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ROPS designs to protect operators during agricultural tractor rollovers

Paul Ayers, Farzaneh Khorsandi, Xinyan Wang, Guilherme Araujo
Journal of Terramechanics, Volume 75, 2018, Pages 49-55, ISSN 0022-4898,

Abstract: Although it is well known that properly used Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) can virtually prevent agricultural tractor rollover fatalities, the U.S. still has hundreds of these fatalities per year. An estimated 1.6 million tractors are not equipped with ROPS. Many of these tractors do not have ROPS commercially available although they were originally designed to support a ROPS. Some tractors have foldable ROPS that are not used properly. Other ROPS, although meet appropriate performance standards, are not effective at eliminating continuous rolls. To meet this need, a Computer-based ROPS Design Program (CRDP) was developed to quickly generate ROPS designs based on agricultural tractor weights and dimensions. The ROPS designed with the CRDP for the Allis Chalmers 5040 tractor successfully passed the SAE J2194 static longitudinal, transverse, and vertical tests. A simple foldable ROPS lift assist was designed and tested to ease in the raising and lowering of ROPS; decreasing the raising torque from 90Nm to less than 50Nm, while also lowering the resisting torque to lower the ROPS. A model to determine the critical ROPS height CRH based on off-road vehicle dimensions and center of gravity (CG) height was developed and evaluated.

Keywords: ROPS; Tractor rollover; Foldable ROPS