Agricultural ROPS Canada (ARC) was developed as the distribution and awareness component of the Roll Out of Low-Cost Farmer Built ROPS into a National Program project. The purpose of the ARC website is to provide information on accessing pre-fabrication ROPS in Canada, and providing access to engineer-developed blueprint drawings for those who want to build their own ROPS. The ROPS drawings are developed and tested by certified engineers in compliance with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) regulations B352.0 and SA 352.1.
2014 – 2018: Low Cost Roll-Over Protective Structures Intervention Project
The ROPS project began as a pilot project in 2014 and was primarily conducted by Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) with support from SafetyNet at Memorial University in Newfoundland, NL. The main objective of the pilot project was to fill an existing commercial gap in low-cost ROPS by developing an innovative ROPS design to retrofit older model tractors that could be both built and installed by farmers for an affordable price. Currently, many of the pre-fabrication ROPS available have a cost of $2,500 – $3,000 which is prohibitive when the value of an older model tractor may be less than the cost of a ROPS. Also included in the project was an evaluation of policy and legal implications of the approach, and the development of knowledge transfer approaches and best practices for sharing plans and evaluating outcomes.
The ROPS pilot project was highly successful and demonstrated several key factors:
- ROPS can be designed so that the high-stress points do not occur at the weld sites
- Famers are capable of easily building quality ROPS on their farm from engineered drawings for a cost of approximately $250
- A plausible certification process can be developed where qualified engineers can certify that on-farm built ROPS meet provincial regulatory requirements is possible
ROPS were designed for the following Massey Ferguson tractor models: 35, T035, 130, 135, 150, 230, 235, 240, 245. Over the duration of the project twelve ROPS built by farmers, nine passed the ROPS certification test. One did not pass because it was assembled incorrectly and the other two failed because the incorrect thickness of the material was used. The latter issue can be remedied in the future by improving the farmer instructions to stress the importance of material thickness. Of important note, is that the proposed inspection practice would have successfully identified the ROPS that did not pass the testing. Additionally, no ROPS failed due to substandard welding, a primary concern of the industry prior to this pilot project.
For more information please visit: https://agrivita.ca/program/low-cost-rops-project.php
2019 – 2024: Roll Out of Low-Cost Farmer Built ROPS into a National Program
In 2019, a continuation of the ROPS pilot project was launched with the goal of developing more ROPS blueprints to fit a wider array of tractors and to make the ROPS blueprint drawings widely available to farmers across Canada to improve the safety of older model tractors still in use on farms across the country. With the continuation of the project, come new project partners, the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture (CCHSA) and March Engineering are the primary partners involved with the 2019 – 2024 ROPS project.
As the engineering team continued to look at developing ROPS blueprints that would fit a large number of different tractor makes and models a method to develop a small family of about three ROPS designs that would cover most of the older tractors requiring ROPS in Canada was identified. This process involved using a parametric design where one design could be used to accommodate a range of dimensions and tractor weights. The parametric design uses a selected tractor weight range of 2,500 -7,500 lb. The 12 tractor models included are representative of older tractors found on modern farms in Canada which would benefit from the installation of a cost-effective ROPS. As part of the current project, this weight range will be used as the basis for the subsequent parametric design and analysis of a ROPS structure intended to fit a multitude of tractor models. This work now allows the completion of a parametric model approach to allow a few designs to cover the majority of older tractors currently without ROPS.
To stay up-to-date on the current ROPS project please visit: https://agrivita.ca/2019-2024-canadian-agrisafety-program/activity-6.php#ProjectOverview