1992 - Volume #16, Issue #2, Page #08[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Feed Truck Driven By Tractor PTOPennsylvania dairyman David Young fitted a Mack truck with a pto gearbox from a White tractor in order to get a live pto to run his feed mixer box.
"We wanted to keep the mixer going while we clutched the truck to stop, slow down or shift into reverse. Everything we could find on the market was driven off the transmission and using hydraulic motors to drive the mixer was too expensive. Using a tractor pto gives us what we wanted at a reasonable price and it's built heavy-duty so it'll last a long time," says Young, who has about 300 head of dairy cattle. He says the idea would work wherever you want to stop and start repeatedly yet keep pto-driven equipment running.
"In the past we used wagon-mounted feed mixers pulled by tractors. But tractors are getting more expensive all the time and they're not really made for stop-ping and starting like we do when we're feeding into bunks. This truck is made for this kind of work, equipped with air brakes and a heavy-duty clutch."
Young says pto gearboxes from White tractors over 100 hp. are ideal for this type of application because they're enclosed in a detachable housing at the back of the tractor. The self-contained units include all gears and a clutch, which lets you shift the pto between 540 and 1,000 rpm's. He bought the pto from a salvage yard for about $1,500.
The pto mounts in place of the passenger seat inside the cab. It's direct-driven off the crankshaft at the front of the Mack engine. Young added two extra pulleys to the fan belt pulley. The pto input shaft goes into the pto gearbox, down through a series of gears to the pto output shaft which connects up direct to the feed mixer pto shaft. He also ran a shaft out the top of the gearbox - by simply extending the input power shaft so it extends out the back of the gearbox - to power a hydraulic pump that runs the gates and unloading augers inside the mixer. He can put the pto into and out of gear from the driver's seat. "I always have live pto and hydraulics whether the truck is in gear or not," says Young.
When he bought the Mack truck, it had a fifth wheel on back which he removed. He extended the frame of the truck back to support the mixer but left the wheels where they were to keep a short turning radius. The mixer is a formerly wagon-mounted Swarts 850 feeder mixer. The mixer was originally unloaded by a steel webb-type conveyor but Young replaced that with three short 4-in. dia. augers that are driven by a hydraulic motor. "The web-type conveyors usually only last about a year before they need replacing but we've used these augers for about 2 years and they still don't show any wear," says Young.
He spent $2,000 for the mixer wagon, $2,500 for the truck, and about $1,800 for the White pto gearbox. Total cost was just a fraction of what a commercial self-propelled feed mixer would have cost. "We're really pleased with it. Does everything we expected and more," says Young.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, David P. Young, 349 Balance Mtg. Rd., Peachbottom, Penn. 17563 (ph 717 548-3507 or 2716).
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