Agriculture Safety Matters: Power Take-off Shaft (PTO) Safety

By | February 19, 2014

Agriculture Safety MattersTractor power take-off shafts (PTOs) transfer power from the tractor to other PTO-powered equipment, such as rotary mowers, feed grinders, grain bin augers and balers. Though PTOs provide the power equipment needs to help you get a job done, they also create a wrap-point hazard. This means that when exposed machine parts rotate, loose clothing can get caught in the moving parts, and consequently pull you into the machine.


To prevent wrap-point injuries, you must properly maintain the shielding devices installed on your equipment. To do so, every component of the PTO must be shielded to provide maximum protection against hazards.


Top Safety Tips

Here are some other PTO safety precautions to keep in mind:

  • Do not remove PTO shields under any circumstances. Though they may make attaching implements a bit tricky, they must be left in place.
  • Always replace bent or damaged shield guards.
  • Before dismounting a tractor, disengage the PTO and shut down the tractor engine.
  • Do not attempt to engage or disengage a PTO shaft from the rear of a tractor. Only do so while sitting in the tractor seat.
  • Do not perform maintenance or service while a tractor engine is running.
  • Avoid wearing baggy clothing. Instead, wear tight-fitting apparel and tuck in your shirt to avoid getting garments caught in the PTO or other moving parts.
  • Remove the drawstrings from jackets, sweatshirts and pants before wearing them around machinery with moving parts.
  • Tie back long hair and do not wear jewelry around wrap-point hazards.
  • Never step over, lean across, or crawl under an engaged PTO shaft.


Once a Day, Every Day

It’s a good idea to perform a daily inspection before beginning your work. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the PTO shaft shielded?
  • Is the master shield in place?
  • Is the PTO device damaged?
  • Am I wearing the proper attire for the job?
  • Is the PTO shaft operating correctly?


When going about your work tasks, remember to always keep PTO safety in mind!

Power Take-off Shaft _PTO_ Safety

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