Vehicle barriers, such as speed bumps and parking barrier gate operators, are great for traffic control and managing entry into your parking lot or building. They can’t, however, completely stop vehicles that may want to forcefully enter your space. This is where Active Vehicle Barriers (AVB) like wedge barrier operators come into the picture.
Installing wedge barrier operators is your best bet if you want maximum security at your entry point to completely restrict vehicle access. This quick guide explains everything you need to know about these highly efficient but simple-to-operate barrier systems, so you can choose the type that best fits your facility.
What are Wedge Barrier Operators?
A wedge barrier is an active vehicle barrier system designed to pop up when needed and block vehicle access using a rigid wedge-shaped plate or fingers. Wedge barrier operators are excellent security solutions for restricting vehicle access into high-security areas.
Unlike regular vehicle access systems, wedge barriers can prevent vehicles from forcefully entering your space. Their anti-ram security designs can stop armed vehicles and large trucks driving at high speeds in their tracks.
The plate or finger wedges are designed to pop up and incapacitate any vehicle that tries to forcefully push through them. Wedge barriers are built to operate very quickly, usually within seconds, and can be controlled automatically or by manned security.
Why You Should Consider Wedge Barriers
If you’re unsure about using vehicle barriers, particularly a wedge barrier operator, here is a list of some important advantages that might help convince you:
- Low-maintenance system
- Fast operation times
- Rigid construction can withstand high impacts from large vehicles
- Simple to control
- Easy to install in different spaces
- Does not require deep foundations
- Reflective materials and warning lights can be installed to increase visibility
- Highly durable for long-lasting performance
Types of Wedge Barrier Operators
Once you’ve determined that your entry point needs a vehicle wedge barrier operator, the next step would be to figure out exactly what type of operator to install. Wedge barriers come in plate and finger wedge options, and they are available in a few different styles, including:
Portable Wedge Barriers
Portable wedge barriers can be easily deployed or moved and serve as temporary barriers to increase vehicle access control and security during special events. These options are available in various crash ratings, with some models featuring operable crash plates.
Surface-Mount Wedge Barriers
Surface-mount wedge barriers are suitable for installation at locations where excavation is not feasible. Their self-contained designs are also great for mounting them in difficult areas, such as places with drainage issues and parking ramps.
Shallow Mount Wedge Barriers
Shallow mount wedge barrier controllers are the widely used in most entry points of highly sensitive facilities. Typically manufactured from heavy steel plates, shallow mount wedge barriers require only a few inches of excavation for installation.
Consider a passive vehicle barrier system if you want a more permanent, unmanned solution for preventing vehicles from crashing into your property. For example, installing a passive bollard in front of your store can stop vehicles from ramming into your storefront.
Electric Versus Hydraulic Systems
Regardless of which wedge barrier style option you go with, you’ll still have to decide between a hydraulic and electric system. A hydraulic or electric system operates the formidable wedge plates or fingers that pop up to prevent unauthorized vehicle entry. One is not necessarily better than the other; instead, they offer unique advantages that suit different situations.
Here’s a quick overview of both wedge barrier systems:
Electric Wedge Barriers
Electric wedge barriers generally have higher upfront costs when it comes to purchasing the equipment, have less maintenance and operational costs. Installing them is cheaper considering there is no installation of hydraulic pumping unit concrete pads and there are no cables to bury.
Although these barriers have minimal impact on the environment, proper drainage is necessary to prevent water interference and to keep the actuators operable.
These barriers offer the following benefits:
- Easier to maintain: Maintaining electric barriers is comparably easier than hydraulic options, thereby reducing overall costs in the long run.
- Suitable for use in all weather: Electric wedge barrier operators can work effectively in any weather condition without problems.
- More control over unit speeds: Electronic systems allow you to choose how fast the wedge comes up and goes down. Security personnel or a gate operator can easily set up variable speeds to make the wedge pop up fast and return more slowly.
Hydraulic Wedge Barriers
Hydraulic wedge barrier operators are common due to their reliability and durability. With regular and proper maintenance, these units can last for several years. While the cost of the equipment is generally cheaper compared to electric units, they require more complex installation procedures, and the cost of maintenance can add up over time.
The biggest downside of hydraulic wedge barriers is cold weather. The power unit and oil viscosity in a hydraulic system may be affected during colder months. Thankfully, heating systems can help solve this problem.
Hydraulic barriers provide the following benefits:
- Reliable performance: Hydraulic pumping units don’t have frequent maintenance issues, making them highly reliable. Although many hydraulic systems use environmentally friendly fluids, the controllers can also work with vegetable oils.
- Generates high pressure: If you want wedge barriers with considerably higher pressure, a hydraulic wedge barrier is the way to go. The power units are designed to be more powerful and generate a stronger force.
- Increased hardware protection: Hydraulic barriers feature enclosed motors, protecting them against damage. Also, the lines are completely buried underground, so there is little to no interference with the various hardware parts necessary for smooth and quick operation.
Choose the Right Wedge Barrier Operator for Your Entry Point
Thinking about restricting vehicle access into your space? You’ll find a variety of wedge barrier operators here at All Security Equipment. Look through our collection of wedge barrier operators to find the best model for your entry point.
If you have any questions about wedge barrier operators, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to answer any of your questions and help you find the best solution for your needs.