EX Drive Means Longer Life

February 25, 2015
Whitney Rodeffer

Featured Cover Story in Muncie Power Quarterly, Issue 1, 2015

“The current EX Drive should have an infinite life,” said John Rinkenbaugh, Director of Engineering. “Customers expect the PTO to be an extension of the transmission. The technology exists for transmissions to exist for around 10 years and customers shouldn’t have to replace the parts.”

The latest PTO shaft extensions feature a wet-spline design, which enhances the spline durability for a longer life. The wet-spline application minimizes the wear often encountered with continuously powered applications.

The reconfigured drive is less complex and stronger, which will improve its reliability for the consumer.

“The housing system was cast aluminum on the old model. The new one is steel,” Rinkenbaugh said.

The new product, which has practical  applications for refuse trucks, utility equipment, dump bodies and ice and snow control vehicles, provides the means to direct mount large hydraulic pumps using one of the company’s PTOs. When envelope space around the PTO aperture is limited, the new EX Drive moves the pump-mounting flange to the back of the transmission for easy installation.

The shaft extensions are available for both clutch-shift and constant-drive PTOs. In addition to benefitting Muncie Power’s customers, the redesign has improved manufacturing efficiency.

“The old one was limited in life and difficult to manufacture, which made it more costly,” Rinkenbaugh said.

The design change means easier factory assembly and quicker shipping and delivery. Rinkenbaugh credits the changes to Muncie Power’s investment in technology.

“The design tools are much more sophisticated now. Things can be determined more accurately and it’s easier to predict safety factors,” he said. “The design tools are more accurate, which means manufacturing is more accurate.”

The company’s reputation for quality and commitment to technology has enabled Rinkenbaugh to attract some of the industry’s most promising young engineers.

“I’m looking for people with mechanical intuition who want to do design and engineering, not people who are looking for an alternative to being a math teacher,” he said.

The company’s investment in updating hardware and software makes the job environment more attractive, but Rinkenbaugh seeks new hires that have a real passion for the industry itself. 

“We want people to come to work because of the work itself,” he said.

For Rinkenbaugh, the success of the PTO shaft extension redesign is proof that the company’s investment in technology and a top-notch engineering staff has been valuable.

“The most exciting part of the job is developing a new product and proving that it is so much better than the last one,” he said.


John Rinkenbaugh - Director of Engineering

With a background in the trucking and heavy equipment industries, John Rinkenbaugh brought years of technical experience to Muncie Power Products when he joined the team in Tulsa as Director of Engineering more than six years ago. He has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Kansas State University. Rinkenbaugh, who has worked for John Deere, Coffeyville Works, Rockwell Automotive and Funk Manufacturing, grew up working on cars, and he said he knew that he wanted to be a transmission engineer from the time he was in the 7th grade.