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

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 2x2 or a 2x3, 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


Tags: kubota