Skip to content

What are the problems with steel barriers and bollards?.

If your site has forklifts or vehicles operating around pedestrians, you may consider installing steel bollards or barriers. While these products are effective in many applications, they aren’t always the perfect solution.

In this article, we outline the potential problems with steel barriers and bollards, allowing you to find the right safety solution for your site.

Steel bollards and barriers

Pros and cons of a steel bollard

  • Prevent intrusions and unauthorised vehicle access
  • Very strong
  • Low maintenance
  • Requires more space
  • May cause concrete damage if the bollard suffers a significant hit
  • Difficult to adjust or reposition.

A steel barrier is generally a W-shaped length of steel and a bollard is a sturdy cylindrical tube. These barriers are typically installed to protect walkways, buildings, or equipment by separating them from forklifts and other machinery. They act as a visual and physical barrier, deterring drivers from straying into the wrong areas or hitting pedestrians.

Pros and cons of a steel barrier

  • Prevent intrusions and unauthorised vehicle access
  • Very strong and durable
  • Low maintenance
  • Will dent when hit
  • May cause concrete damage if the post comes away from the ground
  • Difficult to adjust or reposition.

Fortunately, the drawbacks of steel bollards can be overcome with flexible bollards like d-flexx or SlowStop. These bollards have a base that absorbs energy during a collision. During impact, the bollard bends and then returns to its original shape.

When to use a steel barrier or bollard

Steel barriers and bollards are ideal for environments where forklifts or vehicles are operating in the vicinity of valuable assets or pedestrians. By providing a physical barrier between them, you can reduce the risk of accidents and collisions.

If a vehicle does veer into the bollard or barrier, its momentum will be stopped, preventing any harm to your people, building, and equipment. However, note that when these steel options are hit, the concrete may be damaged and need costly repairs.

When not to use a steel barrier or bollard

In areas where a barrier is likely to be hit multiple times, energy-absorbing options will be more cost-effective to maintain. While they typically cost more upfront, the cost of repairs will be considerably lower over time.

In these environments, we recommend d-flexx or SlowStop as alternatives to steel barriers and bollards. As these barriers absorb energy during a collision, bend, and then return to their original shape, they still deter drivers and slow momentum but are less prone to permanent damage.

Energy absorbing bollards and barriers are particularly effective at preventing costly concrete repairs in a fridge or freezer type environment ie. Coolstores.

Steel barriers 

Our Tru-Gard barriers offer exceptional protection against vehicle and fork truck damage. This certified modular system has a minimal footprint and can be strategically positioned to separate drivers from buildings, assets, and personnel. All Tru-Gard barriers are made in New Zealand and come with a 10-year product warranty.

Tru-Gard 910-2 Barrier

The Tru-Gard 910mm High Double Rail Barrier is a certified steel safety barrier used for traffic management and protection against forklift injury and damage. The double rail offers increased protection and a higher strength rating, and the bottom rail can be placed either 100mm off the ground or at ground level for extra protection against fork tines.

Key features of the Tru-Gard 910-2 Barrier include:

  • A modular system configured to your site layout.
  • 1.1m post centres ensure every impact is absorbed by a post.
  • The 910mm high double rail stops 7T travelling at 6.3km/h.
  • Complies with and exceeds AS/NZS 1170.1 Section 3.8.
  • Can be installed with a pedestrian handrail mounted to the barrier.


Our range of bollards offers highly effective protection from vehicles, acting as sturdy physical barriers, visual deterrents, and traffic-calming cues. If you need steel bollards, we have a wide range of options, including in-ground bollards, surface-mounted bollards, and removable bollards. We also have flexible bollards and energy-absorbing bollards.

165mm Inground Steel Bollards

These hot-dipped galvanised steel bollards are installed into the ground. They have a 165mm diameter but the black domed cap can be removed to fill the bollard with concrete, increasing strength and protection even further.

The 165mm bollards are a heavy-duty solution for protecting assets and doorways from forklift impacts and preventing vehicle impacts at retail storefronts.

Key benefits of the 165mm Inground Steel Bollards include:

  • Made in New Zealand
  • 10-year warranty
  • UV stabilised powder coat
  • Can be filled with concrete for added strength.

Traffic and Safety Solutions 

For more information about traffic and pedestrian safety solutions, and the best methods for protecting your workers, contact the team, browse our products or download the Worksafe Good Practice Guide.

Contact us for any questions or solutions advice.

With over 45 years experience on the team, we have the knowledge and experience required to offer you the right solution for your situation.

How can we help?

With over 45 years experience on the team, we have the knowledge and experience required to offer you the right solution.

Quick quote.

Book a discovery call.