How to hook up a log splitter to my tractor

Written by keith allen
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How to hook up a log splitter to my tractor
A log splitter can be used to split firewood from either softwood or hardwood logs. (firewood image by Juliette Speers from

Log splitters perform the function of splitting logs using pressure generated by an engine. A tractor operated log splitter can operate one of two ways: the hydraulic system of the tractor can power the splitter directly or the power take off (PTO) of the tractor can power a separate hydraulic pump used to operate the log splitter. Connecting either type of log splitter to the tractor requires little effort and can be quickly accomplished.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Hook the log splitter to the tractor. You can either place a hitch pin through the hitch of the log splitter and the drawbar of the tractor or connect the splitter to the tractor with pins through the three-point hitch.

  2. 2

    Connect the PTO shaft of the log splitter to the PTO of the tractor. Align the splines or grooves of the splitter shaft with the stub shaft housing of the tractor and slide the shaft into the housing. Lock it in place with a security pen or by the included locking mechanism of the stub shaft, whichever is present.

  3. 3

    Start the tractor and engage the PTO to provide power to the log splitter hydraulic system. Operate the log splitter through its control panel.

  1. 1

    Hook the log splitter to the tractor drawbar or three-point hitch.

  2. 2

    Remove protective caps on all hydraulic couplers. Check the couplers for dirt, dust or other materials that will interfere with the connection between fittings.

  3. 3

    Push the couplers on the log splitter's hydraulic hoses straight into the hydraulic receptacles of the tractor until they lock in place. Connect the input hose of the log splitter to the extend receptacle and the return hose to the return receptacle of the tractor.

Tips and warnings

  • Check all hydraulic hoses for any signs of wear or leaks. High pressure hydraulic oil expelled through small holes in a hose can penetrate the skin causing serious medical issues.
  • Make sure all safety shields are in place surrounding the PTO. These shafts spin at either 540 or 1,100 revolutions per minute. Clothing caught in the shaft can pull the operator into the equipment causing serious injury.

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