Why does PTO engagement differ in lawn and garden tractors vs SCUTs?
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    mike01's Avatar
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    Why does PTO engagement differ in lawn and garden tractors vs SCUTs?

    Genuinely curious about this...the PTO in lawn and garden tractors is supposed to be engaged under full or at least high throttle, whereas the PTO in SCUTs and larger tractors is only supposed to be engaged at idle.

    Does anyone know what the difference is and why it is this way?
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    JDSwan87's Avatar
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    Gears slamming (CUT's) vs belts and pulleys slipping (mowers) would be my guess...

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    Most single cylinder lawn and garden tractors have a problem getting a deck started at anything other than full throttle (when cold). Most lawn and garden tractors use an electromagnetic clutch which isn't harmed by engaging at higher RPM. And as the other poster suggested I suspect the belts are more forgiving than gears (although I believe gear driven decks like on a X700 still suggest WOT engagement)
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    Most single cylinder lawn and garden tractors have a problem getting a deck started at anything other than full throttle (when cold). Most lawn and garden tractors use an electromagnetic clutch which isn't harmed by engaging at higher RPM. And as the other poster suggested I suspect the belts are more forgiving than gears (although I believe gear driven decks like on a X700 still suggest WOT engagement)
    i forget what speed my x475 calls for-but i still will not start the pto-at WOT--maybe at half throttle-and then i have to play with the throttle to keep from stalling the motor. but after owning a farm tractor myself--and be around other farm tractors all my life-if i would of ever tried starting a mower, baler, or anything at faster than idle--whew-that would of been for the worst whipping i think i would of ever had-for pulling a stunt like that. just wasn't done--same way on my 2520 mcut-nothing on it has ever been started above a idle on it. till this spring when the pto-brake has failed to stop the pto on my 3pt spreader.
    jim

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    The Deere Operator's Manual for the D100-series machines gives a hint:

    "NOTE: Throttle lever should be at full throttle position before engaging mower to avoid stalling engine."

    I suspect that if engine stalling wasn't a concern they'd tell you to engage at a lower RPM.
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    I agree with BigJim. I start my 314, 317 & 322 and let idle...1/2 throttle or less... for a few minutes, maybe 5. I then come back to about 1/4 throttle and engage PTO. The engine will slow down, sometimes sputter, and then come to rpm. I THEN go wot. Most clutches also have a braking function, so I disengage at 1/4 throttle also.

    The reason: The PTO clutch does not engage 100% the instant you flip the switch...it will slip for a short time. The higher the rpm you engage it, the longer it's going to slip and the more it's going to wear. I bought a well used 314, ran it for 15 years mowing grass and blowing snow and only had to replace the coil because it shorted internally. The clutch surfaces showed wear, but had many years of life/use left. Bob

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    I personally think its most likely due to power required to engage the attachment, maybe a bit of operator ignorance coverage too, and Im sure it also depends on the type of system.
    Any electromagnetic clutch will slip on engagement some. Tight belts generally dont.

    On my 318, I NEVER engage the PTO at full throttle. Thats not good for clutches or attachments.
    I usually am at 1/4 throttle or just above.
    I do the same on my Exmark.

    Sure the engines bog just a bit until the governor straightens them out, but better that than excessive wear on the PTO clutch.
    Jim B.

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    I like the comment about the gears slamming. Additional, the mass those gears are trying to get moving from a dead rest. ie...a brush hog...heavy blades that it has to get whipping around. Can't comment about a tiller or chipper as I haven't used one on mine.
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    It's odd that the operator's manuals for the X700-series manuals all say to engage PTO at full throttle and the manuals for SCUT/CUT tractors all say to engage near idle even though that both have similar gear driven PTO mechanisms.

    It looks to me like they had the lawn and garden group writing the manuals for the X700 tractors.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    It's odd that the operator's manuals for the X700-series manuals all say to engage PTO at full throttle and the manuals for SCUT/CUT tractors all say to engage near idle even though that both have similar gear driven PTO mechanisms.

    It looks to me like they had the lawn and garden group writing the manuals for the X700 tractors.
    Biggest difference is the much higher torque available from diesel at idle. Gasses just don't have it. Still I would engage as low as possible, regardless.

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