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Quad Bikes (ATV) Safety and Rollover Protection

I have ridden quad bikes on farms occasionally since arriving in NZ, but now use one of my own. I have years of experience of motorbikes, but non on quads and generally feel unsafe once the quad is on a slope. Quads are relatively unstable and kill 5 kiwi farmers each year plus numerous really serious injuries. Our friends in Ognarue have had two of their neighbours with broken backs in the last year alone due to rollovers. One of the worst ways to go, is to have the quad roll on top of you and asphyxiate you due to the weight on your chest.

52% of serious harm accidents between 2000 and 2008 on Quad bikes investigated by The Dept. Of Labour (NZ) involved roll overs

(ROP)Roll over protection for quad bikes (ATV)

The logical answer is roll over protection, this was one of the first questions I asked, but was told that various studies had shown them to be more dangerous than having no protection. I really could not understand this conclusion, the analogy being tractor accidents were greatly reduced due to cabs being fitted, to prevent roll overs. Researching this subject keeps throwing up the manufacturers of quads are the main block to ROP's being fitted, seems they are scared of litigation in the states and refuse to type approve any ROP. The study that suggested that ROP's may be dangerous was a computer simulation and guess who sponsored that study?

New Zealand dept. of labour is fence sitting on this subject and will not recommend ROP's, because of manufacturers non approval, and the manufacturers have really endeavoured to block any movement on this subject. The Aussies are however moving towards compulsory ROP's on farm quads. See:aussie_quad_bike_manufacturers_capitulate

The Labour Department (NZ) will remain neutral on the request by several coroners for roll cage-like roll-over protection (ROP) devices to be made compulsory on quad bikes until they have been approved by the manufacturers.

Ms Wilkinson said the department was liaising with quadbike and ROP manufacturers by way of a trans-Tasman working group. “The long term goal is for no one to be injured working on farm quad bikes,” Ms Wilkinson said. “Safety has to be more than just luck.”

Quadbike makers say no-one younger than 16 should be operating a full-sized quad bike, and as a result no accredited safety training organisations will permit anyone younger than 16 on their courses. Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson told those gathered for the launch of the department's safety campaign at Mystery Creek on Wednesday that every year on average five people died and 850 were injured on farms riding quad bikes.

Coroner Ian Smith is at his wit's end with Kiwi attitudes to quad bike safety and promises a robust line in his findings on the death of Filipino beekeeper Jody Santos at Riversdale. I don't know what I have to do to get this sorted _ I'm seriously at my wit's end, he said. He called current legislation a mish-mashing mess between farming interests and average road users. He called for minimum safety requirements for quad bikes including full or partial roll bars, lap belts and the compulsory use of safety helmets. For goodness sake, why can we not get these three simple, lifesaving things on a quad bike? he asked.

My conclusion on Quad Bike Rollover Protection

My own personal view on this issue is that ROP's are a must, sure a freak accident with a ROP may occur but reading all the literature and applying common sense, I would be stupid not to fit one as they only cost about $600. Which on to fit? The one that caught my attention was the Quadbar, a Aussie designed and manufactured ROP, Jan 5 2012: We collected the Quad bar from the importer in Orewa. Stuart had part assembled it, so fitting was a doddle. Took about 45 mins including 10 mins. looking for my spanners. It is easier if you have a helper?

This is not a roll bar, but an anti-roll bar

See this report from Uni. of Southern Queensland:

More to follow

Australia and Quad Bike Safety


THE debate on roll over protection for quad bikes has taken another turn with a major agricultural institution making them mandatory. The move comes after The Weekly Times exclusively revealed that the nation's top rural safety authority wanted them installed on all quad bikes. Since then, more have joined the call for the roll bars to become mandatory, including the Australian Workers Union and the NSW Farmers Association.

The latest to join the roll bar push is the Queensland-based Australian Agricultural College Corporation, which this week announced it would install them on all their quad bikes, used to train a new generation of farmers. The corporation's senior instructor of intensive livestock Barry Harding, Dalby, Qld, said quad bikes had become a major resource when mustering and handling stock.

“The AACC is at the cutting edge of adopting safe work practices and reducing the likelihood of serious accidents, by rolling out quad bars across its sites,” Mr Harding said. “We train our students in a practical and safe way and with the Quadbar set to become an industry standard, we are ahead of the pack. “The organisation is fitting quad roll bars on all its quads to keep its students safe when training them on the correct usage of the farm equipment.”

Meanwhile, the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities is meeting today to consider a report on quad bike safety. But already two members of the technical group have written an alternative technical report after they considered their views had not been taken into consideration.

The authors believed roll bars should be installed.

Aussie Quad Bike Manufacturers capitulate

EXCLUSIVE: THE ATV industry has staged a dramatic retreat from its campaign against fitting crush-protection devices.

Last week, the world's seven largest manufacturers pulled the plug on their “Never Fit Roll-Over Protection Systems” website. The website had warned ATV buyers safety add-ons such as roll bars “can cause injury and death”.

Last month, The Weekly Times revealed that US research the campaign was based upon was flawed. Forensic engineer John Lambert said the findings were based on computer models that failed to simulate real accidents. The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries last week pulled its key position paper from its own website.

The paper had claimed the use of anti-crush devices “would increase the likely incidence of deaths and serious injuries” in rollovers. FCAI spokesman Rhys Griffiths admitted the paper had been removed, but said he had been directed by ATV makers not to discuss the issue.

“There's a couple of issues, linked to your publication (The Weekly Times),” Mr Griffiths said. But he refused to divulge whether the campaign was pulled for legal reasons. Slater and Gordon legal consultant Peter Long said ATV manufacturers could face legal action from anyone who decided against fitting a Roll-Over Protection System in response to the manufacturers' “Never Fit ROPS” campaign - but was then injured in a rollover.

“They could take (legal) action if they relied on that campaign in making that decision and it can be shown to be misleading - that the campaign was flawed,” Mr Long said. The national death toll involving ATVs has risen to 21 this year. A 34-year-old woman from Walcha in NSW was killed in a rollover at the weekend.

Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety director Tony Lower said: “At least some of these deaths could have been prevented by a better-designed quad bike or if it had some sort of crush protection. “I encourage everyone to think about whether a quad is right for the job and if they think it is, then to fit a crush- protection device.” Follow on Twitter

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