Automatic retractable bollards are an ideal solution for a variety of safety barrier needs. Get your free quote on our high-quality, American-made crash-rated bollards!

Blockaides, Inc. is your one-stop headquarters for high-quality automatic bollard solutions. We feature a wide selection of stainless steel automatic bollard systems with an assortment of drive style and mounting options, so you can find a solution tailor-made to your unique security and traffic control needs. Interested in seeing which if Automatic Bollards are the right solution for you? Learn more from our team, they are here to help.

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Automatic Bollards Types and How They Work from Blockaides

Bollards are valuable tools for making roadways, public areas and private properties safer and more secure. Although these barriers may look like simple metal posts and are often easy to overlook, they are crucial when controlling or restricting vehicle access.

Bollards can help direct and control traffic flow so drivers know where and where not to go. They can also protect pedestrians from vehicles that would otherwise run onto a sidewalk or crash into a building. Bollards can also help homeowners limit vehicular access to their driveways.

Bollards come in several types, including solutions designed for permanent barriers and others for temporary use. Automatic retractable security bollards have the unique ability to raise or lower on command in a matter of seconds, making them a flexible protection solution for deployment in heavy-traffic areas. Automatic rising bollards facilitate more efficient traffic flow and increase security by making it easier to control vehicle access to a property or facility.

Automatic bollards also provide greater convenience when compared to many other types of bollards.

Automatic Bollard Systems From Blockaides

Blockaides, Inc. is your one-stop headquarters for high-quality automatic bollard solutions. We feature a wide selection of stainless steel automatic bollard systems with various drive styles and mounting options, allowing you to find a solution tailor-made to your unique security and traffic control needs.

Interested in seeing whether automatic bollards are the right solution for your application? Learn more from our team members — they are here to help.

Are you already interested in a particular bollard? Reach out to our team to get your project started!

Request a Free Estimate

What Are Automatic Bollards?

Automatic Retractable Bollards from Blockaides

Bollards are an effective tool to block off an area from traffic and control vehicle access. However, what can you do when you only need to block off an area at certain times?

You could employ temporary barriers like traffic cones, but this solution requires someone to set up and remove the cones manually. More importantly, vehicles can effortlessly run over and push away traffic cones. A better solution is to use removable bollards or manual retractable bollards, but you still have the problem of moving them or controlling them manually each time you want to block off or allow access to an area.

The unique solution you need for blocking areas part of the time and allowing access on-demand is automatic bollards, also called pop-up bollards or retractable bollards. Their high-tech design allows automatic security bollards to rise when you want to block an area and disappear into the ground when you want to open an area to traffic and vehicle access.

Unlike other mobile designs, automatic bollard solutions are permanently installed in the ground. However, they don’t have to remain in place at all times as fixed bollard options do. In short, automatic bollards give you the best of both worlds in one product, making them the ideal solution for a wide range of applications.

How Do Automatic Bollards Work?

Hydraulic Retractable Bollard System from Blockaides

Automatic bollards can work using electric, pneumatic or hydraulic power. These power systems allow the driver mechanism to move the bollard up and down automatically. Let’s briefly examine the difference between these three types of automatic bollards:

  • Electric bollards: An electric drive system is a traditional method of raising and lowering automatic bollards. An electric motor moves the piston in the cylinder to control the bollard. Automatic electric bollards have exceptional precision control and make the least amount of noise when they’re working.
  • Pneumatic bollards: Pneumatic bollards rely on compressed air that drives a piston in a linear direction inside a cylinder. The benefits of pneumatic bollards include simple and accurate operation, lower cost and fewer maintenance requirements.
  • Hydraulic bollards: Automatic hydraulic rising bollards include an incompressible fluid and pump system that produces linear motion. A hydraulic retractable bollard system creates a driving force up to 25 times greater than its pneumatic bollard counterpart, making it the better choice for heavy-duty applications.

At Blockaides, we construct our pneumatic and hydraulic rising bollards to the highest standards. These solutions integrate easily with your current access control or security system components. You can control automatic bollards in a few different ways, including from a remote control or key fob, a control room or a keypad.

The best setup depends on your specific location and application. For example, when using bollards for homes, homeowners can use a button on their keychain to lower their bollards when they’re ready to pull in or out of their driveway. In a public traffic application, a city may want to control its bollards remotely from a control room.

Working Applications of Automatic Bollards

Automatic Steel Bollards from Blockaides

Automatic bollards are beneficial in any area where access requirements change over time. For example, some commercial locations may need to retract their bollards during the busiest times of the day but keep them raised when closed. A site may also use bollards to block traffic during a special event, including preventing traffic from entering a designated bus lane.

Many organizations are increasingly choosing bollards over lift gates. While some lift gates act solely as a visual deterrent, automatic bollards offer a more durable and substantial blockade for areas that need to restrict access. In addition, bollards are becoming more popular in residential driveways because of their many advantages.

Several specific applications include:

Parking Lots and Garages

When parking lots and garages are full, you need a way to close off entrances temporarily. Automatic bollards offer an excellent solution. Automatic bollards are also a helpful addition to private parking lots where employees or residents who have access can lower the bollards on command.

Automatic bollards work well in these cases because they double as a physical and visual barrier. They can also significantly improve the appearance and aesthetics of locations that use temporary or makeshift roadblocks.

Public Facilities

Automatic bollards are also the perfect solution for securing entrances to public facilities from traffic before and after opening hours. For example, a park, zoo or museum can have automatic bollards in place when closed to the public and have the bollards descend into the ground during open hours.

Bollards also work well in public facilities to separate designated pedestrian spaces from areas allowing vehicle access.

Business Delivery Zones

Businesses that accept deliveries may find automatic bollards especially helpful since they can block off parking lot sections to ensure they are clear for delivery trucks. The automatic bollards can be retracted when the shipment arrives so the truck driver can access the delivery zone.

Bollards with different colors, covers and caps can also help direct delivery drivers toward loading and unloading areas.

Emergency Access Lanes

Any facilities with emergency access areas or fire lanes can use retractable bollards to ensure these zones are kept clear at all times in an emergency. These facilities include banks and government buildings that need protection from high-security bollards with the flexibility of retracting them so emergency vehicles can quickly gain access.

Automatic bollards also work well in the emergency areas of hospitals that designate specific areas for ambulances. Operators can retract the bollards to let vehicles in and raise them to keep traffic out.

Private Driveways

Some homeowners employ gates or other security measures to block their driveway from unauthorized traffic. Automatic driveway bollards are a great option to consider for this purpose. You can quickly and conveniently lower the bollards when you’re pulling into or leaving your driveway and then allow them to ascend again to keep uninvited vehicle access off your property.

Automatic bollards in private driveways also help eliminate vehicle theft. These barriers send a message to thieves that a property is well-protected and decrease the probability of an attempted robbery. Automatic bollards also create a barrier that blocks a thief from driving your car off your driveway.

Benefits of Automatic Bollards

Bollard Solutions from Blockaides

Businesses and residences use bollards for many reasons in an area, particularly automatic bollards. Some of the primary benefits of automatic bollards include:

  • Safety: Automatic bollards help make public and private places worldwide safer by providing a barrier and additional security system that a vehicle cannot go through. This perimeter security measure can make storefronts, bike paths and sidewalks safer for pedestrians. With bollards in place, drivers can either run off the road and quickly cause a tragedy, either unwittingly or as an act of terrorism.
  • Aesthetic: Some traditional models of bollards can be unsightly, but Blockaides offers covers and caps for your automatic bollards that can enhance the aesthetics of your area. You can even disguise your bollards with flower pots and other decorative features to seamlessly integrate them into landscaping.
  • Versatility: A unique advantage that automatic bollards offer over other types is that they allow you to quickly and easily convert a space as needed, either fully allowing or blocking access. This benefit is advantageous for places where restricted access control is a must while allowing room for traffic when needed.
  • Durability: Automatic bollards can provide a long service life with proper care and maintenance. This is excellent news for businesses that rely on their automatic bollards to enhance the function, safety and atmosphere of their space. When you invest in automatic bollards, you know you’re gaining a long-term solution.
  • Convenience: Finally, automatic bollards are incredibly convenient. Fully pneumatic and hydraulic options don’t require manual assistance, so all it takes is a remote control to open or close access to an area. This makes automatic bollards the best solution for homeowners or business owners who want to enjoy effortless functionality.

Materials Used for Making Automatic Bollards

Bollards on the market today come in a variety of materials. Some materials offer unique benefits that make them the best choice for specific applications. For example, aluminum is exceptionally lightweight, making it a good choice for bollards meant to provide more of a visual delineation than a heavy-duty barrier. When you need a strong, durable bollard, steel is an excellent choice.

As part of our commitment to offering bollards produced from only the best materials, all automatic bollards from Blockaides are manufactured from high-grade stainless steel. A stainless steel bollard will provide superb resistance to corrosion, making it a good choice in wet and humid climates. Stainless steel is also less susceptible to pitting and staining than many other materials, helping to maintain the bollard’s aesthetic appeal.

In addition, stainless steel requires less maintenance and is considered an environmentally friendly material alternative. You can even paint or powder-coat stainless steel to a #4 finish.

How Do Automatic Bollards Meet Crash Ratings?

The two most relevant crash rating standards for bollards in the United States are the ASTM F2656-07 and ASTM F3016-14. Both of these standards specify how bollard manufacturers should crash test their products to ensure they can stop a vehicle that runs into them. ASTM F2656-07 is the standard test for security barriers, and ASTM F3016-14 is designed to test barriers’ capabilities against a vehicle going 30 mph or less.

These crash tests are critical to demonstrate that a bollard’s ability to stop vehicles is proven and not just theoretical. A bollard wouldn’t pass these crash tests if poorly constructed or made from weak materials. Automatic steel bollards from Blockaides meet these industry standards, so you know they will do their job effectively, even in a dangerous crash. This is important since storefront crashes occur roughly 60 times every day.

Automatic Bollard Installation

To install an automatic bollard, you must first dig up the area where the bollard will go. In some cases, this may mean breaking up concrete or asphalt or raking away gravel. Once the surface layer above the dirt has been removed, you can dig a hole using an auger or posthole digger. This hole should match the depth of the bollard.

Now, you can position the bollard — already contained in its rectangular steel encasement — in the hole. The rectangular casing and the top of the bollard should be level with the ground when the bollard is put away so cars can quickly drive over the area as long as the bollard is not raised.

Another aspect of the installation may include running electrical wire to a control panel, though this step isn’t required for wireless options. Whatever control method is employed, properly installed automatic bollards will rise out of their rectangular casing on command, provide an effective barrier as needed, and descend back into the casing when you want them out of the way.

As mentioned previously, automatic bollards can rely on electric, pneumatic or hydraulic power units for operation. Hydraulic is the most powerful option and can raise and lower the bollards within seconds of you pressing a button or entering a code.

Why Buy Automatic Bollards from Blockaides?

Blockaides has provided high-quality bollards, barriers and other safety solutions since 2010. We work closely with architects, project managers, contractors and end users to provide the most reliable and cost-effective protection products for each client’s unique needs. We have the expertise to assess your security requirements and recommend the right product for your applications.

Automatic rising bollard systems are on the cutting edge of security barrier technology, but they might not be suitable for every application. Feel free to explore our site to find the perfect bollard for your needs, whether fully automated or a simple, mobile design. If you’re interested in automatic security bollard solutions, we can discuss which drive and mounting options would best fit your intended application.

Contact us for more information and to receive a free automatic bollard estimate today!

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