New project: lime spreader. Can I start the PTO under load?
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Thread: New project: lime spreader. Can I start the PTO under load?

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    New project: lime spreader. Can I start the PTO under load?

    Hi,
    New member here. I am building a drop lime spreader for my food plots. Can't do wet ag lime without some sort of agitators. What I came up with is a system of two rotary agitators mounted to shafts that run the width of the spreader. I am thinking of running this setup with PTO. Of course, the PTO would have to be started when the spreader is full of lime. It would be geared WAY down, so that should help, but will this work or am I just going to burn out my clutch?

    Thanks

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    The answer depends on the torque requirement of your spreader,,

    if the agitator demands close to the tractor's maximum output limit,, then the clutch will suffer when starting.

    If the demand is only 1/10th or less of the tractor's PTO power,, then it is not an issue.

    Some of the tractors include JD 4105, JD 855, JD 650,,,, and,,, the IH 584 4WD
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    A seed spreader is under load at start for example. But I don't think the load is very high. But i wouldn't want to engage a tiller already in the ground.


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    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
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    An external slip clutch can be added to the PTO shaft, they are adjustable so you can fine tune the slippage. Without this you'd be relying on the clutch inside the transmission.
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    Kenny

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kennyd View Post
    An external slip clutch can be added to the PTO shaft, they are adjustable so you can fine tune the slippage. Without this you'd be relying on the clutch inside the transmission.
    I was just reading an article on how much maintenance those slip-clutches require to keep in proper operation. Anyone thinking of going that route should definitely read up on them beforehand.
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    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    I was just reading an article on how much maintenance those slip-clutches require to keep in proper operation. Anyone thinking of going that route should definitely read up on them beforehand.
    All very true, but it's sure easier than messing with the internal one LOL!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kennyd View Post
    An external slip clutch can be added to the PTO shaft, they are adjustable so you can fine tune the slippage. Without this you'd be relying on the clutch inside the transmission.
    Put one on my Brush Hog and it stopped the shear bolts from shearing allowing some slip. Before I was thinking something was going to break besides a shear bolt. Biggest deal is to make sure it does not rust solid but a little care will save your equipment having one.

    When I bought the Mower it had a shear bolt but the shaft was rusted tight and would not shear the bolt? I tore out the Universal Joint so I had to buy another new one. I had just bought it and it got destroyed on a rock. The place just gave me a new one and said make it work and bring back the old parts! I ordered up a slip disk for it then.
    Last edited by JD4044M; 02-01-2019 at 01:08 PM.
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    Why not just use wheels to turn the agitator instead of a PTO

    I have old JD drop lime spreader. The agitator is wheel driven. A PTO driven shaft I can see two possible problems. 1. that no matter how much it was reduced it would still spin too fast and cause the lime dust to start to cake inside the trough and 2. that thing will be putting out a constant cloud of lime dust.

    I know they are hard to find. I looked for one for years and then finally found one on craigslist that was only 5 miles from my house. Paid 200 bucks for it. Literally the first time I used it it paid for itself because 3 tons of ag lime cost me 20 dollars whereas pelletized lime would have cost me 3 dollars for a 50# bag.
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    Thanks

    Thanks to everyone who has already to replied to this. ... and I certainly would love to hear more.

    I do have a PTO clutch laying around that I could put to use on this. I kind of wondered if adding another clutch would just result in a failure to overcome the initial load, though.

    It is interesting that one of you made the analogy or reference to starting a tiller while in the dirt. I have done this without thinking before and it worked fine. I wonder if doing it repeatedly might tear up my internal clutch though.
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    Manure spreaders have to start under load, quite often with frozen manure. Like cadplans said, it’s really going to depend on how big of a load it is.
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