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Rollover Protective Structures On Tractors “ Reasons for ROPS”

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Rollover Protective Structures On Tractors “ Reasons for ROPS”. December , 2010. Rollover Protective Structures are called ROPS What are ROPS and What is a Protective Zone? Why do tractors need ROPS? How do ROPS work? What are some rollover prevention strategies? Where can I buy ROPS?.

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what you will learn

Rollover Protective Structures are called ROPS

    • What are ROPS and What is a Protective Zone?
    • Why do tractors need ROPS?
    • How do ROPS work?
    • What are some rollover prevention strategies?
    • Where can I buy ROPS?
What You Will Learn
what are rops
What Are ROPS?

ROPS are:

“Rollover Protective Structures”. They are a bar, frame or cab that creates a protective zone around the operator. They virtually eliminate tractor rollover fatalities when used properly.

These are ROPS

what is a protective zone
What is a Protective Zone?

Protective Zone:

The space surrounding an operator’s body. ROPS and a seatbelt keeps the operator within this safe space in the event of a rollover.

This is the Protective Zone


If your tractor does nothave ROPS:


Consult an authorized dealership or the manufacturer to purchase and install ROPS.


Make and install ROPS yourself.


You should not make and install ROPS yourself because:

  • ROPS are specifically engineered for each individual tractor model,
  • Engineered to structurally support the tractor weight in the event of a rollover,
  • Engineered to protect the life of the operator.
why do tractors need rops

According to the University of Iowa Agricultural Center:

Why Do Tractors Need ROPS?

Tractors that roll over without ROPS =

75% chance of operator death

  • With ROPS and seatbelts =
  • 95% chance of walking away from the accident

In 76 fatal rollover cases studied =

All 76 victims were operating tractor without ROPS and seatbelts.

why do tractors need rops1

Because tractors are susceptible to roll over accidents

Why Do Tractors Need ROPS?

Because you DON’T want this to happen:

Tractor roll over fatalities in Washington State:

2010 – 5 (A bad year)

2009 - 2006 - none

2005 – 2

2004 – 2

2003 – 1

basic cause of rollovers
Basic Cause of Rollovers

Rollovers happen when the center of gravity passes over the baseline of stability, either to the side or the rear of the machine.

The center of gravity must be kept within the baseline of stability to keep the tractor right side up.

how do rops work
How Do ROPS Work?

With ROPS, the tractor often rolls just 90 degrees, keeping the operator in a safe zone.

ROPS, and a seatbelt prevents the operator from being thrown off the tractor and being crushed by the tractor, or being thrown into the ground or into surrounding objects.

how do rops work1
How Do ROPS Work?

You must wear the seatbelt or ROPS are worthless. Tighten the seatbelt sufficiently, so you stay in the protective zone. Wear the seatbelt always, even on flat ground.



how do rops work2
How Do ROPS Work?

The next two slides show a tractor with ROPS in a side rollover.

  • Side rollovers account for about 75% of all rollovers.
  • Notice how an operator could survive the roll by staying within the safe area.

Tractor is heading towards depressions in the side of the hill.

Front wheels catch the depressions and start the roll


Definitely past the point of no return.

With ROPS and seatbelt, operator has an excellent chance of surviving a side rollover.

how side rollovers happen
How Side Rollovers Happen

When the tractor is driven on a hillside that is too steep.

When a tractor with an attachment is elevated too high for a given load, driven on a hillside that is too steep, or is turned at excessive speed.

When the tractor is driven too close to the edge of the road, a ditch, or other steep slope.

to belt or not
To Belt or Not?

Just in case you think you might consider skipping using the seatbelt, look at the next slide and see what can happen.



Even though this tractor had ROPS, the seatbelt was not used, causing the operator to be ejected from the protective zone.

What about a rear rollover?

With ROPS and seatbelt, operator has an excellent chance of being contained in the protective zone and surviving a rear rollover.

The ROPS may also prevent the tractor from completely rolling over backward

how rear rollovers happen
How Rear Rollovers Happen
  • Tractors will easily tip to the rear when the rear wheels cannot rotate enough to move the tractor forward.
  • As the tractor front rises, momentum and engine power work together to keep the tractor body lifting and rotating.
  • The process can take less than ¾ of a second.
how rear rollovers happen cont
How Rear Rollovers Happen (Cont.)

Five situations causing rear rollovers:

    • Stuck in mud or snow, prevents rear wheels from rotating.
    • Rear wheels cannot turn because chains, boards, or other materials are used to improve traction and actually prevent the wheels from turning.
    • Tractor is climbing a hill that is too steep. The steeper the hill, the greater the risk.
  • With the transmission in a lower gear and the engine running at high speed, the clutch is released too quickly.
  • A load is hitched above the drawbar.
prevention strategies
Prevention Strategies

To Prevent Side Rollovers:

  • Set wheels at widest possible setting for the job.
  • Lock brake pedals for road travel.
  • Reduce speed while turning, crossing slopes, and on rough, slick, or muddy terrain.
  • Watch where you are going, look out for bumps, stumps, holes, etc.
prevention strategies1
Prevention Strategies

To Prevent Side Rollovers:(Con’t.)

  • Avoid steep slopes if possible.
  • Keep side mounted equipment on uphill side of slope.
  • Pull heavy loads at slow speeds.
  • Avoid driving too close to ditches, stream banks, and canals.
prevention strategies2
Prevention Strategies

To Prevent Rear Rollovers:

  • Hitch towed loads to the drawbar only.
  • Use counter weight to increase stability.
  • Start forward motion slowly and change speed gradually.
  • Back up steep slopes.
prevention strategies training
Prevention Strategies - Training
  • Of the many tractor injuries and deaths that happen, few are caused by machinery failure.
  • Most are caused, directly or indirectly, by carelessness and hurry.
  • Every operator should be trained in safe operating procedures.
  • See the presentation: Ten Commandments of Tractor Safety
prevention strategies training1
Prevention Strategies - Training

The operator must be aware of the ever-changing environment and be able to react accordingly.

For examples, operators must know:

  • When a hillside too steep for safe travel
  • When an elevated load too high for a given speed
  • See:: Training Requirements for ROPS
where do i buy rops
Where Do I Buy ROPS?

If your tractor does not have a ROPS:

  • Check with your local dealership or contact the tractor manufacturer.
  • Many manufacturers will sell ROPS “at cost.”
  • Check this publication:
    • A Guide to Agricultural Tractor Rollover Protective Structures