ROPS stands for "rollover protective structure." ROPSs may also be described as roll bars or roll cages designed for wheel-type or track-type agricultural tractors. ROPSs are typically found installed on modern tractors and on older tractors that have been retrofitted to protect the operator. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a standard requiring ROPSs for agricultural tractors over 20 hp; tractors built after October 25th, 1976; and tractors operated by hired employees.
When used with the accompanying seat belt, a ROPS protects the operator from being crushed by a tractor in the event of a rollover. It is important to consider that older tractors without ROPSs pose a significant safety hazard for the operator and that rollover incidents can have significant impact on the family of an overturn victim. Contact your local dealer or Cooperative Extension agent to learn about options for retrofitting older tractors. Programs have been created in New York, Kentucky, Virginia, and Pennsylvania to help offset ROPS retrofitting costs.
Click here to view information about ROPSs and rebate programs in different states, and click here to view information provided by the University of Kentucky about ROPSs. Both sites are excellent resources.