architecture - engineering - construction

Retractable Bollards Maximize Design Value And Site Function


Bollards secure entrances and access roads best when the most suitable bollard type is chosen for the job. Retractable bollards are often the ideal choice for speed and ease of use. Unlike removable bollards, they do not need to be lifted out of their receptacle and carried to either an alternate receptacle or nearby lawn area, saving valuable seconds in emergencies.

Removable bollards, while they are a lower cost choice, have some disadvantages when compared with retractable bollards. They require extra seconds to remove and extra time to place them out of the drive path after removal. Unless the site has nearby empty removable bollard receptacles, they also are likely to get nicked if placed on hardscape or unstable surfaces like gravel.

Retractable bollards save additional time because staff can go on with other work while they are retracted, whereas with removable bollards it's advisable to keep someone in the area to ensure against theft, vandalism or other possible damage. If a driveway will be used with some frequency, or if changing bollard configurations are desired on a site, it may be a good investment to install additional removable bollard post receptacles for storage near the driveway.

Well-made retractable bollards raise and lower smoothly, locking automatically in the raised position. By using a simple key lock, these retractable bollards can be lowered quickly when needed. In the lowered position these retractable bollards are not locked, inhibiting the occurance of ice or debris compromising the user's ability to instantly restore retractable bollards to their upright service position.

Owners can provide keys for retractable bollards to first responders and companies such as waste removal firms that require access to property outside normally staffed hours. They, too, appreciate the speed of retractable bollards.

Continuing its tradition of sourcing quality bollards, Reliance Foundry has implemented a manufacturer upgrade in its retractable bollards. Neither is a change in style or features, but rather uses the latest technology to maintain and improve bollard product quality. To that end, a new powder coated stainless steel model R-8421-RA retractable bollard replaces the former model R-8401, while the model R-8421 retractable stainless steel bollard replaces the model R-8411. All parts and amenities for the older models continue to be available for existing users. The most noticeable upgrade is providing all bollards, including those to be powder coated, in stainless steel for greater durability rather than offering some in unfinished steel.

While the term security bollard is often applied to bollards in driveways or other entrances, manually retractable bollards are not actually heavy-duty security bollards. Anti-ram or crash-rated bollards are either comprised of decorative bollard covers installed over concrete-filled steel posts, or they are specially designed, engineered and reinforced structured steel bollards (in cases where “K-Rated” bollards are required).

As a practical matter, unless a site demands investment in hydraulic or other heavy-duty mechanized retractable bollards, you need your bollards to be light enough to be lifted easily. Manually retractable bollards from Reliance Foundry weigh in at 27 to 30 pounds for easy lifting.

Unless a would-be grounds crasher is very familiar with bollards, he is unable to quickly distinguish which are fixed security bollards and which are retractable bollards. Therefore, in many instances, bollards can provide security by their mere presence – onlookers cannot tell whether bollards are security rated and tend to avoid them in most deployments.

Reliance Foundry is committed to continual upgrades and features for its fixed, removable and retractable bollards. This allows users to achieve maximum design value by matching bollards throughout a site, or choosing retractable or collapsible bollards in a style that compliments bollards elsewhere on a site. We provide retractable bollards in six standard colors as well as finished stainless steel.

About Reliance Foundry Co. Ltd.

Reliance Foundry has been a family-owned business since 1927. Bollards are one of its main product lines, along with industrial wheels, bike parking products and investment castings. Reliance sources products globally and offers quick and convenient delivery in the United States and Canada from its Vancouver location.

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