A bollard is a steel cylindrical post that has been engineered to prevent vehicles from accidentally or deliberately leaving the roadway and harming pedestrians and/or buildings and storefronts. A removable bollard serves exactly the same protective purpose. The primary difference between these two products is a removable bollard is not anchored permanently in place and actually can be physically removed. This is achieved by installing a fixed receptacle in the cement substrate to act as the bollard’s anchor. The bollard pipe itself is then able to easily slide in and out of the receptacle. Typically, a metal lid covers the receptacle opening when the bollard is not in use.
A retractable bollard is very similar to a removable bollard in that the bollard pipe itself is not permanently fixed in the cement substrate. Whereas a removable bollard has a short receptacle anchor for the steel cylinder to fit in, a retractable bollard essentially has a full sleeve or full-length receiver that the entire bollard fits into. This greater length requires more excavation, a deeper foundation, time and money to install. Retractable bollards can raise and lower either manually, electrically, pneumatically or hydraulically and thus do not require being removed physically from the anchored receiver. Therefore, while retractable bollards are more involved to install, they are much easier to “remove” from the access point later.
Both are excellent protective design products. Which type you choose depends entirely on several factors inherent to your project and location. If you anticipate placing the bollard array at a location that will be used frequently by pedestrians and vehicles, like a weekly farmer’s market, a work crew will have to physically remove (and re-install) the heavy bollards every time. This can be inconvenient and time consuming. In this scenario, an electrical or even manual automatic pop-up bollard might be more efficient.
However, if the access point will only be used by pedestrians once in a while, removable bollards might be a more efficient choice. An example might be a park entrance service road that is used weekly by maintenance personnel, but requires closure to vehicles once a year for a July 4th or Christmas parade.
While retractable bollards are easier to use, they are generally more complicated and expensive to install compared to the shallower mount foundations required for removable bollards. Unlike retractable bollards, removable bollards are not “active” vehicle barriers so they require less maintenance, as there are no mechanical moving parts.
It is important to remember that both removable and retractable bollards require maintenance, most specifically to prevent water damage. Both bollard receptacles, whether shallow or deep foundations, will be exposed to the elements – snow and rain. This water must be able to drain from the receptacle and will likely require cleaning and lubrication. Additionally, if your geographic region is subject to extreme heat or sub-zero temperatures, you can insure you are choosing the right removable bollard by using Protogetic’s temperature range filter.
No. Technically, a removable bollard is not portable in that its use requires pre-existing installation of an anchored receptacle. Once the bollard cylinder pipe is removed, it must be safely transported to an appropriate storage location. In theory, if another set of anchored receivers were installed at a different location, the removable steel bollard pipes could be installed at the alternate location, but this is not typically how portable vehicle barriers are defined. The protective design industry’s general agreement is that portable vehicle barriers can be quickly and easily set up at almost any suitable location without requiring substantial advance preparation.
Any location that requires protecting pedestrians from vehicles but also still needs to accommodate vehicle access at appropriate times is a potential candidate for removable bollard barriers. These include:
Many removable bollards are anti-ram rated to protect people and infrastructure from accidental crashes as well as hostile vehicle attacks (HVAs), sometimes referred to as vehicle-ramming attacks. Ratings vary from product to product depending on your project needs and the anticipated vehicle threats. Some removable bollards have ASTM F3016 low-speed ratings of 10, 20 and 30 MPH. These ratings are typically safety-oriented and suitable for protecting storefronts from accidental vehicle-into-building crashes where the brake or accelerator was incorrectly used (pedal error).
Other removable bollards have high-speed ratings designed for security to thwart deliberate hostile vehicle attacks where speeds are in excess of 30, 40 and 50MPH. These removable bollards incorporate different engineering to account for the increased kinetic energy of a higher speed impact. As such, high-speed vehicles have a different testing standard called ASTM F2656 and different acceptable penetration distances as far more damage can be inflicted by a 15,000-pound medium truck traveling 50 MPH than a small passenger car unexpectedly jumping a curb at 10 MPH.
You can find the exact rated removable bollard your project requires at Protogetic. We showcase vehicle barrier products from the top manufacturers. And, you can search multiple details like penetration distance, operation type and even foundation depth using our incomparable filter. We also have numerous high security product categories like security doors, ballistic resistant windows and anti-ram fences. We are the one-stop destination for the protective design industry. Save time and get more work done at Protogetic.