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Tractor PTO Powers Mud Proof Trailer
In the mountains surrounding his farm, Melvin Whitaker, Kanosh, Utah, uses a tractor-pulled trailer to haul 2 to 3 tons of wood. Even on steep, muddy slopes he seldom gets stuck because both wheels on his trailer the cut off bed of an old pickup are powered by the tractor's pto.
"Together, the tractor and trailer work like a four wheel drive rig," says Whitaker. "When we get in muddy conditions, we can engage the tractor's pto. It works through the transmission of the trailer to turn the wheels and self-propel the trailer."
To build the trailer, Whitaker started with an early `70's 3/4 ton Ford Camper Special pickup, equipped with a long "fleetside" bed and heavy leaf springs. Using a cutting torch, he cut off the pickup behind the cab, leaving the transmission intact.
Next step was to reverse the pickup's rear end, rotating it 180? so that the tractor pto shaft turns in the same direction as the trailer's pickup driveline. "Originally, the tractor's pto shaft and the driveline turned in opposite directions," explains--Whitaker. "Without rotating the rear end, the trailer would have had 4 reverse gears and 1 forward. Now, it has 4 forward and 1 reverse gear."
Next, Whitaker hooked up a 5 ft. long pto shaft, borrowed from an old grain roller, to the input shaft of the pickup's rear end. He also cut off the pto shaft's spline, sliding it onto the input shaft, drilling a hole through it and securing it with a key.
"A pto-powered trailer works best with tractors whose ptos can be engaged or disengaged without depressing the clutch," notes Whitaker. "On such tractors, you can let the tractor go as far as it can, then engage the pto by flipping a lever."
Whitaker runs his trailer's transmission in low gear only, engaging it only when the trailer needs extra power to avoid getting stuck.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Melvin Whitaker, Box 86, Kanosh, Utah 84637 (ph 801 759-2463).


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1988 - Volume #12, Issue #4