What Is a Bollard and 5 Common Uses

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A bollard is a short post placed at intervals to define or block off an area, or to block vehicles from entering an area. Not all bollards are the same. There are a variety of types of bollards that are made from different materials and designs to suit various functions. To choose the right bollards for your needs, you must choose the right type of bollard for your project and goal, as well as the right materials and installation.

Types of Bollards

Bollards fit into three main categories: decorative, safety and security. Each category is designed for different functions. It is important to choose bollards from the category that meets your durability needs.

Decorative Bollard

Decorative bollards have a low impact rating and are designed to line a pathway to direct traffic in an orderly manner. Lights can also be added to these bollards. Decorative bollards are usually installed 4’ to 6’ apart and are bolted to the ground. Common materials for decorative bollards are aluminum, cast iron, plastic, wood or concrete.

Safety Bollard

Safety bollards have a medium impact rating and are suitable for blocking or directing traffic or blocking entrance into an area. They are typically made out of steel, stainless steel or aluminum. Safety bollards are usually spaced 4’ to 5’ feet apart to block cars from driving between them. Installation requires an engineered footing with a concrete enclosure and structural cage.

Security Bollard

Security bollards have a high impact rating and are designed to protect people and property from intentional vehicle intrusion. They are made out of steel or stainless steel and are typically spaced as little as 3’ apart. Installation requires an engineered footing with a concrete enclosure and structural cage.

Bollard Design and Installation

In addition to the type of bollard, you need to consider materials, functional design, footing type and spacing when choosing a bollard setup.

Material for Bollard

The most common materials bollards are made of are steel, stainless steel, cast iron, aluminum, or recycled plastic.

Functional Design

The most common bollard designs are fixed, removable, collapsible, retractable manual, and retractable automatic.

Footing Type

The footing secures the bollard to the ground. Standard footings secure the bollard to the ground using concrete and reinforcing steel.

Bollard Spacing

Spacing between bollards is determined by what you need to keep out and what you need to allow in.

5 Common Bollard Uses

Bollards come in various shapes, sizes and designs, and they are an excellent solution for a wide range of applications. At Blockaides, we work with customers who have diverse structure and usage needs for bollards, and we help them create the unique design they want for their project.

If you’re curious about how you can use bollards, look at our list of common applications.

Common Bollard Uses

Versatile and durable, bollards work well for many different purposes. You have several options to choose from depending on your unique requirements, so evaluate your application and consider which bollard design would work best for you.

1. Blocking or Directing Traffic

Bollards can keep drivers from getting in the wrong lanes, on the curb or in other restricted areas. They can also serve as a visual guide to help people know where to go as they navigate a street, merge onto a lane or turn onto a new road. When you set up bollards along high-risk areas, such as bike or pedestrian paths, you can help drivers stay in their lane and protect passersby.

2. Parking Lot Protection

If you’re looking for a solution to protect your parking lot from intruders, bollards are an excellent way to restrict access and safeguard vehicles inside. Access control and safety devices like bollards serve as visual deterrents that bar vandalism, raids of adjacent buildings and other risks.

3. Drive-Thru Lanes

Guide visitors through drive-thru lanes with bollards to direct them along the right path, maintain order and minimize confusion from drivers about where to go. These access control devices can help drivers stay in their lane as they follow the drive-thru while safely keeping space for other individuals in their cars.

4. Factories and Warehouses

With bollards in factories and warehouses, you can more easily direct inventory loads, forklifts and pallet trucks and workers to the right locations throughout a facility. These access control and safety devices can help maintain a seamless flow of traffic during daily operations, which protects operators, floor workers and inventory while optimizing efficient workflow.

5. Retail Locations

Bollards are ideal for several different uses at retail locations, from directing parking to guiding the flow of foot traffic in and out of the building. Protecting building storefronts is particularly critical — doing so can ensure access for company vehicles or unloading trucks. These safety devices can also help safeguard storefronts from crashes due to careless driving, slippery road conditions or other safety risks.

Custom Bollard Installations

You can install bollards as close together as you need and choose whatever style and material best suits your purpose. The only rules are that you must choose a material and an installation that is strong enough for your purpose and spacing that will effectively block the vehicles you are trying to prevent from entering the area.

Find Your Best Bollard Solutions With Blockaides

Whether you want to use bollards for directing traffic and parking, protecting a space or guiding pedestrians, Blockaides is here to help. We offer customized solutions to match your requirements and deliver the right design, size and functional specifications you need from your bollards. We can work with specific aesthetics and applications to ensure you get the best solutions for your needs.

If you’d like to learn more about our services, contact us to request a quote today.