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Importance of Rollover Protection for Tractor Operations

A tractor rollover is an incident where the operator of the tractor falls from the moving tractor and is run over by the tractor. A tractor rollover protection system aims at preventing injury caused by rollover incidents.

Aarushi Chadha
The purpose of ROPS is to reduce the risk of the operator from accidents
The purpose of ROPS is to reduce the risk of the operator from accidents

In agriculture sector, the majority of the deaths that occur on a farm are related to tractor accidents. Rear and side tractor rollovers are incidents where the operator of the tractor falls out of the tractor and is injured by the tractor. Causes of tractor rollovers include- losing control of the tractors because of excessive load, driving on an incline, embankment, or into a ditch, driving too fast, and not applying the breaks properly while driving at high speeds.

What is Rollover Protection System?

Rollover Protection System or ROPS refers to a frame or enclosure that protects the operator in the event of a tractor rollover. The purpose of ROPS is to reduce the risk of the operator getting crushed under the weight of the tractor in the event of its overturning.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is an American regulatory agency that has made it mandatory for all tractors with more than 20 horsepower to be installed with ROPS. According to their data, the use of ROPS has been able to prevent death and serious energy caused by tractor rollovers by more than 90%.

Why is ROPS important?

Rollover Protection Systems are important because they have reduced the risk of death and serious injury caused by tractor rollover incidents. In the event of a rollover accident, it protects the operator from falling out of the vehicle and getting crushed under his weight.

ROPS Maintenance

Factory-installed Rollover Protection Systems don’t require maintenance and they shouldn’t be structurally modified. However, it is recommended to farmers check the ROPS and seat belt of their tractor on a regular basis for signs of rust and cracks. You can contact the dealer to realize the best way to deal with this issue.

Types of ROPS

Primarily, there are only two types of a tractor rollover protective structures-

  • Rollover protective frame- Rollover protective frames come in either two or four post frames. A two-post ROPS is the most common type of ROPS and has either rigid or foldable upright posts that are typically vertical tilted that are mounted to the rear axle. A four-post ROPS is mounted on the frame in front of the operator and on both axles.

  • Rollover protective enclosure- A rollover protective enclosure uses a protective frame and encloses it with metal and glass. It also comes with a seat belt that helps contain the operator within the protected area. Rollover protection enclosure protects the operator from dust, tractor vibration and noise, and weather.

ROPS in India

Tractors with factory-installed ROPS tend to be more expensive than tractors that don’t follow the proper safety guidelines. Before the Government of India made ROPS to be mandatorily installed by the manufacturer in tractors sold in India, Indian manufacturers used to provide canopy support that protected the operator from sun damage and heavy rain.

However, this canopy didn’t provide adequate protection to the operator in the event of a rollover. It is expected that new tractors that will be installed with ROPS are going to cost more Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 more than old tractors.

How to reduce the risk of side and rear rollover?

To reduce the risk of side and rear rollover-

  • Use front wheels to increase tractor stability.
  • Slow down before turning.
  • Do not drive into ditches.
  • Do not change the speed of your vehicle suddenly.
  • Do not drive on steep slopes.
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