As a company, one of WPT Power’s standout qualities is our willingness to listen to our customer base. By listening to the users of our products, we get valuable feedback to improve and optimize our products. One example of this is the new Mechanical Wear Indicator on the WPT Power Hydraulic 14H Type 1 and Type 2 PTOs.
Easy in Theory, Difficult in Practice
The hydraulic line of Power Take-off (PTO) units from WPT Power feature self-adjusting actuators. This makes maintenance a snap, since only periodic greasing is required until the friction discs are worn out. However, checking the current wear in the clutch pack is no easy task. To do it properly, you will need to remove the PTO from the engine to access the friction discs.
Physically removing a PTO from an engine is not difficult. Gaining access to the PTO, on the other hand, is no light task. This is due to the guards, supports, belts, pulleys, and shafts that need to be removed first. With the difficultly in accessing the clutch pack for wear inspection, most PTO assemblies run until friction failure occurs.
If Something Can Go Wrong, it Will Go Wrong
This is not the best option due to the uncertainty of failure. As Murphy’s Law dictates, this failure will likely occur at the least opportune time. Another option is to replace the friction discs at a predetermined runtime or engine hour intervals. This is better from a downtime perspective, but we could be throwing valuable friction life in the trash.
Up until this point, that was really the only two options available. After receiving feedback on PTO operation, wear, and replacement, the WPT Engineering Team set to work to create a better solution. That is how the Mechanical Wear Indicator idea came to fruition.
The Grass is Always Greener
The new wear indicator is standard on all new Hydraulic 14H PTO assemblies. The implementation of the indicator is an refined and easy-to-use design with a spring-release and stepped indicator pin. Checking wear is easily accomplished with a three-step process:
- Remove the inspection cover
- Engage the PTO*
- Observe the indicator pin
If you are not able to see the pin protruding from the access hole, this means you still have more than 50 percent life. When the pin is flush with the backplate the clutch is at the 50 percent wear point. When the lower step of the pin is flush with the backplate, it is time to replace the frictions.
Super-size Your Existing Clutch
The wear indicator is also available as an upgrade kit for existing assemblies using kit number (W15-03-106). The kit comes with all the parts and hardware needed to convert your existing piston and cylinder actuator to the new style that is compatible with the indicator.
Python™ Clutch Control
WPT didn’t just stop there. We also upgraded the Python™ Hydraulic Clutch Control as well. So, if you order a Python™ along with your 14H PTO, you can use the new Inspection Operation to engage the PTO. Steps are the same as above, but when the engine is off, holding the engage/disengage switch for 10 seconds will start this operation.
The Inspection Operation will keep the PTO engaged during inspection. To cancel the function, press the switch again. For safety, the inspection feature will not operate if the engine is running. If the engine is started during the check, the clutch control will release.
The Final Countdown
So, if you are looking for a way to easily keep tabs on your WPT 14-inch Type 1 or Type 2 PTO, be sure to give us a shout. And, as always, if you have questions, comments, concerns, or just want to someone to talk to, feel free to contact us.
*Engine or prime mover should be off and proper safety and lockout-tagout procedures for the equipment should be followed when working around the PTO or rotating equipment
Written By: JD Bodine, Senior Sales Engineer