Being good at what you do is just one of the ways in which you can become successful and ensure that you keep your clients happy. For road marking companies, we don’t just need to consider the satisfaction of our clients, but the safety of everyone who uses the roads that we provide our services for.
Therefore, as important as customer service and work ethic are, having the right tools and processes can make just as much of a difference when it comes to the final result. And as with everything road-related these days, it’s all about technology. With major advances in road marking and road safety technology happening all the time, it’s important to understand how these new systems and processes can help improve productivity, performance and even help save lives.
Speed & Efficiency
As with most road technology, whether it be GPS or self-driving cars, technology first and foremost serves to get the same job done quicker or at the very least save you the stress and extra effort by completing the task for you.
With the GPS, it was allowing you to take car trips without the need for mandatory stops every half an hour to open up your paper map that took up the entirety of your car. And with road marking technology, new machines make it easier than ever to perform multiple tasks, perform jobs in various weather conditions and speed up the process considerably.
For example, The LineLazer IV250DC was an incredible piece of equipment when it was first released years ago due to its ability to spray two colours at once. Even a piece of technology as simple as that can cut work time down by half just by eradicating the need to change over the pumps for each new colour.
Speed is vital when completing road maintenance and road marking, as disruptions can cause a major inconvenience to local communities and even entire counties or areas of the country, particular on motorways. The right equipment allows us to complete the work on time, making both our clients and the public as happy as possible.
One of the ways in which the right technology is able to help improve speed and efficiency is by using machines that are incredibly versatile and remove the need for constant stopping and starting, which is often the enemy to progress; why use two different products when you can just use one and never break the flow of your work?
At Hi-Way Services, for example, we use the invaluable Zirroco M100 Jet Dryer, which delivers excellent results every single time, not least because of its dual directional features. With some jet dryers, no matter how quickly we can complete the work, there is always valuable time lost when turning these machines around to dry in the opposite direction. This machine eradicates that issue by working both forwards and backwards, giving us maximum flexibility in case of mistakes.
Technology is all about giving as much control and precision over our work as possible, and versatility is just one of the weapons in our arsenal of how we can achieve that tailored service.
High Standards & Quality
One of the most valuable results of any road maintenance project is the wear. After all, maintenance is expensive, not to mention that the more often a road has work done to it, the less pleasant it may be to drive on it or even look at it. This is especially true for road markings, where ghost markings (road markings that have faded or attempted to be removed but are still slightly visible alongside newly painted ones) can prove problematic for road users, particularly in strong sunlight. The best road maintenance job is one that needs as little upkeep as possible.
One area that has always proved tricky in this regard has been areas with high traffic volume where line markings can wear out as quickly as 6 months after being refreshed. MMA line marking has been a good product for additional durability, but it has its draw backs operationally with curing times, low outputs and the requirement for road closures. We have found AR (Abrasive Resistant) Thermoplastic to be a great option for areas of high wear. With it being a thermoplastic, it can be applied with traditional methods such as screed, pram or machine. Another benefit is because it is a thermoplastic it cures in 30 sec to 1 minute meaning large areas of line marking can be done with less disruption to the local public as works can be done with Stop/Go or Multiphase lights in many instances.
AR thermoplastic can last up to 2 / 3 times longer than regular grade thermoplastic.
Improving Road Safety
Of course, the less maintenance work a project needs and the more resilient it is against weather conditions and general wear and tear, the safer road users will be. While road maintenance services do aim to tackle all necessary projects as quickly as possible, it is not always possible to fix everything as soon as the problem occurs.
Issues such as potholes, ghost markings or other faded line markings may cause accidents or confusion for those not familiar with the road layout. Even locals may be caught unawares because of a dangerous road problem after a period of bad weather where sections of the road or line marking may have been damaged.
In terms of future-proofing our roads, road markings in particular are going to become a vital part in the move towards self-driving vehicles where car systems will rely on clear and precise line markings to guide the cars.
Road markings are essential to our general safety and using the right technology to keep them as fresh and clear as possible will not only ensure that safety for the present, but also for the road users of tomorrow.