Road Safety Rentals, a division of Saferoads, is helping Victorian contractors avoid costly delays by providing rapid deployments of safety equipment.
In a perfect world, when a contractor begins construction on roadworks, all of the information they will need is mapped out for them and they will have the right tools for the job.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Unforeseen complications can arise out of nowhere and drastically change the requirements of what is needed.
For example, if a tier three contractor is performing regular road maintenance and uncovers utilities that had not been originally accounted for on any plans, additional safety equipment may be required to ensure workers can continue.
In these scenarios, smaller contractors may not have the equipment readily available for them to react quickly and avoid further delays.
Victorian safety equipment rental company Road Safety Rentals, part of safety equipment manufacturer Saferoads, specialises in assisting companies in these situations and aims to provide contractors with rapid deployment of rental safety equipment.
Trent Loveless, General Manager of Road Safety Rentals, says because project managers are working in an environment with dynamic conditions and tight deadlines, there is a need for prompt problem solving.
“We’re a small, nimble business that can mobilise quickly and have barrier systems and other road safety equipment in place, often by the next morning,” he explains.
“It’s not uncommon for us to receive an email from a client with a request for barriers, variable message signs (VMS) or light towers to be on site as soon as possible. For example, if a contractor needs to occupy additional space or increase their protected work space by another 100 metres in length, we are often able to have everything set up by that day or the next.
“This is because our team members are well trained in road safety, so we know how to provide equipment in the most optimal manner.”
With an acre and a half of space at the company’s Nar Nar Goon facility, Road Safety Rentals maintains a small, core team to be able to quickly respond to ever-changing situations. The company is able to mobilise its equipment within 24-48 hours and have it deployed and set up in a compliant manner.
As part of the company’s development, Road Safety Rentals has increased the variety of equipment it can deploy. The company started with just a few kilometres of its Steel Ironman barrier, which is a freestanding, stackable hybrid barrier made out of concrete and steel.
It has evolved over eight years of research and development to meet the demands of the market and regulatory environment and has attained an Austroads Safety Barrier Acceptance Panel approval to 80 kilometres per hour.
The business operates a fleet of Ironman Hybrid barriers which see use throughout Victoria. The Hybrid barrier system has been transformed to weigh nearly one tonne as opposed to the original format which weighed less than 400 kilograms. Due to the Hybrid’s ballasting system and strengthened bulkheads, the system is also able to provide more favourable deflections for roadworks
Road Safety Rental has been grown its fleet of equipment as well, adding around two kilometres of T-LOK concrete barriers for situations that require more heavy-duty equipment, which can be combined with half a kilometre of anti-gawk screens. As part of Saferoads, the company is also able to provide projects with myriad other products and services, including temporary barrier hire, VMS, solar-powered lighting and CCTV systems.
The latest upgrade to the company’s toolbox is the Omnistop Bollard Portable System. The system uses a heavy footing and base to be able to withstand a 2270-kilogram vehicle impacting the system at 60 kilometres an hour without affecting the flow of pedestrians, prams and wheelchairs.
Mr. Loveless says this system will be an excellent tool for the equipment rental division of Saferoads, as it will allow the company to provide protection not only to roadside worksites, but also to event managers and venue operators.
Another factor behind the quick service deliveries, according to Mr. Loveless, is the fact the company actively connects with and observes the market and the changing needs of its clients.
“We’re constantly talking with our clients and understanding the shifting priorities they have, which is what helps us stay aware of the new trends, new product opportunities and product design requirements for areas where new ground is being broken,” he explains.
One of the trends that the company has identified is a significant increase in the amount of nightworks, which has led to Road Safety Rentals expanding its fleet of variable message signs and lighting towers.
Lighting is a safety requirement for nightworks, to keep workers safe alongside traffic and to ensure sites are illuminated to allow for digging, drilling and installation activities.
Mr. Loveless says public demand for faster project delivery times has led to an increase in demand for lighting towers and says many tier two and three contractors may not have full access to the appropriate lighting equipment.
“It’s an exciting time for the company as we move into 2019. With new products and capabilities, we are continually growing and helping contractors keep workers safe, as fast as possible.”