View Full Version : ROPS, opinions?

02-16-2004, 12:42 AM
I have noticed Exmark and Scag going with Roll Over Protection Systems on their mowers. Just wondering what everyone thinks about this, ever had a ZTR roll over on you?

02-16-2004, 12:48 AM
No .... Just a guess, but, I'm betting they're doing it because of liability reasons.

Kelly's Landscaping
02-16-2004, 12:48 AM
Ill remove them donít like them at all and no I have never had a ZTR roll over on me or even become unstable and I do grades 30-40 degrees some times. What I donít like is the height its 72 inches and that will get in the way on some of the lower trees on my lawns and the settings for lowering the height donít help much since I donít like the ultra vac and will be installing trac vacs on the 2 of the 3 new ZTRs I buy this year and the ROPS wont clear it so off they go.

02-16-2004, 10:22 AM
One man show - NO ROPS please - where is that 'sawzall'..
If you have employees - that is another story called 'liability'
and removing 'safety devices' so beware.


02-16-2004, 10:36 AM
Im getting My new lazer this week sometime and I will be keeping mine on. I drive alot of tractors in my other job (mostly bush hogging) and am use to the rops systems so it should not be an issue. Besides Im almost 6 ft and if I cant walk under it without it hitting my head it gets cut, the branch that is.

02-16-2004, 10:59 AM
I talked to the dealer about this subject he said they are going to soon make it mandatory. I have had a ztr roll over on me, last year i was fin but it crushed my steel toe boot.


scott's turf
02-16-2004, 11:20 AM
I think it is something that we will be stuck with and have to get used to. I can think of many times where the rops would have put in in more trouble than not having one such as catching a branch and possibly flipping over backwards or cutting on along a slope and catching a trees and pulling you and the mower down the slope.

02-16-2004, 11:48 AM
I was at the Exmark dealer on Saturday. I asked about the ROP's. He said that they are put on because some guys do schools & city accounts and they are required by OSHA . I don't know if it's true ... but some of the models I've looked at recently it is an option. The Exmark just happen to put them on all ... more profit I guess.

02-16-2004, 11:59 AM
I would say we will have to get use to it, give it a couple of years and all the mfgs. will be putting them on.

02-16-2004, 01:00 PM
The way I look at it, safety stuff is put on equipment for a reason. The last thing I want is for an employee to have an accident only to find out it could have been prevented had I not disconnected a safety device. Then I would be looking at fines, increased insurance expenses and a possible lawsuit. This can be a dangerous business with a high possiblility of potential injury. I want to do everything I can to minimize risk. And for all those solo operators out there, what are you going to do when one of these mowers rolls over on you and you are out of work because of it?

02-16-2004, 02:07 PM
I agree, if my JD 757 had come with it, I'd keep it. If it were an option, I'd buy it (JD does endorse some aftermarket company ROPS but it sucks and it isn't foldable, plus I'd rather have a Deere ROPS on my Deere, not some junk). Also, I believe they should be foldable like the ones on tractors. That unnecessary height can cause a lot of problems.

scott's turf
02-16-2004, 02:14 PM
I have never felt like I was close to rolling over my ztr but have seen pics here and stories of mowing close to a pond and the mower slid in and flipped over. I think that the rops causes more problems then it helps. Maybe wide open hilly mowing with no trees but this thing is a pain and as an employer I would not want to take it off because the liability would shift to my shoulders. Are they going to put rops and seat belts on 4-wheelers next?

02-16-2004, 05:56 PM
I was told by a dealer that the zero turn mowers have been classified by OSHA as tractors. With that designation they have to be equipped with ROPS. It wasn't due to accidents. but the will be required by OSHA by 2005 or 06. Exmark and Toro, Same mower except the deck, is getting ahead of the game. They did however make them removeable with bolts. And some are foldable. He also did a unscientific study on demos, and found that 18 out of 20 loaners came back with the ROPS folded down. I don't like them because of tree branches. I have a Kubota 2200 with ROPS and when you go under a tree, the limb hits me in the head. I have been on hills here in north Georgia that made me pucker, I've since used my walkbehinds on those. The time I loose going back to the truck is minimal to a hospital visit.

Kelly's Landscaping
02-16-2004, 10:59 PM
I have studied the ROPS pictures on my new Exmark catalogs a little closer today and found I many not need to to remove them the top part isnít welded to the lower piece its just bolted on and it looks like I can cut 12-18 inches off then drill a new set of holes and have a more realistic height for mowing under the tree branches. Bottom line is its still silly but they seem to be set on making us get use to them.

02-16-2004, 11:06 PM
Just a reminder. If you have a rops and you remove it then you accept all liability. I had an employee bale one year when he rolled a Z of mine. But here is the problem, when you have a rops you also have a seat belt. That I do not like at all. I would like to see an anti tipping device, LOL! You know one that when you get at a certain angle it will pop out the side and act as a wheelie bar for the side!

02-16-2004, 11:16 PM
When they told use we had to have a OSHA approved rops or cab on an motor grader we used it didn't matter how much we told them it was just used to finish level a site. Would not be used on ant kind of incline. If they caught it on the job a $5000? fine I think. If you do commercial jobs this is something you will probably be required to install if you dont have. Look in the junk yards like I did for a rops, they are all gone or outrageous.

Kelly's Landscaping
02-16-2004, 11:22 PM
They make allot of bad safety devices like the bars you need to depress on WBs so the motor doesnít have the kill switch tripped I under stand the idea but the design sucks great you donít have a mower get away from you but you get carpal tunnel and other wrist and hand disabilities from the extra distance you have to spread your hands. Or the over sized guards on weed wackers so you cannot see what you are doing. I always felt the ZTR had some of the most thought out safety features of any equipment you could use but the new ROPS is getting a little carried away if I add up my hours and my friends hours in the business we probably have 25,000 hours on ZTRs iv never seen or been told by any of them of a mower flipping over or even come close to it. I watched the safety zone video Exmark sent explaining the reasons for it 7 agonizing mins and they did not make a decent case they would have like a 5 degree slop near a pond and tell you to be in the safety zone and make the weed wacker guy mow 10 feet out from the pond. It was always talking about the ground collapsing under you. Basically a lot of unlikely events and thatís why we had to put it on the new machine

02-16-2004, 11:35 PM
I actually ran a WB into a pond may years ago while working for the State (their mower). I was cutting beside a pond and the bank collapsed under one wheel and there the mower went. I hated the thing anyway as they were to cheap to get a velky for it. The next day I got blessed out and then had to go to Atlanta and get a brand new John Deere Tractor with a bushhog and sickle mower to replace the old WB. Life is hard.......then you die.

02-17-2004, 12:19 AM
I will take it off. We don't mow near ponds with ZTR, just use the WB. It will cause more damage to ornamental trees on my properties and I won't be able to get under trees. I think it should just be a option for the machine, because not everyone use there machines in same way.

02-17-2004, 12:28 AM
I'm reminded...Safety First!


02-17-2004, 12:30 AM
Mine has a place in the corner of the shed.