The *WORST MISTAKE* a new tractor owner can make (modding ROPS)


[music] Neil, from Messick’s here. One of the most
cringe-inducing things that we see a
new tractor owner do is to modify their
roll bar in some way. Oftentimes, guys get the idea
that they want to put lights up on the ROPS or a nice bright light
bar across the top or put a toolbox or something
back around the side over here. People can come up
with all kinds of things that they would like to
attach onto this structure. The one thing that we always
have to be very conscious of is that you can actually ruin
the integrity of your roll bar by doing some
of those things. Specifically, we don’t want to see guys
drilling holes in this roll bar or welding on it
in any way. That’s because the roll bars
themselves are made to meet standards that
are set out by SAE internationally
or OSHA here in the US, that are going to define
the amount of strength that this roll bar
has to have in order to keep
the tractor from rolling over. If you look back
around the back on the base of the roll bar
plates themselves, you’ll see that every one
of those roll bars has a little plate on it that defines those standards and actually has an individual
serial number for that roll bar. As a dealer, we are always
very conscious about liability. You know how easy
it is to be sued anymore. We’re very conscious
of watching that when we resell the tractor
for some reason, that we have a roll bar on
the machine that is fully intact. If you go and
you drill a hole in it or weld on it
in some way. We now can’t trust the structural
integrity of this roll bar anymore because it’s been
modified in some way from the testing and the definitions
that are required of it. If you have something that
you want to do with this roll bar. There’s one or two ways
to accomplish that. You can find U-Bolts and that kind
of stuff to go around the roll bar and a bracket to go
on the other side in order to hold
things in place so that you can mount
what you want on here. You’ll see work lights
are typically done that way. They’ll have a u-bolt
that’ll go around here. Sometimes we see guys
buying inexpensive lights and that kind of stuff and using the factory once
they come with that hardware. Unfortunately, drilling a hole in the
roll bar ends up being their solution. There’s one other thing
that we can offer. We have this bracket here
done by a guy called Billy Worx. Billy Worx is actually
a local company to us. A guy and his son come
in here every couple of months and kind of restock us
on these brackets. This is a special bracket
that has foam on the inside so that it doesn’t
rattle against the roll bar. It has some easy
quick-release pins on it allowing you to easily
take your items and pull them off and move
them around the roll bar. That’s particularly useful
for things like work lights that you might
want up at the top when you’re doing
snow removal and stuff. If you swing your
roll bar down you want to move
the light over to the side. That it’s still useful down
the side of the machine. The Billy worx brackets
allow you to do that. These are sold in
two different sizes, a 2×2 or a 2×3, depending on the channeling
that’s used on your ROPS. You’ll see links to purchase these
things down here at the bottom. Not to say that this is the only
way to get things done, but it is a convenient way to keep it from
damaging your roll bar. In the event that you
do damage one of these things and say we had
a machine traded in that the customer
removed the roll bar or drilled in it
for some reason. We would actually figure
into the deal the cost that it’s going to take
to replace this roll bar. Because it’s safety equipment, Kubota sells these things
really inexpensive. There are anywhere between
$250 to $450 or so depending on how large
and complex they are. The roll bars themselves aren’t
grossly expensive. However, because it’s such
a big odd shaped piece shipping them
can be really costly. It does add up, but simply is taking a drill bit
through this thing can cost you
several hundred dollars in the resale value
of your tractor. Be conscious of that. If you want to use your roll bar
for those kinds of things look for ways
to put them on there that aren’t going to damage
the integrity of the roll bar. Companies like Kubota
have not been blind to what people have
been doing to their roll bars. In the latest generation,
here the BX 80 series. We’re starting to see
some places where holes are actually being engineered
into the roll bar for your use. In the case of this tractor here,
you’ll see there’s a pair of holes down here at the bottom and
a pair of holes up here at the top that you can use for fixing
all kinds of things to in a manner that’s
not going to compromise the structure of the roll bar. Tthat’s a quick tip for
a new tractor owner. If you have a need for parts
or service for your tractors or you’re looking
for a new machine or you could use one of
these Billy Worx brackets, give us a call at Messick’s. We’re available at
800.222.3373 or online at
messicks.com. [music]

65 comments on “The *WORST MISTAKE* a new tractor owner can make (modding ROPS)”

  1. EOSJOE says:

    Good video. Nice light brackets. Thanks.

  2. MRJOHNDEERE3720 says:

    im i the only 1 having trouble watching there vids? they keep freezing on me..

  3. Rob Dickinson says:

    Good video on safety

  4. FishFind3000 says:

    But it’s in the way!

  5. Shiawassee Gunner says:

    I mean i get it from the liability standpoint, but isnt on a lot of roll bars there existing welds for the pin brackets. The fact that it is a folding roll bar kind of negates any argument against this practice as there is many holes in it from just how it is assembled as well as many welds depending on manufacturer. From Messicks standpoint i would say yes, cover your butt against lawsuits by covering your bases. But for someone buying a used tractor this issue is not a real concern for safety. And if you are putting a light bracket on your tractor then its at your own risk. I have grown up on tractors with no roll bar and no seatbelts. and the common practice is if you dont use roll bar dont use your seat belt so you can get out of the seat and not be trapped. I get the resale issue to a dealer as well.

    But all said and done, a few 1/4 inch holes are not a real threat, some small tack welds are not a real threat. Big holes, or big welds yes it can be an issue of safety , but look at a UTV, there are often times all kinds of holes through out the roll cage to mount accessories. This isnt an issue to me, because i hardly use my roll bar as it is. Few exceptions is on the road or while on a hill. other than that flat ground moving manure and cleaning stalls no i dont use it. And i wouldnt think twice about adding anything to them either.

  6. steve holton says:

    what would Messick's do if I wanted to trade in my NH TC33DA which has Two ~ 3/8 " Holes through each both faces of each side of the R.O.P.s ? Hold that statement and rethink. You can't hold it against Me. I didn't drill them. NH Did!

  7. steve holton says:

    Oh, Yeah, I forgot to mention, I've been driving tractors for the last 62 years and never have nor ever will where a seat belt. If it starts to roll, I'll be on the ground on the opposite side before the R.O.P.s hits the ground.

  8. bill smith says:

    Lets test it out. Go roll a tractor over and then drill some holes in the roll and roll it again. Because i don;t believe it. In fact my kubota open cab has holes drilled in it in several places and i caught a big tree branch and it lifted the whole tractor up and nothing happened except my heart getting ready to stop.Sounds like someone traded in one he modified and you made a video after arguing him about trade in value. Hate for you to see my old Ford that is jury-rigged all over. We farmers do that sorta thing. Besides……….best roll over protection you can have is 2 good feet to jump with.

  9. southerndirt 95 says:

    That’s the first thing that gets taken off when we buy a new tractor working in chicken houses even folded down they are to tall

  10. Josh says:

    How much do the brackets cost?

  11. MrFakit says:

    The worst thing people do with their ROPS is leave it folded down 24/7

  12. 2fast65 says:

    oops mine didnt fold i cut and shortened it and welded it back together so i can get it in the garage.

  13. Pete k says:

    Used U bolts on mine. And cheap and allows me to adjust anything.

  14. Kaptain 1964 says:

    U bolts are fine as long as some ham fisted person only lightly tightens them, if done up tight they will partially crush the tube and that weakens it more than a couple of small holes. So u bolts are NOT a way to avoid litigation.

  15. Sidney Mathious says:

    That is one thing I took into consideration when I purchased my first tractor, and took into consideration when buying my second one also. I have not made any changes to my tractor's ROPS, and won't except tor maybe adding hardware which won't harm the tractor in case of a possible rollover.

  16. Ben Hollingsworth says:

    I write structural steel engineering software for a living. The key when drilling holes through structural members (whether they be steel roll bars or wooden floor joists) is to place the holes through the neutral axis (generally the center) of the member. When the member is stressed, one edge is under tension and the other is under compression. The center sees neither of these forces, and therefore won't compromise the strength of the member when you remove material. This is why castellated beams (I-beams with large voids cut out of the middle) are popular for saving weight without significantly reducing strength.

    While I'm sure that some tractor owners do make a mess of their ROPS (just like some plumbers & electricians goober up structural framing), Neil sounds a lot like Chicken Little when claiming that they have to replace any ROPS that has a single hole drilled through it.

    Yes, attaching accessories with U-bolts is perfectly safe, as long as you don't crimp the steel by over-tightening it. However, drilling into the ROPS can also be equally safe when done correctly.

  17. netpoke58 says:

    Good video. The title was a little mis-leading to me. The actual worst thing any new tractor owner can do is loan it out and expect it come back in the same shape as it was before.

  18. Fred Kaminski says:

    Humm- light bar, tool box? Thanks for the ideas! Your pushing Billy Worx products? Hack!

  19. carjacker0 says:

    "some guys" you mean Paul Short.

  20. super6954 says:

    I totally get the issues, When Billstmaxx was going to drill holes in the safety frame of the green branded contraption he digs holes with in the cemetery. Quite a few of us pointed out the liability issue "when" something goes wrong and somebody is injured or killed, He made clamps after that. There are quite a few guys in England/ Europe restoring classic tractors where the safety cab structure is rotten to. It's the same issue if there is ever a problem. The minute they cut out steel and weld in new that whole cab structure is scrap and should be condemned as unsafe for purpose. The HSE over there has been making farmers stop using the tractors where safety structures are rotten if they see them during inspections.

  21. soaringtractor says:

    Try taking one of those Kubotas down through a densely planted orchard and see how far you get and how much of your crop you destroy !!!! To have to prune your orchard to clear that ROPS would destroy 1/2 your crop !!! and IF you are growing semi dwarf or dwarf trees, good luck on that !!! Who ever wrote that silly ass law has never been out in the real world of agriculture !!! This argument has been going on for 60 years since they started this bullshit !!!! Ever look at some of the old orchard type tractors ??? Built that way for a reason !!!!

  22. terry jenkins says:

    You can modded any think you just have to know what your doing or some who does!

  23. GP Outdoors says:

    Good Video thanks Neil. Do you ship to Canada?

  24. GP Outdoors says:

    And also a big Hat's off to Mr. Billy Works. This is a big gap in Tractor supply which you can tell by all the videos on YouTube of folks like me trying to find ways to mount work lights on the ROPS- U-Bolts, tie wraps, velcro, 2×4 studs etc. I just mounted mine last weekend and I used tie wraps because I didn't want to use u-bolts- they rust and scratch my tractor and also just plain look bad. Good call and I am definitely ordering them.

  25. Tyler Kruckman says:

    too late. had to trim off 2.5 inches off my bx2370 got tired of ripping my garage door off

  26. Roger H says:

    Playing the devils advocate: So you are telling us that if you take in a tractor and you adjust the trade in because of issues with the ROPS, then you are going to install a new ROPS before you resell the tractor? Maybe you will, but does Kubota have a policy to make sure ALL dealers tow the line or will someone get dinged on the trade in and the next buyer get screwed in buying an unsafe Rops and then gets screwed again if he trades it in? How do I know which one is authorized to have holes in it and which ones aren't. Do ALL kubota sales people know this too. Where can we get this information before we go to tractor shop? In following the 'Kubota tractors and equipment forum on Facebook, you know some dealers shouldn't be dealers'.

    Kubota has muddied the water by having predrilled holes in some ROPS and not others. I think they would be better to create specs and possible templates as to where and what size hole could be drilled and the type of fastener required. see Ben Hollingsworths post below.

  27. NebukedNezzer says:

    I had to attach things to roll bars and roll cages. I used a strong adhesive.

  28. NebukedNezzer says:

    like truck frames, do not drill holes or weld.

  29. Craig Cosgrove says:

    IMHO People are overwhelmingly missing the point. It is strictly a LIABILITY issue. The ROPS can have holes and welds and whatever else the OEM deems they want on there. The reason they can do that and you cannot (and still have it be resalable by a (reputable) dealer), is that whatever holes and welds the OEM made were part of the assembly that was TESTED. Whatever you do to that machine in your shed is not TESTED and will not hold up in court. What I interpret Neil's point to be, is that his business is never going to take the risk of selling a piece of safety equipment that someone modified (in their shed or anywhere else) as it is cheaper for him to put a new ROPS on then it is to pay lawyers to defend that the modifications that you made did not cause the piece of equipment to fail. That is a very expensive proposition, as it is nearly impossible to prove that in court. So now he has to pay lawyers a bankrupt-able amount of money ON TOP of the settlement he has to pay because he lost in court. This has nothing to do with Messick's thinking the 2 1/4" holes are a structural problem… it is a legal problem.

  30. dom Washa says:

    don't drill or weld. The plates riveted right??

  31. RockNSteady says:

    Too bad I do not live near Messick's. I unable to get my local authorized Kubota dealer to: return an email, calls, or even give me a quote for a new machine. Enjoy the information you provide.

  32. Ken Graeff says:

    DO NOT DRILL THE ROPS that’s the equivalent of the idiot stickers they put all over the tractors

  33. tree Climbing says:

    But the Warning Placard has been drilled & riveted on. Say what !

  34. CP Topher's says:

    I have a L3901 and the rops isn't even fully welded (designed that way !!?) Any way, I also have a 1961 john deere that: "doesn't need no stinkin' rops".

  35. Thomas Crawford says:

    My salesman tried to tell me that I no longer have a new tractor warranty because of 2 holes I drilled for my new lights. If I ever trade it I will be keeping RB and lights and pay the $150 to replace. Problem solved. I went over his head and to the owner of dealership, and he gave me a 5 year warranty and fixed any issue I had without any question. That's customer service. Tractor purchased in 2014 only have 3 year, but I got a 5 year. Going in this spring after snow goes for some warranty work and everything is all covered(4yo with 450h). Backhoe complete valve bank failure.(at 150 hours of use) And attachments are only 1 year warranty. There is some issue that is wrong. No way I should be having any valve bank issue at 150hours. Complete valve bank replacement. Getting off topic sorry. Just showing what a good dealer I have.
    There was a lady that sued MC D's for spilling coffee on HERSELF. So if some dope bought a tractor with drilled holes and rolled it and it collapses, not because of the 30 foot drop, You folks would never sue……… yes and I have statue of liberty for sale if anyone wants it..
    Like I said, my tractor I'll do what I want, when I sell or trade I'll replace the RB and any other safety item. Just to protect myself from idiots that spill coffee on themselves.
    Did I mention that the dealer put my seatbelt on WRONG .lol Across my stomach, not legs like it should be.
    Very good video, nicely done as you always seem to do a good job. Always informative.
    I see a lot of people leaving the RB down for whatever reason. Will not fit in garage will not go under trees, WILL NOT protect you if it's folded down and you roll over!!!. (i'm telling your wife)

  36. Ken Graeff says:

    What happens if I drill the ROPS and take the IDIOT STICKERS off the tractor 😂

  37. rvkubotaman says:

    Wait, I just saw Kubota drill some holes in the rops and that is ok, those holes didn't look anything special, but if we drilled the same hole the rops would not hold up, ok I get it. Yea brackets are ok but I don't care to put u bolts and scratch up the whole rops where it looks like hell and rusts later.

  38. rvkubotaman says:

    Well doing major remodeling to the rops could be an issue, 1/4 inch hole can't imagine would cause rops to collapse, but I'm not a factory or certify things of this nature. But let me run this by everyone, 4 years ago when I bought my new bx25 it showed up I put it in my garage for the night. At about 10pm I decide let me go out and admire my new toy, jumped in the seat was looking around at it and then put seat belt on. Well SIX hours later I forced myself out of the seat, the seatbelt would not open, no one at home to help, my phone on the bench across the garage, no way to get to anything to help me cut the seatbelt. Living in Florida I was drenched in sweat and I somehow used the rops to pull myself up and out of the seat as I was covered in sweat which helped. Not a happy evening trying to enjoy my new toy. But think if you were mowing along a lake and you tipped over and could not undo the belt and you drowned, not a good thing, so things do go bad. Had kubota people from the factory show up the next day with the dealer to obtain that seatbelt. Tractor has been great would never trade it, but I never use the belt.

  39. Zach Zimmerman says:

    They put that is their for safety

  40. Corpse1984 says:

    Damn, I made that mistake

  41. Vin Vin says:

    Good video Neal. I myself, do NOT modify ANY safety feature`s on ANYTHING i own, they`re there for a reason.
    I`ve seen enough accidents in my old age that tells me to use common sense. You`ll usually live a little longer than the guy that got crushed under his tractor. Better to be smart and alive than end up stupid and dead.

  42. S Winn says:

    dont need to drill holes when you have duck tape and zip ties

  43. Derek Gecas says:

    Industrial strength magnets can be bought for $10-$15 and can be used to mount lights and other accessories. This gives the benefit of moving the lights when the ROPS is folded. They are also helpful when the light gets caught on a tree branch as it will fall and hang by the wire instead of breaking.

  44. SZimmProductions says:

    I own a B3200. I couldn't get around with that rediculosly high factory ROPS. I was constantly getting myself in serious trouble making contact with large branches etc. and I couldn't drive into my garage. As a result I always had the thing in the down position leaving me no protection and wide open for a rollover accident. I also have a friend who has a B3200 and he too has raised his front end off the ground mowing unfarmilliar properties. He injured his shin badly on the clutch pedel when the tractor pushed through and the front end came crashing down. Because of that I decided some protection is better than none in the down position. I took the upper half of my ROPS to a profesional machinist and had him remove a good 6 inches. He did an amazing job and you can't tell it wasn't like that from the factory. Now my ROPS stays up all the time.
    I understand the purpose of of the extra height is rollover "prevention" and I have downgraded to rollover "protection" but I know what's best for my situation. While I do agree with most of what is said herein the video, I dont like to hear a video nanny people in such general terms without all the facts. Kubot builds a product for everyone and not situation specific. And unfortunately they need to play CYA too. Their oversized ROPS did not fit how and where I use my tractor and it was getting me in serious trouble. Again, with all due respect to the video, I would like to point out I no longer have a problem making contact and I am better protected with my rollbar up. So thanks Messicks guy, in general good advice, but I'll stick to my common sense.

  45. Brandon B says:

    I'll take my chances.

  46. Evelyn Hensen says:

    roll bars are greate for taking down the garage door

  47. zombiehunter999 says:

    so this was an ad for billy worx brackets as the manufacturers drill holes to put the information plate rivets on and then suddenly and magically make replacement rops with factory holes.

  48. Prjndigo says:

    FDOT strips or no FDOT strips, everything else is illegal.

  49. What’s his face you know that guy says:

    Duct tape. Just use lots and lots of duct tape.

  50. roy hoco says:

    I added training wheels on my tractor so it can't flip over

  51. David Meier says:

    I find it hard to believe two small holes drilled in the top for lights puts the roll bar integrity into question.

  52. Turbo Diesel says:

    Simple answer, if you are going to trade your tractor into any dealership (BAD IDEA anyhow), simply remove roll-bar when new and store it in the back of your shop. When you are ready to trade tractor in, re-install the roll-bar. Ok, so that's not a great idea, I know, I know… But, like it or not, it happens all the time. What's worse is that most people don't ever put them back on.

    Even worse yet, they torch or sawzall the ROPS off, because they are too difficult to remove or were made to be an integral part of holding fenders and other things onto the tractor when it was designed by the manufacturer.

    Saying you can't weld or drill into a ROPS is total bullshit. The problem is, it greatly depends where and how the modification is done. Some modifications are safe, and some are not. Because most people have no grasp of physics and engineering, they should not do the mods themselves. An experienced welder or repair shop should be able to do the modification to a safe specification. Again, problem is, nobody wants the liability, so often times it is up to the owner to make the modification themselves, leading to a dangerous situation/modification. I personally will do such mods for others as long as they sign a disclosure waiver of any and all liability on my part, in which I and they each get a copy of said signed form. Just good common sense, called "covering thy ass".

    **Any open-station tractor with a non-folding ROPS is totally assenine, as it is totally impractical in a vast majority of use applications.** I'm against the making of too many laws, however, there really needs to be a law that prohibits ANY open-station tractor from having a solid, non-folding roll-bar installed. This simple legislation alone would solve 2/3rds of the problems with people modifying/removing/destroying the ROPS that are on their tractors, because there would no longer be the need to do so.

    Unfortunately, every application of where a tractor will be used may be different. What works for one owner/operator will often not work for another. ROPS along with SEATBELTS certainly have their safety benefits, but also many operational drawbacks that are unacceptable in many circumstances.

    Nothing will ever replace good 'ol common sense when operating any tractor.

  53. Fine Family Flower Farm Specialty Cut Flowers says:

    Question: have you done a standard canopy versus deluxe canopy video? Might be good for a 3 minute Thursday.

  54. Ivan Shivolski says:

    Talk about big babies. For 40k I'll do what I want to it. Paint it fucking purple.

  55. Ryan Meyer says:

    What about replacing a bx1870 folding rops with a slightly shorter solid bx1860 rops?

  56. JB317 says:

    Bull shit…..Drill and tap a 1/4-20 hole to mount a light,and it ruins the integrity of the ROPS….Bull Shit!!!! Normally you have somewhat informative videos,but this is total bull shit!!!!

  57. Dave Roberts says:

    Here's an idea, don't get stupid and roll your tractor over in the first place. Safety gear prevents the thinning of the herd. Our gene pool is becoming polluted with the stupid gene because we keep saving their dumbasses.

  58. Motion Clone says:

    Any ACTUAL case law, settlements etc from someone modifying a ROPs with a tab weld or small hole and getting sued for the next owners injury or death?

    Also is there any actual proof these dealerships take off the old ROPs with an unauthorized hole in it to replace with a new unmodified one? I can see a dealership SAYING thats what they are going to do to drive the trade price down .

    Any piles of scrap ROPS at any dealerships in the USA? Got any pics or docs of that?

    Sounds like a bunch of BS without some actual supporting cases/docs/pics

  59. P&N Project Channel says:

    Well i just made a video about how I drilled holes in my ROPS. Wish I would have seen this before. How much does a new ROPS on BX2380 typically run?

  60. Josef Berns says:

    Worst mistake is not having the ROPS upright and in place.

    I knew a dumbass who got squished when he was mowing a steep hill on his yard, of course the roll bar wasnt up and he was dead instantly. SMH 🤦‍♂️

    Edit: what was even worse was his wife was hollering at him to put the roll bar up not 5 minutes before he killed himself

  61. Rhodesian ridgeback 77 says:

    Yes the roll bar is there too save your life . With out a seatbelt on though it’s not much use . You can get thrown under bar with no seat belt . Clamps are the only way too go. Tube will always give or rip apart at weakest point being hole or Weld on point Best thing too do is never get in a situation where tractor can roll over . There is always a safer way of doing things .

  62. SmoothBore says:

    So, if "I" put a hole in the ROPS it's ruined, … but it's OK if the manufacturer does ? Because I'm stupid, … right ?

  63. Roger Haworth says:

    The rops on our 2012 B2620 already has a hole in it from the factory at the top center. Wondering why this is. I knew the owner of this tractor since new and he did not drill the hole in it. Is it possible it could of been for a wire to routed thru from the bottom for a light (s) later on? Thanks

  64. El Lobo says:

    A proper weld is as strong or stronger than the base metal. How convenient that he pushes his friends product.

  65. Glenn W says:

    Removed mine entirely best decision I ever made 800 hours later still can't believe I didn't do it sooner. If you're somebody who doesn't wear their seatbelt which is probably about 99.9% of us the ROPS doesn't do you any good.

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