How to choose a front hitch and a front PTO?

What you need to know about front hitches

The front linkage concept appeared in the 70’s. From the very beginning, the increase of the versatility and productivity of the tractor is the target. By combining a front implement with a rear implement, the farmer gets two operations done in one pass. Front hitch use grew in Europe in the 90’s and 2000’s before becoming almost standard in the 2010’s. Consequently, tractor manufacturers also offer the front linkage as a factory-option for many tractor models. Its use also spreaded across the world. The main implements used with a front hitch are:

  • Ballast
  • Front tank or hopper
  • Tillage implements
  • Crimper roller
  • Blade (silage, snow removal, earth work)
  • Front plough

How does a front linkage operate?

First, a front hitch function is to go up or down to connect an implement at the front of a tractor and position it for field work or transport. The front linkage is managed from the cab with tractor’s distributors. Remote switches can also operate a front hitch position from the side of the hitch.

Secondly, there are other options available to equip a front hitch according to the requirements of the user:

  • Front hydraulic receptacles: connected to tractor distributors, they supply hydraulic power at the front of the tractor for implements requiring it. For instance, for cylinders to fold the implement
  • Return line for hydraulic motor: it allows oil to return directly into the hydraulic system of the tractor. Very convenient to avoid oil heating up with implements with high hydraulic requirements
  • Parallel connection kit to rear distributors: it connects the front linkage or a front hydraulic receptacle to the distributor without blocking it when the front hitch does not work. Distributor is then available to operate another implement
  • Harness for front electric connection: it offers electric supply at the front of the tractor
  • Hooks for mower chains: set up the height of the front mower according to the position of the chains
  • Hitch dampening kit: it absorbs shocks during transport with a front implement. It increases driver comfort and reduces mechanical constraints
  • Weight carrier: it fits the front linkage and receive the front support of the tractor to position suitcase weights on it
  • Electronic control: it sets the position of the front hitch and can regulate it according to slippage rate or desired weight transfer

Laforge range of front hitches

Firstly, Laforge aim is to offer a choice of front hitches to fit the need and the budget of the user. Laforge designs and manufactures front linkages with quality, innovation, and ease of operation on top of its priorities. Consequently, Laforge has several types of front linkages for most tractor models in the market. Here are the main front hitches types :

  • Standard: Common applications / Centered load
  • Premium: Demanding applications /Offset load
  • Heavy Duty: Intensive applications

It is noteworthy to mention that a front hitch lift capacity is only one of the elements to consider when reviewing a front linkage. The most critical aspect for a front hitch to work with demanding applications is to design a solid frame and a lower link as well as reinforced arms (and potentially adding a push bar) to withhold front push efforts.

This is the case for instance to work with a silage blade or a heavy front implement engaged in the ground.

Where to find a Laforge front linkage?

Laforge front hitches are available on order at many tractor dealers. They also operates with a network of importers to distribute its products across the world and Laforge Systems based in Iowa is in charge of North America. Laforge offers front linkages for John Deere, New Holland, Case IH, Massey Ferguson, Claas as well as Fendt track tractors. Furthermore, Laforge supply some tractors manufacturers on OEM basis for the front hitches offered as a factory option. They appreciate Laforge expertise to work together and design a front hitch optimized for their tractor and its requirements while being capable of manufacturing it in a steady and reliable way.

Discover our products such as the DynaTrac and discover why implement guidance a straight path to higher profits.

What you need to know about front PTO

The front PTO (Power Take Off) appeared simultaneously with the front hitch. It supplies a power source to operate an implement at the front of the tractor. Main implements used with a front PTO are:

  • Shredder
  • Mower
  • Snow blower
  • Rotary tiller

How does a front PTO operate?

To begin with, a front PTO is made of several components:

  • The gearbox containing the clutch pack, gears and shafts
  • A driveline connecting the engine pulley and the input shaft of the gearbox
  • A dampener for vibrations absorption
  • And a controler which steers the PTO, connected with the cab command

Secondly, a key point to consider when choosing a front PTO supplier is the reliability of the gear box and its capacity to transfer torque at a high level for a long period of time. It is especially critical for implements demanding a high power to operate like snow blowers or shredders. Our gearboxes have this capacity with quality gears and a sturdy clutch pack.

Laforge range of PTOs

Laforge offers several types of PTO gearboxes to bring the most suitable solution for each customer:

  • Gearbox rotation to the left when looking at it from the front:
    • 1000 rpm
    • 6 splines
    • Max power : 170HP
  • Gearbox rotation to the right when looking at it from the front:
    • 540 rpm
    • 6 splines
    • Max power : 90 HP
  • Boitier rotation droite vue de face :
    • 1000 rpm
    • 21 splines
    • Max power : 180 HP

Furthermore, several sizes of gearboxes are available with 2, 3 or 4 gears to satisfy market needs depending on tractor size, power range and space available to locate the gearbox.

You have a question ? Contact us !

Also, you can discover our other articles such as the one explaining Why Implement guidance in corn? or Why Implement guidance in vegetables?.