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Automatic Flagging Devices: The Future of Traffic Management

Flagging is an essential part of traffic management and road safety. Manual flagging has been a part of road construction as long as there have been roads, and with newer technology, safety is increasing. Manual flagging can be a dangerous and time-consuming task, so there has been a growing demand for automatic flagging devices. Here, we will discuss the known dangers of manual flagging, why you should use an automatic flagging device, and the automatic flagging machines available from Barricades and Signs for purchase or rent.

The Dangers of Flagging

Manual flagging is a dangerous job that requires workers to interrupt moving traffic in busy areas. This puts them close to fast-moving vehicles, which can significantly threaten their safety. In areas with high commuters, flaggers can be easily missed as drivers will have the usual routes and not be at full alert to any changes. Flagging is also very demanding on employees. The hours of standing in the same place while being diligent about safety can be taxing. 

Who benefits from an Automated Flagging Machine?

Automatic flagging machines primary use is to increase safety. Most of our customers use them during road construction, in projects that range from large to small. The devices are suitable for use in any situation where there is a temporary change in the normal flow of traffic, and the danger presented by manual flagging is unacceptable. 

A road closure using aan automatic flagging machine, automated flagging device to keep flaggers safe.

Why You Should Use an Automatic Flagging Machine

If you consider using an automatic flagging machine, the typical reasons are improved worker safety, increased efficiency, and reduced project costs. The most significant advantage is reducing the likelihood of worker injury. Using an automatic flagging machine, workers don’t need to stand in the middle of a busy road or intersection. Thus, the risk of accidents or injuries is reduced dramatically. Automated flagging machines also stay where you place them, don’t need breaks, and will operate as long as it has battery life. They’re also designed to be much more visible than a flagger, with a larger size and more opportunities to add high-intensity reflective areas. Not to mention, many Provinces like British Columbia mandate it in certain situations. 

Our customers tell us that increased efficiency is another factor in using an automatic flagging machine. The remote controller can easily be handed off to certified personnel without missing a beat. 

Finally, using an automatic flagging machine can also help to reduce costs. Hiring additional workers or paying for overtime is unnecessary with the devices directing traffic. This can lower the cost of roadworks and other projects, making them more economically viable. Additionally, automatic flagging machines are highly durable and long-lasting, meaning they can be used on multiple projects over an extended period, further reducing costs.

A Barricades and Signs Truck pulling Automatic Flagging Machines, automatic flagging devices in tandem mode.

The Automatic Flagging Machines we use

At Barricades and Signs, we consider ourselves a leader in providing traffic accommodation and safety. Our goal is to be the go-to source for all traffic safety needs in Western Canada, and that allows us to offer excellent devices.

We advise our customers to use the RCF 2.4 Automated Flagger Assistance Device (AFAD) from North American Traffic. The AFAD RCF 2.4 can be easily transported by attaching two units and towing them as a single trailer, easily pulled with a half-ton truck. 

The AFAD RCF 2.4 includes an easy-to-operate remote control that a certified flag person must operate. One operator can manage traffic flow efficiently and effectively with a range of up to 800 feet or 240 meters. The fewer objects obstructing the radio signal, the better for operation. For roadway projects that extend from over 800 feet or 240 meters, two operators with separate remote controls are required to ensure maximum safety and efficiency.  These two operators still need communication, which can be done safely away from the road surface. 

Investing in the AFAD RCF 2.4 can be a good decision if you’re concerned about worker safety, want to increase staff effectiveness, and need to be more efficient. 

With British Columbia mandating Automatic flagging devices in certain situations, we can readily stipulate that the other province in Western Canada will follow. If you’re wondering how to reduce worker risks, especially with flagging, and are trying to increase efficiencies, an automatic flagging machine might be for you. Reach out today for an in-person demonstration and to discuss if our products will work for you. 

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