PTO hook up on rotary cutter
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    danmc48's Avatar
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    PTO hook up on rotary cutter

    I have a Frontier rotary cutter and it works fine, except when i have the PTO engaged and raise the deck up and travel in reverse, then set the deck back down, the PTO shaft will fall off the tractors PTO.

    What could be the problem? When i am hooking things up, i can audibly hear the PTO shaft head (not sure of the actual term) click onto the tractor PTO. I can pull on it and it stays in place. It very much feels like it is connected properly.

    This just started happening last week when i went to use the cutter. The cutter is just over 2 years old.

    Is there something i need to adjust? Did i damage something on the PTO shaft that needs to be replaced?

    When the PTO shaft falls off it makes me really nervous because it is spinning so fast.

    Any help is much appreciated!
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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    THAT IS NOT GOOD!
    I'd take the shaft off and have a look at the keeper.
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    Keith

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    Better figure it out

    One thing is for sure, you need to correct the issue before you run the cutter any more or you will be buying parts and maybe making a trip to the hospital.

    My first guesses are either:

    The PTO shaft is either too long or too short. If it's too long, as you raise the cutter up it's jamming the PTO shaft into the tractor overcoming the detent pin. Then on the way down, it's just skipping the detent and coming loose.

    If the shaft is too short, usually it will come apart and you have the piece that's still on the tractor side flying around trying to tear things up. It's possible that it's too short but not so short that it comes apart, just short enough to bind on the way down, particularly if the sliding parts are dry of grease or lube.

    A second guess is that the top link is adjusted way too long leading to overtravel of the PTO shaft. I doubt it's this one as I think the shaft would come apart rather than fall off the tractor.

    Another guess- the PTO shaft is sticking and not sliding easily, therefore pulling so hard on the detent that it pulls the coupler off the tractor. That's an easy fix. Pull the shaft apart and grease or use a good dry lube so the shaft can slide easily. (Make sure you note how the U joints are oriented before pulling it apart- they should be in time not 90 degrees out.)

    Worse case scenario- the tractor PTO shaft has been damaged and no longer has a solid hook up. It's not bad to replace the PTO shaft on the cutter if that's damaged, but the tractor side is more and trouble.

    If you aren't sure you can figure this out, get the dealer to fix it before you run the cutter again. The cost of repair if it comes loose again will be way higher than getting them out and fixing the issue now. This is not something to "put up with", it's a serious issue which will certainly cause more damage and can be very dangerous.

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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Just a thought - is the driveshaft too long?

    If it is too long - when you raise it all the way it is pushing the coupler further onto the shaft - possibly releasing the coupler. Then when you drop the cutter the coupler is passing right past the notch in the shaft and slipping right off.

    Check the length of your driveshaft - this is a very dangerous situation!
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    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treefarmer View Post
    If it's too long, as you raise the cutter up it's jamming the PTO shaft into the tractor overcoming the detent pin. Then on the way down, it's just skipping the detent and coming loose.
    This was my thought also.
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    I agree with the rest, it seems your shaft is too long, very simple to cut to proper length.
    How to Measure and Cut a Tractor PTO Shaft - YouTube
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    Just throwing this out there...TractorData.com - Power Take-Off Types
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    Just a thought - is the driveshaft too long?

    If it is too long - when you raise it all the way it is pushing the coupler further onto the shaft - possibly releasing the coupler. Then when you drop the cutter the coupler is passing right past the notch in the shaft and slipping right off.

    Check the length of your driveshaft - this is a very dangerous situation!
    How do i know if its too long? My cutter is the Frontier RC 2048 and I have it on a 3025E. I used to have a 1025r and I never had this issue before. I ran it all last summer on the 3025e exactly like i am this year and never had this issue. What you said about it pushing the coupler further onto the shaft makes sense though. How can i possibly check for that without putting myself in danger? There is NO WAY i am raising the guard up and having a look at it while running. Would it have the same effect with the PTO disengaged?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treefarmer View Post
    One thing is for sure, you need to correct the issue before you run the cutter any more or you will be buying parts and maybe making a trip to the hospital.

    My first guesses are either:

    The PTO shaft is either too long or too short. If it's too long, as you raise the cutter up it's jamming the PTO shaft into the tractor overcoming the detent pin. Then on the way down, it's just skipping the detent and coming loose.

    If the shaft is too short, usually it will come apart and you have the piece that's still on the tractor side flying around trying to tear things up. It's possible that it's too short but not so short that it comes apart, just short enough to bind on the way down, particularly if the sliding parts are dry of grease or lube.

    A second guess is that the top link is adjusted way too long leading to overtravel of the PTO shaft. I doubt it's this one as I think the shaft would come apart rather than fall off the tractor.

    Another guess- the PTO shaft is sticking and not sliding easily, therefore pulling so hard on the detent that it pulls the coupler off the tractor. That's an easy fix. Pull the shaft apart and grease or use a good dry lube so the shaft can slide easily. (Make sure you note how the U joints are oriented before pulling it apart- they should be in time not 90 degrees out.)

    Worse case scenario- the tractor PTO shaft has been damaged and no longer has a solid hook up. It's not bad to replace the PTO shaft on the cutter if that's damaged, but the tractor side is more and trouble.

    If you aren't sure you can figure this out, get the dealer to fix it before you run the cutter again. The cost of repair if it comes loose again will be way higher than getting them out and fixing the issue now. This is not something to "put up with", it's a serious issue which will certainly cause more damage and can be very dangerous.

    Treefarmer
    I am going to try the what you suggested and try to grease the shaft. I have done this before, but we have been very dry so the shaft could have gotten dirty. I will clean it up and grease it again and see if that has any affect.

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    Disconnect the PTO shaft from the tractor and push it in as far as it will go and keep it out of the way.

    Lift the cutter deck / 3 point as high as is will go.

    Shut everything off.

    Move the PTO shaft over to the tractor shaft.

    When fully collapsed it should be shorter than the shaft.
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