GRAHAM Brown might have almost died in a quad bike accident, but he says mandatory rollover bars are not the answer.
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In the first six months of this year 14 people, including three children, died in quad bike-related accidents in Australia.
Quad bike rollovers and safety have long been an issue, so the Australian Competition and Consumer (ACCC) introduced mandatory guidelines.
From this October, all new quad bikes will have information affixed to them about the degree of slope at which they will start to over turn. From October, 2021 rollover bars will be mandatory on new quads.
"I could have been dead," Mr Brown recalls following his quad bike accident in 2015 just outside Orange.
"The bike was travelling at about 5km/h and at that critical moment I was leaning to the right and looking over my right shoulder and the bump was on the left."
Mr Brown fell off, his quad bike rolled over the top of him leaving him with broken ribs and substantial injuries to his hip, wrist and shoulder.
"The next day I went to the Carcoar Show and looked at a side-by-side," he said.
"They're more stable, they do have a seatbelt and they have a roll cage.
"Quad bikes are a very, very useful tool, but they are inherently unstable."
Bathurst quad bike seller Cameron Beard said the regulations have forced manufacturers to re-think supplying products to Australia.
"All the major players have pulled out," Mr Beard of Beard Brothers Motorcycles said.
"It's not worth them changing their designs for the Australian market because it's such a small market for them."
Mr Beard said side-by-side vehicles are more expensive to produce and buy, and they are not as nimble to move around.
"The rules put in place are from someone sitting behind a desk that doesn't know what's going on," he said.
The store is currently sold out of quad bikes and Mr Beard said he expects there to be a rush on sales prior to when rollover bars are made compulsory.
The demand for quad bikes is also be felt at Work, Rest, Play in Dubbo with dealer principal Chris Gibson said Orana is one of the largest quad markets in Australia.
"There's massive demand for quad bikes, they've been a productive workhorse in our area for years," he said.
"We've ordered truckloads at the moment, we can't get enough to fill the demand.
"I wouldn't be surprised if larger farmers buy four or five at a time."
Mr Gibson said with quad manufacturers not making quads with rollover bars, his business will transform its sales and service department to cater to side-by-sides.
"It's easier for them [manufacturers] to walk away from the Australian market than to redesign," he said.
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