One of the biggest dangers to people performing roadwork—such as snow removal or construction—are drivers. Protecting personnel in these risky situations is key, and a good way to do it is to rent a crash truck (also known as a crash attenuator) to use at the work site. To maximize safety, here are three features to look for in your crash truck rental.
Not all vehicle collisions occur at high speeds. If your crew is working in the city or on a road with low speed limits, chances are good the vehicle that runs into them won't be going very fast. In fact, they're more likely to experience fender benders in this situation.
You can protect your crew from these minor accidents by getting a crash truck that has a nuisance bar installed. This large plate, placed on the back of the attenuator, act as a cushion between the crash truck and approaching vehicles. It absorbs the energy from low-speed impacts, minimizing damage to the main part of the attenuator and vehicle.
Like attenuators, nuisance bars are rated based on the approaching vehicle's speed. For instance, some can absorb the force of cars hitting them at an average rate of speed. Although it's better to err on the side of safety and get the highest-rated one you can find, if you're working on a budget, consider the area where your people will be working and get a nuisance bar that'll handle the average speed they're likely to encounter.
Collisions don't always occur in perfect alignment with the back of the work vehicle. Sometimes, drivers come in hot at an angle. This is problematic because, even though an attenuator will stop the vehicle, sometimes the car can still end up hitting the corner of the host truck.
One way to avoid this is by getting a crash truck with rails on the side. These rails collapse around the approaching vehicle and help redirect it away from the corner of the work truck. Not only does this protect your property from damage, but it also can prevent the colliding car from sliding underneath the truck, which may result in grave injuries to the driver.
Side rails also minimize damage from minor accidents caused by workers backing up or turning the host vehicle, which happens more than you'd think. Thus, investing in renting this type of attenuator could save you a lot of money in repairs down the road.
Time is money, as the saying goes, and you can avoid wasting yours by getting a crash truck that's simple to operate. The attenuator should attach easily to the host vehicle, letting you quickly hook and unhook it as necessary. This provides you with the flexibility to use it on different host trucks at various work sites according to your needs.
It might also be a good idea to get an attenuator that can be folded up when you're finished using it. Although they increase safety, attenuators add quite a bit of length to the host trucks, which can make it difficult for employees to maneuver in tight spaces or even find parking. Getting one that can be folded up helps with this challenge since the employee will be able to make the host truck more compact without having to remove the attenuator.
Lastly, be sure the control panel for the attenuator can be used inside the host vehicle. This will reduce the need for employees to leave the truck, which can be immensely beneficial if they are working in particularly dangerous areas.
For more tips on renting a crash truck or help finding one for your needs, contact a local retailer.