1988 - Volume #12, Issue #4, Page #09[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Portable PTO Power UnitA homebuilt "portable pto power unit" lets Dale Van Westen, Parker, S. Dak., quickly unload ear corn from rear-unload wagons towed behind his pickup.
Van Westen picks all of his corn in the ear, using silage wagons. For fields close to home, he pulls the wagons with a tractor. But for more distant fields, he uses a pickup.
"The portable power unit saves me a lot of unloading time," says Van Westen. "Before, I had to unhook the pickup, back up the tractor and connect the pto shaft to the wagon, unload, then hook the wagon back up to the pickup. It was a lot of hassle. Now, I simply wheel the power unit into position between the wagon and pickup and hook up the pto shaft. After the wagon is unloaded, I remove the power unit and drive the pickup and empty wagon back to the field for another load."
The portable power unit, made of angle iron, stands on two 10-in. riding lawn mower wheels and a "leg" opposite them. Slots cut into the frame allow Van Westen to raise or lower the wheels.
A 5 hp Briggs & Stratton engine drives a large belt pulley which turns a jack shaft, equipped at one end with a small sprocket. A roller chain extends from this sprocket to a much larger one which drives the pto shaft. "The belt pulley and large drive sprocket reduce the 1,800 rpm engine to 300 rpm on the pto shaft," explains Van Westen.
The wagon's original telescoping pto shaft was too long to accommodate the power unit between wagon and pickup, so Van Westen removed it. He built the power unit so that its pto shaft is directly in line with the wagon's pto shaft.
The power unit's 36-in. pto shaft consists of two halves. Van Westen borrowed the first 18 in. section, which is 13/
in. in dia. with a540rpm spline, from an Allis-Chalmers tractor. He borrowed the second section, which is 7/8 in. in dia., from a Deere sickle bar mower.
Contact FARM SHOW Followup, Dale Van Westen, RR 2, Box 44, Parker, S. Dak. 57053 (ph 605 297-4541).
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