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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
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    Mahindra 4110

    Default PTO, way too often is undervalued in a purchase

    While people agonize over some aspects of a tractor purchase, e.g., should they get gear or hydro, should they get 2wd or 4wd, people way too often don't fully take the time to study the PTO choices available and use it to determine which tractor best suits their needs.

    Not all tractors in the same class come with the same type of PTO. Sometimes the PTO varies within a model depending upon the transmission selection.

    There are three basic PTO types:

    Transmission -- This PTO operates as long as the clutch pedal is out on the tractor once the PTO is engaged. You gotta be real careful of these, especially the new tractor owner, because they can cause a mower or other attachment to propel the tractor forward when you want it to stop.

    Some of these also have PTOs that turn in the reverse direction once you place the tractor in reverse. My late FIL had a 430 Case that was like that. It was great for running PHD, as if the PHD got stuck you could put the tranny in reverse and back it out of the post hole. On the other hand it was rough when you were running a bush hog, as you had a lot of momentum turning in one direction that you had to make sure was stopped before you put the tractor in reverse. There are a number of smaller CUTs and older tractors that have this type of PTO. Some of the older tractors came with a "hand clutch", that disengaged the rear wheels and allowed a pseudo-Live PTO to be achieved for processes in which the tractor would not be moving forward.

    Overrunning clutches or couplers are a must if you are mowing with these tractors. Some are built in these days, but if you buy an older tractor it won't be built in.

    Live PTO (AKA Live Power) -- These tractors have a two stage clutch, push the clutch half way to disengage the gears of the transmission, all the way in to disengage and stop the PTO. This is a vast improvement over the transmission powered PTO.

    Independent PTO (AKA Live Independent PTO) -- This PTO is one that a lot of the CUTs have gone to over the last decade or so, especially the larger CUTs, as well as the hydrostatic transmissioned CUTs of all sizes. These usually engage with a lever or button and are not controlled by the clutch pedal at all. The clutch to operate the PTO is a separate clutch.

    There are a few tractors that have PTOs that are selectable, the older Masseys in particular. You could choose between the tranny controlled PTO or live PTO.

    Many tasks can be equally accomplished with any of the three, but both the live and independent PTO make life much easier, and sometimes (depending on the tractor) much safer. If you are planning on running a generator, wood splitter, concrete mixer, etc off the PTO then some of the transmission driven PTOs may not be suitable for you, because on some models if the tractor isn't moving then neither is the PTO.
    Mahindra 4110 w/ FEL, Dearborn 10-152 12" plow, Ford LIFT E Disk, 1 row cultivator, PHD, 6' Box Blade

  2. #2
    Veteran Member weldingisfun's Avatar
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    West Bell County, Texas
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    Mahindra 4500 4WD w/FEL, and Scotts S2048 lawn tractor

    Default Re: PTO, way too often is undervalued in a purchase

    Good information for folks looking to buy a new/used tractor. Thanks for the research.

  3. #3
    Super Member
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    Default Re: PTO, way too often is undervalued in a purchase

    Kieth,

    That's a very good explaination.

    There is some variation on the HST tractors. The PTO on my kubota is indepentant and will operate at the same rpm based only on the engine rpms (indepenant of gear choice). BUT push the clutch in and it will stop. There is an internal clutch pack, but the foot clutch stops the power from getting to it.

    jb

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Glowplug's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
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    3rd Planet from the Sun
    Tractor
    Kubota M7040HD

    Default Re: PTO, way too often is undervalued in a purchase

    Another thing to consider is PTO horsepower. Many people worry about the hp of their tractor engine alone. But truthfully, if most of your work is going to be using PTO-driven implements then this is a much more relavent thing to look at. There is some loss of power from the engine to the PTO. For example, my kubota M7040 has 68 hp at the engine and 62 hp at the PTO. I believe the loss of power is much pronounced in hydrstatic transmissions. The amount of hp at the PTO determines what size and type of implements you can run.
    Chuck

  5. #5
    Elite Member JC-jetro's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
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    Kansas
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    Ford 1700, Kubota MX-4700

    Default Re: PTO, way too often is undervalued in a purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith_B
    some of the transmission driven PTOs may not be suitable for you, because on some models if the tractor isn't moving then neither is the PTO.

    Good info but I beg to differ with the last statement. On all transmission driven PTO you can have the engine stationary and running, with transmission in Neutral you can clutch(disengaged clutch plate and flywheel) and engage the PTO and upon returning clutch to normal position (engaged clutch and flywheel) the PTO will turn. Lay-shaft in transmission will continued to rotate as long as engine in running whether the transmission is in gear or neutral because engine and transmission are coupled thru clutch.

    Furthermore with either independent or live PTO you can clutch all the way and kill the PTO no matter if you have HST or gear tranny. Clutching will disengage power from the engine to the rest of the tractor every time.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member firemanpat2910's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    Havana Fla
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    Ford 2910II

    Default Re: PTO, way too often is undervalued in a purchase

    I agree with the first poster. on my Ford 2910 with the independant PTO the clutch has no effect on PTO at all. you can push it as far as you want to the PTO is still going to turn. It took a little getting used to, all the other tractors I have driven had a 2 stage clutch but soundguy explained to me how to " feather" the PTO lever in to stop snapping shearbolts.

  7. #7
    Silver Member
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    Oct 2006
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    Location
    Tara, Ontario
    Tractor
    AGCO ST22A

    Default Re: PTO, way too often is undervalued in a purchase

    I also agree with Keith. And the advice is excellent as there are some variables as to what is available on PTO options with manufacturers and transmission types. At least when I looked at tractors last fall there was in the Compact and subcompacts. My goal was an independant PTO that also works as described.

    Jim

  8. #8
    Elite Member JC-jetro's Avatar
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    Ford 1700, Kubota MX-4700

    Default Re: PTO, way too often is undervalued in a purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by firemanpat2910
    I agree with the first poster. on my Ford 2910 with the independant PTO the clutch has no effect on PTO at all. you can push it as far as you want to the PTO is still going to turn. It took a little getting used to, all the other tractors I have driven had a 2 stage clutch but soundguy explained to me how to " feather" the PTO lever in to stop snapping shearbolts.
    I belive you but I think that only works if your pto shaft is permenantly splined to the flywheel. I know with dual clutch system you have two shaft splined to two clutch plates. There is an Inner and an outer shaft. The inner shaft is splined to the pto clutch and outer shaft to transmission clutch. What I am not completely sure is if the independent pto is also a dual shaft system that the inner shaft (PTO) is splined permanently to the flywheel and with a PTO clutch pack at the back of the transmission for the pto. As long as engine is running the flywheel will turn no matter what you do to the clutch. Anyone out there to corroborate me on this?

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Dec 2004
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    727
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    Kentucky
    Tractor
    Mahindra 4110

    Default Re: PTO, way too often is undervalued in a purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by JC-jetro
    Good info but I beg to differ with the last statement. On all transmission driven PTO you can have the engine stationary and running, with transmission in Neutral you can clutch(disengaged clutch plate and flywheel) and engage the PTO and upon returning clutch to normal position (engaged clutch and flywheel) the PTO will turn. Lay-shaft in transmission will continued to rotate as long as engine in running whether the transmission is in gear or neutral because engine and transmission are coupled thru clutch.

    Furthermore with either independent or live PTO you can clutch all the way and kill the PTO no matter if you have HST or gear tranny. Clutching will disengage power from the engine to the rest of the tractor every time.
    JC, there are several inaccuracies in those statements.

    First, tranny operated PTOs. I know of a large number of tractors where the PTO will not run if the tranny is in neutral. The clutch in these tractors disengages the PTO and the tranny at the same time. This was the reason a number of tractors came out with a hand clutch and a foot clutch to simulate live PTO (like the WD 45, my FIL's Case 430 and numerous others). On these machines when the tractor is in neutral the PTO is in neutral.

    The second item that is inaccurate is the assertion that pushing in the clutch will alway kill the PTO. This is not at all true for independent PTOs, which have a separate clutch for the PTO. Most of these PTO's engage with a lever or a pushbutton and are not by any way controlled by the clutch which disengages your tranny. My Mahindra 4110 has an independent PTO, and I have a push button PTO control, to engage/disengage I push the button. The foot clutch has no control over the PTO.

    The system you are describing is a live PTO, which uses a two-stage clutch. The upper part of the pedal movement engages/disengages the tranny. The lower part of the pedal movement engages/disengages the PTO.

    There are manufacturers variations of each type.

    Here is an informative link on PTO types: TractorData.com - Power Take-Off
    Mahindra 4110 w/ FEL, Dearborn 10-152 12" plow, Ford LIFT E Disk, 1 row cultivator, PHD, 6' Box Blade

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Mahindra 4110

    Default Re: PTO, way too often is undervalued in a purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by firemanpat2910
    I agree with the first poster. on my Ford 2910 with the independant PTO the clutch has no effect on PTO at all. you can push it as far as you want to the PTO is still going to turn. It took a little getting used to, all the other tractors I have driven had a 2 stage clutch but soundguy explained to me how to " feather" the PTO lever in to stop snapping shearbolts.
    My 4110 doesn't have a lever to feather it with, so I generally engage the PTO at a low idle then pick up speed after the PTO is engaged.
    Mahindra 4110 w/ FEL, Dearborn 10-152 12" plow, Ford LIFT E Disk, 1 row cultivator, PHD, 6' Box Blade

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