For the past decade, Texas has routinely been in last place when it comes to work zone safety. The numbers
The goal of highway construction operations is to efficiently and effectively perform the tasked lane closure operation while still maintaining a safe work environment for the work crew. For operations that require lane closures, a cone safety truck or traffic control truck can ensure that this goal is consistently met.
Here are the four reasons why every lane closure operation should have a cone safety truck!
- Hydraulic Man Basket
On the back of the truck is a mounted hydraulic man basket, made specifically to be utilized as an area to lay and remove cones and barrels from.
Being 30 inches deep and a full 8 feet wide, the man basket has more than enough room for individuals to comfortably lay and remove cones or barrels. In terms of safety, the man basket’s safety bar can be easily adjusted according to the height of the worker.
You may be wondering: Why is the man basket hydraulic? Can’t it just be stationary?
If you have never experienced it yourself, I want you to imagine the process of laying and removing barrels in a lane closure. For reference, a barrel with a tire ring can weight upwards of 20 pounds. Laying or removing these barrels repeatedly can be a strain on an individual’s back. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, “back injuries account for nearly 20% of all injuries and illnesses in the workplace and cost the nation an estimated 20 to 50 billion dollars per year.”
Because the man basket is hydraulic, it has the ability to be lowered and raised as necessary, thus shortening the distance a cone or barrel needs to be lifted and reducing the strain on workers’ backs.
When workers remain healthy, operations can run as efficiently as possible.
For nighttime operations, the cone safety truck is also fully equipped with lights to make it as visible as possible. The truck has:
- Two lights mounted on fixed work posts on the rear of the truck
- Two work lights mounted on the bulkhead
- Two strobe lights mounted on the bulkhead
- Several work lights spanning the length of the bed
Needless to say, your workers will be clearly visible to oncoming traffic, making a safer work environment for them to operate in.
- Size of the Bed
Storage is obviously a crucial element to effective work zone operations. When you have adequate space to store everything you need in an operation on a single truck, the operation runs smoother.
The cone safety truck’s bed ranges from 12 feet in length all the way up to 22 feet in length. With the knowledge of the size of your operations in mind, you can have a cone safety truck to perfectly fit your needs.
Another consideration is how high you plan to store barrels, cones, or signs on the bed of the truck. The truck comes standard with 36” high steel racks, which should suit most operations. If plan to store items higher than 36 inches, the cone safety truck also has drop-ins for the racks that increase their height to 48 inches.
- Arrow Board
Another crucial element of the cone safety truck is the arrow board. On this truck the arrow board is free standing on the front of the bed and independent of the bulkhead.
According to the “Guidelines on Ensuring Positive Guidance in Work Zones” from workzonesafety.org, arrow boards are able to, “provide clear positive guidance information that a lane is closed in a work zone.” The high visibility of the lights on the arrow board make channeling traffic in a lane closure run smoother, thus leading to a more effective operation.
Lane closure operations, especially at night, present potentially dangerous situations for workers. These operations need to be done efficiently, effectively, and safely for the closure to be a success. The cone safety truck’s build not only allows for significant space for workers to operate but also contains several safety elements, making the zone a much safer work environment.
If safety is a priority in your highway work zones, as it should be, a cone safety truck or a traffic control truck is a must for lane closure operations.
Do you want to learn more about cone safety trucks? Watch the video below, where Ashley demos a 2007 GMC 7500 16’ Cone Safety Truck!