Prevalence of ROPS-Equipped Tractors in U.S. Aquaculture

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Cole, Henrey;
  • Myers, John;
  • Myers, Melvin;
  • Westneat, Susan C.


Aquaculture involves the production of plant and animal products that are cultured in water. The principal freshwater fishes raised in the U.S. are catfish (raised mainly in ponds) and trout (raised mostly in concrete raceways), and the principal crustaceans grown are shrimp, crayfish, oysters, and clams. Tractors are used on aquaculture farms mostly in pond culture. Ponds present overturn hazards because of the slopes of levees, slippery conditions, and nighttime driving. Protection is afforded to the tractor operator when a rollover protective structure (ROPS) is attached to the tractor. The purpose of this study was to analyze and describe the prevalence of ROPS-equipped tractors on farms engaged in aquaculture in the U.S. The analysis concluded that 78% of tractors used in aquaculture were equipped with a ROPS, in contrast with the prevalence of ROPS at 49% for all of agriculture. Moreover, 91% of the tractors in the South used for aquaculture were equipped with a ROPS. The national sample for aquaculture included 75 farms and 137 tractors, which is small, but nonetheless, several hypotheses can be generated as a result of this descriptive study.

Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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