Retractable bollards are distinctly different from typical bollards in that they are considered active barriers whereas parking bollards, safety bollards and most anti-ram bollards are fixed barriers, meaning they are permanently in place unless they are a unique type that can be removed.
Retractable bollards, sometimes referred to as pop up bollards or automatic bollards, can rise up and descend inconspicuously to ground level when not in use and for this reason they are optimal for high level traffic control areas, including parking lots, commercial buildings and military bases. Because they descend to surface level, pedestrians will not encounter any trip hazards and vehicles can gain entry when required.
Manual retractable bollards are different from removable bollards because they are always in place and can be activated with either a simple key lock or hydraulic/electric switch on site.
Removable bollards must be manually placed or pulled out and then stored when not in use. This requires a considerable amount of manpower (and cost) compared to a fixed or retractable bollard.
Like standard bollards, retractable bollards are available in numerous anti-ram ratings, including ASTM F2656, DoD K-ratings and PAS 68. Finding anti-ram rated retractable bollards has never been easier when you shop at Protogetic.com.
Because automatic rising bollards are often “invisible” and minimally invasive to the landscape, many protective design professionals consider them more aesthetically pleasing than their fixed/permanent brethren. Unlike fixed storefront safety bollards, retractable bollards are active and functional. As such, they are not as ideal for locations where they interact constantly with motor vehicles (like delivery and loading docks and parking lots) as their telescoping mechanism could be damaged by impact.
Instead, retractable bollards are best deployed to cordon off frequently used pedestrian areas such as park entrances, roadway or plazas or outside mall access where vehicle traffic is only sometimes necessary. For this reason, removing and replacing a bollard system weekly would be enormously inefficient compared to simply activating an automatic rising bollard.
These bollards can be manually engaged by an operator or activated using an access control system. Most systems utilize some type of key card, but some are controlled via transmitters or phones. The most advanced systems employ automatic license plate number recognition.
Retractable bollards can be manually operated, pneumatic, hydraulic or electric, sometimes called an electric bollard. Each utilizes a piston drive mechanism and their cycle performance - how long it takes to ascend or descend – varies.
Electric or Electronic Bollards: These employ an electric motor to drive the piston within the cylinder housing and tend to be the quietest and most precise in operation.
Hydraulic Bollards: These mechanisms use a pressurized liquid to create a very powerful lifting application. For this reason, many heavy bollards employ hydraulics.
Pneumatic Bollards: These bollards utilize a compressed gas to drive the cylinder that raises the bollard. While not nearly as powerful as hydraulic motors, pneumatic drives are very cost effective owing to their low maintenance costs.
Like every project, it depends on your needs. How long it takes the system to cycle (rise and descend) is important and depends somewhat on how the automatic bollard is powered. You can easily find operating and cycle speeds information on all of Protogetic’s retractable bollard product pages.
Additionally, since the telescopic bollard must retract into the ground completely, these products often have operating temperature ranges from -40 below and as high as 140 degrees. Every retractable bollard on the Protogetic site is accompanied by detailed information regarding the manufacturer’s recommended minimum/maximum operating temperatures.
Retractable bollards require excavation, as they must be embedded into the substrate. Before placing these devices, you must make sure your soil configuration is compatible. Installation can often require manufacturer assistance so it is valuable to know the product’s lead time as well as installation costs and options. Protogetic provides all this information and facilitates getting price details directly from the manufacturer. Remember, the cost of retractable bollards is typically more expensive compared to the fixed or removable versions.
Retractable bollards require more maintenance and additional preparations to deal with water drainage to ensure the proper functioning of the assembly. This makes the upkeep and investment in automatic retractable bollards more expensive than installing fixed bollards.
When researching or shopping for retractable bollards, prices will vary between how they are operated (manual, hydraulic, pneumatic, electric), their finishes and options (lighting, access control) and of course each individual manufacturer. For obvious reasons, one should expect to pay a higher price than a standard steel parking bollard. With one click of a button, Protogetic’s Request a Custom Quote tool connects you directly with a manufacturer representative.
Protogetic offers a wide selection of retractable bollards from leading manufacturers all over the world. Each has a detailed product page with brochures, technical drawings, specs, and rating certifications, leaving virtually nothing for you to do other than to create an account for free today. Save time. Stop endlessly searching. Protogetic delivers on our promise of cutting your search times from days and hours to mere minutes or even seconds.