What is a 3 Point Hitch & How Does a 3 Point Hitch Work?

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Last Updated on July 6, 2022

The 3-point hitch is an integral part of the tractor. It is where attachments are attached. Tractors are convenient because they allow you to do work up high or on the ground comfortably. The 3-point hitch is an important aspect of a tractor’s operations.

However, it’s not completely impossible to find someone who has no idea about it. They don’t know what is a 3 point hitch nor how does a three point hitch works.

This guide will help anyone at that noob level or even if slightly higher. Anyway, let’s get started!

how does a 3 point hitch work

What Is a 3 Point Hitch?

It’s a standard method that has been used for connecting equipment or implements to a tractor. 

For those who have a little bit of idea on how to connect a 3 point hitch we’ll tell you majorly there are three total connection points. Two on the lower side while one on the upper point. So that a rigid connection is established.

A 3-point hitch can convert the equipment drag elements into the tractor rear’s downward force. And that increases the traction to the maximum for super difficult pulling cases.

How Does a Three Point Hitch Work – In-Depth of The Mechanism

The first thing to clear out on the mechanism would be the 3 point hitch components. These are the hydraulic system of tractors, attaching points, stabilizers, and lifting arms. 

All of the components need to work together to make the setup work. You can look for a 3 point hitch diagram to understand the geometry of the components better.

The whole setup of the hitch stays on the very back of the tractor. The main task of this setup is to make sure the weight and resistance of an implement get transferred to the tractor’s drive wheels. And that way the power, fuel consumption, and weight stay constant while the usable traction of the tractor increases.

1. Linkage System

The linkage system of the three-point comes in a triangle-like shape. And there should be two arms with an adjustable center link. The arms are moveable as well.

If you go to the tractor’s differential seat back, then you should be able to see the linkage system top part above. 

The implements’ top part stays attached to this top link. And to make that happen there’s a triangle shape attachment. The adjustable top link sometimes could be out from the powering of the hydraulic system.

2. Lifting Arms

Both arms on the lower work as the lifting arms for the hitch. The hydraulic system of the tractor is in charge of controlling these two parts. And you get a lowering or lifting mechanism due to it. The right arm tip also comes with a manual crank that helps implement for leveling.

3. The Ball with Hole for Implement Attaching

If you check the very end of the lower arms, then you’ll notice a hole including the ball. This is used for attaching the implement. There are spring pins for safely attaching the implement with the hitch of the tractor.

4. Hydraulic System

The hydraulic system of the tractor is controlled by the tractor’s driver. There are a lot of settings that one can use while using it.

For example, there’s a draft control mechanism. Draft refers to the total required force for pulling it. No matter what working condition, this system enables a constant working depth of the implementation. 

Whenever the hitch feels extra strain, the draft control would sense and trigger the hydraulic system for elevating the plow the right amount to deal with the situation. 

For example, if their ground is quite uneven, there’s enough plow raised for going through the tough spot. After which, the draft will go back to its original and the plow returns to its previous depth.

5. PTO function

It means power take-off. This is one of the tractor functions that are related to 3-point hitch usage. The tractor back has a standardized shaft and it’s the PTO. It stays right in the middle of the 3-point hitch area’s bottom.

When one connects the mechanized tool to this device, the power from the engine of the tractor goes towards the moving parts of the implement.

Keep In Mind the Safe Usage Practices

  • First of all, having a proper attachment of the implement to the tractor. So, make sure you confirm that. Proper alignment of the tractor with implementation is key. Otherwise, the connection won’t be stable, not safe to operate.
  • In case your setup requires a spotter, don’t leave it behind. If you find that the bottom linkage arms are not maintained at the right height or position, then a spotter is necessary. Make sure it’s not standing between implement and tractor though.
  • After alignment, you should set the brakes before establishing a connection. Also, you should turn the tractor off.
  • For easy sliding of the connector pin through the hitch point and arm, manual adjustments by moving the linkage arms slightly at a time work best.
  • For keeping the connector pins in their spot, you can use cotter pins or security clips.
  • In case of an implement that works with wheel-powered style and there are also no lights, then you can make connections the usual way. However, in terms of electricity, hydraulics, or power take-off units, don’t forget to check the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Wrapping Up

So, we are done finding out what is a 3 point hitch and how does a three point hitch work. Hopefully, now you can decide better about the whole thing and decide whether it sounds like a key part for your tasks specifically.

We’ll come back soon with more interesting matters to discuss.

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About the Author: Brian Silvestro

Brian Silvestro is the founder and chief editor of OffroadersArena. He spends his free time tending to his BMW iX SUV and explaining its merits to anyone who'll listen.

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