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What is a PTO?


“Power Take Off,” also referred to as “PTO” is the tractor's stub shaft.

The shaft transfers power from the tractor to the PTO-driven implements. It rotates in proportion to the speed of the engine.

PTO can be “Live,” “Not Live,” “Economy,” “Reverse,” and “Independent.”


Live PTO typically has a 2-stage clutch.

You can depress the clutch ½ way in. This will stop the transmission, but the PTO will continue to spin under a load.

If you completely depress the clutch, the PTO will also stop. (This is very useful when mowing, because you can stop, shift gears, and back up, while the mower continues to get power.)


“Not” live PTO stops receiving power every time the clutch pedal is depressed. Since the PTO is always directly connected to the transmission, you will need an overrun clutch if you use a high momentum implement like a mower.

NOTE: Few Yanmar models have a live PTO. Some would say that the PowerShift Yanmar transmission is similar to a live PTO because you can keep the PTO spinning while changing gears and changing directions.


Reverse PTO can turn in the reverse direction using a lever or button. This is essential when operating implements that can get stuck such as a thresher or post hole digger.


With economy PTO, the tractor operates at the required 540 rpm at the PTO, but with lower engine rpm. This saves fuel, reduces vibration, and lowers any noise. 540 economy is ideal for many applications including bailing, mowing, and tilling. This setting cannot be used with full advertised PTO horsepower (hp). If the full PTO hp is required, the tractor should be run in standard 540 modes.


An Independent PTO is controlled by an electric switch. You can turn the PTO on and off using the switch. The position of the clutch pedal has no effect on the PTO.

If you need any further help or have any questions about PTO, or anything else, please contact your dealer, local mechanic, or call us at 602-734-9944. Please ask about our current new and used tractor supply.

Tractor Ranch - #1 Tractor Dealer in Arizona. We sell and service most major brands of tractors including Yanmar, Kubota, John Deere, TYM, Mahindra, Kioti, Case, New Holland, Massey Ferguson, Ford, Deutz, Case IH, Farmall, International Harvester, Branson Tractors, LS, Shibura, Claas Tractor, McCormick Tractors, Valtra, Solis, YTO, Montana, and Nortrac.

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