Power takeoff, or PTO, shafts are extremely important parts of any tractor system. They are the element that transfers power from the tractor to whatever implement may be connected to the tractor. The devices that may be powered by a PTO shaft include rotary mowers, feed grinders, balers and grain bin augers. PTO shafts were one of the major factors in revolutionizing agriculture in North America in the 1930s and they are still widely used. PTO shafts come in several major types.
Transmission PTO Shafts
A transmission PTO shaft is the earliest form of PTO shaft. It connected directly to the transmission of the vehicle in question. The main problem that arises with this type of a PTO shaft is that the shaft stops moving whenever the tractor does, and it is also inoperative when the tractor is taken out of gear. This can cause serious problems when mowing, and sections of the area to be mowed will not be caught. Often, tractors outfitted with this type of PTO shaft will require what is called an overrunning clutch, or a continuously running, PTO shaft. An overrunning clutch prevents the PTO shaft from exerting force upon the transmission, which could result in the tractor failing to stop when the operator wishes it to.
Live Clutch PTO Shafts
A live clutch, or two-stage, PTO shaft allows the tractor's transmission to run on two modes. Pressing halfway on the clutch will disengage the transmission but not the PTO shaft, while pressing on it all the way will disengage the transmission and the PTO. This will remove the danger of the PTO shaft stopping while the operator is switching gears on the tractor, thus not interrupting the work of whatever implement is attached to the PTO shaft at the time.
Independent PTO Shafts
Independent PTO shafts have their own clutch, which can be operated independently of the tractor's transmission. Independent PTOs come in two subtypes, mechanical and hydraulic. A mechanical independent PTO shaft comes with a separate on-off selector, which is separate from the PTO control lever. A hydraulic independent PTO shaft has a single selector for both.
- Photo Credit farm machinery image by lprendy from Fotolia.com
How to Remove the Drive Pulley From a Briggs & Stratton
Before you can remove the oil pan from your engine to do internal repairs on your Briggs & Stratton engine, you will...
How to Install a PTO Shaft
A power take-off (PTO) shaft, typically used on a diesel truck or tractor, provides power to an attachment or separate operator. The...
How to Remove a PTO Shaft
Tractors with power take-off (PTO) driveshafts pull all types of PTO shaft-driven implements. When the implement's PTO shaft engages the PTO driveshaft...
How to Check the Fluid in a Bobcat
Bobcat vehicles are utility machines that are used mostly in the construction and landscaping industries. The Bobcat company manufactures several vehicles that...
How to Adjust a Craftsman Tractor Clutch
Craftsman lawn tractors feature an electronic clutch that includes a brake to stop the pulley after a set time. This internal brake...
How to Hook a Tractor PTO Up to an Augur
A auger is a implement that is used for digging holes. A tractor auger is a type of machine operated post hole...
PTO Shaft on a Tractor: How It Works
The PTO shaft, or power take off shaft, on a tractor transfers power from the engine to the rotary implement. Learn how...