Development of stability indicators for dynamic Phase I overturn of conventional farm tractors with front axle pivot

Zhen Li, Muneshi Mitsuoka, Eiji Inoue, Takashi Okayasu, Yasumaru Hirai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Tractor overturns are serious potential hazards for operators. While rollover protective structures (ROPS) protect operators passively, greater protection can be achieved through theoretical prediction of a potential overturn. Given effective warning, an operator can act to correct a tractor's motion when a tyre is about to lose contact with the ground. Such a loss of contact is associated with the initiation of a Phase I tractor overturn. However, it remains unclear how the initiation of tractor overturn is influenced by certain factors. Furthermore, the current mathematical models for tractors should be further extended for general utilisation. This study was conducted to develop stability indicators based on a more general model for dynamic Phase I tractor overturn. We considered practical tractor configurations and motion characteristics in a three-dimensional (3D) reference frame in formulating the mathematical model. Tractor stability indicators for overturn and sideslip were derived from force calculations. A parametric study was conducted using an example tractor. The tractor speed and slope angle were found to affect the overturning stability significantly. The coefficient of maximum static friction was found to be the main factor contributing to tractor sideslip. Critical tractor speeds for various ground conditions were identified by considering the zero values of the tractor stability indicators. The critical tractor speed was determined as a function of the maximum static friction and the slope angle. By providing a display device based on ergonomics principles, the results of this study can be further implemented in the form of guidance to operators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-67
Number of pages13
JournalBiosystems Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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