The use of rollover protective structures (ROPS), along with seat belts, is the best-known method for reducing the frequency of these fatalities. One impediment to ROPS use, however, is low clearance situations, such as orchards and animal confinement buildings. Adjustable ROPS have been developed by the agricultural equipment industry to address the issue of low clearance situations. If these adjustable ROPS are used properly, they are quite effective systems. The problem is that they require the operator to take an active role in making sure the ROPS is properly adjusted when not in a low clearance situation—a task some operators may not consistently perform.
2studies have been carried in Spain (INSPL) and USA (NIOSH) to get an initial measurement of the usability of the AD-ROPS among tractor operators who would be probable users of this new technology. The studies were not intended to evaluate all of the factors in the use of the AD-ROPS. These studies only examine whether farmers had an initial positive interest in this new concept for preventing tractor rollover-related fatalities.
- The results of this survey provide an indication that AD-ROPS may be successfully introduced into the agricultural equipment marketplace.
- The farmer group was of the opinion that AD-ROPS deployment is more effective than the manual ROPS alternative and that the protection effectiveness provided by AD-ROPS will be superior to the protection provided by manual ROPS.
- Moreover, most of interviewees considered that the field of vision is improved with automatic deployable ROPS.
- It is also important to remark the willingness of participants to purchase an AD-ROPS-equipped tractor rather than a standard ROPS-equipped tractor
- The results of this evaluation provide an indication that the AutoROPS may be successfully introduced into the agricultural equipment marketplace.
- Although some features remain to be improved, the overall reaction of farmers to this technology was positive.
- The farmer group was of the opinion that the AutoROPS deployment is more effective than the manual ROPS alternative and that the protection effectiveness provided by AutoROPS will be superior to the protection provided by manual ROPS.
- Of great prevention importance was the clear increase in interest in purchasing a tractor with an AutoROPS compared to purchasing a tractor with manual ROPS.
INSPL – SPAIN (2014)
This evaluation study is a part of the INSPL (Institute of Public and Occupational Health of Navarre) and the Occupational Safety and Health Institute of the Region of Murcia.
The objective of this study was to obtain an initial assessment of the acceptability of AD-ROPS systems relative to a manually adjustable ROPS among a sample of typical potential users of the new technology. The objective was to be achieved by obtaining potential user responses to rating questions. Questions were focused to evaluate how far potential users would agree to use automatic systems rather that manual ROPS and if potential buyers would be more inclined to adquire an AD-ROPS-equipped tractor rather than a tractor equipped with an adjustable ROPS
Seventy-eight tractor users participated in this survey. The farmers ranged in age from 20 to 77 with an average of 49 years old and an average experience operating farm tractors of 25 years. None of them had suffered a tractor rollover accident.
NIOSH – USA (2002)
This study only examines whether farmers had an initial positive interest in this new concept for preventing tractor rollover-related fatalities. The procedure for comparing the AutoROPS prototype with a foldable ROPS was of a general nature. What was being sought were general opinions about the concept. A cost comparison was not a factor in this study. However, cost-effectiveness is an important criterion in the NIOSH design.