What is a power take off? Power take off (PTO) transfers the mechanical power of the engine over to another piece of the equipment. This allows for the power to move throughout the equipment to transmit energy even if it doesn’t have a motor or engine itself.
The Types of PTO’s
In years past, we saw PTOs operate from a belt drive, pneumatics like bleed air and drive shaft attachments. In most circumstances today, how PTO works is with a geared transmission. However, you still have three common PTO methods available on the mobile machine market:
- Engine crankshaft-driven style
- Tractor style
- Truck transmission style
The crankshaft-driven method usually gets used for hydraulic pumps mounted to the front of your truck. For example, you might use it for a cement mixer. The small shaft will have a U-jointed design and attach to the yoke coupler for turning the pump. Normally, you don’t hear this configuration referred to as a PTO, but it still technically classifies as one.
How does a PTO work? You can trace the tractor PTO back almost as far as tractors themselves from when most of the PTOs drove with a transmission, located near the back part of the tractor. This form of PTO will only engage when you power up the transmission clutch. In fact, the mechanism couples with the transmission so that when you depress the clutch, the PTO doesn’t run.
Truck PTO Transmission Style
Smaller trucks use the PTO to drive the hydraulic pump for a hoist or winch. Meanwhile, large trucks might employ a PTO for a variety of purposes, but hydraulic pumps are the most common, and they get used to load and unload the different types of cargo. For a larger transmission, you might have two to three of these to help with the provision of every transmission. Let the normal clutch out to get the output shaft to spin.
Applications of the PTO
Whenever the equipment doesn’t have its own engine, you will see this used. For example, you will often see PTOs used in commercial vehicles and farming equipment. In fact, the innovation of the PTO came mostly from the ingenuity of farmers. A tractor engine serves as the PTO to operate a jackhammer or other equipment.
Some of the other applications where you see a PTO includes:
- Wood chippers
- Hay balers
- Carpet-cleaning vacuums
- Mechanical arms
- Water pumps
What Does a PTO Do?
When you ask, “What does a PTO do?” you can sum up the action where it converts rotary power over into hydraulic power. Once converted into hydraulic power, it runs the hydraulic hookups like oscillating power mowers, cotton pickers, backhoes, fire engine pumps and dump trucks. The access happens most often through a mechanical, electrical or hydraulic pump, and the motor converts the force back into a mechanical force or a rotary force, depending on the need.
What is a power take off? The internal mechanisms of the system use the engine to power up separate parts of the machine. This makes for better convenience, more efficiency and a cheaper option than installing another motor. Anyone who uses industrial equipment every day will understand the value of this technology, even when they can’t answer the question of, “how does a PTO work?” If you’re looking for a power take off, we offer top quality PTO replacement parts. Contact us today to find out how we can help you!