Roll Over Protection Structure (ROPS) refers to operator compartment structures (usually cabs or frames) intended to protect equipment operators from injuries caused by vehicle overturning or rolling over. [ROPS bar on a Ford Tractor]
Commonly found on mobile plant & equipment]] (i.e. tractors) used in construction and agriculture, ROPS structures are defined by various regulatory agencies, including the UK Health and Safety executive (HSE). The regulations include both a strength requirement as well as an energy absorption requirement of the structure. Some dump trucks add a protrusion to their dump bodies that cover the operators compartment for ROPS purposes.
In the UK, ROPS designs have to be certified by Laboratory testing , which will normally require a destructive test to be undertaken. The structure will be tested at a reduced temperature (where the metal is more brittle), or fabricated from materials that have satisfactory low temperature performance.
The HSE (UK) believes that ROPS and proper seatbelt use on tractors can eliminate nearly all fatalities caused by tractor and lawn mower overturns. (Without a seatbelt, the driver may be thrown from the tractor during the overturn, and thus left unprotected by the ROPS).
Some tractor operators have raised concerns about using ROPS in low-clearance environments, such as in orchards and buildings. In response, NIOSH (in The USA) developed an Automatically Deploying Rollover Protective Structure (AutoROPS) which stays in a lowered position until a rollover condition is determined, at which time it deploys to a fully extended and locked position. It is currently working with manufacturers to streamline the commercialization of this technology.
Were in the 1970s were fitted with retrofit ROPS frames following legislation to reduce death and injury from rollovers. A lot of Fordson Majors and Nuffield tractors are seen with either Square box section or Tubulare Hoops fixed on the rear axle. Some are made with a hing to fold down to allow entry to low sheds.
Modern Tractors & PlantEdit
The Rops structure is part of the cab structure and on some mchines such as demolition excavators and Crawler cranes they have a extra structure over the top to provide Falling Object protection (FOPS) from material dropping of the building being demolished.
Active Rollover ProtectionEdit
Some automobile models have begun to adopt the phrase, substituting system for structure in the ROPS acronym, notably the Volvo C70 convertible models, and Jaguar XK. Their ROPS structures consist of two pyrotechnically charged roll hoops hidden behind the rear seats that will pop up in the case of a roll-over to protect the occupants. If the roof is up, the system will still work, in effect shattering the rear window at the same time.
Wikipedia for base article to define item re written for UK
- European Economic Community. Council Directive 87/402/EEC of 25 June 1987 on roll- over protection structures mounted in front of the driver's seat on narrow-track wheeled agricultural and forestry tractors.
- Jaguar and Volvo Offer Safety and Excitement In New Convertibles
- Jaguar: Animation of roll hoops extending
- Adaptive Tractor Overturn Prediction System.
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