Roll Bars dangerous?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by burns60, May 26, 2005.

  1. burns60

    burns60 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 291

    My Exmark came with the roll bar and I was determined to get use to it. It was in the way most of the time. Then one day I hung a guy wire off of a telephone pole and the Exmark got to about a 45 degree angle in just a split second. As soon as I got home, off came the roll bar. The first time I took the mower in for tune-up the mech said they were told not to work on any mower with the roll bar removed. I told him I had been wanting to try one of those new Husqvarnas. He started getting his wrenches out. My point is, I think the roll bar will cause more flips than would otherwise happen. Anyone else with similar experiences? Or do you like the roll bar?
  2. joeg2246

    joeg2246 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    I demoed a Toro and was going along a fence. I came up on a tree so naturally I ducked to get my head under the limb. Next thing I know I am popping a wheelie and thinking what the heck is going on here. I told my dealer what had happened. He told me he has to sell it with it on, but, agreed that he would not want it either.
  3. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Can't these roll bars be folded down? I've seen the new Exmarks at my dealer and all of the bars were in the down position.
  4. joeg2246

    joeg2246 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    When I had my experience the roll bar was folded down :)
  5. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Messages: 8,288

    When I first got into lawncare I had a roll bar on a large Kubota. Then I knocked down a 10 inch tree limb with it and that was the end of that. Roll bars won't work in most of my yards because of low limbs.
    I have never had a roll bar on my Z and the shop has never said anything about it. I have never come close to turning it over--backwards or sideways
  6. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    even down they are dangerous. I hooked a tree branch and popped a wheelie and came crashing down. My back hurt for a week. If they wont work on it, go somewhere else. Mowers are generaly the same, any shop can fix it for the most part, especially general maintenance.
  7. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,459

    It's not a dealer thing, it's a lawyer thing.

    If we work on any equipment with any safety equipment removed we will be named in any suite involving injury by that equipment.

    From 1983 until 1996 I was a LCO and have owned a dealership since 1985 so I have seen this industry go from push mowers to our current crop of equipment. The safety interlock & zone start systems have been in use since 1983 and the only other safety gear since then is the ROPS. The most exciting ride I ever had was hanging a 72" Toro Z in a Crape Myrtle tree. This ROPS didn't just loop up, it came forward over the operator so a cover could be installed on it and it became a limb hook. This was a property I had mowed for years and had always gone pretty fast under these trees while ducking the lowest limbs. Crape Myrtle trees are like large springs and the only thing that kept me from going over backwards was the drive wheels being lifted off the ground and losing traction.

    I sell mowers with ROPS and sympathize with those who have issues with them but they are a fact of life and we, the dealers, don't have a choice as far as liability is concerned. It just takes a few minutes to reinstall the ROPS and that may become necessary to get dealer service.

    If a LCO has employees he or she should seriously consider leaving the ROPS in place. There are more lawyers than LCOs.

    We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust our sails!
  8. hillndale

    hillndale LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 214

    This season I got a 42" Scag Z Cat -- ROPS standard on these new models. Being not totally familiar with the machine, I will leave it on a little longer. Also am testing parameters on my props with hills. It's definiately compromising productivity where there are trees. It's not too good snappin' limbs off folks "ornamentals". These ROPS don't fold down either. (one peice units). I can see their usefulness but once you pull the control levers over yourself, you're locked in, like a ride at the fair. A few extra steps if you need to make a split second decision to jettison your a** off the rig.

    Once I ran a Walker a little too close to a drop-off & the soft edge gave way and I had to bail. The small unrestricting controls between the legs allowed me to leap to safety.

    I see what the ROPS are for, but I still think you'd be hurtin' if rolled the machine.

  9. LCME

    LCME LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    instead of roll bars why cant the engineers design a machine that will not tip over. i mean hey if i was buying a new mower and one had a roll bar and other did not. i would think the one without would be more stable. right?.
  10. CutNLawns

    CutNLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    My dad stood his Lazer up with in the first couple minutes of using it on his property when his caught a branch too. You either have to take it off or trim all your trees a couple feet higher. When talking with the Exmark dealer they said that they will most likely be mandatory on ALL mowers very soon I guess much like a 3rd brake light on a car.

    Another thing people are having proplems with is getting them inside enclosed trailers. Engineers could have designed them an inch shorter to clear so you didn't have to flip up/down all the time if you were running the ROPS.

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