Not all temporary fence panels are made equal. There can be a huge difference in the make and quality from panel to panel, supplier to supplier. And it’s important to know what the differences are and how you can spot the differences to determine if you are getting what you paid for, you’re not getting ripped off and your temporary fencing is adequately covering the job you’ve intended it for.
Many times we are called out by a client to replace an existing temporary fence install that is just not up to the job at hand. Or, we will be out on-site and see dodgy fence panels in action. When it comes to temporary fence hire, the quality of the product needs to be considered when you are hiring.
There is absolutely no point in hiring and installing temporary fence panels if the frame and mesh infills are rusty, bent or broken. In this case, the effectiveness of the fence for keeping people in, out or safe is reduced dramatically. And, the risk of injury to people is significantly increased.
So, when looking at the quality of the temporary fencing hire components, consider these elements specifically.
What the Fence Panels Are Made Of
Generally speaking, there is really only two types of material that temporary fence panels are constructed of. Steel or Aluminium. You’ll be able to tell the difference based on the weight. Steel fence panels will be much heavier than Aluminium.
Both Steel and Aluminium have their benefits and pitfalls, so it’s important to consider where you will be installing your temporary fence panels to determine which material will work best.
Preferably you will want construction fence and security fence panels to be constructed out of steel as it is much more durable and sturdy. As construction fence is higher, than say, temporary pool fencing a steel fence is going to have much less chance of falling over in strong winds or if some mischievous kid tries to climb it.
A downfall to using steel is that it is prone to rust, so hot-dipped galvanised steel is the way to go.
If you are only looking to hire crowd control barriers or half-height safety barriers, then aluminium is a good choice. It is lightweight, making the barriers easy to install, pack down and move if needed.
How the Temporary Fence Panels Are Constructed
Asking how the temporary fence panels are constructed is also another important question to ask when hiring a temporary fence. This is another area where there is a big difference in the quality.
If a temporary fence panel is going to fail, it will generally be at the joins first. Projects, where we have been called out to replace panels installed by others, is because the panel mesh has effectively frayed and the joins between the frame and the steel mesh have come apart. This is a big problem for several reasons:
- The fence no longer meets the Australian Standards for Temporary Fencing and Hoardings (AS 4687 – 2007), as it is not in good condition
- The stability of the entire fence install is impacted
- The security risk is increased as it’s now easier for trespassers to enter the site through the hole in the panels
- The liability for the site manager and/or property owner increases considerably as the damaged parts of the fence are now a safety hazard and can cause injury.
Ideally, when you hire temporary fence panels, you want to confirm that all joins have been hand-welded for extra strength and durability.
How the Fence Panels are Maintained
Maintenance on temporary fence panels and all other temporary fence components is also a key contributor to ensuring you getting bang for your buck when hiring.
Let’s face it, temporary fencing is not the most exciting or attractive item you will see on any construction site or at any event, but they are seen none-the-less and just like curb appeal on a home, you are going to be judged by your fence.
No one wants to see old, tired, rusted and bent fencing panels. You could have the tidiest job site or the fanciest event, but your reputation could be impacted by the quality of the fence hired to protect your construction site or direct your event attendees.
Sure, you can cover the panels up with branded banners or protective mesh, but there is still going to be components of the fence that are showing. And if those parts are old, rusting and damaged, people are going to notice.
Putting vanity aside, hiring temporary fencing that has not been adequately maintained further increases the chance of the fence not doing an adequate job and potentially running the risk of harm or injury to unsuspecting users or bystanders.
It’s important that all temporary fence components are checked before being hired out and installed on site. All components then need to be thoroughly checked when they are taken down and returned at the end of each event or project. This ensures that no damage is overlooked and any panels or components that are starting to show wear and tear can be repaired or replaced.
The cost of hiring a temporary fence does play a big part in the decision making. This we know. But if you are using money as the only factor when hiring, and you are not checking what quality or type of temporary fence you are hiring, then you run the risk of having a substandard product installed on your site. You could end up with an inadequate install, that is not up for the job at hand, does not meet the Australian Standards, looks terrible and could potentially cost you a whole lot more in the long run.
Are you willing to take the risk to save a few bucks?
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