ANSI/OPEI B71.4-2017 – Commercial Turf Care Equipment Safety Specifications: Changes

Riding a ANSI/OPEI B71.4 lawnmower to take care of the turf, or grass.

ANSI/OPEI B71.4-2017 – Commercial Turf Care Equipment – Safety Specifications has been released. This American National Standard gives specifications for commercial turf care equipment, specifically pedestrian-controlled machines, ride-on machines, and implements for use with pedestrian and ride-on machines intended for commercial purposes. The equipment covered by this standard is customarily used by hired operators.

Guidelines are established for reel, rotary, and flail motors, as well as power rakes, but this standard is applicable to all types of consumer turf care equipment. Its specifications, however, are not intended to be used with turf care equipment that is designed primarily for personal use around homes, agricultural purposes, or cutting grass on highways alongside industrial tractors.

ANSI/OPEI B71.4-2017 was developed by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an ANSI-accredited standards-developing organization (SDO) that represents more than 100 power equipment, engine and utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers and serves as the advocacy voice of the industry. OPEI has also recently updated another standard, ANSI/OPEI B71.1-2017 – Consumer Turf Care Equipment – Pedestrian-Controlled Mowers and Ride-On Mowers – Safety Specifications, which strongly coincides with the release of ANSI/OPEI B71.4-2017.

Despite their sharp differences in content (hence, the need for two distinct standard documents), there are some key similarities between the guidance for commercial turf care equipment and the specifications intended to aid in the manufacture of lawn mowers and similar machinery and equipment for commercial use. To give some examples, considerations found among these two products include guards and shields to protect the user from the blade, steering controls, and the management of hot surfaces.

Due to the intersection of their guidelines, many of the key changes made to ANSI/OPEI B71.4-2017 are intended to better harmonize it with ANSI/OPEI B71.1-2017. For both pedestrian-controlled machines and ride-on units for commercial use, these changes include:

  • Pressurized hydraulic hose guarding added
  • Single-color only safety warnings are not permissible
  • Foot probe test was revised
  • Structural integrity tests were revised
  • Thrown object test was revised

If you’d like to learn more about the ANSI/OPEI B71.1-2017 standard and its changes, please refer to our past post on the subject:

Standard Specifications for Pedestrian-Controlled Mowers and Ride-On Mowers (ANSI/OPEI B71.1-2017)

Beyond the alterations that were added to align the two new standards, ANSI/OPEI B71.4-2017 contains several other primary changes. These include:

  • Updated normative references and definitions
  • A separate parking brake is no longer required if equipped with a service brake
  • Lateral stability test no longer required for stand-on sulkies
  • Revised other openings
  • Removed required OM hydraulic component language
  • Removed requirements for hydraulic components
  • Slope control test was revised
  • Lift-off gauge added to lateral stability test

ANSI/OPEI B71.4-2017 – Commercial Turf Care Equipment – Safety Specifications is available on the ANSI Webstore.

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