top of page

What is a Tractor Three-point Hitch and How Does It Work?

We want to help you understand what a three-point hitch is and how it functions.

And as a quick aside --- we are here to help you purchase a new tractor and implements when the time is right.

Let’s get to it.

What is a Three-point Hitch?

The three-point hitch (also referred to as three-point linkage) is a type of hitch for attaching plows and other implements to either an industrial or agricultural tractor.

A three-point hitch looks like a triangle. It attaches the implement to the tractor. Once the implement is attached, it is fixed in place with respect to the tractor and the arm position of the hitch.

Your tractor will carry some (or all) of the implement’s weight.

The other mechanism for attaching a load is through a drawbar. This is a single point, pivoting attachment where the implement or trailer is not in a fixed position with respect to the tractor.

The primary benefit of the three-point hitch system is to transfer the weight and resistance of an implement to the tractor’s drive wheels. This gives the tractor more traction than it would otherwise have, given the same weight, power, and fuel consumption.


The three-point hitch is comprised of several systems that work in sync.

These include the tractor's attaching points, lifting arms, stabilizers, and hydraulic system.

Three-point hitches are made up of three movable arms.

The two lower arms (the hitch lifting arms) are controlled by the hydraulic system. They provide lifting, lowering, and even tilting to the arms. The upper center arm (the top link) can be moved, but it is not usually powered by the tractor's hydraulic system.

Each arm has an attachment device to connect implements to the hitch and each hitch has attachment holes for attaching the implements. The implement has posts that fit through the holes.

Implements are secured by placing a pin on the ends of the posts.