Originally designed for mooring boats, bollards in the modern age have a variety of practical purposes. These short, sturdy vertical posts now play an important role in traffic management, pedestrian guidance and property protection, creating a harmonious flow between pedestrians, vehicles and their environment.
With many different bollards available, defining the purpose and environment of these products will help to dictate the best style for your next project. Important considerations include; how can bollards help improve site activity? Should they allow for temporary vehicle access? How much impact will the bollards need to be able to withstand? What look and finish do you prefer? And more!
In this blog, we’ve combined some of the knowledge of our team to outline the main types of bollards and where they should be used, to ensure the solution you choose is fit for the job!
This blog will cover:
- Surface Mounted Bollards
- Inground Bollards
- Stainless Steel Bollards
- Removable Bollards
- Flexible Bollards
- Impact Absorbing Bollards
- Timber Bollards
- Additional Factors To Consider
Surface Mounted Bollards
Surface Mount Steel Bollards are bolted onto concrete using four bolts. Due to the installation method, they offer a more cost-effective alternative to inground bollards, as well as a much faster install time.
These primarily act as visual and physical deterrents and although they cannot typically take the same degree of force as inground bollards, their strength should not be underrated. Being available in diameters of 115mm and 165mm, surface mounted bollards are a popular option for separating traffic from people, protection of pallet racking, door tracks, corners of buildings and visually marking perimeters.
As surface-mounted bollards need to be bolted to concrete for maximum strength, if your carpark is asphalt then you will need to pour concrete footers to bolt the bollards to. We recommend excavating and concreting a footing of approximately 400 x 400 x 400mm and bolting the bollards to that.
These are available in diameters of 115mm and 165mm. Click here to download the Surface Mounted Bollards Spec Sheet.
The inground bollard is designed to be concreted into the ground (approx. 530mm) to become a permanent, solid fixture. More than just a piece of pipe concreted into the ground, our inground bollards also have welded starter bars at the base to help tie them and stop them from turning in the concrete, along with a knock-on cap that can be removed to fill the bollard with concrete. Filling the inground bollards with concrete further improves their strength and impact resistance, however is not essential.
Inground bollards are designed primarily for traffic control, property protection and pedestrian safety. As they are permanently set into the concrete, they provide maximum protection of buildings and assets in the case of accidental vehicle collisions or intentional ram raids.
Thanks to their strength, inground bollards are often used in front of glass storefronts, electrical boxes, ticket machines or other valuable utilities. Installation of this type of bollard can even lead to a discount in insurance premiums, therefore it’s recommended to discuss this enhancement in security with your provider.
These are available in diameters of 115mm and 165mm. Click here to download the Inground Bollard Spec Sheet.
Stainless Steel Bollards
Stainless Steel Bollards are often used for their more durable and visually appealing finish in areas where looks really matter! Made from 316 Marine Grade Stainless Steel, one of the significant advantages of stainless steel bollards is that they are strong and long-lasting.
Due to their durability, they can provide an aesthetic value to places such as parking lots or front of shopping malls where they are installed. They are the best option in areas where bollards may be exposed to salt spray or susceptible to scratching.
These are available as an Inground or Surface Mounted version. They are normally supplied at 1100mm high, but custom sizes are also available if required.
Removable inground bollards provide security protection similar to fixed bollards, however also facilitates variable access control. They do this by creating a temporary barrier when installed to prohibit unauthorised vehicle access and guide traffic. When removed, it allows for unobstructed access into the area as required.
This access adaptability makes them particularly useful in carparks, community spaces or areas where emergency or service vehicles need to enter periodically. For example, a warehouse may use them in front of their large roller door outside of work hours to prevent theft and damage.
The heavy-duty ground sleeve incorporates a hinged cover which locks to the post with a padlock, preventing vehicle entry. When the bollard is removed, the hinged cover safely and neatly covers the hole. These come with a carry handle on the side for convenience.
For locations where the floor cannot be core drilled, such as suspended or prestressed slabs and areas where you do not want to expensively excavate, we now have surface mounted removable bollards. The bollard locks into the surface mounted receiver shoe via an internal locking system and can be unlocked with a specially designed key and removed to allow access when required.
These make a cost-effective alternative to steel bollards where you are looking to create a visual barrier and guidance rather than providing protection from impact for pedestrians and/or assets. Designed to flex in the case of impact, these do not damage the vehicle but give an early warning to drivers.
There are a couple of types of flexible bollards depending on your needs:
- Our One-piece Flexi Bollards are a highly visible, cost-effective and durable solution. With reflective bands for night visibility, they are ideal for marking lanes, separating vehicles and pedestrians or highlighting hazards in carparks, particularly in tight driving situations. These can be bolted to asphalt or concrete.
- The Ultraflex Delineator is commonly used on roads to improve driver, cyclist and pedestrian safety by clearly separating lanes. It is a premium quality delineator designed for residential roads and highway use. It is NZTA approved and offers the best option for lane separation on live roads. Its superior durability is designed to withstand over 100 direct hits in excess of 100kmh, however these are also recommended in low-speed roads and even carpark areas where durability is key. The 2 piece design means that the post can be easily replaced if required, and also offers a secondary use in yards when temporarily removed to allow access for vehicles.
Impact Absorbing Bollards
Recently added to our broad range are the Slow Stop energy absorbing bollard and the d-flexx flexible bollard. These help you save costly floor repairs from having bollard bolts ripped out of the ground!
The d-flexx Flexible Bollard is made from a recyclable polymer which flexes to absorb the energy when forklifts, pallet trollies and other light vehicles hit them, and then return to their original shape. These bollards have been physically crash tested and are certified by the German testing company TÜV NORD, rated to absorb the impact of a 2,000kg vehicle moving at 5.1km/h. Suitable for use indoors or outdoors and with a 5-year warranty, they provide protection for pallet rack ends, doorways and pedestrian walkways.
The Slow Stop Energy Absorbing Bollard is a surface mounted steel bollard with an elastomer hidden in the base. The steel post gives the Slow Stop bollard extra durability and means the bollard can easily survive the impact of a 4,000kg forklift travelling at 9km/h (based on a 168mm diameter bollard).
Timber bollards provide a more natural and aesthetically pleasing alternative to steel bollards. Commonly used to block unwanted vehicle access to council reserves and parks, as well provide a softer visual barrier in carparks at retirement villages and schools. We have a wide range of shapes available, including square, square-angled and round, so you can pick the look you like for your site.
Additional Factors to Consider
When deciding on the best bollard for your project requirements, there are other factors alongside the style and installation process that also need to be considered to ensure they are fit for purpose.
- Environment: Our steel bollards are designed for New Zealand weather conditions and are all hot-dipped galvanised, making them corrosion-resistant and ideal for outdoor use. However, if you are intending to use them in a coastal location, we recommend our 316 marine-grade stainless steel bollards which come in both inground or surface-mounted options.
- Colour: Our steel bollards can be powder-coated in safety yellow for high visibility or in line with store colours for brand consistency. Reflective tape comes standard on bollards to improve nighttime visibility.
- Diameter: The size of your bollard will need to be suitable for the required function. Our steel bollards are typically available in both 115mm or 165mm diameters, depending on the level of strength required.
- Spacing: The effectiveness of a row of bollards will also depend on the distance between each. When it comes to spacing, the site’s traffic speed and congestion, visibility, building orientation and the desired purpose should all be considered at the design stage. It’s also important to ensure there is still adequate space for all pedestrians, including mobility scooters and wheelchairs, in accordance with local regulations. If the bollard is intended to protect from ram raids then spacing should be within the parameters of the average car width (6ft).
For more specifications and installation details for our bollards, visit our website to view our full range of high-quality bollards.
Whether they are added onto your site to be a visual deterrent, physical protector or a traffic calming cue for drivers, bollards are highly effective in reducing harm and damage. With a team experienced in supplying and installing all types of bollards, please reach out to us here if you would like to discuss a tailored solution for your next project!
If your bollards are intended to improve warehouse safety then why not download our free Warehouse Safety Checklist and discover additional methods for improving staff and site safety today.