My DIY bougie ballast box

Thought I’d share my project in case anyone else has a need for something like this. We have a 35hp tractor that’s suuuper handy on our acreage. For any serious FEL lifting tasks, the tractor does a lot better with some ballast on the back, but it’s not always convenient to have the bushhog or the backhoe attached. So, I made a nifty ballast box this weekend.

Used a 55g barrel I had lying around and threaded some steel pipe through. A lovely neighbor welded 3-pt lift pins on either end of the pipe. For the center lift point coming out the top of the barrel, I used high-test wire cable-- clamped that to the pipe. Filled the whole thing with general construction concrete so the pipe and lifting cables are locked in place.

Before filling the concrete, I sunk a couple lengths of 4" PVC into the barrel, will use these to stow my lifting chains/straps, or hold shovels or other tools.

I offset the sidepins-- they don’t go straight through the center of the barrel – so that I can pitch the barrel at an angle by shortening the top link of the 3pt hitch. Goal is to increase ground clearance and also amplify the ballast effect by getting the weight further out behind.

All-in cost was about $50.
Hope this is useful!

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just wondering if you drilled holes in the bottom of the drum where the 4 inch pvc pipe is for water to drain?

No, I didn’t put the PVC into the barrel until after I’d already put a layer of concrete in. I agree that a drain from the PVC clear through the bottom would’ve been a nice feature. I think it’ll suffice to just prevent water from accumulating-- I’ll make a “lid” with 6" PVC caps, and I can just shop-vac the tubes out if needed.

if water becomes a problem a hole could be drilled using a masonry bit for concrete in a hammer drill, not a big deal to do

Your inexpensive solution is pretty nice