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Discussion Starter #1
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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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 :gizmo: 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
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #8
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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Discussion Starter #9
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 :gizmo: 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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Discussion Starter #11
I should have stated that i have a 2017 John Deere 3025e and I am running a Frontier RC2048 on it. I'm assuming that John Deere put the correct type of PTO on the tractor and on the cutter. :dunno:

I have not added any aftermarket parts to anything. Everything has come directly from the dealer so things should be matched up correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
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.
Perfect! I will try this out this afternoon after greasing and cleaning things up first.
 

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To measure the shaft in operation or position you can collapse it fully and mark the cover with a paint marker. You can also mark it the same way extended, but that won't last long if you spin it. With the pto hooked up you should be able to work it through the range between those marks with some margin for safety and bumps.
 

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I should have stated that i have a 2017 John Deere 3025e and I am running a Frontier RC2048 on it. I'm assuming that John Deere put the correct type of PTO on the tractor and on the cutter. :dunno:

I have not added any aftermarket parts to anything. Everything has come directly from the dealer so things should be matched up correctly.
I am also thinking too long of a PTO drive shaft.

Did the dealer set everything up? Or just sell you the items? The drive shaft may come long to fit with a quick hitch on.

When the drive shaft is level is when it's the shortest. Since raising it up starts the problem, you are probably passing through this shortest point.
 

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I should have stated that i have a 2017 John Deere 3025e and I am running a Frontier RC2048 on it. I'm assuming that John Deere put the correct type of PTO on the tractor and on the cutter. :dunno:

I have not added any aftermarket parts to anything. Everything has come directly from the dealer so things should be matched up correctly.
Dont bet on that. PTO shafts are often long since the implement can fit a variety of equipment. Dealers get lazy too.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Dont bet on that. PTO shafts are often long since the implement can fit a variety of equipment. Dealers get lazy too.
I get that. I just find it strange that i worked fine for over a full season on the 1025r and a full season on the 3025e with not issue until now. That why i was wondering if something is broken. I'm definitely going to look at the length of the shaft.
 

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I get that. I just find it strange that i worked fine for over a full season on the 1025r and a full season on the 3025e with not issue until now. That why i was wondering if something is broken. I'm definitely going to look at the length of the shaft.
Everything that has been posted is worth checking.

Shaft length, just to be sure.

Since it used to work and now has a problem......

Make sure the shaft is clean, greased and slides in an out easily.

Make sure the locking mechanism on the tractor end is working properly. It is a push pin or is it a collar type. If the collar type, are all three ball bearings inside? Is there good tension on the collar when you pull it back?

With it hooked up to the tractor, can you pull it off by hand? Push it to the tractor and then pull back?

Fiddle with all of it and if something doesn't feel right go from there.

Post what you find and we'll try to help if we can.
 

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Everything that has been posted is worth checking.

Shaft length, just to be sure.

Since it used to work and now has a problem......

Make sure the shaft is clean, greased and slides in an out easily.

Make sure the locking mechanism on the tractor end is working properly. It is a push pin or is it a collar type. If the collar type, are all three ball bearings inside? Is there good tension on the collar when you pull it back?

With it hooked up to the tractor, can you pull it off by hand? Push it to the tractor and then pull back?

Fiddle with all of it and if something doesn't feel right go from there.

Post what you find and we'll try to help if we can.
the OP said it clicked when he would install it--so i would assume it was locked on too. quite strange it worked for a whole season, and now has created this problem:dunno:

are u running a I-match on the tractor?

on ur 1025r was u running a I-match on it?
 

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Ignorance chiming in here....

I just learned the other day about the “limited” part of a Cat 1 hitch. The 1025 is a Cat 1 limited, whereas the 3025 is a Cat 1. On the Frontier mower are two sets of holes for the pins to connect to the draft arms and which ones to use depends on the Limited rating, as I understood it. This came up in another thread the other day. Is it part of the issue here?
 

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Stuff (puzzles) like this stay in my mind....

The OP said the same setup worked fine last year but not this year. The only thing I can think of is the PTO shaft slide getting sized up over winter. Same effect as having a PTO shaft too long - if the 2 shafts can’t slide in and out like they should.

So another check for the OP - remove the drive shaft from the tractor and make sure it slides in and out easily.
 
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