EDITORIAL – North East Farmer.
Small acreage machinery specialist SOTA Tractors, has announced a major upgrade to its range of Kubotas, with the introduction of a new folding roll bar and seatbelt. The new Rollover Protection Structure (ROPS) has been upgraded so that it may be folded down to allow entry into low access areas, such as sheds. The new ROPS also has integrated seatbelt mounts, and a seatbelt is supplied.
SOTA Tractor’s Technical Director, Bruce Cooper, explained that since introducing remanufactured Kubota tractors to Australia and New Zealand, SOTA has been committed to operator safety. “SOTA has always supplied a certified ROPS, comprehensive safety manual and appropriate operations and safety decals for all its tractors. The difficulty has been that aftermarket ROPS with integrated seatbelts have not been available until now”, Mr. Cooper said. All new tractors released into the market today, must be fitted with a certified ROPS and seatbelt. However, we believe for optimal safety, all tractors should be required to have a ROPS and seatbelt fitted.”
World recognised Swedish research concluded that a “properly fitted seatbelt, used in conjunction with an approved ROPS, is safer in the event of a tractor roll over. Our new folding ROPS and seatbelts are supplied by Hercules Roll Over Protection Structures and are certified to the Australian and International Standards. Folding ROPS are more user-friendly and smarter because owners are not tempted to remove their ROPS when they encounter a clearance problem.”
However Mr Cooper stressed that a ROPS should be left in the folded position for as little time as possible and while folded, a seatbelt must not be used. He said a ROPS should only be folded where it is safe to do so, such as on flat, stable ground and only when it is absolutely necessary.