The use of tractor in orchards and the protection of driver in case of overturning
Cecchini, M.; Colantoni, A.; Monarca, D.; Bedini, R.; Pagano, M.; Fedrizzi, M.; Di Giacinto, S.
“From effective to intelligent agriculture and forestry” XXXV CIOSTA & CIGR V International Conference, July 3rd – July 5th, 2013, Billund- Denmark
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Still many accidents in agriculture can be attributed to the overturning of agricultural vehicles,
such as tractors. The current system of protection of agricultural and forestry tractors is passive;
this is constituted by a rigid frame (Roll Over Protection Structure, ROPS) and by the safety belt.
However, the protective frame often does not allow the operator to transit in the orchards, due to
the bulkiness of the frame. Thus, the protective frame, which often can be “lowered”, it is
configured in a position not suited to the use of the machine, causing a great risk for the safety of the driver. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the functionality of the protective structures of
agricultural vehicles, commonly used in orchards. Hazelnut, olives, grapes and kiwi are the four
crops investigated. Sampling was carried out in the period of greatest expansion of the crown and
was therefore analyzed the situation worse. Tractors equipped with old and new protective
structures were compared, even if the latter are still at prototype stage. The results show an
objective difficulty in the use of the normal protective frames, while the transition is facilitated in
the orchard for tractors equipped with the new prototypal structures.