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  1. #21
    Veteran Member
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    Feb 2001
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    South-central Michigan
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    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: Revisiting the PTO-generator question

    Bob, the transfer box can only be used at your own house because it gets wired into your main panel. It won't help if you decide to loan the generator out. A couple of other things to consider are:

    1. If you don't want to use a trailer, a 3-pt "Carry All" would work also. They go for $50-$70 bucks. Since they mount the generator close to the tractor, you'll have to make sure the PTO drive shaft is the right length.

    2. A manual or automatic transfer switch is the safest way to go "for the power company." It ensures your generator does not "backfeed" onto your local power system, but is not the only option. Another way is to simply plug your generator into a welder or dryer receptacle. To do this and prevent injury to a power company worker however REQUIRES that you OPEN your main breaker or pull your electric meter. Just like the transfer switch, this step(s) break your connection with the power company and makes sure your house is isolated. You must ensure one or both of these is done. An added benefit of doing this is that you also ensure your generator is not trying to power your neighborhood, which it can't really do anyways, but will try nonetheless.

  2. #22
    Platinum Member Trev's Avatar
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    Williamson, NY (near Rochester)
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    Default Re: Revisiting the PTO-generator question

    <font color=blue>he transfer box can only be used at your own house because it gets wired into your main panel. It won't help if you decide to loan the generator out.</font color=blue>

    Understood.. I was thinking of seeing our neighbors wanted to wire up their own transfer box just so they'd be ready if they wanted me to give them some power, or to rent/buy their own generator some day.

    I see all the very strongly stated posts about the pluses and minuses of hooking directly to the dryer receptacle, etc. I suppose I could put a real transfer box in our house, and if the neighbors had a genuine emergency, I would drive the tractor over, make them show me they had disconnected their main breaker, and so on. Even then.. I don't like the idea of making it easy to make a mistake. I can see someone's kid wandering down into the basement and seeing what this "main" switch does. :-/

    Great idea about the 3-pt carry-all. The trailer might make it easier to move the thing around by hand though, if that became necessary. Hmm. Lots of thinking to do here. But it's 10 degrees here today, and if we lost power we'd be in trouble in very short order. I have to do something.

    Thanks again,
    Bob

  3. #23
    Platinum Member Trev's Avatar
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    Williamson, NY (near Rochester)
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    Default Re: Revisiting the PTO-generator question

    <font color=blue>I bought a Generac 20K 40K surge pto on trailer in fall
    of 2000 for $1500 from a widow that had a dairy farm.
    </font color=blue>

    Want to sell it to me for $1600 and make a profit on it? [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img][img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img][img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

  4. #24
    Gold Member
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    Jul 2002
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    ECNY
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    DK35

    Default Re: Revisiting the PTO-generator question

    When you wire direct to the dryer outlet, I assume you are coming off the 220 recep on the gen??? Yes or NO??

  5. #25
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    Feb 2001
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    South-central Michigan
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    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: Revisiting the PTO-generator question

    Absolutely, same for the welder outlet. A 240 volt range outlet would work also. I like a 50 to 60 amp circuit. Kind of forget which typically has the largest, but I use my welder outlet in my garage.

  6. #26
    Super Star Member
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    Aug 2001
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    Upper Midwest USA
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    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Revisiting the PTO-generator question

    As a minimum, when I used an emergency generator rig to power up neighbors, I did so by first pulling the meter out of its socket. Then no power can be fed to the hi-lines. When this ice storm hit, no one was prepared with the hook-up boxes (obviously the way to go).

    I also, in these emergencies, just plugged the cables from the generator set into the same brackets on the house side of the meter socket. For running things in the house, just flip off all the circuit breakers when hooking up, and flip them on whatever circuits are needed.

    Usually, if going to the neighbors (a lot of farmers, in my case), what the emergency needs are would be the well pump to get water into the toilets, the furnace to get the house warm, and the freezer/refrigerators to get things back to frozen or cool. My neighbors needed power to run the milkers to get the cows milked, and to run the bulk milk tank to get the milk cool, and to pump water to do the milking. The house would come after the barn chores were done.

    Your generosity for your neighbors is great. As a minimum, they will appreciate your ideas and possibly buy your first generator set-up, as by then you will have new ideas on how to improve it and want a different one. You are clever.

  7. #27
    Veteran Member
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    Western New York
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    Kubota B2710

    Default Re: Revisiting the PTO-generator question

    Trev, I would just get a stand alone generator that would have enough power to do what you want. I have a 4000 watt gas one that I got during the ice storm in 90' (I live in Fairport, near you) and I have had to use it at least a few times a year since the big storm. I just back feed the house from a 220 line in the shop after killing the main in the house. It has enough power to run the furnace, well, sumppump and some lights as well as other things. Total cost is about $450.00 for the generator and thats it. As for helping your neighbors, 10 to 1 when your neighbors don't have power you won't either! Plus with a small portable unit, just place it on a carryall if you need to take it anywhere. And you still have use of your tractor if needed. Yes it is one more engine to service, but all I have ever done to mine is change the oil a few times. I just run it dry after every use and it starts on the second pull every time! At least it has in the last 12 years!

  8. #28
    Platinum Member Trev's Avatar
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    Williamson, NY (near Rochester)
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    Default Re: Revisiting the PTO-generator question

    <font color=blue>As a minimum, when I used an emergency generator rig to power up neighbors, I did so by first pulling the meter out of its socket. Then no power can be fed to the hi-lines. When this ice storm hit, no one was prepared with the hook-up boxes (obviously the way to go).
    I also, in these emergencies, just plugged the cables from the generator set into the same brackets on the house side of the meter socket.</font color=blue>

    When people speak of "pulling the meter out" I'm not sure I know what they're referring to. The glass meter with the wheel in it that spins around? I didn't even know they came off.. and I assumed it was illegal to mess with those. Are you folks suggesting they can just be popped off in some way and absolutely guarantee no power from the line can reach any of the house circuits? What if some kid reached in there playing around.. could s/he get zapped?

    Thanks, and sorry for my electrical ignorance.

    Bob

  9. #29
    Platinum Member Trev's Avatar
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    Williamson, NY (near Rochester)
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    Default Re: Revisiting the PTO-generator question

    Hi BeenThere,

    <font color=blue>Your generosity for your neighbors is great. As a minimum, they will appreciate your ideas and possibly buy your first generator set-up, as by then you will have new ideas on how to improve it and want a different one. You are clever. </font color=blue>

    No, not really clever.. none of that had even occured to me! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/blush.gif[/img][img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img] But I like the way you think! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    I'm still studying and questioning and looking for the best setup for general use. If the neighbors do like the idea, and appreciate my efforts, maybe I can install a small nuke and begin selling power. (Bet there's a lot of paperwork to do that!) [img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  10. #30
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2002
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    East Texas
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    Kubota L4610 HSTC, International 2400, Hesston 1280,

    Default Re: Revisiting the PTO-generator question

    I like the one transfer switch does all method myself, but do not have to use them often down here. Also this is the reason I change to pto instead of self contained, my unit had set up for several years, then needed it &amp; could not get it started without a lot of work. Normally my tractors are used enough, starting is not a problem.

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