Quadbar makes Australia the world leader in ATV safety

by Susan Lohrer

A rollover test of the Quadbar, showing the life-saving space underneath the ATV.

A rollover test of the Quadbar, showing the life-saving space underneath the ATV. — Photo courtesy of Quadbar Industries Australia

The Quadbar, a crush protection device (CPD) for ATVs, was invented by David Robertson from Queensland. Shaped like a large hairpin, the device bolts to the quad’s tow hitch and is stabilized with brackets fastened to the rear rack. Its height is adjustable so that the top of the Quadbar is lower than the rider’s head. And it can prevent ATV rollovers, crush injuries and asphyxiation.

According to David Sullivan, president of the North American division of Quadbar Industries, “The Quadbar has support from many organizations including the Alberta Injury Center and the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association.”

According to the website, “The Quadbar is best for use that is generally considered safe, and the rollover is inadvertent,“ such as:

  • Workplace environments including mine sites, farms, forestry, parks board and security; 
  • Commercial tourism;
  • Some limited types of recreational use like touring.

“The Quadbar cannot be fitted to the ‘high performance’ style ATVs where the operation is generally considered risky,” states the website.

How it works

The Quadbar can prevent some rollovers entirely simply because it is rigid and extends from the vehicle. And should a quad equipped with a Quadbar manage to roll over, the device can still prevent the quad from crushing the rider. In a sideways roll, the device holds the centre of the quad well above the ground, giving the rider a safe space underneath the vehicle. In a backward roll, the device can change the direction of the roll by 45 degrees, tipping it clear of the rider.

Officer Mark Elwood, OHV Officer / Community Patrol Officer, hard at work with a Quadbar on his ATV.

Officer Mark Elwood, OHV Officer / Community Patrol Officer, hard at work with a Quadbar on his ATV. — Photo courtesy of Quadbar Industries Australia

How it’s been tested

You can see the Quadbar in action here.

The controversy

There was one industry-funded study that stated some types of roll cages (not Quadbars) potentially caused more injuries than they prevented. Based on that study, some ATV manufacturers have been opposed to fitting their machines with anti-roll devices such as Quadbars. Yet recent peer-reviewed studies such as All-Terrain Vehicle Safety―Potential Effectiveness of the Quadbar as a Crush Prevention Device by Melvin L. Myers prove overwhelmingly that these devices can prevent 40 or even up to 80 per cent of serious injuries or deaths due to rollovers, and some Australian manufacturers are warming up to the concept of CPDs. WorkSafe Victoria (Australia) has now declared that a rollover protection device is an appropriate means of reducing risks when ATVs are used in workplaces—so appropriate, in fact, that farmers in Victoria may now face fines upward of $10,000 in the case of an injury or death of an employee using an ATV not equipped with a CPD.  You can read more about it here.

Statistics about CPDs

“Despite the number of CPDs now having been utilised in Australia, New Zealand, and it seems Israel, over an extended period of time, there have been no examples where a person has been seriously injured or killed as a result of a CPD….”

“Tangalooma Island Resort in Queensland has fitted Quadbars to over 100 quad bikes, used by their quad bike tourism operation. The Director of the Tangalooma Island Resort, Mr. Trevor Hassard, has advised that around 3,000 tourists ride their quad bikes per month, and since they fitted Quadbars, injury rates have decreased by around 90%.”

These statistics come from the 2015 report Office of the State Coroner Findings of Inquest.

A question worth asking

Can you get yourself out from beneath a 300-kilogram quad? How about if you’re injured or unconscious?

Most quad users do their best to wear helmets, make smart terrain choices and ride within their ability. Yet rollover accidents continue to result in serious injuries or fatalities. Given that deaths from these rollovers are often the result of crush injuries or asphyxiation from the rider being trapped under the weight of the vehicle, a Quadbar is a safety device worth considering.

Learn more about the Quadbar at www.quadbarsafety.com.

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