Site barriers vs crash rated barriers: what’s the difference?

Which barriers should I hire for my site?
3 Questions to Ask before you hire.

There are so many different barriers on the market, it’s hard to know which to choose. Here we break down the main things you need to know to ensure you hire the right barriers for the job.

Our team are here any time to help you choose the best barrier for your needs, so give Orange Hire a call if you have any questions.

1. Do you need protection from moving vehicles travelling at speed?

If you’re working on a large construction site, you may be able to use non-crash rated barriers inside the site in some areas.

However, anywhere large vehicles have the potential to come into contact with workers, it’s best to have a tough crash rated barrier in place.

Water filled barriers such as the Lo-Ro and Armorzone and concrete barriers like the Deltabloc can be used to create safe zones around the site office, lunchroom and employee parking areas, as well as to create walkways on site.

If your site is smaller and you simply need to cordon off hazards such as shallow pits or existing infrastructure like mains power or drains, a site barrier could do the job. These are typically water filled plastic barriers, however, they don’t have a specific crash rating and haven’t had stringent testing and approvals applied.

This means they’re not suitable for use around vehicles travelling much faster than walking pace, but may be suitable for many basic barricade applications. An example is the plastic delineator barrier.

2. Will you need to move the barriers often during the project?

Another thing to consider is whether you’ll need to shift the barriers as the project progresses and the landscape of the site changes.

Having concrete barriers in place is the gold standard of safety, but these are more difficult to move than water filled barriers. This means they’re best for applications where they will remain in place for a longer period, unless you have access to a barrier lifting attachment and can shift them using an excavator.

If it’s likely that you’ll need to move the barriers a few times during the course of the job, water filled barriers present a good solution. They’re relatively lightweight when empty – typically 40kg or so – but when full they can weigh up to 500kg depending on the model.

Take a look at our selection of water filled barriers here.

3. Are you working on the state road network?

For projects such as widening roads, adding lanes, creating cycleways, construction or demolition of roadside buildings, building transport networks such as bus lanes or train lines, or any project that falls under your state’s list of major infrastructure projects, you’ll probably need a crash rated barrier.

If you’re working on or beside the road itself, a crash rated barrier will probably be required by the road authority or council that maintains the road network near your project.

You can check with the local council for jobs on smaller residential roads, but for main arterial roads that are maintained by the local state road authority, you’ll want to hire a barrier that is approved for traffic use.

So how can you find this out?

Take a look at the road authority’s list of approved barriers using the links below.


Check the official RMS document here. Orange Hire can supply barriers from this list including the DB80 Concrete Safety Barrier, Armorzone barriers, Lo-Ro barriers and Precast Type F jersey barriers.


Check the Queensland TMR list here. Orange Hire can supply barriers from this list including the Precast Concrete Barrier (PCB), DB80 Precast Concrete Barrier, Lo-Ro Water Cable Barrier and Armorzone.


Check the VicRoads list here. Orange Hire can supply barriers from this list including the Armorzone and Lo-Ro as well as the DB80 K150 Deltabloc.

Get help choosing the right barriers for your project

The Orange Hire team is here to help you get the best barrier for the job – give our friendly team a call any time for advice, pricing and more.

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