What Should You Check Before Purchasing A Tractor Or New Machinery?

Getting to grips with a tractor’s Power Take-Off (PTO) can be a bit mind boggling for beginners. But essentially, the PTO transfers the mechanical power from the tractor’s engine to another piece of machinery or attachment. These are more often positioned on the back of the tractor, but some models do have front mounted or even a PTO mounted underneath the tractor for an under-deck mower.
It may seem like a simple part of any tractor but the power take-off (PTO) can vary in both size and direction for some older compact tractors.

HP Engine to PTO

We are quite often using sites such as Tractor Data to check HP on tractors for customers. We also check this to ensure they have the power to run the implement they are interested in. You will quite often notice that the tractors engine HP is stated at a certain figure, but they also state a lower HP rating on the PTO. There is usually a larger gap between these figures on tractors with hydrostatic transmission.

Tractor PTO directions

The standard direction for tractors is clockwise when stood behind the tractor. However, there is always an exception to the rule with tractors! Again, there are a few models which spin the opposite direction which is no good for UK implements.
The most common compact tractors we come across with anti-clockwise PTOs are the Kubota B6000 & a few grey imports. Many Kubota B6000s and grey market tractors were manufactured and sold with bolted on rotovators. The engine turned in the opposite direction, so the output for the PTO is also backwards. It’s a bit of a tricky one, there are converters available, but they can be pricey. We always advise to avoid these tractors if possible.

Tractor PTO sizes

The most common tractor Power Take-Off (PTO) size for modern compacts is 1 3/8” diameter shaft. However, a few tractors have a 1 1/8” shaft, such as the classic Grey Fergie (Ferguson T20). All of the new equipment we sell is fitted and designed for the modern 1 3/8” size. The Kubota B6000 also has an obscure PTO size which doesn’t fit modern machinery, so best to keep an eye out for this.

This means that some form of an adapter is needed if your tractor does not have a conventional sized shaft. The Ferguson Tractor website gives some helpful information on the T20s here.