The state of Vermont is among the first to install the MFLEAT flared terminal system from Road Systems Inc. (RSI). The Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) approved the MFLEAT for use in the state in September 2019, and wanted to move ahead quickly with getting them on the state’s roads the following month.
RSI recently introduced the MFLEAT as its new MASH 2016 Test Level 3-compliant flared terminal. The only terminal of its kind presently on the market, the MFLEAT is poised to build upon the success of its predecessor, the NCHRP 350 FLEAT—as well as that of the MSKT, RSI’s MASH 2016 TL-3 compliant tangent terminal.
Before any installations began, VTrans wanted to prepare their maintenance forces and get them completely ready to work with the MFLEAT—that is, to ensure that not only all installations will be correctly performed, but also that the VTrans crews were up-to-speed with repair procedures, since they intend to do their own repairs.
So on a beautiful sunny fall Vermont morning, RSI field representatives joined officials and maintenance crews for a demo installation of an MFLEAT at a VTrans maintenance garage. Key maintenance personnel from every district in the state were on hand for the event.
The day started with a shop briefing explaining the reason for the demo and what was ahead. VTrans has their own guardrail post pounder and does their own guardrail and terminal repairs, so RSI reps worked with the crews to integrate their existing procedures with the installation of the MFLEAT, and demonstrated how to undertake repairs when needed. The installation and the Q&A session afterwards proved to be beneficial for all those in attendance.
As it happened, immediately prior to the demo installation, VTrans was informed that an existing NCHRP 350 FLEAT on one of the state’s roads had just been impacted. So on the day following the demo, VTrans maintenance crews were dispatched to the site of the damaged FLEAT and repaired it with an MFLEAT.
In this way, Vermont crews were able to put their newly acquired skills to immediate practical use. After the repair, VTrans sent photos to RSI with a note saying “Thank you again for your effort in making this training a success for us at VTrans.”
Historically, RSI has found that most guardrail installers are experienced and familiar with the products they install. The biggest percentage of the errors in the field occur during maintenance operations when inexperienced maintenance personnel are doing the repairs. Thanks to the efforts of VTrans, this should not be the case in Vermont.
RSI congratulates VTrans for being proactive by reaching out to RSI to facilitate this MFLEAT training program, which helped familiarize their forces with the products they will be maintaining—before the products are installed on their roads.
RSI will soon be introducing online training for the MFLEAT to further assist those installing, inspecting, and maintaining the product.