Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here


Roll cage design loads?

Roll cage design loads?

Roll cage design loads?

I'm designing a roll over protection system for my personal pickup truck and would like to know what loads I need to design to.

I started with a CAD model for the connection points and packaging. I then modeled the design in Femap using line elements representative of the tubing cross-sections.

Now I'm stuck thinking of how to load the model to asses it. Are there automotive standards for roll over protection and if so what are they? This is not in my industry.

I started with the vehicle weight as a static load on the sides and top in which it is well under yield. I then assumed an impact at 40 mph with a 12 inch deflection which gave me a load of around 300,000 lbs. Using this as a static load overwhelms the structure. Can someone point me in the right direction?

RE: Roll cage design loads?

The formal standards for ROPS are at sae.org. Bring your wallet.
Start by getting the index, which I think no longer fits on a CD.

According to an old friend who was a part-time steward at the Mt. Clemens, MI dirt track,
their local standard for roll cage assessment included vigorous application of a heavy sledge, anywhere and everywhere, and visual examination for yield, and especially weld cracks.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Roll cage design loads?

I start with NHRA roll cage construction requirements. Probably SCCA and SCTA (Bonneville) has some too.

RE: Roll cage design loads?

I'm sure the references listed above will cover the question of strength of your attachment points, but for what it is worth, photo below shows result of a 4 point roll bar tied only to body sheet metal without appropriate body reinforcement or frame tie-in.

I witnessed this slow speed rollover on a rock face where the 4 point attached roll bar had two of the roll structure feet go through the floor to be stopped only by the leaf springs directly below. The failure mode was a combination of the 1/4" roll plate foot shear cutting through body sheet metal and body spot welds tearing apart. Driver was very lucky to have no injuries.

Ron Fournier's Metal Fabricators Handbook who has an extensive history in race and specialty car construction is somewhat dated, but a worthwhile read.

RE: Roll cage design loads?

For what its worth, the SCCA addresses sports racer and formula cars using the following criteria:

The roll bar must be capable of withstanding the following stress loading applied simultaneously to the top of the roll bar: 1.5 (X) laterally, 5.5 (X) longitudinally in both the fore and aft directions, and 7.5 (X) vertically, where (X) = the minimum weight of the car

RE: Roll cage design loads?

Good to see some hard numbers. They seem very high to me, but if everyone works to the same rules, why not? I agree with the hammer method, that's how i test my welding, but it is not very helpful as an analytical design case!


Greg Locock

New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Roll cage design loads?

Thank you for the replies.

The fabricator is a desert race guy and pointed me towards the SCORE rule book. They are very simplistic, with a main tube size specified by the vehicle weight. The max being 4k lbs. There are also general design guidelines, but these apply to a full cage, not just a functional roll bar.


Mr168, I'll give your loading cases a whirl and see how my design does. I trust the SCCA would be able to spec out roll bar properly.

RE: Roll cage design loads?

I would submit that a hammer is a pretty terrible way to evaluate a roll cage subject to impact from a multi-ton assembly.

You might be able to detect cracked welds from the sound you hear but any purpose other than that seems like a waste of time.

RE: Roll cage design loads?

Could refer to the FIA regs, granted the web page is hard to navigate, but they do have roll over protection guidelines, for various classes of cars, so may glean some info there.



NX 9, Teamcenter 10

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close