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Maintenance Guide for Earthmover Tyres: Ballasting the Tyres

Maintenance Guide for Earthmover Tyres: What is ballasting?


Ballasting is useful for:

  • increasing the machine’s tipping load and thereby increasing the carrying capacity of the bucket;
  • making the machines more stable, particularly in the event of bouncing.

Ballasting consists in increasing the weight of the tyre assembly. To do this, with the manufacturer’s consent, the operator can either use additional weights or ballast the tyres.

Note: given the weight of amachine and the internal volume of the tyres equipping them, ballasting does not have any significant effect on the machines’ traction capability.

Ballasting can be applied to bothtubeless and tube-type tyres (for the latter, simply fill the inner tube with the liquid).


  • The operation does not necessitate a special valve if the tyre is equipped with a high-capacity valve (earthmover- type valve)
  • In the case of tyres equipped with a truck-type valve, the valve should be replaced by a high-capacity valve (earthmover-type valve) or by a special valve known as an Americantype air-water valve.
  • An antifreeze solution must be used to avoid the risks of freezing linked to climatic conditions.


Water ballasting

Water ballasting is usually taken to 75%, and the tyre retains its distinctive features.

It is performed with a mixture of water and a non-corrosive antifreeze product.

We strongly advise against 100% ballasting, as this would increase the stresses exerted on the tyre (this would have to be referred to as water inflation).

Prior to the ballasting operation, if the tyre has just been mounted on the rim, do not forget to inflate it to the pressure recommended for the proper positioning of the beads on the rim (generally 5 bars).

Ballasting consists of filling the inner tube or the tubeless tyre through the valve with liquid until it reaches the valve (tyre positioned with valve at
the top). The assembly is then inflated with air and the pressure adjusted to the operating pressure.


Take a, 23.5 R 25 XHA TL *
– Internal volume = 660 litres
– Volume of solution to be added = 660 x 75% = 495 litres
– The weight added is therefore approximately 495 kg per tyre.


  • as the volume of air used to maintain the pressure is very low, it is imperative to check the pressure regularly (every 4 to 6 weeks);
  • when mounted tyres are stored, we recommend that the ballast be removed;
  • never use a corrosive antifreeze product;
  • after the ballasting operation, the machine will have to be weighed to establish the correct inflation pressure.

Necessary precautions

Protecting operators

  • Operators must wear gloves and protective glasses to protect themselves from possible liquid spills and sprays;
  • Replace the valve interior and cap;
  • Check that the assembly is airtight (base, valve, cap).

During inflation, do not stand facing the wheel, but facing the tread

Risk: projectiles
If the mounting is carried out correctly,the risks are limited. However it is prudent to stand facing the tread of the tyre during inflation.

Making the machine safe

If the ballasting is performed with tyres mounted on the machine, certain rules must be obeyed:

  • the machine must always be at a standstill and immobilised;
  • ensure that the machine is securely locked;
  • ensure that the locking rod is properly installed (on articulated machines).

Further information

MICHELIN has developed a specific training module on tyre inflation. Your usual MICHELIN representative would be happy to present it to you.

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