The right way to engage pto

TGKY

Member

Equipment
L4701
May 24, 2018
48
8
8
US
Hello, I’ve never really thought about this in several years operating a tractor until reading some posts that Make me think I might not be doing it right-

what is the proper way to start a pto driven implement to limit shock and wear to the tractor and the machine.

let’s use my L4701 gear drive and woods BB72.30 bushog.

what’s the proper rpm and rest of the process to minimize damage risk and wear.

i now assume there is more to it than my normal approach of 1,000 rpm, clutch in and engage the switch. Any help and education is appreciated!
 

Flintknapper

Member

Equipment
L2350DT
May 3, 2022
54
44
18
Deep East Texas
Hello, I’ve never really thought about this in several years operating a tractor until reading some posts that Make me think I might not be doing it right-

what is the proper way to start a pto driven implement to limit shock and wear to the tractor and the machine.

let’s use my L4701 gear drive and woods BB72.30 bushog.

what’s the proper rpm and rest of the process to minimize damage risk and wear.

i now assume there is more to it than my normal approach of 1,000 rpm, clutch in and engage the switch. Any help and education is appreciated!
Depends on the implement, but I do the same as you have been doing. I try to engage the PTO with the engine running at an rpm (power band) that just allows the PTO to engage smoothly and incrementally but not stall or lug the engine. Then increase engine speed after the implement is running and stable.

My tractor has a 'Live' PTO so this is easily done. I believe your tractor would have an 'independent' PTO (probably mechanical). And while it also uses a separate clutch to engage the PTO...they can be bit touchy (especially if a lever type).
 

Tx Jim

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M7040 HDC-1,JD 4255,Ford 6700
Apr 30, 2013
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Coyote Flats,Texas
I'll add when referring to implement such as a rotarty mower that has inirtia similar to a flywheel such as blade carrier rotation. I suggest to lower engine to idle speed before turning pto control to off which will greatly reduce wear on pto shaft brake if applicable
 
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bambam31

Member

Equipment
L3800HST 4x4,R1,FEL, 6'disc, 5'bush hog,piranhaTB,6'grader,6'rake, 48"forks
Apr 3, 2014
295
21
13
Mobile, AL
I run the RPMs low, put the clutch in, engage PTO and slowing let the clutch out.
 

Roadworthy

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Lifetime Member

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L2501 HST
Aug 17, 2019
1,352
315
83
Benton City, WA
For my L2501 my Kubota mechanic recommended engaging the PTO while at idle then bringing it up to speed. For disengaging the PTO he recommended always depressing the clutch to minimize wear on the faces of the PTO gears. He didn't tell me it was necessary but I am going to add an over run clutch so the mower can't drive my HST transmission.
 

Botamon

Active member

Equipment
M7060HDC12, John Deere 2020 diesel
Mar 26, 2018
113
122
43
Winnemucca, Nevada
My old John Deere has a lever to engage the PTO. I have to slowly and carefully move that lever or engagement is very abrupt. The Kubota M7060 is electric and also very abrupt so I always have the engine at idle speeds; I "bump" the PTO switch momentarily which starts the rotational mass turning, and then turn the switch on. Otherwise, since the Kubota idles at 900 rpm the engagement is so harsh it shakes/twists the whole tractor.
 

Flintknapper

Member

Equipment
L2350DT
May 3, 2022
54
44
18
Deep East Texas
My old John Deere has a lever to engage the PTO. I have to slowly and carefully move that lever or engagement is very abrupt. The Kubota M7060 is electric and also very abrupt so I always have the engine at idle speeds; I "bump" the PTO switch momentarily which starts the rotational mass turning, and then turn the switch on. Otherwise, since the Kubota idles at 900 rpm the engagement is so harsh it shakes/twists the whole tractor.
^^^^^

That sounds typical of most 'independent' PTO's. I prefer a 'live' PTO for just that reason. I can slowly ease the clutch out at low idle speed and get the mass going (albeit with some clutch wear).
 
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Mak65

Member
Apr 25, 2019
72
39
18
TX
L2501 HST here, idle speed, step on clutch, flip pto lever to engage, ease off clutch. Once mower is up to speed and stable, ramp up to mower RPM and start mowing. Pretty much reverse steps for disengage - Lower RPM, step on clutch, flip pto lever to disengage, let off clutch.
 
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NCL4701

Well-known member

Equipment
L4701, WC68 chipper, grapple, BB1572 box scrape, Howes 500, 16kW IMD gen
Apr 27, 2020
1,335
1,391
113
Central Piedmont, NC
I don’t have a clutch at all on my HST. PTO is electric over hydraulic independent as described by Boatman on his big boy machine. Pushing the knob and twisting to engage slams it in as pretty much the equivalent of snatching the clutch on our older tractors, which is something I’d never even think to do. So it was pretty shocking to me that’s the way the Kubota is designed.

I reduce mine to idle, let it idle for probably 20 to 30 seconds to allow time for everything everywhere to slow down, then engage. At dead idle, the shock starting the 5’ rotary cutter, chipper, and generator is not bad at all. I do the same return to idle for a few seconds prior to disengaging as I don’t know how difficult or expensive it is to replace a PTO brake and prefer to not find out.

I was also a bit surprised I can drive into 3’ tall broomstraw thick as the hair on my head 30 years ago and start a rotary cutter (albeit a bit smaller than the tractor is rated for) at idle without bogging the engine at all. If I tried that with one of our old gassers, particularly if I dumped the clutch like the Kubota pushbutton, it would kill the engine instantly.

Still, if I had the option to feather the start with a clutch, I’d do it every time.
 

nbryan

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Equipment
B2650 BH77 LA534 54" ssqa Forks B2782B BB1560 Woods M5-4 MaxxHaul 50039
Jan 3, 2019
805
422
63
Hadashville, Manitoba, Canada
With my B2650HSD I set rpm to a strong idle then gradually push the PTO lever forward until the PTO starts to engage. I can actually feel while pushing the lever where the engagement point starts for the PTO drive, there's a slight stiffening in its travel. I hold the lever there for a sec while watching the PTO shaft start turning before locking it forward then upping the engine rpm to provide correct pto speed.
 
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RalphVa

Active member
Jan 19, 2020
483
187
43
Charlottesville
My first tractor did not have enough hp to engage the brush hog at idle. Had to rev it a bit. The PTO on it was very abrupt. This with the brush hog and not much flywheel on the MacKissic chipper/shredder likely caused its driveshaft Ujoint to fail at 9 years and 660 hours.
 

Henro

Well-known member

Equipment
B2910, BX2200, KX41-2V mini Ex.
May 24, 2019
3,434
1,234
113
North of Pittsburgh PA
My old John Deere has a lever to engage the PTO. I have to slowly and carefully move that lever or engagement is very abrupt. The Kubota M7060 is electric and also very abrupt so I always have the engine at idle speeds; I "bump" the PTO switch momentarily which starts the rotational mass turning, and then turn the switch on. Otherwise, since the Kubota idles at 900 rpm the engagement is so harsh it shakes/twists the whole tractor.
On my B2910 I have a foot clutch and do what others with foot clutched do, and there is no issue.

On my BX2200, there is a lever operated hydraulic clutch. I used to do what you do, and cringed every time the clutch engaged and the tractor shook, always engaging the PTO at idle speed.

Then I learned here at OTT (after 18 years) that I should be engaging the hydraulic clutch at around 50% throttle. I tried it and engagement is MUCH smoother. That is the way I do it now. Counter intuitive but it works. Might work for you too. Try it once and see…
 
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Bluedoire

New member

Equipment
Kubota tractor with front end loader
May 17, 2022
2
1
3
Findlay ohio
Hello, I’ve never really thought about this in several years operating a tractor until reading some posts that Make me think I might not be doing it right-

what is the proper way to start a pto driven implement to limit shock and wear to the tractor and the machine.

let’s use my L4701 gear drive and woods BB72.30 bushog.

what’s the proper rpm and rest of the process to minimize damage risk and wear.

i now assume there is more to it than my normal approach of 1,000 rpm, clutch in and engage the switch. Any help and education is appreciated!
I always lower my RPMs, clutch in, engage PTO, gently let off the clutch, watching to make sure PTO is rotating correctly and implement is moving correctly. Before I fully release the clutch and then increase RPM.
 
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Henro

Well-known member

Equipment
B2910, BX2200, KX41-2V mini Ex.
May 24, 2019
3,434
1,234
113
North of Pittsburgh PA
I always lower my RPMs, clutch in, engage PTO, gently let off the clutch, watching to make sure PTO is rotating correctly and implement is moving correctly. Before I fully release the clutch and then increase RPM.
The OP's post sounds like he does not have a clutch that disables the PTO, and rather that it may be a electrically operated hydraulic clutch that activates the PTO.

I could be wrong, but since he says with the clutch in, he gets a huge shock when the PTO switch is turned on, I think the PTO likely operates separately from the foot clutch.

Perhaps the OP can clarify?
 

TGKY

Member

Equipment
L4701
May 24, 2018
48
8
8
US
Sure I’ll try to clarify and please Pardon my lack of technical knowledge for what I’m about to say but my tractor (l4701)has the yellow knob on the right side that you push down and twist to engage the pto.
I always clutch it. I’ve never considered not I guess just out of habbit from the 2 state clutch on my old l3000 and l185 before that.
 

JP_Austin

New member

Equipment
Kubota M4D-071
Feb 15, 2022
13
7
3
Austin TX
Yeah that is similar to mine with the electrically operated PTO. I have a big bat wing that is tough to get started at idle with this setup. I end up running the RPM to about 13-1500 RPM and pop the button. It's a bit abrupt but not terrible. Slowing down I can run it down to near idle speeds before I disengage the button. The mass in the bat wing still lets that PTO shaft spin a bit. I know it's not great for the PTO brake but there are limited options with the button.