Live Vs independent PTO

   / Live Vs independent PTO #1  

ericm979

Super Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2016
Messages
5,391
Location
Santa Cruz Mountains CA, Southern OR
Tractor
Branson 3725H Deere 5105
The only tractor I've operated has a live PTO. Some of the tractors in the 30-40hp class I'm contemplating have independent PTOs. Though I've not used it, it seems like it'd be convenient. Rather than stopping and clutching to start or stop the PTO you can just hit a button or move a lever, and you could do it while not on the seat for operating a chipper. Those of you with independent PTOs, how useful is it in practice? My PTO work is chipping and running a rotary cutter.

Independent PTO machines all seem to have clutches to ease startup. Some have auto mode where the PTO is shut off when the implement is raised. But wouldn't you have to throttle down before engaging the PTO again (or lowering the implement and have it auto engage)?
 
   / Live Vs independent PTO #2  
I think the only difference is in the $$$$

How much money do you have,, versus,, getting on the tractor occasionally,,,:confused2:

:thumbsup:
 
   / Live Vs independent PTO #3  
With Live PTO the PTO cannot be started (or stopped) properly without stopping ground travel.
With Independent PTO both PTO and ground travel can be stopped and started independently of each other.
 
   / Live Vs independent PTO #4  
Independent pto works well for me, particularly when bush hogging. Can start and stop the blades on the fly.
 
   / Live Vs independent PTO #5  
I prefer independent pto for my uses. With all of my machines I can raise and lower the hitches without affecting the pto operation. All are independent pto and I would not want to go back to live or worst the transmission driven pto.
 
   / Live Vs independent PTO
  • Thread Starter
#6  
Independent pto works well for me, particularly when bush hogging. Can start and stop the blades on the fly.

Do you throttle down to start the blades or does your tractor let you do it at normal (540 rpm pto) engine speed?
 
   / Live Vs independent PTO #7  
I don't understand why one would want to engage the PTO at full engine speed. Isn't that a good way to break something?

A well-designed independent PTO has a clutch you can feather in to start heavy loads, like a wood chipper. Mine has as a two-stage action with the clutch pedal, where the first half of the throw controls the main clutch, and pressing further controls the PTO clutch. Works beautifully.

But I understand some are now designed with a switch that instantly fully engages the PTO. Some members here have complained about breaking shear pins when engaging a heavy load with such designs. I'd think that tractors with that design are to be avoided.
 
   / Live Vs independent PTO #8  
I've had tractors with both live and independent PTO. I'll take the independent PTO any day. Other than having the added "risk" and potential complication of an electrical switch and hydraulic actuation compared to a simple mechanical clutch, there are no downsides I can think of for independent. Very convenient to just turn the PTO off while moving.
 
   / Live Vs independent PTO #9  
Do you throttle down to start the blades or does your tractor let you do it at normal (540 rpm pto) engine speed?

You should throttle down before engaging independent PTO otherwise you will deliver big shock loads to both the implement and the PTO. Usually you don't go all the way to idle as engaging the PTO at idle can sometimes stall the tractor but just a few hundred RPM above idle works well and is safe.
 
   / Live Vs independent PTO #10  
A well-designed independent PTO has a clutch you can feather in to start heavy loads, like a wood chipper. Mine has as a two-stage action with the clutch pedal, where the first half of the throw controls the main clutch, and pressing further controls the PTO clutch. Works beautifully.
That would be a Live PTO with 2 stage clutch.
Independent PTO usually turn on/off by a switch.
 
 
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