavy materials, a rear ballast is best.
I too decided to get a box blade (300+ lbs) from TSC for my 1860 instead of a ballast. It's something that I will use a lot so it's not just "Dead weight". It's only a hundred bucks or so more. I got the 4' model.
I don't have it yet, and I've done a lot of work with the FEL, even full buckets of dirt. The back end felt light, and there was extra stress on the front I could tell. So I'm hoping it comes in soon!
Just a word of caution on using a box blade as ballast...
I have a BX2350 with FEL, a ballast box, and a box blade. I've loaded rocks/dirt using both as ballast; on firm FLAT/LEVEL ground the box blade works fine even lifting full heaping buckets of dirt and loading into the dump cart. However, much of my area is hilly (not severely, but its noticeable) and lifting a heaping bucket of dirt while even SLIGHTLY sideways on a slope using the blade as ballast is a BAD idea!!!! I've had the rear uphill tire lift several times doing this. I was loading the dirt into the dump, hauling it all across the property (~300 ft.) and dumping/hilling it & also using the box blade, hence the reason the ballast box wasn't on instead. I use about 400 lbs. of broken bricks in my ballast box and 95% of the time find it to be plenty. (of course I also view a half-full bucket as a wasted trip!)
The box blade actually puts the weight further back, which helps, but it simply isn't really heavy enough for picking up a max weight load in the bucket. The box blade I'd estimate at around 250-300 lbs (two strong guys can flip it up into a S10 truck bed) while my loaded ballast box would be in the 450-550 range.
On side slopes I set the ballast box absolutely as low as I can without digging up the ground. This really lowers the center of gravity and helps stabilize the machine.
Remember, if the center of the ballast box is above the tractor's center of gravity it make side-to-side stability WORSE!!
Bottom line, the ballast box is heavier and I can get it nice and low, it gives me more stability side-to-side. However, the ballast box isn't much help smoothing out the dirt after I dump it!!