PTO Drive Shaft Tube – The Key to Efficient Power Transmission in Agricultural Machinery


The PTO drive shaft tube is a crucial component in agricultural machinery that enables efficient power transmission. It serves as a metal cylindrical encasement for the drive gear, providing additional reinforcement for the drive shaft. The PTO drive shaft tube is available in both domestic (North American) and metric (European) profile shapes. Domestic tubing is typically square, rectangular, or round, while metric tubing can be trilobed or lemon-shaped.

Choosing the Correct PTO Drive Shaft Tube

Ensuring that you select the correct PTO drive shaft tube is essential for optimal performance and safety. The easiest way to determine the correct tube is to measure the diameter of the u-joint caps at the tractor end. Using calipers, measure the outer diameter of the u-joint cap and compare it to the standardized sizing chart. It is important to measure the u-joints end-to-end in both directions for accurate results.

Tractor PTO Shaft Tubing Sizes

Triangular PTO Shaft Tubing

Triangular PTO shaft tubing is commonly used in constant-velocity PTO drivelines. To find the right triangular PTO shaft tubing for your tractor, consider removing the cross-kit from the yoke and using calipers to measure the end-to-end diameter of the tractor PTO shaft universal joint and the internal diameter of the yoke ears. Match these measurements to the cross and bearing identification chart.

It is important to note that there are other types of PTO shaft tubing available for purchase. Lemon-shaped tubing is best suited for standard drivelines, while a star-shaped profile tube offers multiple contact faces for enhanced performance.

Lemon Shaped PTO Shaft Tubing

If you are working on a tractor with a lemon-shaped PTO shaft, it is crucial to take safety measures to avoid injury. Selecting the right driveline for your tractor is essential, as over-telescoping the shaft or improper adjustment of slip clutches can lead to accidents. Different types of lemon-shaped PTO shaft tubing are available, featuring internal or external snap rings and rounded or squared yokes.

Star Tube PTO Shaft

For owners of large tractors or large-scale farming equipment, the star tube PTO shaft is an important component. The star-shaped tube is commonly used for tractor attachments as it facilitates easy control of speed and torque. Its heavy-duty nature allows it to withstand significant stress. To ensure proper installation, check the serial number on the shaft and match it with the cross and bearing identification chart.

Rectangular/Square PTO Shaft Tubing

Square/rectangular PTO shaft tubing is ideal for equipment that doesn’t experience sudden halts. It is commonly used in mowing, shredding, and plowing applications. A yoke-to-yoke arrangement can be used for large mowers, and different types of yokes (metric or domestic) with labeled splines are available. Measure the inside of the collar and the connection on the tractor to determine the correct type.

Hexagonal PTO Shaft Tube

If you are looking to replace your current PTO shaft, consider a hexagonal PTO shaft tube. This type of shaft is easier to install and maintain compared to other drivelines, making it ideal for tractors and large machinery. These tubes are made of high-quality aluminum alloys and are available in various sizes.

How is PTO Drive Shaft Tube Measured?

To measure the PTO drive shaft tube correctly, locate the cross and bearing kit and use calipers to measure the inside and outside diameters of the u-joint cap and the yoke ear. Measure both sides of the cross-kit tube to determine its width. Compare your measurements with the cross and bearing identification chart to ensure accurate sizing.

Drive Shaft Tube Material

The material used for the drive shaft tube is crucial for its strength and durability. Steel is the most popular material, but high-performance alloys and carbon fiber are also available. Steel is heavy, increasing the load on the drivetrain, while high-performance alloys are lighter. Carbon fiber is the lightest drive