Farmers, landowners, landscapers and many others rely on the power of a utility tractor to move and haul supplies and complete jobs. However, the tractor alone can’t drill holes in the ground, dig trenches, level soil or move pallets. To complete jobs like these and reach their full operating potential, tractors need PTO attachments. Use our guide to learn how to use PTO attachments and what the common types of attachments can be used for.
What Is PTO?
PTO is an acronym for “power take-off,” which is the system responsible for transferring power from the tractor’s transmission to an attached piece of equipment. PTO systems allow small- and medium-sized tractors to perform a variety of jobs using attachments. PTO shafts and adapters are used to connect the attachment to the tractor. Power is transferred through the shaft to operate the attachment.
What Is a PTO Shaft?
A PTO shaft is what enables a smaller tractor to power attachments. Depending on the tractor, the shaft can attach to the front, sides or back of the equipment. Rotational energy is transferred through the shaft, powering the attachment using the tractor’s engine.
What Is a PTO Adapter?
PTO adapters are used to prevent connectivity problems between the tractor and shaft. Adapters can help extend the connection and provide additional turning space for the shaft to prevent it from touching other parts of the tractor. They can also aid compatibility between the tractor and shaft, especially if they’re from different manufacturers. While PTO adapters aren’t always necessary, they’re often recommended as a precaution.
What Do PTO Attachments Do?
PTO attachments are used to simplify big jobs around a farm or large plot of land. They enable tractor owners to dig post holes, mow, move dirt or gravel, flatten ground, plow snow, till soil and more. PTO attachments give smaller tractors more versatility. Without the added utilities, tractor owners may get limited use out of their machinery.
Large outdoor projects can be time-consuming and energy-consuming — and most of the time, they’re tasks that need to get done. With the right PTO attachments, all you need is a few hours on the tractor and you’ll be well on your way to completing your to-do list.
What Type of Attachment Do You Need?
The type of attachment you need depends on what projects you regularly complete. PTO attachments are made for specific uses, so you want to buy ones that help with the most common jobs around your property. Considering what you need the attachments for can help you avoid putting money into attachments that could end up sitting around unused.
There are several widely used attachments, but you may not need all of them. As you find needs, you can purchase attachments, though it’s most effective to plan ahead. Many tractor manufacturers offer bundle deals when you buy multiple attachments at once. If you’re planning to buy an attachment, it may benefit you to consider what other attachments you could get at the same time.
Common Types of PTO Attachments
There are several PTO attachments that are considered common for tractor owners to have. Consider how to use PTO attachments for certain jobs and how you might use these options for your projects:
1. Brush Hog
Brush hogs are a type of rotary mower that can be attached to the back of your tractor. They have heavy, dull blades that spin horizontally. Unlike traditional mowers that need to have their blades sharpened, brush hogs rely on the momentum of their heavy blades to knock down thick, overgrown vegetation. Brush hogs can whack down a lot of vegetation, though you’ll get a messy cut. This makes brush hogs ideal for tasks like mowing grazing pastures or paddocks and maintaining areas that typically grow up uncontrollably.
Brush hogs are primarily for mowing areas that don’t need a clean cut. For example, you’d likely want to keep your front yard clean cut because people see it often, so you’d use a regular mower or flail mower. However, the meadow behind your house is likely full of tall grasses and weeds, and it doesn’t need to impress anyone, so a brush hog is perfect for keeping it maintained.
2. Flail Mower
Flail mowers are similar to brush hogs, though they’re better for grooming instead of maintaining. Flail mowers shred cuttings more thoroughly so they can be evenly distributed to prevent clumping. Instead of knocking down thick brush like a brush hog, flail mowers provide a cleaner cut, making them the perfect attachment for grooming large grassy areas like turf grass or large yards. These mowers are still capable of cutting down brush and vines, and some models can be angled to cut grass on banks and in ditches.
3. Post Hole Diggers
Post hole digger attachments use augers to drill or dig a sizeable hole in the ground. This tool is ideal for digging holes for fence posts, posts for a deck, a pole barn or even planting trees. Post hole diggers help take the stress off your back, as shoveling out multiple holes yourself can be strenuous. Post hole diggers also ensure your holes are all the same size.
4. Water Pumps
Water pumps are used to move large amounts of water. Water pumps can be used in a variety of applications and come in various sizes because they aren’t a one-size-fits-all tool. For example, the water pump you’d use to remove floodwater from your basement would be ineffective to use for dredging ponds or irrigating crops on a farm. Jobs like that would likely require a PTO-driven water pump.
While PTO water pumps can come in many forms, submersible pumps are powerful for heavy-duty applications. Submersible pumps can be used in industries ranging from flood control to cranberry farms. Submersible water pumps can also be used for dredging. With a strong power source like a utility tractor, a submersible pump can easily pull garbage, mud and weeds out of the bed of a body of water.
Learn More About Dredging PTO Attachments With GeoForm International
Dredging projects can be hassle free with high-quality equipment from GeoForm International. While we primarily offer diesel-powered submersible water pumps, we’re happy to provide accommodations if you want to use your pump as a PTO attachment. Contact us today to learn more about our PTO attachments for your next dredging project!
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