Three Questions To Ask Before Buying An AFAD

Orange construction barrels lined up on a road that is under construction.

If you’re in the road work construction business, you are all too familiar with the hazards that present themselves daily in your work zone. From weatherrelated dangers to distracted drivers, the risks are numerous. Implementing an Automated Flagger Assistance Device (AFAD) in your short-term work zone can relieve some of the stresses of working on the road, minimize dangers faced by flaggers and other workers in the work zone, and help traffic flow smoothly. There are several AFAD models on the market, including stop/slow AFADs, red/green AFADs, and other traffic control devices intended for long-term work zones but which type of AFAD is best for you? Here are some questions to ask yourself before you purchase an AFAD for your work zone.

     1. Is the AFAD easy to set   up by a diverse workforce?

Automated flagger assistance devices are made only to be used in short-term work zones and temporary traffic control (TTC) zones. The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) states that traffic control devices, like AFADs, must be assembled at the beginning of the workday and broken-down by the end of the workday. Workforces in work zones are becoming increasingly diverse, particularly with more women than ever becoming certified flaggers. Regardless of gender, all flaggers have different abilities and physical limitations. Since typically, it is the flaggers responsibility to set up and tear down the AFADs in the work zone; it is vital to find a piece of equipment that is easy for a person to manage alone. At IntelliStrobe, our AFADs are made from lightweight materials and equipped with two wheels on the back of each cabinet that allow the AFAD to be rolled around the work zone similar to a suitcase. This industry-leading design makes our AFADS easily operable by a diverse workforce.

     2. Is the AFAD portable?

While yes, all automated flagger assistance devices are portable by nature; they are not all easily transportable. Many AFADs are large and bulky and take up two trailers rather than one. All this equipment can become a big hassle quickly, since AFADs are only used in small one-lane closure work zones that are under 1,000 feet in distance. And AFAD system that uses only one trailer, like the IntelliStrobe AFAD, is ideal because it makes transporting and setup within the work zone a breeze.

     3. How easy is the AFAD to repair?

We all know how dangerous work zones can be. Since one of the primary purposes of using AFADs in your work zone is to take flaggers out of danger, AFADs are often right in the line of fire. Accidents happen, and sometimes distracted drivers will crash into an AFAD. When this happens, what can you do? Are the cabinets easy to repair? Can you swap out parts, or do you have to send in the whole cabinet? How long will the repairs take? The IntelliStrobe W1-AG AFAD has a modular design making upgrades, repairs, and replacements quick and easy.

At IntelliStrobe, we are committed to manufacturing automated flagger assistance devices that are portable, modular, and help make your work zone safe. Contact IntelliStrobe to learn more about our industry-leading AFADs.