Outdoor Equipment Manufacturers Standardize ROPS on New Zero-Turn Models

Outdoor equipment manufacturers have teamed up to emphasize the importance of Rollover Protection Systems (ROPS) in safely operating zero-turn-radius riding lawnmowers. ROPS, in combination with seatbelts, are effective in preventing serious injury or death if operators overturn equipment. Kubota was the first to implement ROPS on its zero-turn equipment. In 2004 Toro and Exmark made ROPS standard on new equipment, and John Deere has now joined the trend.

“Safety is a primary concern for major manufacturers of Z riders, and standardized ROPS is an important step in protecting operators,” said Mike Hoffman, president and CEO of The Toro Company. “Toro and Exmark even offered a free retrofitting program for older models. In addition, they partnered with the National Safety Council to create a training program designed to protect landscaping workers and prevent injury by sharing safe mowing techniques.”

The Commercial Equipment Operators’ (CEO) Safety Training Program offers effective, culturally based safety training to operators of zero-turn commercial mowers. The training package can be used in the field or classroom and addresses the maneuverability and operational functions unique to zero-turn mowers.

In conjunction with specialized training, standardized ROPS are intended to protect equipment operators in the event of an accidental rollover. Studies of small agricultural tractors equipped with ROPS and seat belts have found them to be unequivocally successful in saving lives.

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