The difficulty in designing tractor cabins or rollover protection lies in finding the correct balance between energy absorbing capability and rigidity. If a vehicle tips or rolls over, rollover protection must be capable of absorbing and withstanding both lateral stress in a longitudinal and horizontal direction and vertical pressure.
The DLG Test Center Technology and Farm Inputs conducts about 200 cabin safety tests every year to ensure that drivers of tractors, construction machines and commercial vehicles are optimally protected in case of accidents. Legislation requires the stability of the so-called safety cell of tractors, construction machines and commercial vehicles to be tested, that is the structure that provides a residual space for drivers in case of an accident. These tests always comprise tests for rollover safety (ROPS – rollover protective structure) and to some extent also tests for protection against falling objects (FOPS – falling object protective structure) as well as additional criteria.
In contrast to tractor and construction machinery cabins, which are tested “statically”, commercial vehicle cabins such as truck cabins are tested “dynamically”, that is energy is introduced suddenly into the system by means of pendulum impact. In static testing, the necessary energy is introduced gradually into the safety structure by means of a hydraulic cylinder.
The DLG Test Center is one of the test laboratories designated for conducting safety cell tests by the Federal Motor Transport Authority in Flensburg (Germany).