How to Choose a Truck Mounted Attenuator for Your Company

A truck mounted attenuator can be legally required for your work crew, depending on the location and nature of their work. Even if it's not legally required, such a vehicle or accessory can mean keeping your crew safe in the event of an errant driver. The truck mounted attenuator serves to warn drivers of your crew's presence and also to absorb the impact of any oncoming vehicle if it should run off the road, toward the workers. When you're ready to purchase a truck mounted attenuator, you'll want to ensure you choose the right type for your needs, as they are a costly investment. Note a few tips to keep in mind.

1. Note any mass requirements

The length of a truck mounted attenuator is important for absorbing the impact of a high-speed collision, but the mass or weight may be an even more important factor, as the weight helps hold the attenuator in place after such a collision. Consider where your crews are typically working and if there are legal mass requirements for a truck mounted attenuator in that area. If your crew tends to work in different cities, counties, municipalities, and the like, you may find that there are different requirements for all of them, so invest in an attenuator with the largest required mass. Don't assume that the size of the attenuator alone, meaning its length and width, is the best indicator of how much of an impact the attenuator can withstand, as a smaller but heavier attenuator can sometimes be an even safer investment overall.

2. Trailer versus truck

A trailer attenuator is just as the name implies; it's a trailer that is towed to an area and hitched to a truck. An actual truck with a mounted attenuator is one piece; the attenuator is a permanent part of the truck itself. There may be legal requirements in many areas as to whether or not you are allowed to use a trailer attenuator, so check those requirements before making a decision between the two styles.

If there is flexibility, note that a trailer may need its own license and other such paperwork, but may be easier to store and require less maintenance than an entirely separate truck that is used just for the attenuator. A trailer may also fit more readily in narrow roads, through tunnels, and the like. If you can choose between the two, note the advantages of an actual trailer versus a full truck with an attenuator.