As can be gathered from the many photos on this website, there are a number of different options with regards to the size, configuration and capacity of the equipment that we can utilize in the marking of roadways. The reason for this is that there are ‘ horses-for-courses ‘ in Road marking and we need to be able to offer our clients the best possible options to suit their needs.
Obviously, a car park line is a very different marking concept to a multi-lane freeway…
What Works Where?
Refreshing of existing road markings
If the road markings are already existing and just need ‘ refreshing ‘, then truck mounted Road marking equipment will do well for most line marking, with hand-held spray guns on long extension hoses being used on the lettering and symbols. This works well on medium sized urban or rural areas. However, if the lines that need re-marking are of a short and twisting nature, a truck will have difficulty in maintaining the accuracy on the curved sections, due to the length of the wheelbase of the vehicle which makes anticipating and allowing for the curves very difficult. In this case, we would use the smaller push-frame unit, which we have designed, developed and manufactured in-house to deal with tighter markings. It utilizes the same pump technology as our smaller truck-mounted Road marking units, but is able to negotiate tighter radius curves. This unit also has the extension hoses & hand sprayguns to be able to paint lettering and symbols and is what we use extensively on car parks and residential or business estates.
Larger repainting jobs
For larger repainting jobs, we turn to our bigger 4 or 6 ton truck mounted rigs, which can carry a larger amount of material to reduce stoppages for ‘re-loading’ , as well as offering the advantages of a longer wheelbase, which assists the operators in getting a straight and smooth line.
Traffic and weather conditions
Other issues to consider when re-painting road markings are traffic accommodation and weather conditions. Generally, a roadway that needs repainting is existing and therefore has traffic flowing over it. The long-suffering motorist seems ( from our hands-on experience) able to handle short delays ( like stop-go waits ) of no more than 15 minutes in rural areas and 5 minutes in urban areas. Anything longer than that seems to start aggravation and aggressive ( read ‘road-rage’ ) behaviour in motorists. The amount of insults, threats and objects ( read cans, bottles etc ) hurled at our crews on a daily basis is very enlightening as to the general ‘angst’ that seems to be simmering just below the surface of the average motorist. Using their vehicle as a weapon to chase road-work crews is not unusual at all.
Different locations require different safety measures and safety equipment for our staff, which has a direct impact on the overall working conditions.
Working on Freeways in the open country, for instance, you need to be prepared for the large volumes of truck drivers that are not happy with a delay on their trip. After all, in their business time means money.
Working in areas with a lot of traffic from people rushing to work and busy taxis, poses an entirely different challenge. Our team needs to be prepared for people rushing to work, already irritated with the traffic on the road, as well as taxis that are not always following the rules of the road. Sometimes merely using orange traffic cones to direct the traffic does not do the trick.
The Better the Equipment and Crew…
All of the above examples show that every situation is unique and requires a different approach. Our overarching objective is always to deliver the highest quality work whilst causing the least amount of inconvenience to the motorists on the road.
Equipment that can quickly apply the correct type and quantity of material in the prescribed manor, protect the markings until fully dried and then get off the road, move all the warning signage kilometers down the road and start again, is what it is all about. The better the equipment and crews, the less time ‘in the roadway’ is spent.
3 Gun Spraying Machine
Some of the contracts we work on involve painting three lines in one pass at the same time, in order to maintain the accuracy and alignment of the 3 lines, relative to each other. (Think of the dotted or broken centerline and the two ‘ no-overtaking’ lines on each side on your average rural roadway)
By doing them in one pass, once the equipment has been properly set-up in the morning, the correct spacing is assured -in theory. The equipment set to do this requires a large amount of high pressure paint-pump capacity, as there are times when all 3 guns are spraying lines at the same time. You need kit that can pump over 12 liters of paint a minute – to exact tolerances.
We have one large rig that is capable of spraying three lines simultaneously- in two different colours!
This rig can paint the 3 centrelines to a ‘toll-type’ roadway that has a yellow centreline and two solid white lines on each side. In ONE pass. Meaning – less time in the middle of the roadway, in turn leading to less irritation to the motorist.
Not only that, it can paint the left solid yellow edge-line and the broken ( dotted) white centrelines of the 4 lane roadway in 1 pass, taking 50% less time in the roadway than all other systems. This furthermore means less irritation to the motorist.
Another area of consideration is the material that will be used. Often this is out of the hands of the main contractor, who is working to a government, provincial or municipal specification.
The new generation of cold – thermoplastic materials offer a really good value-proposition to the person/ entity in charge of maintaining a roadway. This technology offers a strong, durable, highly reflective, easy to apply (with the right kit ) and very fast drying times, meaning :-
- Repainting of road markings less often.
- Less time required for Roadpainters in the roadway.
- Less irritation for motorists.
A great example of this is the William Nicol N1 Interchange.