For the past decade, Texas has routinely been in last place when it comes to work zone safety. The numbers
Did you win a bid and need more TMA trucks or did one of your trucks break down and you need a replacement fast? At Royal Truck & Equipment, we recognize that there are times when renting a TMA truck is the right option for your company, and we are here to help! Through our Rental Network we can connect you with a reliable TMA truck rental for your operations!
What You Need to Know Before Renting a TMA Truck
Before you begin your search for a TMA truck to rent, there are several things you need to know to make your search as simple as possible and your rental truck as safe as it can be.
The first thing you need to make sure of is that you begin your search for a rental truck far in advance of when you will actually need to use the truck. In the summer months, TMA trucks available for rent are hard to come by on short notice in some parts of the country, especially in Texas. To shed more light on just how busy the summer months are and just how hard it is to find a TMA truck, in the state of Texas, there are more than 2,500 active work zones at any given time. As a general suggestion, starting the process at least one month in advance gives you the greatest likelihood of finding an available TMA truck.
Another thing you need to consider is just how many TMA trucks your operations will require. How do you know how many TMA trucks you will need? To be absolutely certain, you need to consult your state’s regulations.
For example, the state of Texas recently passed a law requiring 3 TMA trucks be used in certain operations. Specifically in mobile operations on divided highways and mobile operations involving the installation and removal of raised pavement markers, “the use of truck mounted attenuators (TMA) on the shadow vehicle, advance warning, and trail vehicle are required.”
Do you know how many TMA trucks your state requires? Let us help you! By filling out this form, we will provide you with our TMA Truck Regulations Book, which details state-by-state exactly what is required of TMA trucks in your operations!
If your operations require several TMA trucks, starting your search as early as possible is absolutely imperative if you want to ensure that there are trucks to rent in your area. If you start your search for a rental TMA truck too close to the start of your operation, you risk having the only TMA trucks available being far away from your location.
Starting your rental search as far in advance as possible when you need multiple TMA trucks is best practice, as it significantly increases the likelihood all of the trucks come from the same location close to your facilities. This not only makes your rental experience easier, but it also saves you money!
How to Ensure Your Truck is as Safe as Possible
When looking to rent a TMA truck, it is easy to just go with the cheapest option. Be aware though, the cheapest option is almost always not the safest option. At no time should you ever rent an unsafe TMA truck in order to save your company money. A worker’s life is never expensive, it is priceless.
But how do you know if the truck you are renting is safe enough for your work zones?
When renting a truck, there are 4 main things you need to check: the truck’s weight, the truck’s brake type, how it is ballasted, and if it has a final stage manufacturer sticker or not.
The truck’s weight is vital to how safe it is. The easiest guideline to follow is that the truck needs to weigh over 20,000 pounds. Why should it be that heavy? If it is any lighter, any crash will significantly push ahead the truck, potentially into the workers it is there to protect. The distance that your truck is pushed ahead in a crash is known as roll-ahead distance. Ultimately, this number should be as small as possible.
To plan how far you should be position behind your work crew, you need to account for your truck’s weight and the speed of oncoming traffic. For example in a mobile operation, if your truck weighs more than 22,000 pounds and traffic is going more than 55 miles per hour, you should be at least 172 feet from the work crew you are protecting. If your truck weighed less than 20,000 pounds, your TMA truck’s roll ahead distance would be significantly greater and you would need to be much further back, thus allowing for space for vehicles to come in in front of your truck and making your work zones incredibly unsafe.
Type of Brakes
Without any question, you need to ensure that the TMA truck you are looking to rent has air brakes, as opposed to their hydraulic counterparts. In short, air brakes are more reliable and offer much more stopping power for the truck. Want to learn more about air brakes? Watch the episode of TMA Trucks A to Z below for a demonstration of how they work and an in-depth conversation about why they are a must for your TMA Truck.
For those who do not know ballasting is how the truck is weighted to increase the weight to be over 20,000 pounds. A common ballasting practice of the past was chaining a concrete jersey barrier to the bed of the truck. While this added weight to the truck, it became a dangerous projectile in the event of the crash into the truck, not only to the workers in the truck but also passengers in other vehicles.
When looking for a correctly ballasted TMA truck, follow New Jersey’s guidelines on the subject. The state requires the ballast to be secured to the truck, and reviewed by a professional engineer, “to ensure that it is capable of withstanding the impact forces for which the impact attenuator is rated.”
Final Stage Manufacturer Sticker
The final thing you need to do to ensure that the TMA truck you will be renting is safe is to check if it has a final stage manufacturer’s sticker. Usually found on the inside of the driver’s door, this sticker reflects the latest alterations to the vehicle and is confirmation that the truck was built safely. Ultimately, this takes the liability off of your company, as the manufacturer will stand with you in the event of a lawsuit and take responsibility for the build of the truck.
What is Royal’s Rental Network?
Often the process of renting a TMA truck begins with sorting through the first few pages of Google and calling anyone and everyone who comes up for “TMA truck rental in _____”. While that process can be effective occasionally, there are certainly better options. That’s where Royal comes in. Through Royal’s Rental Network, we will connect you with a rental TMA truck in your area that is built safely. How do we know that? Because we built it! Read on to learn more about the companies in our Rental Network who will be the source of your TMA truck rental.
Areas Primarily Served: 49 out of 50 states
With over 880 locations in the United States, spanning every state excluding Hawaii, United Rentals has TMA truck rentals virtually anywhere your operation may be.
Areas Primarily Served: Most of the country, specifically on the East Coast
Sunbelt Rentals has over 770 locations throughout the country, and is the source for many TMA rentals in places such as Virginia and in New England.
Traffic Engineering Services
Areas Primarily Served: Maryland and Pennsylvania
With locations in Maryland and Pennsylvania, Traffic Engineering Services (TES) is the source of many of our TMA truck rental requests in the two states. Additionally, TES offers TMA truck training courses, taught by experienced drivers of the truck.
Regional Traffic Services
Areas Primarily Served: Texas
Based out of Houston, Texas, Regional Traffic Services provides TMA truck rentals to all of the state’s major cities, including Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, and Waco.
Is Renting the Best Option for You?
For short term operations, renting a TMA truck is almost always the best option for your company. But if your operation is likely to span over a couple months, it may be a better option financially to either purchase a TMA truck outright initially or go with a Rent-to-Own option.
How do you know what would be the more financially sound option for your company, though? It’s easy! We did all the work for you!
By clicking the button below, you can download our FREE Rent vs. Own calculator. By inputting numbers, such as local rental rates in your area, how many trucks you need, and how long your operations will last for, you can see if it is a better financial option for your company to rent or purchase a TMA truck.
Ultimately, as long as are getting a safe truck either way, you should always look for the best financial option for your company!
If you are looking to rent a TMA truck, you need to come into the process with all the information to ensure that your company is getting what you need. Through Royal’s Rental Network, you are able to rent an attenuator truck any where in the country exactly when you need it. Before you rent a truck though, there are several things you need to do to make sure that the truck you are renting is built to be as safe as possible. Remember, saving money for an unsafe TMA truck is leaving your workers in harm.
Another item of consideration is if it is even the best financial decision for you company to rent a TMA truck. Depending on local rates in your area as well as how long your operation is planned to last, it may be a better option for you company to just purchase the truck outright.
June is National Safety Month. If you have not already, it is time to make your work zones as safe as they possibly can be for your work crews and travelers alike. This begins with ensuring the TMA truck you are using in your work zones is safely built in order to be effectively used.
Does your company already prioritize safety in your work zones? Join our “Welcome to the Safe Zone” initiative and receive a window cling to show to your workers and customers that your company takes safety seriously!