Tractor rollover is one of the main causes of fatal accidents in agriculture. Driver’s injuries increase considerably if the Roll-Over Protective Structure (ROPS), designed to provide a clearance zone for the driver in the event of tractor rollover, is not correctly fitted on the tractor and used properly during normal field operations. Front-mounted folding ROPSs are widely used on narrow-track tractors because a front foldable ROPS makes the tractor more versatile than a cabin tractor for orchard and vineyard use, allowing it to better adapt to a reduced clearance area in the crop inter-rows. Front ROPS was conceived to be used in the upright position for driver protection in the case of unstable tractor conditions; nonetheless, to use the tractor in narrow spaces the driver is allowed to lower the ROPS only when strictly necessary and in safe conditions with respect to a rollover risk. Folding down the ROPS could be essential for operating in specific conditions such as greenhouses or specially trained vineyards. Lowering and raising the ROPS is a manual operation normally performed by the driver with effects on the working capacity of the tractor since additional time is needed for this. The manual handling of the foldable ROPS, often difficult due to its heavy mass, is considered a potential cause of incorrect ROPS use, being left in the lowered position during normal operations and consequently with a lack of protection for the driver in the event of rollover. A feasible approach to encourage the correct use of the foldable ROPS is to assist the driver in handling the ROPS, allowing quick folding and raising actions, with efforts suitable for a medium-sized person. A test panel, mainly composed of skilled drivers, was selected to perform an evaluation on five tractors fitted with front foldable ROPS to analyse the ROPS handling with the aim of obtaining feedback allowing the design of foldable ROPSs to be improved in terms of easier, quicker and safer handling.

An ergonomic approach for front foldable ROPS fitted on agricultural tractors

CAPACCI, ENRICO;FRANCESCHETTI, BRUNO;RONDELLI, VALDA
2016

Abstract

Tractor rollover is one of the main causes of fatal accidents in agriculture. Driver’s injuries increase considerably if the Roll-Over Protective Structure (ROPS), designed to provide a clearance zone for the driver in the event of tractor rollover, is not correctly fitted on the tractor and used properly during normal field operations. Front-mounted folding ROPSs are widely used on narrow-track tractors because a front foldable ROPS makes the tractor more versatile than a cabin tractor for orchard and vineyard use, allowing it to better adapt to a reduced clearance area in the crop inter-rows. Front ROPS was conceived to be used in the upright position for driver protection in the case of unstable tractor conditions; nonetheless, to use the tractor in narrow spaces the driver is allowed to lower the ROPS only when strictly necessary and in safe conditions with respect to a rollover risk. Folding down the ROPS could be essential for operating in specific conditions such as greenhouses or specially trained vineyards. Lowering and raising the ROPS is a manual operation normally performed by the driver with effects on the working capacity of the tractor since additional time is needed for this. The manual handling of the foldable ROPS, often difficult due to its heavy mass, is considered a potential cause of incorrect ROPS use, being left in the lowered position during normal operations and consequently with a lack of protection for the driver in the event of rollover. A feasible approach to encourage the correct use of the foldable ROPS is to assist the driver in handling the ROPS, allowing quick folding and raising actions, with efforts suitable for a medium-sized person. A test panel, mainly composed of skilled drivers, was selected to perform an evaluation on five tractors fitted with front foldable ROPS to analyse the ROPS handling with the aim of obtaining feedback allowing the design of foldable ROPSs to be improved in terms of easier, quicker and safer handling.
Mechanization and new technologies for the control and the sustainability of agricultural and forestry systems
64
67
Capacci, Enrico; Franceschetti, Bruno; Rondelli, Valda
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/589481
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