The appropriate PTO shaft is essential for ensuring a smooth and seamless transfer of power between a tractor and an attached implement or machine. Size is a crucial consideration when choosing a shaft, as is the PTO driveline series. If you make a mistake or measure incorrectly, you will likely cause damage to the shaft, tractor or implement — or all three. Furthermore, you may need to replace the PTO shaft tubing, U-joints, yokes or other shaft components.
If you’re in the market for PTO shafts or parts, you’ll find no shortage of options. With so many choices, finding the right PTO shaft for your equipment can be a challenge.
PTO Shaft Selection Tips
Need to find the right PTO shaft?
To know which PTO driveline you want, first determine if your PTO is North American (also referred to as Domestic), or Metric.
Look at the shape of the tubing on your driveline.
Is it square, rectangular, or splined? If yes, it is likely a North American PTO driveline.
If it is shaped like a lemon, star, or has three lobes, it is likely Metric.
Lemon and star profiles will be a German series PTO shaft. A tri-lobe profile will be an Italian series shaft.
Next, take two measurements from the u-joint that is on the tractor or the drive end of the PTO.
- Measure the bearing cap diameter. Most u-joints have uniform cap diameters. (Cap diameters may differ among Constant Velocity drivelines). Measure all caps.
- Measure the cross-kit width, cap to cap length: the u-joint, end of cap to end of cap. You’ll get the most accurate measurement for finding the right PTO shaft by removing the cross-kit from the yokes.
Note: Some series are not uniform in width, so measure the cross kit both ways.
Locate the snap ring. If it’s in the bushing, it’s an internal snap ring. If not, it’s likely in the yoke ears and is an external snap ring.
Note the bearing diameter, cap-to-cap overall length, and snap ring type.
Also, know the amount of torque and horsepower needed to move through your PTO shaft. Male and female parts should have at least 6 inches overlap for torque load. Check the owner’s manual.
PaulB Parts can help you find the PTO driveline you need! Shop PTO shaft drivelines.
You may need to cut your driveline to the proper length, for operational overlap. If you raise your implement to get the shaft on, you could end up damaging your equipment. For tips on cutting your shaft to size, view this Size Your PTO Shaft video from Weasler.
When your equipment is not in use and is stored outside, take the PTO shaft off the machine, tractor, or mower and store it inside to avoid rust-causing moisture, and to prolong the life of your driveline.
PaulB Parts provides a variety of resources to help you…
- Determining Your PTO Series. Includes a handy configurator!
- How to Take Apart a Universal Joint Replacement
- A video that shows the difference between a Weasler E kit and a Weasler R kit.
Why Choose PaulB Parts for Your PTO Shaft Tubing Needs?
Whether you’re looking for PTO tubing, you need help determining PTO U-joint sizes, or you have other shaft-related questions, PaulB Parts is always just a phone call away. Our team consists of knowledgeable ag equipment specialists who will be happy to share their years of experience. You’ll also appreciate our tremendous selection of PTO shafts and components at competitive prices.