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Old man work? No.....he's with MSHA

Discussion in 'Safety Issues' started by RollOver Pete, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. Garrie Denny

    Garrie Denny Senior Member

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    Silicone on the back & Zip-Ties top bottom and middle =We don't need this thread.
     
  2. icestationzebra

    icestationzebra Senior Member

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    Even if welding on ROPS/FOPS was legal, what would worry me is what you may not know. Did they mess up the weld and grind it until it was pretty? Did they gouge it? Is it full of porosity?

    And having tested ROPS in the past they are tested to destruction because it is difficult to predict all the variables - material quality, weld process, fastener installation, ect. - to a level high enough to withstand legal scutiny. You also want to know how it fails because that tells you how much margin there is and alot about the design. It should deform and absorb enery. If it suddenly snaps under load the design will not fail predictably when you consider the variables.

    And no company is ever going to take the risk to allow a customer to modify a ROPS, better to maybe lose one customer vs potential multimillion lawsuite. I'm sure a company like CAT or Deere has a couple dozen lawsuites at any one time. Even if you win you just spent tens of thousands on the lawyers and expert testimony.

    ISZ
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2015
  3. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Yeah icestationzebra , I get the whole MSHA guy showing up at the site to find something wrong with a machine . They have to justify there job in the name of safety . Got That.



    My question is , for anyone ...... From a welding & fabricating standpoint ...... Do you really believe that can welded on the side of the ROPS on Pete's loader has any effect on the structural integrity ?
     
  4. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    My personal opinion is that no, the canopy will still do its job. That is my belief is that it would hold up thru one tramatic incident just as it is designed. Even if it cracked off I believe the canopy would do its job. But I also know that MSHA is absolutely by the book in their jurisdiction. Common sense never has and probably never will be part of any code enforcement. They will not risk the liability no matter how low it is. Around here there new enjoyment is busting the mom and pop gravel pits almost daily now. A friend who runs a one man operation uses an really old, small Manitowoc dragline that he uses to dig sand out of a wet pit got busted recently. His machine has every guard in place that it came with but they closed him down and came up with 6 more guards on gears back in the house away from the operator that they claim he needs before he can schedule then back for a reinspection so he can go back to work.
     
  5. Scrub Puller

    Scrub Puller Senior Member

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    Yair . . .

    td25c.If the manufacturer had needed a lug or fitment in that position it would have been welded on with out a second thought so no, I don't think the "modification" has made any difference at all . . . particularly on a static member such as the post of a ROPS.

    I can though, see the need to have some legislation concerning modifications to structures and I guess the easiest way to ensure compliance is to allow no mods at all. (shakes head)

    Where folks can get into trouble (and I don't think it is covered by legislation) is "modification" to excavator and loader arms by way of welding on tabs and brackets for extra plumbing.

    I have repaired several booms and sticks from cracks that propagated from the welds on hydraulic line blocks and clamps.

    If such modifications have to be made I used to always put on (say) two inch round doublers ex 1/4" plate, get a smooth blended weld all around them and weld the blocks or tabs to them . . . copped a few snide comments about being an "old woman" but I could live with that.

    Cheers.
     
  6. icestationzebra

    icestationzebra Senior Member

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    "If the manufacturer had needed a lug or fitment in that position it would have been welded on with out a second thought"

    Yes and no. Like you and others have said that little weld would almost certainly not make a difference. But if a ROPS failed and that weld was not on the certified test article the lawyers will have you for lunch - i.e. where else did you cut corners? The OEM would almost certainly have to test a new part with that addition.

    Two other thoughts. If your employee was hurt in a roll-over with a modified ROPS say goodbye to your business. And as far as MSHA goes how would you allow "minor" modifications? Is a 4" weld OK? What about 6? Certified welder only - how could you prove it? How close can it be to the attachment points? You get into unknown territory real fast.

    I've been on both sides of this coin so I totally understand your consternation, but you wont win this one. ISZ
     
  7. Scrub Puller

    Scrub Puller Senior Member

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    Yair . . .

    No, no you've got me wrong ISZ, I understand . . . the only way to ensure compliance is to prohibit modifications completely.

    In the days before regulation and ROPS we had these built . . . dozers 007.jpg

    to protect the operator and machine against falling trees and when rolling into gullys. The biggest problem was to beef up the running boards and brace them together in order to take the weight.

    It was a huge job to get steel in there in an unboltable fashion so components could be removed . . . yet years later when I examined approved so called FOPS and ROPS on similar tractors the bloody things were just bolted onto the standard components.

    For ever after I have tended to look at so called "approved" ROPS structures with a rather jaundiced eye.

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2015
  8. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    Sorry, not true. I've seen the sh1t we went through in order to get bosses welded on to ROPS structures by the factory. Literally it was a job of many years to achieve it. There are certain areas of a ROPS (such as the canopy part over the top of the cab) where to get a boss welded on was much easier. Others such as the support legs were an order of magnitude harder. Effectively a strain analysis of the structure had to be produced to figure out what were the no-go area for welding (usually came out red), what were classed as dodgy (yellow) and what were "safe" (green). Once that had been established and design engineering were happy with the changes the whole process had to go to the Certification & Legal Departments. I recall a model change one time where we had been bitching for years regarding lack of mounting points on the ROPS for GPS, radio antennae, fire system, numbers, etc, etc. From the time we were asked to indicate what our wish list was to the time the new ROPS design was certified was a hair over 4 years ......... and I still have all my old emails to back that up. I don't have a stress analysis for a ROPS but here's one of a tilt lever to illustrate the point.



    Scrub, I can only speak for my experience with Cat but the supports for a Cat ROPS structure are always welded to the machine frame, not bolted.

    A FOPS structure is totally different in that it's not designed to carry the weight of the machine in case of a rollover but protect the cab in case of something crashing down on top of it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2015
  9. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    Sorry, got the wrong attachment ......

    lever_Top_2 (Edit).jpg
     
  10. Scrub Puller

    Scrub Puller Senior Member

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    Yair . . .

    Gotcha Nige.

    Those graphics are fascinating and show just how complex this subject is.

    In my statement about the lug being welded I meant at the design stage and before testing.

    As you know I have been out of the game for many years but I well remember the boss and I pulling up and examining one of the new fangled ROPS structures on a nine G or H.

    We were surprised the mounting brackets for front legs were just bolted to the running boards and the back legs not much better, they were bolted to a bit of extra bracing.

    The structure itself was held on by four (I think) 3/4" horizontal bolts one of which was missing.

    At the time there was a rumble going through the industry about the ROPS and FOPS regulations and the insurance implications of running with non compliant structures.

    We had always considered ourselves to be well ahead of the game and were concerned the compliant but (for our purposes) completely inadequate structures offered by the manufacturers may be another expensive problem.

    In truth I don't really know what happened. We continued manufacturing "canopies" as they are known here and even today I see little welding works are still building canopies for scrub tractors and I can't imagine they have jumped through the hoops to get certification.

    I do see more and more machines with the added complexity of a scrub canopy constructed around the Manufacturers Cab and ROPS such as the maintenance nightmare here . . . perhaps though on the hi-track getting at things is not so much of an issue?

    I imagine this approach is taken to retain the air-conditioning . . . it seems these days you gotta have that air. (grin)

    images7OBQI5RZ.jpg

    Perhaps Queenslander or one of our other members in the scrub game would care to comment on the current situation?

    Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2015
  11. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    I feel the same way old-iron .

    Looking at it from a welding & fabricating aspect I would not even consider the can on Pete's ROPS a modification .

    Just a little add on to hold a water jug or fire extinguisher . All it has to do is hold about 10 pounds . LOL!

    Not to mention it was more than likely added for safety reasons to begin with ......



    That's a bad deal about your buddy getting hassled .

    When you say they closed him down , I take it he can't move any material or operate the machine by some threat or another ?
     
  12. Jumbo

    Jumbo Senior Member

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    When you see Do Not Weld stickers on a truck frame, do you weld anyway?

    In my limited interaction with MSHA inspectors, I have never had any issues. They are doing their job. Inspectors are skittish, if they pass something off and someone gets hurt, they can end up in jail. About 20 years ago, an electrical inspector in the NE signed off on a house not noticing the heat was wired 220 vs. 120 as it should have been. Homeowner got killed the inspector went to jail for 20 years. Here in Washington, several inspectors have been hung out to dry when they passed something off and someone got hurt.An inspector I know was one of these people, afterwards, he was thought to be the biggest a**hole in the world because nothing slid by him. But as he said; "once is enough."

    Corporate lawyers not MSHA are the problem. As others have said, with a "modification to the ROPS, any two bit lawyer would own you in a heartbeat if something happened and someone got hurt. If an operator somehow falls off the machine, it will be the beverage holder that caused it, even if he fell on the opposite side. Not saying it is right, but it is the way it is.

    Darn, I am glad I am retired now.
     
  13. icestationzebra

    icestationzebra Senior Member

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    Scrub Puller - that looks more like protection from a meteor shower! :wink2 I would have to pull up the standard to be sure, but I beleive a ROPS only has to withstand the max GVW without crushing the operator. Forestry equipment gets into falling tree protection but I haven't worked on any of that type of equipment yet so I'm not familiar with the regs. If you are falling/rolling some distance into the gullies and/or dealing with trees then I would want an upgrade over a standard ROPS too!

    And a general comment about bolting vs. welding - there are some scenarios where a bolt will work better than a weld. Designing a weld joint can be a tricky beast. Fatigue life and ease of manufacturing are usually on opposite sides of the scale.

    By the way, do they expect a new ROPS or just remove the can holder?

    ISZ
     
  14. Scrub Puller

    Scrub Puller Senior Member

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    Yair . . .

    Good stuff ISZ it's a great pleasure on this forum to get feedback from other parts of the world even if some of my views on matters are fifty years out of date. (big grin)
     
  15. Delmer

    Delmer Senior Member

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    I have a real hard time believing that. Unless there was an outright payoff from the contractor to the inspector, or something similar. "Hung out to dry", sure, but even losing a job is pretty rare from what I've seen.
     
  16. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    Only if it need's welded or cut in half to be lengthened .
     
  17. 96_Bear

    96_Bear Active Member

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    I use to build remote television site trucks. We made the boxes and lengthened frames all the time. We added tag axles, and even did slide outs for under 25GVWR and up to 53 foot box trailers. We did a weld in frame for the length, then an inlay and over lay bolted in. The only modification we ever did to our process was to start doing diagonal cuts to frame instead of straight cuts when we did lengthen them. Kinda of a big rush when you pull a $120,000 plus rig in and start cutting it up with a torch!
     
  18. td25c

    td25c Senior Member

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    That's cool 96_Bear !

    My background is similar only we were stretching out trucks for grain & dump beds . Would build drive lines as well .

    Hence when I see threads like this I get a little confused from a structural welding standpoint ?????

    I get the whole MSHA inspector thing . Got that .........;)
     
  19. old-iron-habit

    old-iron-habit Senior Member

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    Here's my cut and welded double frame I recently picked up. 10'-5" of flatbed and 18 ft of dump. It has never cracked that I can see.
     

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  20. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

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    This reminds me of going to one of our small gravel operations years back to change the Camel-back spring in an old Mack. One of the main leafs had broke and to keep running the truck which was only used to stock material in the plant the boss had welded the spring together! He laid a maybe 3/4 inch bolt inline next to the spring over lapping the gap in the spring. Then ran the weld along either side of the bolt. It actually held, he told me as long as the weld was inline with the spring it would hold pretty good, if if weld across it would just snap. Sounded like he had done this a few times before!

    Was fun fighting that old spring out with no jack other than the one bottle jack to hold up the truck. Working alone the only way I could get the old one out and new one in was one leaf at a time. Bottom leaf with center bolt first then stack one leaf at a time on the last one. I'm sure the U-bolts were far from tight but good enough for where it was working!