Bollard and Bollard Cover Highlights and Frequently Asked Questions
Bollards are designed to not only be visual aids to drivers, but are built to stop vehicles from crashing into storefronts, buildings, and pedestrian walkways. Bollards can and have been used to safeguard everything from retail establishments to loading docks, electrical systems and factory machinery.
Here are some of the features a customer should keep in mind as they shop for bollards or bollard covers...
Bollard features and benefits:
Material: Bollards come in a variety of materials, which can help determine whether or not the bollard can be considered impenetrable by a vehicle or not.
Mounting style: A bollard's mounting style is also a factor in how sturdy and impenetrable it may be. For instance in-ground mounting may offer more stability than surface mounting.
Loops: Some bollards include loops to allow barrier chain attachment.
Lights: Some pedestrian bollards include lighting systems to provide a duplicate purpose along walkways and bikeways.
What are the different types of bollards and bollard covers?
Steel, surface-mounted bollards are among the most common bollards for general safety. Typically powder coated in yellow, they are highly visible. This alone goes a long way towards keeping vehicles within their intended boundaries. However the steel structure also allows for a certain amount of physical barrier protection as well. A full-speed vehicle may be able to damage the bollard's surface mounting, but not without significant damage to the vehicle as well. This provides a significant amount of protection against vehicles going where they are not intended to go.
Retractable and removable steel bollards
are designed to accommodate more temporary or variable needs. For instance instead of permanently mounting the bollards to the pavement, a capsule or sleeve is installed in the ground. In the case of retractable bollards, the sleeve is the same depth as the bollard's height so that the bollard can be fully retracted into the ground. This is useful for streets which have variable uses - for instance streets that are closed to traffic on the weekends, but open to traffic throughout the week. Removable bollards can be used in these instances as well, but the bollard sleeve is only deep enough for a sturdy insertion and the bollard can't be fully retracted into the sleeve. Instead, the bollard would need to be removed and stored elsewhere.
are useful for the many steel bollards which are not powder coated in highly visible colors. In these cases, it's quite common to place a high density polyethylene plastic cover over the bollard. These covers are made with a type of plastic that's fairly UV resistant, and typically come in bright colors which are easily visible, or with reflective elements. As you can see in the picture, many of the covers include ribbing at the top where reflective tape can be attached.
come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes so they are sometimes referred to as "decorative bollards". This does not make them any less effective however, and they are often reinforced with sturdy steel rebar. Sometimes these bollards also include lighting elements.
What makes bollards so effective for pedestrian safety?
As we've mentioned above, the most common purpose of a bollard is to impede traffic and protect buildings, pedestrians, or both. Below we'll talk a bit about what makes bollards so effective towards this end.
While a visual barrier is usually all that's needed to help drivers stay in line, some bollards are designed to be truly crash-resistant, meaning they can actually withhold a vehicle's impact and prevent a car moving forward into buildings or pedestrian areas. To achieve this classification, crash-resistant bollards typically have to pass impact-resistance tests. These are the kinds of bollards you'd see at government buildings and other high-security facilities. While intentional impact may be uncommon, a driver attempting to break into a building by ramming a car into its windows at full speed would not be able to penetrate a truly crash-resistant bollard.
Bollards which are not technically classified as crash-resistant still prove to be remarkably effective in impeding vehicle interruptions, however. Even if a bollard isn't truly crash-resistant, technically speaking, it can still cause great damage to a vehicle, which is often enough of a deterrent to keep vehicles out of their way. Furthermore, the driver cannot usually tell by looking at the bollard just how crash-resistant it is. This means a driver confronted with a bollard might simply assume it's impenetrable and fully crash-resistant, even if it's not. Again, this is usually all the deterrent that's needed.
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about bollards or bollard covers:
Q: How easy is it to install bollards?
A: Bollards are installed in different ways depending on the type of bollard. Surface-mounted bollards are perhaps the easiest to install, requiring just a drill bit to create a 3/4 inch opening in the concrete for the bolts to fasten down the base plate.
Q: What kind of bolts are needed for surface-mounting bollards?
A: With most of our bollards, the necessary bolts are included.
Q: Would these bollards stop a vehicle at full speed?
A: Most bollards, (especially those which are just surface-mounted) are not fully impact-resistant, however they are very effective as a deterrent.
Q: Are bollards reflective at night?
A: Bollards don't typically come with reflective tape already on them, but bollard covers often include a ridge at the top where reflective tape can be attached.
Q: Are bollards hollow to fit over steel pipes?
A: Bollards are not built to fit over other bollards, but bollard covers are made for this purpose.