The AutoCone Places and Picks Up Traffic Cones Automatically
Centreville Manufacturing Inc. (Centreville Maryland) has begun production of a new product intended to greatly reduce the danger to workers during road construction.
The AutoCone 130 is a trailer that tows behind a standard pickup truck. The trailer stores, places and picks up traffic cones automatically, requiring only the driver of the truck to operate. It was intended to remove the workers from the back of a truck while putting out or picking up cones from a roadway during construction or after an accident that requires temporary traffic diversions.
"If you've ever had to change a flat tire on the shoulder of a highway, you've had a small taste of the risk that road workers face every day. Probably the most dangerous phase of road construction is the initial closure of a traffic lane on a high speed road" says John Doran of Centreville Manufacturing Inc. "Imagine yourself sitting or standing on the back of a slow moving truck, reaching down to drop or pick up a traffic cone from the road while trucks and cars whiz by at highway speed- literally feet from you. The only protection you have is trust in the approaching drivers. Most accidents occur at night or in bad weather conditions, making a miserable and dangerous job even worse. There are construction workers that do this several times a day on some jobs. Paving and road marking operations are even tougher yet, because the cone placement needs to roll along with the paving operation-it's a non stop job. In the past, these workers had to deal with the danger, as there wasn't an alternate, but there is now"
The AutoCone 130 easily puts cones on the road, and will pick up cones that are standing upright, or have been knocked over by passing vehicles or high wind. The trailer allows you to choose when to drop a cone, or it can be setup to automatically drop cones at preset intervals as you travel along. The system uses simple controls in the cab of the truck to operate the trailer. No truck modifications are needed.