Here at the GIE+EXPO in Louisville, Kentucky, there are about as many farm-related machines to look over and run as a guy could ask for: I’m talking John Deere tractors, Bobcat excavators, Cub Cadet garden tractors, Stihl and Husqvarna chainsaws, Ford trucks, and about as many zero-turn mowers as a landscaper could wish for.
One of the coolest things I’ve seen so far, is some cutting-edge technology and engineering that enhances utility of two staples on the farm that previously often went underutilized: the UTV and ATV.
Kirk Jones, of ProMan PTO has engineered a cool way to add power take-off points on UTVs and ATVs that can power a cutting deck, log-splitter, leaf blower and more on either the front or back of these machines that in most cases are used only for hauling equipment and pure fun on the farm.
For the ATV, you’re looking at adding the system for around $5,500. For the UTV ProMan PTO mobile hydraulic platform, it’s going to run you around $6,000. Something to consider, though, especially if you’re considering adding a completely separate machine with PTO attachment capabilities.
The system relies on a hydraulic pump attached to the motor and a reservoir cooler mounted to the machine – on the front-load rail of ATVs and under the front seat of UTVs – that run hydraulic hoses either to the front- or rear-mounted attachment.
It opens up a whole new arena for consumers, dealers, and manufacturers alike.
Imagine using your ATV, attaching the log-splitter, and splitting your log segments right on site, rather than loading them in the truck, hauling them back to the barn, unloading them, splitting them, and stacking firewood. Or, better yet, attaching the splitter to the front of a UTV with a trailer on the back, and you see where the application goes from there.
Or, rather than mowing pond banks with a tractor bushhog that never feels safe enough, attach a mowing deck to the ATV or UTV and bush hogging in a much safer manner.
It takes UTV and ATV utility to a whole new level.
In fact, the whole idea originated because Kirk Jones felt there had to be a better way of mowing his farm in hilly central Southern California. He turned to an ATV already on his place, took off the casing of the engine, reverse-engineered a fitting for the hydraulic pump, attached the cooling reservoir, and voila, a mobile hydraulic platform took the ATV into a whole new level of production and safety.
It takes 5 to 7 hp to move an ATV in low gear, so you’re left with 40-some-odd hp that isn’t being used. My biggest question is with engine torque, and how the log splitter holds up when the engine isn't at full-throttle, or how fast the blades spin on the cutting deck when not at full-throttle. Nevertheless, these guys at ProMan PTO designed a system to tap into leftover engine power, and now it’s on the market. The system is currently compatible with Kawasaki, Yamaha and Polaris engines, and hopefully Honda, John Deere and Kubota will follow. Proman PTO seems to be onto something, and it could change the game when it comes to farm equipment and the small farmer getting more out of his or her machines, and in a safer mode of operation in some case.
Leave it to a small landowner to come up with such a cool concept.