Highway Care carried out trials for the Automated Cone Laying Machine (ACLM) in August 2020 at Manston Airport with our Senior Applications Engineers on site for two weeks testing it to its limit. The team worked tirelessly to ensure every bit of engineering was absolutely spot on.
The #ACLM was showcased to senior leaders within the #highways industry. This preview of the #ACLM was another trial in itself, it will need to be tested on the road network to ensure it is ready to put into real service. But the hard work has been done and Highway Care are confident with the work our engineers have put into making the ACLM a viable machine that will keep road workers safer from
Road trials will be taking place later in the year with a view to deploying the machine in 2021.
Why does the industry need an Automated Cone Laying Machine?
Cones are used to on highways to create a taper to inform road users and road workers of essential improvements or maintenance being carried out on busy routes.
Cone laying is a manual task involving two or sometimes three road workers. One to drive the vehicle, one to lay the cones and another to watch the cone layer. By having an Automated Cone Laying Machine, just one worker would be operating in a live traffic lane rather than three. These skilled workers are then freed up to work on other important parts of highways projects, another benefit to this process being automated.
Laying cones poses a heightened risk of injury, due to operatives lifting around 10 tonnes of equipment each shift, twisting their bodies whilst doing so. Imagine how tired you'd be after a shift of cone laying!
Then there is the real risk of serious injury and even death to an operative who is laying a cone taper on a motorway. Traffic thunders past and putting out cones can be frightening and not to mention dangerous if a vehicle hits them. The automated cone laying machine takes this risk away completely.
How else can we protect road workers?
Road workers need protection when working in live lanes. Cones will draw attention to road works or lanes being narrowed where road works are taking place but depending on type the work being carried out, there should always be road safety products in use.
Highway Care supplies all types of road safety products including:
BG800 steel barrier to protect workers next to live lanes
Instaboom vehicle incursion gates to prevent unauthorised vehicles entering work sites
Kier, Connect Plus and Balfour Beatty.