Hydraulic Bollards: Everything You Need to Know

Hydraulic bollards are rising barrier posts used to control vehicle access. They are most often used to control traffic access to pedestrian areas, and also as a security measure around restricted areas. Because they can be retracted, they are more flexible than fixed bollards. In this guide, we will explain what hydraulic bollards are, their key components, and how they operate to securely permit and restrict access. You will learn about how these bollards work, the control mechanisms, safety features, and considerations for installation and maintenance.

A row of hydraulic bollards

How Do Hydraulic Bollards Work?

Hydraulic bollards operate using a system powered by hydraulic fluid under pressure, which allows for the smooth and efficient raising and lowering of the bollard posts. At the heart of a hydraulic bollard system is a pump that circulates hydraulic fluid into a cylinder, generating the necessary force to move the bollard.

When activated, the pump pushes the fluid into the cylinder, extending the piston and raising the bollard above ground to restrict vehicle access. To lower the bollard, the system releases the hydraulic pressure, allowing the fluid to flow back into the reservoir and the bollard to retract seamlessly into the ground. This mechanism ensures quick deployment and retraction, offering a balance between accessibility and security.

The best example of this?

The automatic hydraulic bollard.

How do Automatic Bollards Work?

Automatic bollards – like the Benito Stainless Steel Automatic Bollard – are vehicle access control barriers that can be raised and lowered without human intervention. Automatic bollards often work using a hydraulic system powered by fluid, a pump, and a generator. Fluid expands and contracts, pushing air in and out to compress a motor cylinder. This allows a bollard to be raised in just a few seconds.

The bollard units are constructed of reinforced concrete or steel and set into sleeves underneath the road surface. Sensors detect approaching vehicles and trigger the automated raising or lowering of the bollard units as needed. For example, if an authorised vehicle approaches with proper credentials, the bollards smoothly retract into the road surface to allow entry.

Automatic bollards are managed remotely, by many different access control systems, including Bluetooth, fob remotes, keypads, ANPR, cards, etc. Many are compatible with the Perseo CBD control panel, so up to four bollards can be managed in parallel.

If a suspicious vehicle approaches without clearance, the bollards rapidly deploy into an upright and locked position to obstruct passage and prevent unauthorised entry.

With durability, sensitivity and speed, automatic bollards provide adaptable vehicle security at facility perimeters and restricted commercial areas. They are designed for high usage, built to withstand serious vehicle impact, and can act as an effective anti-terrorism defence mechanism.

Automatic bollards are available in different finishes and heights, so you can choose the bollard that looks right in the chosen environment.

The Benefits of Automatic Hydraulic Bollards

Automatic bollards provide intelligent, adaptable vehicle access control without relying on human security procedures. Their automated systems rapidly assess each approaching vehicle and raise or lower barrier posts accordingly via underground hydraulics.

This delivers tailored access permission along with formidably impenetrable security when unauthorised vehicles approach. With no visible above-ground structures, automatic bollards also preserve site aesthetics. Their instantaneous response time and extreme durability to withstand high-speed impacts additionally bolster security.

By removing the cost and variability of human-operated barriers, automatic bollard systems offer consistent perimeter protection. Their hands-free functionality allows security resources to focus on oversight instead of manually adjusting barriers for each vehicle entrance and exit.

Overall, automation makes bollards smarter, faster, and more versatile.

Safety Considerations of Hydraulic Bollards

When installing hydraulic bollard systems, proper safety measures must be incorporated to avoid operational hazards.

The underground hydraulic power system poses additional risks. To prevent leaks of hazardous hydraulic fluid, robust seals, valves, and piping must be utilised in construction along with containment measures for any potential leaks below ground.

Bollard casing sleeves where posts raise and lower also require safety sensors to halt activation if people or objects are obstructing the space. Warning signs, lights and alarms should alert pedestrians and drivers of bollard movement.

Overall system durability and crash-rating compliance provide critical occupant safety in vehicle impacts. Ongoing maintenance involves checking hydraulic power systems for wear or leaks, clearing debris around sleeve openings, and testing the functionality of occupancy sensors and emergency stops.

When properly installed and maintained, modern safety features allow hydraulic bollard automation to prevent human errors during manual security operations. Installing bollards, however, is a very involved process, so we would always recommend that you contact a professional bollard installation team like Bison to do so.

Feel free to browse our collection of automatic rising bollards or get in touch with us today if you need any assistance.