Many Rhino dealers and users alike have noticed the PTO driveshafts on Rhino implements are a little different than some of our competitors. Every driveshaft on any tractor implement is required to have a guard shielding the rotating shaft from users and the environment. These guards spin freely from the shaft – usually with a series of ball bearings keeping the friction between the shaft and the guard to a minimum.
However, some manufacturers use small chains to hold the guard in place, while it “floats” over the shaft. Rhino Ag does not use PTO driveline shield retention chains on our products. However consumers shouldn’t assume this makes our products less safe. Just the opposite in fact:
Field Tested, Farmer Approved
To put it simply retention chains mean more maintenance, more cost and more down-time on the backs of our customers.
When a shield is allowed to spin freely over the bearings around the driveshaft, this creates the potential for the least amount of friction. However, when retention chains are installed, the guard is held in place creating substantially more friction on the bearings, causing them to need lubrication more often and causing them to wear out much faster.
Over the years, Rhino technicians have seen that this increased maintenance usually leads to operators removing the shields altogether – which is the worst-case scenario.
A Rotating Shield Means More Caution
In the operator’s manual provided with every piece of Rhino equipment, we state that the tractor operator should not get out of their seat until the PTO is disengaged, the engine is turned off, and all a rotating motion has stopped. Many times, even after the PTO is disengaged and the engine is off, rotation will continue until the equipment comes to rest. The rotation of a free (unchained) “floating” driveshaft guard is a clear visual cue to anyone to stand clear of the equipment. However, when a retention chain decreases this motion, there is a greater chance of someone getting caught in a flail mower or other piece of equipment, and causing serious injury.
Therefore, retention chains might cause confusion in the field, and confusion might lead to injury. This is another reason RhinoAg opts to not use retention chains on our PTO driveline shields.
Safety is Our Key Concern
Very seldom but all too often, Rhino technicians and safety personnel have seen PTO shield restraint chains get caught in the spinning shaft, tearing the shield away. Here, the restraint chains cause much more danger than they prevent.
Secondly, some Rhino operators are concerned about the rotation of our PTO shields being unsafe if they spin as fast as the shaft itself. Some worry that a loose rope, strap or loose-fitting clothing could still get caught in the guard.
Rhino’s PTO guard is engineered to stop spinning if it comes into contact with anything. Left untouched, the cover will spin, but once an operator or anything else touches the shaft, the guard will stop rotating, providing low-maintenance, effective protection.
When it comes to the safety of our costumers and operators, Rhino isn’t in the business of taking risks. We have found that PTO shields without restraint chains are the safest, most economical, most efficient design for our implements.
For more information on Rhino design and safety standards contact your Rhino dealer today. To find a dealer, please visit www.rhinoag.com.