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ROPS & FOPS Related Standards

Written on February 13, 2015

Under Coomonwealth law Roll Over Protective Structures (ROPS) and Falling Object Protective Structures (FOPS) are legally required for earthmoving equipment with a mass of 1.5 tons.  Additionally tractors with a mass between 560kg and 15,000kg are required to be fitted with ROPS.

Specifically WHS Regulation 2011, s216 and  s217 imposes fines of $6,000 for individuals and $30,000 for corporations who fail in their responsibility to fit  compliant protective structures.

Compliant means that compliance plates should be fitted to indicate the ROPS and FOPS meet the relevant Australian and International Standards.

Published standards related to earthmoving equipment include:

  • AS 2294.1 (1997) Earth-moving machinery – Protective structures – General
  • AS 2294.2  Earth-moving machinery – Protective structures - Laboratory tests and performance requirements for roll-over protective structures (withdrawn – refer to ISO3471:2008 below)
  • AS 2294.3  Earth-moving machinery – Protective structures - Laboratory tests and performance requirements for falling-object protective structures (withdrawn – refer to ISO3349:2005 below)
  • AS 2294.4  Earth-moving machinery – Protective structures - Specifications for deflection limiting volume (withdrawn – refer to 3164:2013below)
  • ISO3471:2008 Earth-moving machinery – Roll-over protective structures – Laboratory tests and performance requirements
  • ISO3449:2005 Earth-moving machinery – Falling-object protective structures – Laboratory tests and performance requirements
  • ISO3164:2013 Earth-moving machinery — Laboratory evaluations of protective structures – Specifications for deflection-limiting volume

For Tractors the applicable standards are:

  • AS 1636.1 (1996)  Tractors – Roll-over protective structures – Criteria and tests – Conventional tractors
  • AS 1636.2 (1996) Tractors – Roll-over protective structures – Criteria and tests – Rear-mounted for narrow-track tractors
  • AS 1636.3 (1996) Tractors – Roll-over protective structures – Criteria and tests – Mid-mounted for narrow-track tractors

As the titles of the standards indicate, there is an emphasis on testing.  When testing is required to be carried out there is a need to build a physical prototype.  When prototyping is costly there is an commercial incentive to err on the conservative side and design and fabricate a prototype that is sure to pass the test first time around.  Especially when design decisions are based largely on empirical knowledge.  This can stifle innovation and and lead to over-enginering which can add unnecessary weight, and in the case of ROPS can raise the centre of mass and reduce the stability of the equipment.

Syngineering have been working with some of our innovative customers to apply our advanced analysis capabilities to perform virtual testing.  This effectively allows ROPS and FOPS performance to be evaluated early on in the design stage.  At the first design iteration it is possible to determine whether the design passes, and if so whether it is grossly over-engineered.  By  being ably to visualise the stress path within the ROPS and FOPS provides an opportunity to re-evaluate the design and revise and improve it.

If you have a ROPS or FOPS you need certified by and RPEQ or improved using Syngineerings advanced computer aided engineering then contact us on 1300 662 326.

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