A tractor power take-off (PTO) and the power take-off drive shaft of a machine are very dangerous if used and not correctly guarded.
Every year people are killed or seriously injured in accidents involving PTOs and PTO drive shafts. Most of these accidents are preventable if the PTO and PTO drive shaft are fitted with guards of good design which are properly used and maintained. Note: Broken, damaged or badly fitting guards can be just as dangerous as no guard at all.
We all know that PTO parts are expensive, so as a result broken PTO’s tend to get left unattended to. Below are some tips from Ellis Machinery to help you prolong the life of your PTO and guard, not only saving you money but keeping you safe.
1. Always make sure that the restraining device (fig1) is attached to the machine and the tractor. If not then the guard can spin round, therefore wearing it out a lot faster with fatigue, and also making it unsafe.
2. Make sure you grease the PTO UJ’s and guard bearings (fig 2) daily when in use. This will prolong the life of your PTO and guard.
3. Do not overload the PTO or use too big a tractor for the task being undertaken. This will not only reduce the life of the PTO, but could result in twisting the profile tube therefore causing the PTO to vibrate which will end up shattering the guard and joints. Also switch the PTO off when turning more than 45º or 80º for a wide
angle PTO, as this causes excessive wear on the UJ joints.
4. Sometimes the guard bearing ring (fig 3) can get damaged if the PTO is dropped or crushed against something. This will stop the guard bearing rotating and wear it out fast. There are two options when this happens. 1. Get a 4.5” grinder with a cutting disc in it and cut round the ring opening it back up again. 2. Or fit a new bearing ring (fig 4) which are available to suit the size of your PTO profile shaft. These are very easily welded on and make a fast cheap way of repairing your PTO. These rings are availible as a Walterscheid part. This method can also be applied to older PTO’s if guards are no longer available to purchase.
5. Never store your PTO with it resting on the cone. Over time this will miss shape the cone and could also displace the guard bearing off the bearing ring.
6. Be very careful when turning as the tractor lower links could catch the PTO. Also make sure you don’t lift the implement up too high as this could jam the PTO between the implement and the tractor and bend the profile tube. These are very common causes of PTO damage.
We hope these few points will save you money by extending the life of your PTO and also keep you safe. Safety in farming is high on Ellis Machinery's agenda and all machines supplied will have correctly fitting PTO guards.