Identifying ROPS structures before installation of an asset tracker

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What are ROPS, FOPS, and TOPS?

Each of these are protective structures meant to safeguard the operator and equipment from injury risks, and damage. Three of the most common OSHA specified types are below, and all will be referred collectively as ROPS in this communication.

  • ROPS (Roll-over Protective Structure)
  • FOPS (Falling Object Protective Structure)
  • TOPS (Tip-over Protective Structure)

Technicians must never drill into, or use any size mounting screws or bolts, on any part of a ROPS structure. Please refer to the equipment's owner's manual to verify the precise structures the manufacturer defines as a ROPS structure.

Failure to adhere to this guidance violates OSHA and Dept of Labor safety statutes and may result in expensive damage claim repairs and recertification costs.

  • If you are unable to determine what parts makeup the manufacturer defined ROPS structure reasonable efforts should always be made to mount devices in locations where the device can be secured using zip ties and VHB tape.
    • Use at least two 1 inch (2.5cm) wide strips of VHB tape placed down the full length of the edges of the asset tracker's longest side.

How to Identify ROPS Protective Structures

OSHA regulations require these operator and equipment protective structures for some, but not all construction equipment, farm implements, and heavy trucks in the official OSHA and Dept of Labor guidance. An identification label is affixed to the equipment per OSHA requirements 1928.51(c) to indicate a piece of equipment is outfitted with a certified ROPS structure.

ROPS Labeling - Each ROPS shall have a label, permanently affixed to the structure, which states:

(1) Manufacturer's or fabricator's name and address;

(2) ROPS model number, if any;

(3) Tractor makes, models, or series numbers that the structure is designed to fit;

(4) That the ROPS model was tested in accordance with the requirements of this subpart.

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Owner’s Manuals and Dealership Supplied Literature

OEM operator manuals and literature available from dealerships provide warnings not to weld or drill on the ROPS structure, this includes restricting the use of bolts and self-tapping screws of any size. The specific pieces of superstructure that qualify as a ROPS are also illustrated in the OEM manuals. Be aware what qualifies as ROPS can be different in each year, make and model of a particular type of equipment outfitted with such a protective structure.

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