Arrowes hits target with Automated Cone Truck

Handling safety system designed to shield road workers

Arrowes hits target with Automated Cone Truck
The ACT in action


Queensland firm Arrowes has launched a traffic cone layer aimed at removing the risk to road workers from passing traffic.

Brisbane-based manufacturer Arrowes, which specialises in road safety solutions, dubs the Isuzu-based rigid vehicle as the Automated Cone Truck (ACT).

It features:

Semi-autonomous deployment and retrieval of traffic cones with in- cab, industrial grade tablet control. Smart tracking and deployment system, taking care of repetitive heavy lifting

Smart tracking and planning system keeps track of number of cones loaded and assesses cone requirements based on spacing and distance input

Laser-assisted retrieval alignment and there are options for cameras, DVRs and accessories.

"The ACT automatically deploys and retrieves cones from work sites with a single operator, removing two people from being exposed to the risks of live traffic, potentially saving lives," the company says. 

Developed over the last three years at the company’s manufacturing facility at Brendale, Brisbane, the ACT uses proprietary mechatronics for the task.

With a capacity of 400 cones, it can retrieve cones from both sides of the vehicle, while driving forward or reversing and is equipped to close over 9km of highway without stopping,

Arrowes states that this is more than twice the capacity of most conventional cone trucks.

Cones can be deployed and set at one every five seconds and they can also be placed at any set spacing. 

When deployed with 12m cone spacing, the ACT can place cones at 8kmh or at 24m spacing at 16kmh.

"The ACT not only improves safety, but also improves productivity," Arrowes says. 

"One kilometre of lane closure only takes the ACT seven minutes, much faster than a worker on foot. The control software provides a simple, easy to use interface, reducing training requirements and limiting driver fatigue.

"Cone spacing can be set manually, or the user can configure an Automatic Deployment Profile with the required spacings and distances for easy integration with a worksite Traffic Guidance Scheme."

Much impetus to the ACT’s development comes from road-work safety campaigner Colin Caudell, whose wife lost her life doing such work.

"Over the last three years, as part of our five-year technology road map, we have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in R&D," Arrowes executive director Ken Ea explains.

"We have also recruited young talent from UQ and QUT who have worked tirelessly to deliver our latest game-changing innovation to improve efficiency and safety. The ACT is set to become the new norm for safe and efficient cone deployment and retrieval and is our most significant innovation to date.

"Our focus and DNA is centred on pioneering and investing in technologies that can improve safety for the roading community. We have relentlessly questioned and explored numerous concepts to create new solutions that deliver tangible results from day one. Our focus and DNA is all about pioneering and investing in technologies that can improve roading safety.

"As far as we are aware, we are the only Australasian roading equipment manufacturer investing in R&D. We do this because we understand the risks associated with working in live traffic and know there must be better ways of keeping our people safe. 

"Our roading safety journey really stepped up in 2014, when we learnt about Colin Caudell’s tragic loss of his wife, who was killed while directing traffic at road works on the Bruce Highway, at Marlborough, Queensland.  Mrs Caudell was holding a stop/slow sign to south-bound traffic when she was hit by a B-double.

"The Road Safety Innovation Hub was created in response to Colin’s lobbying for the improvement of safety to protect road workers.  This was our first insight into how real the risk to life and a pivot point in our company’s journey.

"We don’t believe that high risk should be acceptable in the road construction industry, so we continuously strive to find new and better solutions to make roadwork sites a safer place to work.

"Unfortunately, road construction and maintenance workers are still amongst the most likely to be involved in a workplace incident.

"This not only includes the immediate danger of being hit by a fatigued or careless driver, but also the long-term impact of repetitive, strenuous tasks.

"The financial and emotional toll an incident can have on families, friends and colleagues can’t be understated. In addition to the personal impact, road accidents translate directly to increased costs and delays in infrastructure projects."


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