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Safer cone collection with X-Cone among the latest safety innovations

First publishedin World Highways
June 2017
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Austrian traffic safety firm Franz Janschitz
Business is picking up for Austrian traffic safety firm Franz Janschitz

A cone collection system to further isolate workers from traffic and improved worksite lighting are among the latest safety and demarcation products

X-Cone is a new traffic cone management system offering a higher level of safety for workers and maximum efficiency for contractors.

Austrian-made X-Cone is a truck-mounted system that can manage the setting out and collection of cones from the flatbed of any 3.5tonne vehicle. It does not matter if the cones are straight or laying on the road, the X-cone can still manage the work quickly, safely and reliably, according to the manufacturer.

For setting out standard cones, the driver can decide the distance between cones by using a simple screen on the LCD display of a wireless remote control. The X-Cone has a long life expectancy. It’s stainless steel and aluminum lightweight construction make it extremely durable with minimum maintenance requirements.

Once installed on the flatbed of the service vehicle this multifunctional system is fully automatic and works unaffected by weather or temperature conditions. The design makes it fully flexible for use on the right or left side of the road and in either traffic flow direction.

The X-Cone is extremely versatile and is able to set out or collect cones ranging from 600-800mm in height. Because it collects or deposits cones quickly – without putting workers’ safety at risk – the unit is suitable for longer work zones.

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Aklea lighting system
The Acklea mast can be extended to 2.5m above the fixed base

The X-Cone has been designed for a one-man operation. After set-up a single worker can operate the system at a speed of about 6kph. X-Cone systems are working in the Austrian city of Graz and in the Czech Republic capital Prague as well as Ljubljana in Slovenia and Munich in Germany. Machines have also recently been shipped to Tokyo and Bangkok. Machines are sold through distributors to local highway administration and highway maintenance companies.

The company is also working on projects in Singapore, Denmark and Netherlands. It says that it always sends engineers for product installation of the first machine as well as product training to customers.

Lighting up


The hazards faced by workers in any country are many when operating in demanding situations such as on busy motorways, anywhere at night-time and in poor weather. To this end, Woodway Engineering, an emergency services provider, and Acklea, a traffic management vehicle specialist, have developed an illumination system to help protect vulnerable roadside workers.

The mast and lighting system – that has the approval of Highways England in the UK - is designed to illuminate the operator’s entire working area.

The mast can be extended to a height of 2.5m above the fixed base and is equipped with efficient LED flood and spot lights giving up to 32,000 lumens of light output.

The operator can also pan and tilt the lightheads in any direction with a handset operated from either inside or outside the cab. In addition, a handbrake release system has been designed to prevent the vehicle accidentally being driven away with the mast fully extended.

This mast solution has already been fitted to 14 vehicles and more installations will follow, said Andy Dougan, sales and marketing manager for Acklea.

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Aklea going mobile
Going mobile - Acklea's portable lighting system on the road

Acklea, founded in 2003, designs and builds traffic management vehicle equipment with an emphasis on operator safety, high performance and ease of use. Last November, specialist vehicle hire and management company SHB Hire acquired Acklea, based in the southern English county of Wiltshire.

Acklea and SHB were at this year’s Traffex exhibition in Birmingham, UK, where they showcased their 18tonne traffic management trucks which feature the Scorpion Crash Cushion, tested at 112kph. The truck, designed and built by SHB’s and Acklea’s fabrication teams, will be alongside Acklea’s 72tonne Iveco Daily traffic management trucks that has been designed with a plastic body for lightness.

Woodway Engineering supplies automotive emergency warning systems and vehicular mounted mast systems for many markets, including those of the police, fire and ambulance services. Products include LED ligthheads, lightbars, beacons and scene lighting.

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CPLB2 cover
The CPLB2 cover around 3,000m2 with a diameter of 61m

Chicago lights


Chicago Pneumatic has introduced its new series of electrically-powered light towers that are available in both metal and LED versions.

The CPLB2 light towers come with a choice of high-quality bulbs to enhance visibility, with wheels for ease of movement and a robust canopy. The mobile on-site tower lights plug into any power source, such as a standard outlet and a generator.

The CPLB2 LED joins three other models in the Chicago Pneumatic portfolio: the CPLT V15 LED, CPLB6 LED and CPLT H6 LED. The company says that all the lights are suitable for construction and mining sites as well as outdoor events.

They feature heavy-duty build up and high protection index (IP 67). Its four high-efficiency fLED lamps give an average coverage of 3,000m2 with a diameter of 61m - allowing 10luxes. The 7m-long mast requires height to achieve maximum light coverage and the tower’s manual lifting system is ideal for this, according to the manufacturer.

Easy service and transportability have also been factored into the design of the new light tower. Its compact frame allows up to 32 units to be transported on a single truck and offers simple access points for maintenance work.

Up to four CPLB2 LED light towers can be connected together and powered by one of Chicago Pneumatic’s newly launched single portable inverters.

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Skyguard personal device
Help is at hand with the press of a button on the Skyguard personal device

Help is at hand


Recent trials by a UK contractor of onsite emergency alerts has resulted in an order for 450 units of the Skyguard lone-worker device.

UK contractor Ringwood said it has been investigating ways to protect and aid their lone onsite workers, particularly in the case of a medical emergency. The company decided to purchase several hundred and has rolled them out across its highways service business. Workers in other sectors may also get them.


The Skyguard device is connected to a worker through the Skyguard portal which holds information about the user, including any medical conditions.

There are two functions on the device to raise an alarm, one being the SOS button which connects to the Skyguard internal call centre within 30 seconds. The other is the man-down function which raises an automatic alarm to the Skyguard call centre if the device suffers a sudden impact.

If the alarm is activated the call centre will attempt to make verbal communication with the user through the device to check if they require the emergency services. No call will be closed until the call centre ensures the user is OK. If no contact can be made with the user Skyguard will mobilise a response using their in-house security team to attend the location.

The device includes a tracker which would allow any response team to locate a distressed or potentially distressed worker.

Ringwood says that Skyguard has more than proven its worth on a number of occasions, even during trials. The device had to be used for medical assistance, alerting the emergency services who attended the injured party within seven minutes of activating the unit.

Another incident occurred when a winter maintenance spreader vehicle itself hit a patch of black ice causing it to leave the carriageway, falling onto its side. Although the driver wasn’t seriously injured, he was wearing his Skyguard device and pressed the SOS button. He could speak to the Skyguard team through the device while waiting for the ambulance which was onsite 10 minutes after the incident occurred.

Founded in 2000, Skyguard offer a range of personal safety devices linked to its own UK-based, 24/7 Incident Management Centre certified to the UK’s highest lone working industry standards - BS 8484:2016, BS 5979 Category 2 and Secured by Design. The Skyguard lone worker alarms incorporate GSM 2-way audio as well as GPS technology so that the wearer’s precise location is known.

Companies in this article

Chicago Pneumatic
www.CP.com
Highways England
www.Highways.gov.uk/Highways-England
Traffex
www.Traffex.com

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