The automatically deployable ROPS was developed as part of an innovative project to provide passive protection against overturn fatality to operators of new tractors used in both low-clearance and unrestricted-clearance tasks. The primary objective of this phase of the research was to build a telescoping structure that would prove that a ROPS can be built that will (1) reliably deploy on signal, (2) rise in a sufficiently short amount of time, (3) firmly latch in its deployed position, and (4) satisfy SAE J2194 testing requirements. The two-post structure had previously been found to meet deployment time criteria, and design analyses indicated that neither the slip-fit joint nor the latch pins would fail at test loading.
Four directions of static loading were applied to the structure to satisfy SAE requirements. For the series of static loading tests, the raised structure was found to maintain a protective clearance zone after all loads were applied. The structure is overly stiff and should be redesigned to increase its ability to absorb ground-impact energy. Results of dynamic tests and field upset tests are reported in companion articles. The next phase of development is to optimize the structure so that it will plastically deform and absorb energy that would otherwise be transferred to the tractor chassis.
Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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