Brand new to the market is the innovative SafeShaft drive system for vacuum-type slurry tankers. The retro-fit SafeShaft drive system replaces the tanker’s original PTO drive with a clever hydraulic drive system and mounting assembly.
Mechanical PTO systems are notoriously dangerous if guarding is damaged or missing. On trailed machines where the drive system is exposed and the operator working in close proximity for filling, the potential danger is even greater.
Brothers Noel and Ger Hickey, from Kilmacthomas, County Waterford, Ireland, decided to do something about it! Combining their engineering and mechanical skills, the duo developed the SafeShaft drive system so it could be fitted by almost anyone – providing they can tighten a bolt! And with an oil flow requirement of just 40 lit/min, the system can be powered by almost any tractor regardless of age or specification.
To install the SafeShaft system, a 10mm thick baseplate is bolted between the existing vacuum pump and tanker chassis. This provides a sturdy mounting platform for the new hydraulic drive system and its components.
Key to the SafeShaft system is the extremely efficient and powerful hydraulic motor. This provides the necessary rotational force required to replace the original mechanical PTO drive. Some clever hydraulic plumbing and valve work provide soft-start and stop functions to protect the vacuum pump and gearbox. The same system also protects the motor and pump from being driven in the wrong direction.
To install the new drive system, the mechanical PTO drive shaft is removed completely and one half of a special drive coupling is fitted over the existing vacuum pump’s pto splines. The other half of the drive coupling is fixed to the hydraulic motor. Bolting the motor in place, both couplings interconnect and the new drive system is in place.
Safety was, and still is, an enormous consideration in the design of the SafeShaft system. The drive elements of the system, minimal as they are, are completely enclosed within metal guarding to protect the operator.
The mounting plate of the SafeShaft system also moves the vacuum pump and its new drive system rearwards. This provides clearance for the connected tractors’ lift arms to swing by. And being hydraulic drive, the SafeShaft system enhances the manoeuvrability of the tractor and tanker combination. A huge consideration in small yards and fields!
For more information visit: www.safeshaftsystems.ie.