Card 04.03 Motion transmission and propeller shaft



  1. Entangling, dragging and crushing (caused by fluttering clothes got tangled up, such as belts, scarves, trousers, sleeves and necklaces and worker's self-confidence excess)
  2. Upper limbs crushing (while jointing a tractor to a machinery)


It is necessary to remind that:
Power take-offs and transmission shafts with universal joint, used to transmit motion from tractor to various operating machines, are primarily responsible for accidents with disastrous consequences. Propeller shafts are moving devices which present projecting parts such as joints, bolts and release buttons. These can represent potential hazard to the operator or to the people near the operating machine. It is impossible to think every time it will "be all right" when somebody draws up carelessly to motion transmission, which in just a second drags for 3 meters round the rotating shaft!




Transmission shaft (power take-off; both which transmits torque ­ on the tractor ­ and the transmission receiver shaft of the operating machine power take-off which receives torque) shall be provided with shield protection placed on the upper part or laterally or it shall be completely protected by a plastic sheath. The protection must be separated from the transmission shaft and shall protect each shaft part.

If the transmission shaft is bought new, it shall: be provided with its protection; have the "CE marking" with the "Declaration of Conformity" and have pictograms which draw the operator's attention on hazards.

The protection of the machine power take-off and joint cover shall integrate and superimpose each other for at least 5 cm, in order to guarantee the overlap even in case of particular shaft "bending" (specifically when it is used for the torque transmission with dragged operating machines).

When the shaft turns, its protection must remain still. It shall be hooked to a fixed machine part with a proper chain.

Plain bearings in contact with the rotating shaft shall be kept clean (risk of chain and protection break).

The shaft shall be put vertically on the ground, when the tractor equipment is disconnected, to avoid protection wear and tear. The anti-rotation chain shall not be used as support, there are suitable hooks or fork or stirrup bearings.

After each use, protection efficiency shall be controlled.
Joints shall be greased and oiled and the propeller shall be put on its suitable support on the machine or it shall be pulled out from the power take-off and put on the proper support in the depot/workshop.

The propeller shaft shall be oiled and greased regularly.



  • Hands shall not be drew up to moving devices.
  • Rotation direction and number of power take-off turn revolutions of the tractor shall be checked before inserting the propeller shaft.
  • Working clothes shall not have belts, fluttering hems or parts which can be caught.
  • Operator shall wear adequate DPI, such as gloves and safety shoes.
  • Both tractor power take-off and the propel er shaft shall be cleaned and greased before their coupling.
  • It is necessary to check if each transmission, tractor and operating machine protection is present and efficient.
  • Any broken or lacking part shall be replaced with genuine spare parts (follow the assembly instructions to install them correctly).
  • The propeller shaft shall be carried in horizontal position to avoid any disassembly which may cause accidents or damage protections.
  • If the propeller shaft has been left in the first gear, it shall be placed in its proper support. Otherwise the dismounted shaft shall be placed in a suitable rack or stand.
  • The assemblage sense of the shaft shall be respected inserting the side signalled by the pictogram's arrow on the tractor.
  • Retaining devices (chains) shall be linked to their holding points ­ on the tractor and on the operating machine ­ to avoid protections' rotation.
  • The fork hub shall be connected on the power take-off in order that the locking system, activated by button, collar or bush, clicks in the groove.
  • It is necessary to stick to the instruction manual in case the locking system consists of cone shaped bolt with tightening torque.
  • It is necessary to keep active the supplementary devices, such as torque limiters, clutches and free-wheels.
  • Before every repair or maintenance of the machine, the tractor engine shall be stalled and switched off. The ignition key shall be pulled out and the instructions for use shall be read.
  • Power take-off shall be unplugged during manoeuvres (especially when using pulling equipment) and at the end of the work, the operating machine shall be disconnected from the tractor.
  • Worker shall not drew up to the machine until its every component stops, propel er transmission included.
Immagine di prova


Immagine di prova

Propeller shaft with broken protection

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Propeller shaft with intact protection

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Propeller shaft with anti-rotation chain

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Propeller shaft support system