When to use liquid and salt ballasting for forest tires

Ballasting is common for certain use cases. It has been very common for agriculture tires for tractors, but also for forest tires. Ballasting is where the tires are filled with water or then to prevent freezing, use commercial salt (CaCl2). Ballasting will increase the weight and thus the stability, so that you have better traction. When you fill the tires, only 75% of the volume should be filled with water, so you have to check the volume of the tyre and calculate the volume of water that needs to be added. You can check the technical manual to see all the data. For ballasting you will need to have inner tubes to prevent the rims from rusting.

If you want them to prevent freezing, then the water volume has to be recalculated, as you will now also add salt.  You can then go down to -30°C or -22°F. There is no use of adding extra salt, as it will not dissolve in the water. After the 75% of tyre has been filled with water or water and salt combination, the rest is filled up with air to achieve the correct tire pressure. The tire pressure should then be checked regularly as it is only 25% of the volume that is filled with air. Tyre pressure will also change with changing temperature, so when the temperature drops drastically, you will need to top up the pressure.

For ballasting, you will need to have the tubes, special water permeable valves. To make sure that this is done properly, it is advisable to let a tire service center focusing on this to do it, so that their experts can make sure it is done correctly. Try to avoid filling it with anything else than liquid, as the tire warranty might not apply. Make sure to use only the tubes that are recommended by the tire manufacturer for optimal tube life. The tube also needs to be replaced based on the usage and how heavy working conditions that you are operating in.

This is one way that heavy duty tires can be used for improving the grip and stability if you feel that it is needed, in most cases the equipment is so heavy and the forest tires allow for chains and tracks to be used to improve the traction and the tires are often stable enough.

For more information regarding ballasting of forest tires, visit: https://www.nokianheavytyres.com/