Rumble strip deployment made faster, safer & easier

July 2, 2015

When Area Wide Protective’s Eric Hulme evaluated Plastic Safety Systems’ (PSS) RoadQuake Temporary Portable Rumble Strip (RQ TPRS) for deployment in their traffic control operations, he identified two issues that would require solutions before adding TPRS to their operations.

Area Wide Protective’s (AWP) Director of Compliance, Training & Engineering Eric Hulme, recognized that due to the size and weight of an individual strip, AWP would have to somehow create a method or procedure to safely and efficiently transport and store RQ TPRS.  That’s no small issue, given that AWP owns and operates an 800 vehicle fleet, a good percentage of which would carry RQ TPRS.

As important as the logistics of transport and storage are, the safety of AWP workers is far more important. Workers must be protected from any possible injury caused by lifting and carrying a large device. The folding version of RQ TPRS, RoadQuake 2F, is 66 in. long when folded, weighs 110 lb and requires two workers to carry.  The folded strip naturally bows in the middle when carried.     

The question became: What engineering controls could AWP bring to bear, to prevent worker injuries?

AWP built a prototype of a cargo carrier; attached to a truck hitch, which would carry six RQ TPRS. The prototype developed into a new product­­—the CRIB cargo carrier.

“With CRIB, Plastic Safety Systems took our prototype, gave it legs and then put it on steroids,” Hulme said.

RoadQuake 2F CRIB is a fully-integrated cargo carrier, designed specifically for the transport, deployment, retrieval, storage and safe-keeping of RoadQuake 2F TPRS.

CRIB holds a maximum of six RoadQuake 2F TPRS in the folded position. That’s enough to deploy two arrays. CRIB mounts to the exterior of a vehicle, which eliminates the need to find extra space in crowded vehicles.

Because of its ergonomic design, complete with a set of stainless steel rollers at each end, CRIB can reduce the potential for superficial stress to workers. RQ TPRS can virtually roll in and out of CRIB. The stainless steel rollers do a lot of the “heavy lifting” workers formerly did.

With CRIB, deployment and retrieval can now be a one-person job. One person can unfold and remove TPRS from CRIB, then pull the strips to the array location. It’s just as easy to retrieve and return them to CRIB.   

Hulme examined CRIB recently and noticed that PSS had added several ergonomic features. The recessed frame is of particular importance, as it accommodates the natural bow in the strip.

“A lot of our flagging operations are on roads that have no shoulders, so we cannot really use the rollers. But, because of the recess, workers will not have to lift the strips very high,” he said.

AWP is currently evaluating RoadQuake 2F TPRS and CRIB.