Laforge - Front Power Systems for Tractors
LAFORGE is one of the most experienced suppliers in the world of gear driven front PTO systems for tractors. We started almost 30 years ago to supply them in Europe. The first application was for driving front mounted sugar beet defoliators.
Over the last few years front hitch technology has migrated into large farming operations with higher HP tractors and areas with an extended growing season where tractors are used for several hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of hour per year. This demands not only higher power capability of the front PTO systems, but also a durability that exceeds what most PTO systems on the market can offer.
This is precisely why in 2008, LAFORGE introduced the FrontPower line of PTO systems which establishes us as the undisputed leader in front PTO technology.
Our competitors tend to list for their PTO a “maximum HP”, or “up to .. HP”.
This begs you to ask: “For how long?”
Some of them apparently hook the PTO to a dynamometer and crank it up until something breaks and list this as the power capability of their PTO.
LAFORGE FrontPower systems are however designed and tested much like a rear PTO or a modern transmission on a tractor. We conduct for example, just like major tractor manufacturers, durability tests that mimic actual usage of the tractor in the field.
Competitor systems have been found to last less than 100 hours when submitted to the same tests.
Some features that set LAFORGE FrontPower systems apart:
- Durability is addressed with advanced design features:
- We use a “zero seal” design with controlled leak rate for lubrication, similar to advanced transmission designs. This eliminates seals as a source of wear and heat creation.
- “Zero seal” also contributes to the drastic reduction in parts in FrontPower compared to any other systems on the market. The fewer parts, the less can go wrong.
- An external oil cooler is standard. It prevents overheating under heavy loads.
- Electronically controlled, progressive engagement of the wet clutch prevents damaging peak loads on the PTO, the engine, and the implement.
- The high pressure pump allows for the use of a smaller oil cooler compared to existing systems. This minimizes the interference with engine cooling which is becoming increasingly important on new tractors.
- The self-contained system is easy to install on almost any modern tractor with access to the crankshaft. No connection to the tractor’s hydraulic or electronic system is required:
- A switch in the cab is connected to 12V supply behind the ignition key.
- A flexible coupler with vibration dampening capability is bolted to the crankshaft pulley.
- The PTO transmission “box” is bolted to the front of the tractor and connected with a shaft to the coupler.
- The electronic control unit is attached to the master shield. A harness connects the control unit to the speed sensor and the solenoid valve on the PTO “box” and to the switch in the cab.
- Safety features are built in to protect operators and bystanders:
- Correct ISO direction of rotation of output shaft. This is clock-wise when you stand in front of the tractor and look at the shaft! The same as when you look at the rear PTO.
- Permanent marking on the front face of the direction of rotation.
- Metal master shield according to ISO recommendations.
- Two-step on/off switch in the cab to prevent accidental engagement.
- Red LED light in the cab alerts the operator to PTO over speed.
- Brake system for stopping implements from rotating when the PTO is switched off.
- Engine required to be turned off to be able to rotate the output shaft by hand for hook-up. It then will turn without limitation.
- All these safety features are built into the design and will work regardless of tractor make and model.
- Ease of maintenance was part of the design criteria:
- Oil filter, fill plug and drain plug are all on the front face of the PTO “box”.
- Product identification is permanently embedded in the casting making it easy to find the correct spare parts.
- The stand-alone design ensures commonality of parts across tractor brands and models.