Power Take Off (PTO)

  • Updated

This article provides a comprehensive guide to understanding and utilising the Power Take Off (PTO) feature in BigChange. PTO is a crucial feature that allows the truck engine to power ancillaries when the vehicle is stationary, thereby optimising fuel usage.


What is Power Take Off (PTO)?

Power Take Off (PTO) is a system that allows the truck engine to power ancillaries when the vehicle is not moving. A feed is taken from the gearbox to drive a hydraulic pump, which can then power various types of equipment such as waste compaction, cranes, tipper bodies, walking floor trailers, powder blowers or liquid pumps.

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How do we know PTO is in use?

A signal line from the truck dashboard is fed into the BigChange tracking unit. Depending on the vehicle make and model, a high or low level on this line indicates the PTO is engaged.


Why use PTO?

Using PTO helps to optimise fuel usage. The driver is usually penalised for allowing the truck engine to idle for extended periods, thereby wasting fuel. When the PTO is engaged, this is considered useful work and is therefore excluded from any idling calculations. The Driver Behaviour Report only shows true idling, not PTO use.

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How is PTO set up?

The customer can define some PTO parameters for reporting. These are entered into the BigChange system during commissioning:

  • The name for the PTO signal. For example, ‘Tipper’.
  • The names for the high and low states. For example, ‘ON’ for ‘High’ and ‘OFF’ for ‘Low’.
  • The input state to be excluded from idling calculations (i.e. when PTO is active). For example, ‘High’ (named ‘ON’)


The PTO report

The PTO report pulls through the settings entered at commissioning into the body of the report. In this example, the ‘Event’ uses ‘Tipper’ and ‘Status’ uses ‘ON’ and ‘OFF’. The report totals PTO active time for each vehicle.

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Understanding and utilising the Power Take Off (PTO) feature in BigChange can significantly optimise fuel usage and improve overall vehicle efficiency. If you wish to have a PTO retrofitted, please contact Support by submitting a support request.