Before we can begin on the importance of a power take off (PTO), you should first understand what it actually is. This is a piece of equipment that transfers the mechanical power of the engine over to another part of the equipment. Trucks have many different parts in them, and some of the things found in a truck aren’t found in a car. One of the things that a car doesn’t have is known as the PTO.
How the PTO Works
The rotating power from turning gets turned into what is known as hydraulic power. This has also become known as fluid power, and it gets controlled through a pressurized system. The rotating motion will cause a buildup of pressure in the crankshaft, and the power can be used for a variety of different purposes as it builds up.
Some of the uses that you might turn it to include:
- Greater engine efficiency
- Controls the hydraulics for raising or lowering dump truck bed
- Used for towing vehicles
- Runs the water pump to spray through the hose
You will see that PTO has been used for a variety of different applications like harvesters, wood chippers, hay balers, water pumps and carpet cleaners.
Different Kinds of PTOs
To begin, you should understand that you have different types of PTOs, and they will differ in where and how you connect them. The two most common types that you have include sandwich split shaft and split shaft. Manufacturers will position the sandwich split shaft to sit between the transmission and the engine. You have to leave room in the driveline if you were to have a sandwich split shaft because of how it works next to the engine. With some of the larger trucks, you may have up to three different PTOs. This happens because of the many connections with the gears, and you can operate multiple accessories while using the same truck.
With a regular split shaft, on the other hand, the PTO gets mounted as a regular gearbox. Through this kind of PTO, you cannot operate it as the engine runs because that engages it when the engine has been fully stopped. This also ensures that you never have a problem with the PTO interrupting your driving.
Why the PTO is Important
The PTO takes energy that would’ve been wasted otherwise and transfers it over to another source. This is what helps it to perform a variety of functions that are entirely necessary. For example, towing wouldn’t be possible at the weight amount that it is without having power take off. That’s why having this installed in your vehicle matters because of how much it can help you with different applications. It doesn’t come with cars as much because it isn’t as necessary for applications with a car.
Safety: Be Cautious How You Use It
You have to exercise caution when you use PTO because if used incorrectly, it can maim or kill. PTOs can reach speeds of up to 16 to 19 rotations every second, but this can be an extraordinarily dangerous speed to operate at. Machine guards often cover this part of the engine to protect you, but this can cause damage during removal for maintenance. You also have to beware of small children because an unguarded spinning PTO can cause them to want to play with it. The results, however, could be scary. Never let a child anywhere near a PTO without close supervision. It is important that you keep them a far distance away.
When handling a PTO, you have a couple of things that can keep you safe. First, always wear close-fitting clothes. You don’t want anything to get tangled into it. Second, remove your drawstrings from sweatshirts as this can be dangerous if it gets caught in them. Finally, always walk around and never walk over a PTO, which can be exceptionally dangerous. You also have to keep the PTO properly maintained so that it never harms you or someone you love. Safety is essential here because, unfortunately, PTOs have a reputation for causing injuries and death. You should never underestimate them for any reason. You need to practice extreme caution whenever you work with these things.
The Independent PTO
If you want to engage the PTO, you will press the button or pull a lever. In most cases, you will have to activate a lever clutch before you can get it to begin. That’s for safety purposes. You can activate the independent PTO while the tractor is moving. Not only has the independent system become easy, but it has also become popular because of how you can move the clutch whether you are stopped or moving.
How to Choose a PTO
Before you can begin, you will need to give your supplier the parameters for a power take off. You will need the transmission model number, the horsepower and torque and the output speed. When you use the shifter it will engage and disengage the clutch. Some of the newer PTOs get operated with the clutch, rather than through the sliding gears. Nevertheless, the actual application of the PTO and how it works doesn’t change too much with it.
The power take off helps to deliver power to the places where it is needed the most. It delivers to help with different applications that it could not do otherwise, and that is part of what helps to make it a better thing for different applications. Most power shafts have been constructed in such a way that it extends the power from one piece of equipment over to the other. Whenever you choose to operate a PTO, you should never operate it at an extreme angle because this can also be dangerous. You find it in evidence with a variety of things like ATVs to lawn mowers to tractors to dump trucks. The PTO performs an essential function.