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PTO User Guide

What is PTO?

Power Take Off is a means to utilise the truck engine to power ancillaries when the vehicle is not moving.  A feed is taken from the gearbox to drive a hydraulic pump, this hydraulic system can then power many different types of equipment: waste compaction, cranes, tipper bodies, walking floor trailers, powder blowers or liquid pumps.

How do we know it is in use?

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

Why use it?

The driver is usually penalised for allowing the truck engine to idle (tick over) for extended periods, thereby wasting fuel. When the PTO is engaged this is useful work and so is excluded from any idling calculations. The Driver Behaviour Report only shows true idling, not PTO use.

How is it set up?

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

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

The PTO report

The 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.


If you have already had your tracker installed, and wish to have a PTO retrofitted, please contact RoadCrew on 0113 457 1000 who will be able to advise you of the options and associated costs available to you.

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Updated on 26th March 2019

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