Monday, January 26, 2009

Buy Genuine PRINCE PTO Pumps

Prince Tractor PTO Pumps have been around for years. There are some things that you can depend on and a PRINCE Pump is one of them.
Prince Hydraulic PTO Pump - HC-P-K11All Prince Pumps are made in the USA, and built to exacting tolerances. PTO-mounted tractor pumps take a lot of abuse, and only the PRINCE PTO pump stands tall as the industry standard. Theses pumps are perfect for all kinds of tractor-mounted farm use including front-end loaders, woodsplitters, snow-blowers, Back-hoes, mowers, cotton pickers, cotton module builders, and anything else that needs an external, high-flow gear pump.

We know that, now more than ever, you need to keep more of your hard earned money in your own pockets, and some of the cheaper pumps might looks pretty attractive. That's why we are lowering our prices on Prince Tractor PTO-driven Pumps. We want you to have the best pump for your dollar, and the long-term savings will be far great with a quality USA-built pump, and we are helping on the front-end savings, too!


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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fun With Hydraulics - Auto-Cycle Valves

Auto-Cycle valves can be a real time saver... and they are pretty neat, to boot. The concept is that one operation starts and ends the whole cycle. In the typical system, you have to hold the valve in position on the extend stroke, and then reverse the flow to retract your cylinder. With an auto-cycle valve, the extend works just like the retract AND it automatically starts the retract phase.

Prince Manufacturing makes a darn good RD5000 Series Auto-Cycle valve. Here's how it works:

  1. Pull both handles and the cylinder begins to extend.
  2. When the cylinder reaches full extension, the pressure builds to the point of engaging the pressure-release detent (also found on standard logsplitter valves) which springs the first handle back to neutral.
  3. The second handle still being engaged forces fluid to the retract side of the cylinder, causing the cylinder to return itself to the closed position.
  4. When the cylinder reaches fully closed, the pressure build-up engages the aforementioned pressure-release detent, which disengages the second handle. Cycle done.

I recently discovered that this can also be done in circuits using hydraulic solenoid valves, simply by using pressure switches and relays. Using one pressure switch on the extend and one on the retract (using relays to lock-in the signal) you can alternately engage the opposite sides of the valve.
  1. Engage the cycle by starting the Extend function
  2. When pressure builds to the pre-determined level, the pressure switch will output a signal, which disengages the relay and engages the retract function (and it's relay)
  3. When the cylinder fully retracts, pressure is builds to the second preset level, and the second pressure switch sends the signal to disengage the relay. The cycle is over.
This is remarkably useful on splitters, crushers and anything else that can be left alone to do its job.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Using Solenoid-Actuated Hydraulic Valves

D03 Solenoid Valve

Solenoid-Actuated Hydraulic Directional Control Valves

It sounds like a ridiculously long and complicated name, but its actually a very simple concept and even easier to implement. Solenoid valves simply take the place of other hand control valves, using an electrical current to control the valve. Instead of having to physically pD05 Solenoid valveush or pull a handle which moves the spool into the desired direction, solenoid valves can be used with an array of switches, automated programmable controls, or operated with wireless transmitters.These valves (also known as D03, D05 or D08's) depending on the the flow rating) are extremely reliable, easy to setup and easy to maintain. They have been used for years in industrial and commercial environments and are now becoming commonplace in the agricultural, mobile, and end-user markets.

D08 Solenoid Valve
Solenoid Control Valves Must be attached to a subplate or manifold in order to be used. The subplate/manifold is drilled with porting, mounting points and, often, cavities for a gauge and relief valves. Multi-Station Manifolds can be used to bank multiple valves together in one compact unit. The manifolds can also be ordered in custom configurations for those who are looking to pack as much functionality into as little space as possible. It is also possbile to sandwich other types of valves with these, such as pressure reducing valves, flow controls, and pressure switches.

  • D03 Valves - Up to 20 GPM (12 GPM for Tandem Center)
  • D05 Valves - Up to 40 GPM (25 GPM for Tandem Center)
  • D08 Valves - Up to 75 GPM (65 GPM for Tandem Center)
Available in Tandem Center, Closed Center, Float, and Motor Spools, 12VDC, 24VDC and 115VAC.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Hydraulic Dump Trailer Troubleshooting

So, you've got your hydraulic dump trailer
out on a job site. It's miserably hot, you've got 5 Tons of mulch, trash, shrubs or horse "business" to unload, spread and then go back for more, and you've got 5 more hours to get it done. You go to raise the dump and "Click"... nothing happens. This might be a good time to reflect on your spiritual side. Luckily, a 12VDC hydraulic unit aren't the most complex systems in the world and they are quite easy to troubleshoot. Here is a list of things to check on your dump trailer hydraulic system before you blow a gasket. And if all else fails, give me a call @ 888-898-5031.

  1. Make sure battery is fully charged. (no-brainer, but I had to put it first)
  2. Check ground wire (usually attached to frame). The unit will operate but not perform to its full capability if not properly grounded.
  3. Make sure reservoir is at least ¾ full of oil.
  4. Check the solenoid valves on top of unit. When energized, solenoid will magnetize, grabbing metal object if placed inside (such as a screwdriver). Remove to test. If solenoid does not magnetize, replace.
  5. Check amperage (230A draw under Full-Load)
  6. Check voltage (at least 10VDC)
  7. Replace battery if the proper amp / volts cannot be obtained.
  8. Make sure solenoid nuts are not too tight. (approx. 3-5 ft/lbs)
  9. Make sure solenoid valve(s) are not over-tightened. (approx. 30 ft/lbs )

If your Power unit has gone to that big scrapyard in the sky, we have replacement units available in a hurry on our website, Power Units.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Maintain a Tractor - wikiHow

Maintain a Tractor - wikiHow

How to Maintain a Tractor

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Correctly maintaining a tractor will add years to its useful life. However, there are some basic differences in maintaining a tractor from other vehicles. Also, since there are many different types and brands of tractors, there is no comprehensive maintenance guide that's universally applicable to all types of tractors, but following these steps should help.


  1. Study your owner's manual. The manufacturer has specific instructions for basic care of your equipment, and they have the expertise to give you the best advice on how to do it. If you don't have a manual, get one. Here are some items you should find in the Owner's Manual:
    • Maintenance Schedule. This will tell you the intervals for routine maintenance, including chassis lubrication, engine, transmission, and hydraulic oil change, filter changes, and other maintenance items.
    • Specifications. This should be a table telling you the type of fluid for the transmission, hydraulic system, brakes, and engine coolant, as well as their capacities. Tire inflation, bolt torques, and other information may be found under specifications or other sections of the manual.
    • Location of lubricant points (grease fittings), fluid check dipsticks or sight glasses, and instructions on cleaning air and fuel filters.
    • Basic operating instructions and other information specific to your tractor.

  2. Obtain tools. Tractor maintenance requires numerous wrenches and other tools in larger sizes than for automobile maintenance, so plan to buy or borrow the tools you need.
  3. Protect the tractor from the elements. Because most smaller farm (or garden) tractors do not have a cabin to protect the seat, instrument panel, and metal components, it is a good idea to store it in a shed or garage. If you can't do this, keep rain out of the exhaust system, and cover the seat and instruments.
  4. Check fluids regularly. Tractor usage is measured in hours, not miles, so the amount of use may be deceptive, and leaking components may cause failure of expensive parts. Refer to the owner's manual to determine how each fluid is checked. • Check the engine oil. • Check the transmission fluid. • Check the coolant in the radiator. • Check the hydraulic oil. • Check the battery electrolyte.
  5. Check tire inflation. Because of the shape, low inflation is not always obvious. Rear tires normally have between 12 and 20 PSI inflation pressure, the front tires may have up to 32 PSI. The back tires on farm tractors should be filled with ballast, especially if you are pulling an implement where maximum traction is required. Usually this ballast is water with an antifreeze solution added.
  6. Keep an eye on belts and hoses. If your tractor is equipped with a hydraulic system, it has high pressure hoses and/or tubing, and failure of this fluid conduit can cause component (hydraulic pump) failure, loss of steering, or other problems. If a hose (or belt) appears damaged, worn, or cracked, replace it. If fittings or connections are leaking, tighten them or replace the seals.
  7. Keep the brake linkages lubricated, and make sure the brakes are adjusted equally. Many tractors have mechanical brakes, operated by a linkage and cam system instead of a master/slave fluid system. These brakes are located on the rear axles, and work independently, so that they may be used to steer the tractor in tight corners or to reverse the direction of travel. The brake pedals will interlock for road travel, so that one pedal is not accidentally engaged by itself, causing the tractor to spin while traveling at a high speed.
  8. Watch the gauges. Keep an eye on the temperature, oil pressure, and tachometer.
    • The temperature gauge should be marked with a normal operating range, but any time the indicator says the temperature is over 220 degrees F, the engine is running hot.
    • If equipped with a diesel engine, the oil pressure should be between 40 and 60 PSI.
    • The tachometer tells how many revolutions per minute the crankshaft is turning. Diesel engines are designed to operate at lower RPM and higher torque than gasoline engines, and "over revving" your engine, or operating it at maximum RPMs is not recommended.

  9. Check the filters regularly. Most systems on tractors are equipped with filters to protect against dirt, water, or other contaminants that could cause failure of the components.
    • Check the fuel filter for accumulated water. Most diesel engines have a water separating filter, since diesel fuel attracts moisture.
    • Check the air filter often. Tractors are often operated in very dusty conditions, and in some cases, the filters must be cleaned daily or weekly. Clean the air filter with a shop vacuum or with compressed air, never by washing it. Replace the air filter when it cannot be cleaned satisfactorily, or if the filter is damaged.

  10. Check the radiator screen. Tractors are often operated in conditions where debris may accumulate on the radiator, so they usually have a front screen or grill to prevent plant matter, insects, or pollen from clogging the radiator.
  11. Lubricate your tractor. Tractors have many more moving parts that require greasing than do automobiles. If you see a part that moves, look for a grease fitting, and grease it. Use a grease cartridge pressure gun, clean the fitting, attach the hose, and pump grease until the associated seal begins to expand, or grease is seen oozing out of the attachment you are lubricating. Look for grease fittings on steering components, brake and clutch linkages, and three-point hitch pivot points.
    • Older tractors require specific lubricants in the gear boxes. Often, the hydraulic system and the transaxle share fluid, and using the wrong fluid can cause serious damage.

  12. Do not overload your tractor. If you are using your tractor for cultivation or mowing, it should have a recommended size attachment for the job you are doing. As an example, do not pull an eight foot mower with a 35 horsepower tractor.
  13. Keep your tractor clean This will help you to spot damaged components and leaks, and see if trash or debris is causing problems.


  • Keep a detailed service record. Scheduled service intervals are usually found in the owner's manual, but many tractors do not get enough use to reach the hour requirements for oil changes, etc., so these services may be done on an annual basis instead.
  • It pays to keep an eye on your battery. Some tractors are not cranked and used very often, and the battery can lose its charge while the machine is not used. Check the electrolyte and charge the battery every month or so if the tractor has not been used. If you do expect to let the tractor sit idle for a long period, plan on starting the engine and letting it run long enough to completely warm up every month or so.
  • Learn the location of filler plugs, internal filters, and drain plugs on your machine. Older tractors did not always come equipped with convenient dipsticks for checking transaxle or hydraulic fluids. Often they will have a filler plug located on the side of a housing indicating that the oil should be filled up to that level.
  • Always allow tractors, especially diesel engine tractors, to warm up when cranked after a long period of non-use. Never over rev the engine when it is first started. Hydraulic lifters, hydraulic pumps, and oil pumps may drain down while the tractor is not in use, and damage can occur to these components.
  • Check lug nuts. The lug nuts on the large back wheels are prone to work loose if not torqued properly.
  • Learn to reverse the wheels if you use the tractor for field operations that require different wheel width settings. Some equipment, such as bottom plows or mowers, work better with a narrow wheel width, where for planting and cultivating crops you may need the wheels set out to the widest width.


  • Read and understand the instruction manuals with all attachments you purchase for your tractor.
  • Do not remove guards, covers, or other safety devices.
  • Never attach a tow strap or chain to the axle or draw bar to pull up stumps or very heavy loads. If the tractor ceases forward motion while pulling, the wheels can continue turning, rolling the tractor over backward on the operator.
  • Never let riders sit on the tractor while it is moving. Tractors are single passenger machines, and often pull dangerous implements, and there simply is no safe place for passengers to sit.
  • Shut the engine off and allow it to cool before working on it. The engine in a tractor is more exposed than an automobile engine, and pulleys, fans, and belts can be very dangerous. The exhaust manifold, including the muffler which often sticks out of the hood at the top of the tractor, becomes very hot while operating.

Things You'll Need

  • Tools for servicing filters, tightening hoses and belts, and adjusting components.
  • Owner's manual, and possibly service manual.

Related wikiHows

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Maintain a Tractor. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Important Hydraulic Cylinder Specs

Hi, all. If you were wondering what some of the particular parts in my previous post were referring to, I decided to put up a simple drawing of some of the more important specs you need to know when trying to identify or spec out a hydraulic cylinder.

hydraulic cylinder specs

Hope this helps!

Friday, June 27, 2008

How to measure a hydraulic cylinder

Due to the large number of requests I get, I thought I would take the time to clear up a few questions people have when it comes to how to size a hydraulic cylinder. There are MANY different configurations, and lots of people use lots of different names for the parts of a cylinder, so I thought I would try to make it a little easier.

Q: How do I find the "Bore"?
A: This is the diameter of the the piston INSIDE the cylinder tube. Larger bore = more lifting force. As a rule of thumb, Bore is approximately equal outside diameter of tube minus .5"

Q: What do you mean by "Stroke"?
A: This is the actual travel of the cylinder; Extended length (pin-to-pin centers) minus the retracted length (pin-to-pin center)

Q: What's this "Retract" mean?
A: Length, pin center to pin center, when the cylinder is fully closed.

Q: What does "ASAE" mean?
A: 8" and 16" stroke cylinders are available in ASAE and non-ASAE (Standard). All ASAE 8" Stroke cylinders are 20.25" retracted (vs 18.25" for non-ASAE) and 16" stroke cylinders are 31.5" retracted (vs 28.25" non-ASAE). Who decided this, I honestly don't know, nor do I know why, only that the ASAE cylinders have more room for adjustment.

Q: What's a clevis?
A: The most common mounting option, this consists of two "ears" on each end, with holes drilled for a pins to go through.

Q: What is a cross-tube?
A: This is a mounting option used on heavy-duty cylinders, consisting of one "cross tube" or "bushing" solidly welded to the cylinder tubing or rod end.

Q: What is a Tie-Rod Cylinder and what's the difference between it and a welded cylinder?
A: Tie-rod cylinders are the most common on agricultural applications. The "tie-rods" are the 4 long bolts or rods that run the length of the cylinder, holding it together. These are the most economical and easiest to rebuild, but have more interconnected parts, which gives it more possible places it could leak. Welded cylinders are much more robust, with fewer parts and larger rods which are much less likely to bend under excessive forces. Welded cylinders are also much more difficult to repair in the field.

Q: Will your cylinder will fit my 1972 FARMCO WHIRLI-MA-GIG-AMA-BOB?
A: I don't know, I don't work for them. Using the above info, please measure it a I'll see what I can do!

If you have any questions about hydraulic cylinders email me @