What is a PTO and How Does it Work? We Explore this 2020 Chevy 3500HD Dump Trunk to Find Out

Fitting a power take off (PTO) to your pickup truck can be a helpful way to get work done, but what is a PTO exactly?

A PTO allows the power of the vehicle’s engine to be used to run implements, pumps, or any outboard tool that needs powering. The PTO was developed in the world of agriculture, as tractors needed to power the implements they tow with them, including spreaders, seeders and cutting blades. International Harvester first sold PTO-equipped tractors to the public as early as 1918.

In the world of modern pickup trucks and vehicles, PTOs are fixed to the transmission, using an extra set of gears to power a PTO driveshaft that can be attached to a hydraulic pump or directly to a machine. Most HD pickups go the hydraulic pump route, as hydraulic power is so versatile and can be used for many different machines.

In the video above, we take a look at the PTO features on the new 2020 Chevy 3500 HD, including the ability to control the RPM precisely using the cruise control toggle on the steering wheel. For 2020, Chevy has incorporated more of the parts needed to work the PTO into its transmission, which means your factory warranty covers more of the PTOs inner workings than it did before.

To find out everything you need to know about PTOs and how they work on the 2020 Chevy HD trucks, watch the full video above.