American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

Awards & Landmarks
Go Forgot Username/Password?

Tractor Seatbelt & ROPS Usage ASABE Student Branch Video Contest


Winning Logo   Seatbelt Image

Cash Prizes: 1st - $5,000; 2nd - $3,500; 3rd - $2,500


1st Place - McGill University   Watch Video
2nd Place - University of Wisconsin - Madison  Watch video
3rd Place - Auburn University   Watch Video

The purpose of this contest was to significantly increase operator usage of seat belts while operating agricultural equipment; to promote raising the roll over protection structure (ROPS) into the upright position when operating tractors with foldable ROPS; and to promote the installation of ROPS on those tractors that do not have a ROPS.

The contest was open to all ASABE student branches. Cash prizes were be paid to the student branch, not individuals. Funding for this event was provided by the ASABE Initiative Fund.
The final placements were announced at the 2016 ASABE Annual International meeting in Orlando at the AEM Student Awards Breakfast.

Examples of seatbelt videos for reference: Example #1   Example #2

ROPS Background & Rationale
Agriculture ranks fourth among U.S. industries for work-related fatalities. Tractors are common to all farm operations. Fatalities associated with agricultural machinery commonly involve farm tractors and rollover incidents (i.e., the tractor tips sideways or backward and overturns, crushing the operator) account for 46% (Minnesota) to 76% (Georgia) of all farm tractor-related fatalities. ASABE and Agricultural Engineers have played a significant role in reducing tractor related fatalities. For example, tractor related deaths declined from nearly 18 per 100,000 workers in 1969 to fewer than 10 per 100,000 workers in 1995. Much of this decline can be directly attributed to improved safety design by agricultural engineers, including rollover protection structures (ROPS).

New Tractors Equipped with ROPS
In 1985, tractor manufacturers adopted a voluntary standard to sell all tractors with ROPS in place. All new tractors are equipped at the factory with ROPS. The ROPS may be part of the cab structure and may not be visible, but the protection will be there. Some models have foldable ROPS to allow a tractor to be stored in a building with a low ceiling.

Use Seat Belts with ROPS
All operators of tractors equipped with ROPS must wear seat belts. Without a seat belt, the operator will not be confined to the protective zone created by the ROPS. During an overturn, the operator of a tractor with ROPS could be thrown from the protected area and crushed by the tractor, or even the rollover protective structure itself, if the operator is not wearing a seat belt. Without a seat belt, the operator can fall off or be knocked off the tractor and run over by the tractor and implement. 

ASABE ROPS Standards
ASABE has been at the center in ROPS standards development that provide for enhanced operator protection from roll-over. Click here to see the list of standards which represent Agricultural Equipment Roll-Over Protective Structures:

ASABE's Latest On Twitter