Power take-off (PTO) shafts

A tractor power take-off (PTO) and the PTO drive shaft of a machine are very dangerous if used and not correctly guarded. Every year people are killed or seriously injured in accidents involving PTOs and PTO drive shafts.

Most of these accidents are preventable if the PTO and PTO drive shaft are fitted with guards of good design which are properly used and maintained.

For PTO shaft guards, check that the guard is:

  • made to a recognised standard such as BS EN ISO 5674;
  • the correct size and length for the shaft, both when closed and when extended;
  • a non-rotating type, with the restraining device (for example, securing chains) in place;
  • properly used and maintained. Clean and lubricate guards regularly;
  • supported when not connected. Do not rest it on the drawbar or drop it on the ground, and do not suspend it by the restraining device;
  • safe from damage, for example, by livestock, when the machine is in store.

Make sure no one uses adaptors to allow a 21 spline 1000 rpm shaft to drive a 6 spline 540 rpm shaft.

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