Monday, June 30, 2014

Tractor Time : Cut the PTO Shaft on Both Sides

Today has been the day of repairs. My truck is in the shop for an exhaust leak. Two of my push lawn mowers were in the shop, one for a new safety cable thing and the other for a new pull rope. My riding lawn mower is in the shop for an oil change, filter and blade sharpening so I decided why not work on the tractor and shorten the PTO drive shaft for the Brush Hog down to the correct length.

Now I know in order to shorten a PTO shaft you have to cut it the same length from both sides. Ya I know the little cutey up above is laughing at anyone who doesn't know this little tidbit of information but you would be surprised at how many people don't. In fact the only reason I know it is because I finally went and asked someone at a tractor dealership years ago. The PTO shaft shortening problem seems to be one that only those of us with smaller tractors really have to deal with. I have know plenty of big rig farmers around here who have told me you don't need to do it that way. Perhaps it's just something needed for those particular wankle shaped shafts?

For those of you unfamiliar with PTO shafts basically they are in two parts that slip inside each other and then attach to the PTO drive on the tractor and turn which is what drives whatever piece of equipment you are pulling.

You can see it in this picture of a post holer. The turning from the tractor then spins the auger. You get the idea. The problem is the shaft is in two parts that one side slides inside the other and somehow they are designed so that if you cut one side it will not make a difference on the overall  length unless you cut the other side as well.

Believe me I have known a number of people who have ruined a PTO shaft from not knowing this little bit of information, including myself several years ago to be honest.

I cut this shaft down to use with my Brush Hog last year but I was sure I cut one side a bit longer than the other. This caused the shaft to be a bit too long and was putting a lot of pressure directly unto the PTO of the tractor. This can eventually cause damage so I needed to get it cut to the proper length since I am going to be using the Brush Hog for the rest of the Summer quite a bit.

I cut another two inches off the implement half of the shaft assembly and it fit perfect.

And no the little FarmAll Cutey had no reason to laugh at me this time. The shaft now fits like a glove and doesn't push into the PTO of the tractor anymore.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


  1. My PTO is done for, know matter how much work is done on it. I blame the blood pressure pills for it.

  2. I hate it when the girls laugh at a shaft problem.
    No PTO here and the tractor isn't working anyway so I am doing a lot of plan Bs I guess.

  3. Ahem that's enough with this shaft shortening talk.I can't spare any from either end.

  4. Why, just the other day I was thinking I needed to shorten the PTO shaft.

  5. I've had everything in repair including my truck, rig and ride-on lawn mower. My son tried to clean a spot in the front yard with the push mower and even that overheated. I'm waiting for something to go wrong with my wife's car next.


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