For more than 20 years, the Australian company has serviced state government departments, local councils, road construction companies, civil contractors and hire companies with its extensive range of products designed to direct, protect and inform road users.
Now in its 24th year, Saferoads is shaking things up with a rebrand, relocation and return to its core safety ethos. This is reflected in its latest suite of next-generation road safety products.
In 2016, the company moved its head office to Melbourne suburb Pakenham with the aim to better cater to its customers, market and, ultimately, the road user.
Along with a new location came a new outlook. No longer devoted to “delivering total road safety solutions” as its former slogan asserts, Saferoads has consolidated and simplified its approach with a new motto: “improving public safety.”
“This is what the company stands for,” states Trent Loveless, Saferoads National Business Development Manager.
“We’ve always had a big emphasis on safety from both a construction site perspective and from an individual point of view.”
Through its range of safety products, including traffic calming systems, guideposts, electronic traffic signs, crash cushions, temporary barriers and more, Saferoads is striving to make the roads safer not just for the road user, but the workers on the road too.
With respect to continuous research and development, the company aims to provide products that can reduce the number of manual handling requirements and potential occupation health and safety risks on site.
This refocus is exemplified through Saferoads’ new range of road safety products, cutting-edge in both design and application.
Mr. Loveless explains that Saferoads has always looked to develop products and continue to enhance them from a usability standpoint but also from a pure performance point of view as well.
The company’s new Ironman Hybrid road barriers, for instance, are an update on its original product – the Ironman Standard. When impacted, the relative performance of the barrier is significantly improved. From a contractor’s point of view it still comes with great flexibility and simplified deployment and logistics, which comes out on top of most rival products, thanks to its compact design and simple on-site handling.
Another unique product Saferoads is bringing to the Australian market is the RoadQuake system. The portable traffic calming devices alert drivers to upcoming changing road conditions and are ideally positioned where road construction and maintenance operations are underway.
“It’s an American product that has had a big impact on their workzone safety incidents. Australia is nowhere near as bad as the United States in workzone fatalities, but it still has a market here,” explains Paul Thompson, Saferoads General Manager Road Products.
He says the RoadQuake is a unique product which provides an alternative safety solution for warning drivers, particularly on rural roads where they may miss warning signs and drive dangerously through a roadwork site.
Thanks to its rigid tracked rumble pattern design, the portable RoadQuake system can be run over by a vehicle travelling at up to 120 kilometres per hour without moving.
Mr. Thompson is working with the respective state road authorities to achieve approval for the RoadQuake’s use on each region’s roads. Trials are currently underway with Main Roads in Western Australia and Roads and Maritime Services in New South Wales.
Alan Berryman, Saferoads General Manager Lighting Products, says part of the company’s new focus has given more emphasis to its patented SafePole products. Hundreds of SafePoles are already used in Victoria, and now, Mr. Berryman is working with other states to implement this safety system on their roads.
Australian designed and tested, SafePole absorbs the energy of an impacting vehicle. The controlled deceleration of the vehicle helps occupants walk away from what could be a fatal accident. “
We’ve had them tested at 60 and 120 kilometres-per-hour,” says Mr. Berryman. “The SafePole has been designed to absorb the impact and fold back around the car so it doesn’t go flying off like a projectile – it’s unique and we have the worldwide patent on the product.”
The patent is that the pole is slotted 300 millimetres into the ground and is stable and secure should a vehicle collide with it.
Saferoads has also partnered with Australian company Sonaray to develop the Delta Solar LED 30-watt light. The decorative light has all the running gear within the head of the light itself, and with its solar energy core, it is a cost-effective solution for local councils and authorities. “It’s a simple as plugging it in and turning it on,” says Mr. Berryman.
“In research and development we’re always looking at the next step,” says Paul Williams, Saferoads General Manager Workzone Products.
Mr. Williams explains that with workzone safety being such a paramount element of what Saferoads is about, variable message signs (VMS) has become one of the company’s most effective tools in managing roadwork site safety. Saferoads’ VMS are used for the advanced warning of roadwork sites, speed detection and reinforcement and are built with the highest quality standard LED lighting.
The company has also introduced its new “Zone 2” software platform for its VMS range. The “Zone 2” software manages the company’s range of electronic traffic products including VMS. The software platform and computer interface has been developed to provide the market with a secure and user-friendly method of managing their VMS assets.
The company prides itself on developing, producing and partnering with suppliers where longevity, efficiency and a clear and definite point of difference exists. Whether it be a product used by a local government client or one of Australia’s largest contractors, for short term or long term works, Saferoads will always bring its latest products and service offerings to market.