How Often Do Bollards Need Servicing?

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Bollards serve an invaluable purpose when it comes to traffic management and perimeter protection. However, like any security system, they require regular maintenance and servicing to keep them functioning optimally. Otherwise, you run the risk of your equipment failing when it’s needed most – potentially leading to injury, property damage or a security breach.

But how often should bollard servicing take place, and what’s involved? In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of bollard maintenance, the factors that can impact their condition, and how often different types of bollards need servicing.

Why Does Bollard Maintenance Matter?

You expect your bollards to serve as dependable protective barriers. But you cannot simply install them and assume they will work indefinitely without care. Regular bollard servicing is critically important for maintaining adequate security and protection.

Without regular bollard servicing, you may be left with a defective bollard that fails to prevent unauthorised vehicular access or potential criminal threats. Waiting until problems emerge can lead to catastrophic security failures.

Bollards with structural damage or instability may also pose a risk to public safety. They may lack the integrity to stop an out-of-control car from mounting the curb and colliding with pedestrians or buildings.

For telescopic bollards, regular maintenance also helps minimise mechanical and electrical problems that could potentially leave you with an inoperable bollard when access control is needed urgently.

Finally, effective servicing also ensures your bollards maintain their visual appeal by preventing any unsightly damage, rust or excessive wear.

What Factors Can Affect Bollard Condition?

All security bollards should be regularly serviced to ensure they’re still in good working order and providing adequate protection. There are a few key considerations that will determine how rapidly your bollards deteriorate and therefore how often they need maintenance or servicing. For example:

  • Exposure to weather – rainfall, extreme temperatures and road salt in winter months can all accelerate corrosion and degradation of bollard materials if left unchecked.
  • Impact damage – accidental collisions by vehicles over time can loosen or damage fixtures. More frequent servicing may be required for bollards in high-traffic locations.
  • Construction and finish – some bollard materials are more prone to damage than others. Concrete bollards, for example, may suffer from chipping or cracks, while non-galvanised steel bollards may rust easily.
  • Usage frequency – telescopic bollards that raise and lower multiple times daily will naturally experience more mechanical wear than those used occasionally.
  • Public access – bollards accessible to the public may be more susceptible to vandalism or attempts to force entry, requiring vigilant maintenance to fix any resulting issues.
  • Age of bollards – older bollards or those reaching the end of their specified lifespan will naturally require more frequent servicing and repairs to remain functional.

The quality of installation can also make a difference. Poorly installed posts are more likely to work loose or suffer mechanical problems. High quality bollard installation and setup provides a more durable foundation.

How Often Do Different Types of Bollards Need Servicing?

There are various different types of bollards, from fixed concrete security bollards to hi-tech automatic bollard systems. Some bollards may need servicing more regularly than others, including those with more complex operating mechanisms or made with less sturdy materials.

It’s vital to follow the manufacturers’ instructions and have your bollards serviced at the recommended intervals. This is often required to maintain warranties and insurance coverage. Here is a rough guide to servicing frequently for different bollards:

Automatic Bollards

Fully automatic bollards with electrical and hydraulic components have the most complex mechanisms. They should be professionally serviced at least once or twice annually depending on usage levels, or in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. As well as a general assessment of the bollard’s condition and finish, other tasks may include:

  • Testing electronic components
  • Checking and replacing hydraulic fluids/seals
  • Lubricating moving parts
  • Adjusting/replacing worn parts
  • Software/firmware updates
  • Testing emergency backup systems

More frequent servicing, e.g. every 3 or 6 months, may be advisable for intensively used automatic bollards. This frequent maintenance helps prevent malfunctions and keeps all internal systems in proper working order.

Semi-Automatic Bollards

Semi-automatic lift-assisted bollards also feature hydraulics that enable the post to be raised or lowered with reduced physical exertion. Servicing is typically recommended annually as a minimum, with twice-yearly servicing recommended for high-traffic locations. Engineers will inspect the hydraulics and mechanics, make any necessary adjustments, and replace any parts showing wear.

Fixed Bollards

As fixed bollards do not have moving parts, they require less frequent routine servicing than retractable models. However, regular inspections are still advisable to check for damage, stability and corrosion.

Any remedial work can then be identified and carried out, such as applying protective coatings or securing any loose foundations. For some types of fixed bollards, such as basic concrete bollard posts, it may be safer or more economical to replace the bollard rather than to attempt repair.

Removable Bollards

Removable bollards should be inspected, cleaned and lubricated frequently – typically every 6-12 months, though this will depend on the model. The lock housing and locking bolt should be checked for any dirt or damage which could prevent smooth operation. Any loose fixings to mounting plates should also be tightened.

How to Inspect Your Security Bollards

Alongside routine servicing, you should regularly inspect your bollards and remain vigilant for any signs that they require ad-hoc maintenance or repairs in between scheduled visits. For example:

  • Visible damage to the bollard structure itself, such as cracks or dents
  • A bollard leaning or appearing unsteady when raised
  • Sticking or jerky operation when lowering/raising
  • Strange mechanical noises during operation
  • Hydraulic leaks
  • Failure to raise or incomplete retraction
  • Access control system malfunctions
  • Lights/safety reflectors not functioning (for illuminated bollards)
  • Corrosion or rust on the bollard surface

Do not hesitate to contact a professional bollard engineer, such as MACs Bollards, as soon as any issue arises. Timely intervention can often solve minor issues quickly and affordably.

Professional Bollard Servicing with MACs Bollards

When it comes to something as important as the security of your property, it pays to have the job done right. At MACs Bollards, we have been providing high-quality bollards and maintenance services for over 15 years across the UK.

Our experienced engineers possess in-depth technical expertise that comes from years of specialised training and practice. We carry out thorough inspections and servicing to the highest standard, using only top quality replacement parts and materials.

Whether you’re looking for one-off bollard repairs or wish to take advantage of our ongoing service contracts, contact MACs Bollards today. Call 0161 320 6463 or email today.

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