A Guide That Helps People Decide What Bollard They Need

With so many different types of bollards and posts available, it can be hard to identify the best one for your specific application.

In this guide, we explore the range of bollards on offer. By assessing the functionality and benefits of different types bollards, we’ll help you decide what bollard is best for you and your property. This is what we’ll cover:

  1. Bollards by functionality
  2. Bollards by finish

Types of Security Bollards by Functionality

Automatic Bollards

Automatic bollards can be operated remotely and, in turn, they are the most expensive option. A hydraulic pump system is used to raise and lower the bollard, giving the user control over the post via a:

  • Key fob
  • Remote control
  • App

Although other types of automatic bollards are available, such as pneumatic or electric, a hydraulic pump system is the most powerful option. This means that even the most robust bollards can be automated and easily controlled.

The system consists of hydraulic fluid, pump and cylinder. When the bollard needs to be raised, the fluid is pumped into the cylinder, causing it to rise. Releasing the fluid from the cylinder then allows the bollard to be lowered back into the ground when it’s not in use.

To enable automatic bollards to be fully retracted, they must be installed low enough into the ground. When fully lowered, the bollard should be flush with the ground so that it doesn’t pose a tripping hazard or safety risk.

Recommended Application

If you want to secure vehicles in a particular area, for example, the bollard can be lowered to provide access and then raised to prevent anyone from driving in or out of the space.

Alternatively, automatic bollards may be used to…

  • Prevent vehicle access when roads are only open to foot traffic.
  • Enhance building security when required.
  • Control the flow of pedestrian traffic in busy areas (e.g. outside stadiums and arenas).

Many homeowners also use automatic bollards on residential driveways to prevent unauthorised access.

Bison Top Pick: Benito Stainless Steel Bollard (600mm) £2,382.00 (incl. VAT)

Benito H6008 2

Telescopic Bollards

Telescopic bollards are retractable bollards that can raised or lowered as needed. This provides a flexible security solution that can be implemented to restrict access and protect vehicles or buildings without permanent barriers in place.

During the installation process, the ground socket is made deep enough to allow the bollard to fully retract. When the bollard is lowered, the cover plate should lay flat on the ground, so that it doesn’t present a safety risk.

These types of security bollards are lifted up and down manually, but the latest design and construction means they are easy to operate. For example, many of our telescopic bollards feature lift-assist technology that reduces lifting weight and makes it easier to raise or lower the bollard.

Recommended Application

Like automatic bollards, these bollards are suitable whenever access requirements are variable.

They are particularly useful for private residential areas where homeowners wish to secure their driveways overnight but require easy access during the day without the hassle of manual setup. This makes them one of our most popular types of driveway bollards.

Bison Top Pick: Ram Telescopic Security Post (580mm – 850mm Height) From £306 (incl. VAT)

(Remember, it’s also important to consider how tall you would like your bollard!)

Black telescopic bollard

Removable Bollards

As the name suggests, removable bollards can be taken out of situ when they are not needed. If on-site conditions are variable or access to a restricted area is sometimes required, removable bollards are a great choice as they can quickly be lifted out and stored away.

Lift-out, removable bollards don’t retract into the ground, which means they don’t require deep below-ground installation. Instead, a relatively shallow socket can be used to fix the socket into the ground. This gives the bollard enough support to provide stability and security but negates the need for deep excavation.

Many lift-out bollards feature a locking mechanism that keeps them secure and in place while in use. Additionally, removable bollards include a cover plate on the socket, that can be locked and secured when the post is removed. This ensures the ground is completely covered when the bollard isn’t being used and provides a safe environment for pedestrians and vehicles alike.

Recommended Application

Removable bollards can be an ideal security solution for driveways, car parks, and other spaces that sometimes need to be kept open.

With the option to install a spare socket for storage or keep bollards in your car boot, garage or security hut, they’re an easy-to-use and convenient way to deploy flexible on-site security.

Bison Top Pick: Heavy-duty Removable Security Post (900mm Height / Various Colours) £234 (incl. VAT)

Blue removable security post

Fold Down Bollards

Fold down bollards also offer flexibility and convenient access to protected areas, when it’s required. Used to restrict access, protect parking spaces and deter unauthorised trespassers, fold-down bollards can be deployed quickly. This means that they can easily be erected to secure an area, without the need to locate the bollard from a separate storage area.

When not in use, these bollards lie against the ground. Pedestrians will need to step over the post, while vehicles will need to navigate the post to drive over it. However, some folding bollards, such as our Stealth Fold Down Parking Post feature a horizontal socket that can be used to store and cover the post when it’s not in use.

If tripping hazards or aesthetics are a concern, this type of mechanism ensures the bollard remains hidden from view and that the ground surface is clear.

Recommended Application

These bollards effectively manage individual parking spaces in shared facilities like apartment blocks or office compounds, where controlling access to designated areas must be both simple and reliable.

They are also useful in temporary commercial applications, such as during loading and unloading operations to prevent unauthorised parking.

Bison Top Pick: TOPLOK Fold Down Security Post £98.40 (incl. VAT)

TopLok Fold down post

Static Bollards

Static bollards are fixed into place and provide a permanent security solution. Used to protect buildings, control pedestrian traffic and/or restrict vehicular access to a dedicated area, static bollards are one of the most popular commercial security measures.

All static bollards offer a high level of protection, but you can opt for enhanced protection, depending on the type of fixed bollard you choose. For example, a Heavy Duty RB 101 Galvanised Steel Bollard is capable of withstanding serious impact and can be used to protect against ram raids or accidental vehicle collisions.

Once they are installed, static bollards are a permanent feature so you’ll want to consider the visual impact your security measures will have. With ornamental, decorative or finished static posts, you can complement the surrounding environment and elevate hardscape features to create a pleasing aesthetic.

Recommended Application

Best for permanent security measures around sensitive or high-risk areas such as banks, government buildings, or cultural landmarks.

In addition to security, static bollards can be used in urban planning to enhance the aesthetics of a public space while providing physical barriers that guide traffic and protect pedestrian areas.

Bison Top Pick: RB 101 Galvanised Steel Bollard (168mm Diameter) £240 (incl. VAT)

Rhino RB 101 galvanised steel bollard

Types of Security Bollards by Finish

Stainless Steel

Bollards with a sustainable steel finish offer enhanced durability. With corrosion-resistant properties, they can withstand a variety of weather conditions without sustaining damage or staining. Due to this, stainless steel bollards typically have minimal maintenance requirements and an extended lifespan.

Stainless steel bollards also offer a contemporary aesthetic that complements a variety of settings. From automatic and telescopic bollards to static and fold-down styles, there is a wide range of stainless steel posts that can be deployed for commercial and residential security.

Bison Top Pick: Brushed Stainless Steel Retractable Post £390 (incl. VAT)

Brushed Steel Telescopic Security Post / Bollard

Timber

As well as providing enhanced security, wooden bollards can be used as a decorative accessory in commercial and residential gardens.

 

They offer a natural aesthetic and so – with different timbers to choose from – can complement any environment.

 

Bison Top Pick: Stratton Eco Timber Bollard £226.80 (incl. VAT)

Stratton Single Timber Bollard

Illuminated

Beyond their aesthetic advantages, bollards with integrated lighting increase visibility and reduce the risk of accidental impacts.

Some illuminated bollards feature a single LED light, while others use multiple LED lights to illuminate the circumference of the bollard. Similarly, the colour of the lights depends on the bollard you choose, so you can select the type and level of illumination based on your needs.

Bison Top Pick: Stratton Eco Timber Bollard £226.80 (incl. VAT)

Stratton Single Timber Bollard

Bright Colours

Bollards painted in bright colours enhance visibility significantly, making them ideal for high-traffic areas where safety is a priority.

Brightly coloured bollards are especially useful in school zones, pedestrian crossings, and near playgrounds where they ensure that both drivers and pedestrians are acutely aware of their surroundings.

Out Top Pick: Defender 168-G bolt down bollard £234 (incl. VAT)

Choosing the Right Bollard

With so many types on offer,  we understand it can be overwhelming when looking for a security bollard suitable for your budget and application.

Whilst the goal of this article was to help you make that decision, if you still want further guidance, do not hesitate to contact our expert team. Submit a contact form or call us on 01708 956833 and we will answer any questions you may have.