University of Illinois Extension

Power Take-off Safety

End of a Drive Shaft

This is the end of the driveline shaft that connects to the tractor PTO shaft.

Two PTO Shafts

The top PTO shaft runs at 1000 revolutions per minute (RPM). It is normally found on larger equipment. The shield has been removed for clarity.

The bottom PTO shaft runs at 540 RPM and can be found on many size tractors from small to large. The PTO is located on tractors and other implements. It takes power from the tractor and uses it to run pieces of machinery.

Tractor and Portable Generator

This picture shows a tractor hooked up to a piece of equipment, a portable electric generator. Notice that the master shield on the tractor is in place. The Implement Driveline is the shaft that connects the PTO on the tractor to the piece of equipment.

Hay Grinder

This is the front end of a grinder for hay. You can see that both ends of the implement driveline shaft have coverings and the shaft itself is completely covered with a shield.

PTO Driven Grain Auger

This is a PTO driven grain auger. It has the shaft shield with connector shields on it. You can see the white plastic bushing that used to hold the shield in place. This means the shields can no longer do their job, and in fact create more of a hazard. This is not good. It should be fixed.

Missing Master Shield

No Master Shield in place on this tractor with a PTO driven Implement. This is not good. It should be fixed.

Missing Connector and Shaft Shield

No Connector Shields and no Shaft Shield on this PTO driven implement (as well as no Master shield). This is not good. It should be fixed.

Example of Accident

This is a pair of coveralls stuffed with straw. A small tractor is hooked up to power a hay baler that operates at 540 RPM. If someone wearing a hooded sweat shirt got too close to the rotating shaft, the strings on the hood could get wrapped around this shaft. Operating at full speed, the rotating PTO and driveline could wrap 7 FEET of the hood string around the shaft in 1 SECOND! This is much too fast for the person to do anything.