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We have a Kubota L3240 with 420/70-24 6 ply tires. It was purchased eight years ago, and was new from the dealer although it had sat on their lot for a couple of years.

A few nights ago we heard an explosion and ran out to find one of the rear tires had exploded, spraying putrid beet juice everywhere. The fender was bent, the tail light hanging and the tire was shredded. The force damaged the side of our new shop, cutting the metal and splitting a 2 x 6 running along the wall. We were very lucky. It could have killed someone, but what happened? When we purchased the tractor, we chose beet juice for tire ballast. We have never added air to the tires. The tractor has 358 hours on it, been serviced, the tires still look good and it has been stored under a canopy or next to our building. We have mild summers and winters compared to most places. The day of the incident, the weather was mild, I used it for two hours to scrape for drainage in prep for the winter rains and parked it under the wing of my shop. It sat for four hours before we heard what sounded like a cannon shot. Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? Everyone sings the praises of beet juice for ballast and I only could find one posting where someone was against it. They stated that if it was contaminated with water when installed, it could ferment and raise the psi. The installation was eight years ago. We are looking for some seasoned input.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Wow, that is quite an incident! Glad no one was hurt.
Is the product you are using, Rim Guard? I would talk to them and find out if it is true that over time, the product will have an adverse affect on rubber valve stems and the like. Maybe your tire was compromised from the product.... if so, beware of the other side? If you do decide to check the tire pressure, beware that the valve stem may be compromised and blow the contents out of the tire through what remains of the valve stem.
Just my thoughts....
 

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We have a Kubota L3240 with 420/70-24 6 ply tires. It was purchased eight years ago, and was new from the dealer although it had sat on their lot for a couple of years.

A few nights ago we heard an explosion and ran out to find one of the rear tires had exploded, spraying putrid beet juice everywhere. The fender was bent, the tail light hanging and the tire was shredded. The force damaged the side of our new shop, cutting the metal and splitting a 2 x 6 running along the wall. We were very lucky. It could have killed someone, but what happened? When we purchased the tractor, we chose beet juice for tire ballast. We have never added air to the tires. The tractor has 358 hours on it, been serviced, the tires still look good and it has been stored under a canopy or next to our building. We have mild summers and winters compared to most places. The day of the incident, the weather was mild, I used it for two hours to scrape for drainage in prep for the winter rains and parked it under the wing of my shop. It sat for four hours before we heard what sounded like a cannon shot. Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? Everyone sings the praises of beet juice for ballast and I only could find one posting where someone was against it. They stated that if it was contaminated with water when installed, it could ferment and raise the psi. The installation was eight years ago. We are looking for some seasoned input.
Beet juice can ferment if contaminated with microbes just like diesel can.

Since BOTH tires are with the beet juice, did you take a tire pressure reading of the current standing tire?

We can and ferment plenty of beets. Beets have a good deal of nitric oxide in them. If fermentation is occurring, there is a sure way to check. Take a liquid sample out of the good tire. Send it out to be analyzed for alcohol content levels. Or if you are into wine making, you can check the level well enough. Is there any beet juice not contaminated from the explosion to sample? But by now, the alcohol content would of evaporated.

Otherwise, tires do fail. Mid-Spring, I had a new Firestone front 2WD tire blowout. It was only 2 weeks old.

CC is bad for tire fill due to corrosion and toxic to ground water. Beet juice seems alright. I tend to use RV/Marine 'pet-safe' propylene glycol antifreeze. It's the 'pink' antifreeze found in most stores. I have to keep a watch for when it goes on sale in February.

Now, if other options were cost effective, it too can be used for tire fill.

Soybean Oil: 3F (-16C) 24: 61: 15: Corn Oil: 12F (-11C) 25: 61: 14: Canola Oil: 14F (-10C) 58: 35: 7: Grapeseed Oil: 14F (10C)

All have pros/cons.
 

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I run 10-12 in rear.

Hate beet juice......its all leaving as I get flats that need fixed.

Its sticky ,stinky,rots the valve cores......otherwise its fine.

I'll go to www fluid or RV antifreeze as time goes on.

Your explosion .......sounds like some super high pressure .

Even a 20 psi tire I wouldn'nt think would do that sort of damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Welcome to the forum. Wow, that is quite an incident! Glad no one was hurt.
Is the product you are using, Rim Guard? I would talk to them and find out if it is true that over time, the product will have an adverse affect on rubber valve stems and the like. Maybe your tire was compromised from the product.... if so, beware of the other side? If you do decide to check the tire pressure, beware that the valve stem may be compromised and blow the contents out of the tire through what remains of the valve stem.
Just my thoughts....
Thanks for welcoming us to the forum. We felt this is an important safety that should be shared. Yes, the product was Rim Guard. (The rim does still look great, no rust!) We haven't contacted them yet. We are currently talking with our Kubota dealer and a local tire store. The valve stems are still good and the second tire pressure is still below the suggested psi so far. We will be having the second tire drained and checked, and we will choose a different product in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Interesting, I wonder what the tire pressure was for that to happen and that violently.
I knew I liked cast iron better.
I have no idea, but I can tell you this, I have been a CDL driver for for 45 years and seen/heard quite a few semi-tires blow. This was as bad as I have ever seen and I have never seen one blow that was just sitting parked for four hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I run 10-12 in rear.

Hate beet juice......its all leaving as I get flats that need fixed.

Its sticky ,stinky,rots the valve cores......otherwise its fine.

I'll go to www fluid or RV antifreeze as time goes on.

Your explosion .......sounds like some super high pressure .

Even a 20 psi tire I wouldn'nt think would do that sort of damage.
We found a thread on a tractor blog in which the person stated that he was told by a local dealer that beet juice contaminated with water could cause fermentation and has caused a tire to go to 80 psi. We are still researching and want to warn people about the possible risk. We wish we would have known.
 

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We found a thread on a tractor blog in which the person stated that he was told by a local dealer that beet juice contaminated with water could cause fermentation and has caused a tire to go to 80 psi. We are still researching and want to warn people about the possible risk. We wish we would have known.
I read that as well. Hopefully someone out there, whether a RimGuard rep. or not, can join in the conversation and discuss whether or not this is a possibility.
 

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Chloride is used because it adds more weight than just water. I had a tire that had a slow leak & clipped a air chock on the stem to fill the tire. I got distracted & forgot about it & went to plant corn. When it blew cars going by heard it & the neighbor a block away heard it. Bent the fender & battery box under the seat. it was 15' from the shop wall & pushed the top out. Won't do that again.
 

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Being old school.. I still run 35% calcium chloride in tubes on large frame tractors. Best dollar per pound return. Any method of weighting has its pros/cons, but except for potential rim damage pound for pound I’ll stick with CaCl. In my case I use a 4 tire fill on 4x4, and rear tire fill and front stack weights on 4x2 tractors. B.
 

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Wow! So glad no one was around at the time it exploded and thanks so much for sharing this for all of us to be aware of. Never having added tire ballast I can only assume you added air after putting in the beet juice. Also assuming you used an air compressor to do so, I wonder if you picked up water contamination at that point. If you don't have an air dryer on your system and especially if you did the tires on two different days where one day was more humid than the other and that was the day you did the tire that exploded that might explain why one is still fine and probably not fermenting. If you are using a small compressor like I do (ten gallon) that becomes very apparent when you drain the tank after each use and all the water that comes out of the bottom of the tank. Good luck with your research.
 

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Good thing nobody was nearby when this happened. Sorry about your tractor and workshop.

Anything with sugar in it can ferment if contaminated with bacteria or more likely, yeast*. The yeast (or microbes) consume the sugar and produce carbon dioxide. Yeast is present in the atmosphere - one way of making sourdough bread is to expose flour and water to the air for a few hours then let it ferment. I once had some bottles of home made root beer explode - fortunately in the closet where they were fermenting.

Sounds to me like a reasonable precaution would be to check the tire pressure now and then. I have no idea how quickly the pressure can build up, but I'd suspect it takes weeks. Ambient temperatures will also play a role. If checking the pressure is too onerous, or you are forgetful, consider one of those add on tire pressure monitoring system - like Hawkshead or FOBO. As far as I know, wheel weights (as an alternative to beet juice) pose no danger other than to your wallet.

*Unless there is an anti-microbial added that kills the little buggers.
 

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It seems to me antifreeze/water mix would be the best choice. Antifreeze I'm thinking wouldn't be corrosive or harm rubber since it goes through rubber hoses.
As a kid calcium chloride was used (salt?) but that corrodes metal rims.

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Long as it's RV/Marine pet safe. Normal antifreeze EG or the OAT long life would do damage to the metal rims in time.
The OAT formula has a very small corrosion inhibitor additive as today's vehicle use nearly 99.99% aluminum metals in the cooling systems now. Old green EG has it's own toxic issues and isn't too friendly with China made tubes for tires.

As for Pet safe PINK coolant, we are good to go with no worries.

Modern washer fluid is low tox methanol with a higher ethanol content these days if comparing another option due to costs to have weight and to keep from freezing.
 
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