If you use farm implements with your tractor, you likely depend on a PTO shaft to deliver power from your machine to the equipment. Accomplishing this transfer requires connecting the driveshaft from the implement to the stub shaft of the PTO tractor. Depending on the equipment, the attached shafts will rotate at 540 or 1,000 rpm during operation.
It’s important for your PTO shaft to be the right size – and this article shows you how easy it is to cut your PTO shaft to length. Keep several points in mind when determining the PTO size.
First, there should be at least a one-third overlap between the shaft and the tube. If you’re using a slip sleeve, the overlap should be approximately 3 inches. If the shaft is too long, it will bottom out and create a conflict between the tractor and the shaft. In most cases, this will cause damage to one or the other, or both.
If you have to raise your implement to get your PTO shaft on, you could be setting your equipment up for damage. If you need to cut your PTO shaft, it’s not too hard to get it done.
How to Cut Your PTO Shaft to the Right Size
You can cut your PTO shaft to prevent it from bottoming out so the tractor and gearbox are not in conflict. Follow these five steps to complete this process.
1. Attach Parts of Your Shaft to Your Tractor and Gear Box
To measure your shaft for cutting, take it apart, hook one tube and shield onto the tractor and attach the other to the gearbox. Make sure both parts are straight so you can get the most accurate measurements.
2. Measure the Distance Between Parts
Next, measure the shortest distance between the tractor and the gearbox. Be sure to measure in a straight line for an accurate reading. This measurement is the maximum compressed length of an operable PTO shaft for your tractor.
3. Determine How Much You Need to Cut
Use the optimal length of the PTO shaft obtained in step three to figure out how much you need to cut off your shaft so it can function effectively. Take the measurement given in the last digits of your part number and subtract from it the maximum length allowed. This calculation will give you the amount you need to cut to get your shaft to an operational fit for your tractor.
For example, if the maximum compressed length of the shaft for your tractor is 23 inches and you have a 27-inch shaft, you would need to remove 4 inches for it to function properly.
4. Cut Shafts and Shields to Correct Length
The final step is to cut your shaft to the right length. Leave the shaft apart so you have access to the outer shields and inner tubes. You can use either a hacksaw or a reciprocating saw to cut the material.
If you have two equal-length tubes in your shaft, you will need to cut both tubes and both shields to the appropriate length. If you have unequal tubes, you can shorten only the longer part and the shields. Once you put your shaft back together, it should be the correct, shortened length all around.