Highway Care unravels the myths surrounding MASH

One of our clients recently asked a very interesting question;

“If I were to purchase a SafeStop 90HD Lorry Mounted Crash Cushion (LMCC), will it still conform to UK standards after the introduction of the upcoming 2019 TD49 update?”

In short, our answer was “yes” explaining the following:

Currently, all LMCCs deployed on Highways England roads must conform to DMRB Standard, TD49/07 – Requirements for Lorry Mounted Crash Cushions. This standard, was rolled out in 2007, and based around the then only available US standard for LMCCs, NCHRP 350 (plus the mandatory UK test of a 1500kg vehicle, 110km/h) to replicate the UK barrier standard of N2 which forms part of EN1317.

MASH (Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware) on the other hand, was developed later in 2009 to bring the standards, within the US, for safety devices up to the current 85th percentile of fleet in North America. It is notable to mention that there is a significant difference with the specification of the TL-3 vehicle between NCHRP350 and MASH as detailed here, and furthermore it is worth considering whether the 85th percentile in the UK is represented by this MASH vehicle? Many would agree not.

Seemingly, there is currently some confusion within the industry regarding the future use of the two different standards within the UK market, and more specifically the assumption that MASH, the more recent of the two, will supersede NCHRP 350.

To give some clarity, Highways England have confirmed “that the new version of TD49 will require systems to be tested to either NCHRP350, MASH 09 and MASH 16 (all with the additional 1500kg test, head-on, as presently required in TD49)”.

This means it is our clients choice whether to purchase an LMCC conforming to NCHRP350 or MASH (plus the mandatory UK test), but what other factors should our clients consider when purchasing an LMCC?

The deployed length – an LMCC increases the length of its host vehicle. The shorter the length, the easier it is to avoid nuisance/accidental damage.

The durability – the more durable the system is, the lower the repair & maintenance costs resulting from servicing, impacts and accidental/nuisance damage.

The deployable speed approved by the manufacturer - Red ‘X’ operations require an LMCC to be deployed at speeds of up to 50mph, yet not all LMCC’s available to the industry are capable of such deployment speeds, and most will require a host vehicle fitted with air suspension.

The warranty and infield support – the industry varies from the typical 12 months, up to 3 years.

The price.

Why choose Highway Care when there are so many other alternatives?

Simply put, Highway Care has been the leading pioneer in LMCCs for three decades, being the first private company to deploy an IPV fitted with LMCC back in the early 1990’s, whilst designing and developing the first Light Arrow and the first Red X Light Arrow.

With over 100 years combined experience of LMCC’s within the business, a close working relationship with Highways England and DfT, through the introduction of many innovative safety solutions, and involvement in Standards committees, Highway Care is a leading expert in the field and one of the most reliable sources of information regarding industry standards.

Should you have any questions on the myths surrounding MASH, please do not hesitate to contact Rob Mcleod on 01622 734 215