How do Automatic Bollards work?

battery powered

Parking Bollards that lift and lower automatically – but how?

Remote control bollards move up or down at the push of a button, and that’s all good and well.

But we hear you. It’s been keeping you up at night.

How do automatic bollards work? What kind of cosmic energies are at play when your That’s My Spot parking bollard lovingly descends to welcome you back to your parking spot?

Toss and turn in your sleep no more. We’ve got the answer. Or rather, answers.

It turns out automatic bollards are powered in multiple ways depending on the bollard.

In general, there are four main ways to power automatic bollards. Namely electronic, pneumatic, hydraulic, or simplest of all, battery. Let’s take a closer look at each.


Electronic automatic bollards

Old faithful, these parking bollards operate using a piston and cylinder system. They are highly precise and often have the option to alternate the speed of the bollard’s descent or ascent. However, they also come with a drawback – their electrical components are buried deep in the ground, leaving them vulnerable to mud and water. Depending on their installation location, this can cause an expensive maintenance issue later down the track. If using this kind of bollard, is vital water doesn’t pool around the bollard, the area isn’t prone to flooding and that the bollard is installed in such a way to facilitate sound draining. This type of bollard ends up being super expensive and is really more suitable for commercial use applications. Think the Sydney Opera house, parliament, and so on.

Pneumatic automatic bollards

These bollards are highly sophisticated – the crème de la crème. They use compressed gas to power the cylinder inside the bollard upwards, causing it to lift. They are very accurate and require minimal maintenance. Of course, pneumatic motors might be too powerful and complex to be necessary for the average parking bay owner. Simplicity is just more budget-friendly and less complicated to get up and running. Again, this highly sophisticated bollard is more suitable to high-scale commercial applications.

Hydraulic automatic bollards

Other bollards should not pick a fight with this bollard. This is the industry workhorse, capable of powering up to 10 000kgs of force without flinching. These units are also all but immune to environmental hazards such as water and mud. They are reliable and come with few maintenance issues. What’s the drawback, you ask? Well, firstly, they are complex to install and not particularly open to easy moving and re-installation. Such parking bollards are often remotely powered, with the hydraulic controller fixed to the barrier by a complex system of hoses or pipes which run beneath the ground. The second and perhaps more glaring issue with these systems is that they just aren’t very eco-friendly due to their use of petroleum-based oils. These systems tend to require a fair bit more finesse than simpler options, too. For example, exposure to the elements such as cold can have an adverse effect on the oil, thickening it to the point of viscosity. While this can be solved by installing a heater, the cost and complexity quickly ramps up to make this likely too advanced a propulsion system for the average parking bollard owner.

Battery-powered automatic bollards

Battery-powered car park bollards are reliable and precise. While not suitable for any industrial-scale heavy-lifting, they are the optimal choice for the force needed to lift parking bollards. Their benefits are far-reaching. Battery powered remote control bollards are simple to install as they don’t require any complicated routing to electrical outlets or power sources. Other than the convenience, this means they can be installed easily in near any location, without the constraints of proximity to power connectivity. This easy installation further means that battery-powered automatic bollards are happy to be picked up and moved. A few loosened screws and they can be relocated without restarting the connection process.

How are That’s My Spot remote control parking bollards powered?

Our bollards over at That’s My Spot are driven by passion – okay, and batteries. Mostly the batteries. These batteries are rechargeable for maximum longevity and ease of use. We chose this power solution because many of our customers express they would like the option to easily relocate their bollard in the future if need be, making this the most effective solution to ensuring our automatic bollards are…automatic.

We hope this solved the time-old question behind how automatic bollards are powered to do what they do.

If you need any replacement batteries for your parking bollard, just order them on our accessories page. 

And if you need to buy a remote control bollard, simply head over to our products page to find out more.