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The Effect of Friction on Actuation Torques of Foldable Rollover Protective Structures

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. 24(4): 227-242 . (doi: 10.13031/jash.12844) @2018
Authors:   Farzaneh Khorsandi, Paul D. Ayers
Keywords:   Actuating torque, Foldable rollover protective structure, FROPS, Safety, Standards, Tractor.

Abstract. The number of fatal tractor rollover accidents with an inoperative foldable rollover protective structure (FROPS) has increased sharply in recent years. Operators frequently leave the FROPS in the folded-down position after lowering the FROPS to pass a low overhead obstacle. One possible explanation for leaving the FROPS in the folded position is that raising and lowering the FROPS is a time-consuming and strenuous process. The actuation torques required to raise and lower a FROPS are not well known and may be influenced by friction. The actuation torques of ten FROPS from four different models were measured. One model FROPS was tested on seven different vehicles, and three models were tested separately. The dynamic and static (initiation and holding) actuation torques were measured to evaluate the effect of static and kinetic friction on actuation torque. The dynamic actuation torques were measured before and after greasing the FROPS. The proposed instruction to measure the actuation torque based on OECD Code 7 was evaluated. Results showed that friction has a significant effect on the measured actuation torque and can increase the actuation torque by up to 212%. The friction varies between FROPS of the same model, which is due to variations in the manufacturing, maintenance, and age of the FROPS. The friction force could be decreased by greasing the FROPS, and decreasing the friction increased the lowering resisting torques and decreased raising torques of FROPS. The measured actuation torque based on OECD Code 7 instruction (static holding) is not a constant value. The dynamic method is recommended for measuring FROPS actuation torques.

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