Methodological approach to assess tractor stability in normal operation in field using a commercial warning device
AbstractSince Roll-Over Protective Structures (ROPS) are mandatory on tractors, the number of fatalities caused in the event of an upset is definitely reduced. Nevertheless, fatal accidents caused by machine loss of stability are still of great concern. In fact, despite ROPS have reduced injury to agricultural operators, tractor stability is still a complex issue due to its high versatility in use, especially considering normal operations in field, when interactions with the environment such as soil morphology and climatic conditions are involved, as well as interactions with operator skills and experience. With the aim of collecting data on different variables influencing the dynamics of tractors in field, a commercial device that allows the continuous monitoring of working conditions and the active configuration of the machines was fitted on standard tractors in normal operation at the experimental farm of the Bologna University. The device consists of accelerometers, gyroscope, GSM/GPRS, GPS for geo-referencing and a transceiver for the automatic recognition of tractor-connected equipment. A microprocessor processes data and provides information, through a dedicated algorithm requiring data on the geometry of the tested tractor, on the level of risk for the operator in terms of probable loss of stability and suggests corrective measures to reduce the potential instability of the tractor.
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Copyright (c) 2013 V. Rondelli, R. Martelli, C. Casazza, A. Guarnieri
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