How Do PTO Pumps Work?

A power take-off (PTO) pump is used with farming machines (and all tractors having a power take-off at 540 repetitions per minute) to convert rotary power into hydraulic power.

What PTO Does

This power is then used to run any hydraulic hookups such as backhoes, cotton pickers and cotton balers, oscillating power mowers and city street sweepers. Other applications include running construction equipment, dump trucks and fire engine pumps.

PTO Shaft

The power take-off is a drive shaft that provides an outlet for machines and farming tools to run on the power of a tractor’s engine. The power take-off is accessed from the main transmission clutch. The power take-off is accessed most often via an air valve or through a mechanical, electrical or a hydraulic pump to transfer mechanical energy through a fluid system on the vehicle. A hydraulic motor converts the fluid force back into rotary or mechanical force.

Accessing the PTO

The PTO pump is slid onto the power take-off splined shaft in a truck or farming tractor transmission system. A torque arm is used to restrain the rotation of the farming machine’s PTO shaft. Marine engines also have power take offs, but these are often permanently mounted and are capable of outputting power to fire pumps. Industrial machines will have a shaft and bolted joint for transferring power to other machines or power tools. A PTO pump will work to run a water pump (i.e. fire/ water truck), raise/ lower dump truck beds and mechanical arms, or even power air blowers.

Pump Fitting

The coupler bolt is removed from the splined end of the power take-off shaft before implementing the PTO pump. The PTO pump will fit onto the power take off shaft on the tractor. The tractor shaft and the PTO pump are mated and then secured with set screws and nuts. The tractor engine is idled to begin pumping.

The PTO pump body must not oscillate with the power take-off shaft on the tractor or any other vehicle. The torque bar chain is secured to the draw bar (the chain is attached to the tractor, with the other end of the torque chain connected to the pump). Some slack is allowed on the chain to prevent damage to the PTO pump. The pressure hose from the tractor is connected to the motor port and the return line.