What Are The RPMs On A PTO?

What Are The RPMs On A PTO?


The power take-off (PTO) drive, found on most farm tractors, is a major power source for agricultural equipment. The PTO is a spinning shaft used to power various PTO driven machines or accessories. The machine’s drive shaft is connected to the tractor’s PTO stub shaft and energy is transferred from the tractor to the machinery. Although not every piece of farm machinery requires using the PTO, if the device has moving parts other than the wheels, chances are that it will require using the PTO. Most PTOs operate at 1000 RPMs.

farm-tractor pulling hay


Revolutions per minute (RPMs) refers to the number of revolutions of an engine per minute and is measured by the use of a tachometer. On a tractor, it refers to the revolutions of the PTO’s stub shaft. The tachometer on most equipment will show a color coded range of operating speeds. Green is good. Yellow or orange either above or below the green is not a good idea, and red, usually above the yellow or orange can indicate that the RPMs are too high and need to be pulled back.

Most current production tractors have the PTO tachometers marked for 540 RPMs or 1000 RPMs. The individual machines that connect to the PTO will have a recommended RPM level. The speed of the PTO is independent of the ground speed of the tractor. Generally speaking, the slower an engine will run to provide the needed power to the PTO to perform a task, the more economical it is to operate the tractor.

PTO Safety

While the PTO is an essential part of farming, it can present serious hazards to persons who are unfamiliar with its operation. Therefore, shields are in place to prevent operators from coming into contact with spinning parts.

Final Words

Tractor equipment has come a long way through the years but is heavily dependent on the tractor’s PTO.  The PTO system is one of the most useful pieces of tractor machinery, and is absolutely essential for operating most tractor attachments.

Mission Valley Tractor & Equipment  is an authorized distributor for Kubota, Land Pride, Gearmore, Towmaster Trailers, Paladin, and Echo Outdoor Power Equipment, making us one of the area’s best resources for rugged farming and construction equipment. We’re committed to putting our customers first, which allows us to provide our clients with tough and durable equipment for a variety of uses. In addition to offering new and used equipment, we have a staff of highly trained and experienced technicians that can complete any repairs or preventive maintenance you may need.

We’re conveniently located in San Jose on Brokaw Road, making us easily accessible from both Interstate 880 and Highway 101. If you would like more information about the products and services we offer, visit our website, give us a call at 833-530-6710, or stop by and see us.

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