Branz Technologies, Inc. of Durham, NC, needed to find a better transportation solution for their Hook & Go Portable Traffic Signal System. The company’s Hook & Go System consists of (4) pedestal-mounted traffic signals. The portable systems make traffic control safer with automated traffic signals helping to keep crews and roadway workers as safe as possible. Several municipalities, state DOT’s, paving/utility contractors, and traffic control companies currently have these systems in use.
Initially, Branz had been using a standard 12′ enclosed cargo trailer, but found it was not an ideal pairing. The enclosed trailer presented several issues for work crews: restricted visibility, limited space, lack of solar exposure, and difficult load angle. With the enclosed trailer, work crews could not see around the trailer to watch for approaching traffic when deploying the signals. Limited interior spaces also lead to issues for crews when attempting to access and maintain the systems. The portable signals are equipped with solar charging panels to recharge the units while in transport or stored, but the solar charger was rendered inoperable in the enclosed trailer. Lastly, the standard ramp door’s load angle created difficulty in loading/unloading the units safely.
Branz Techonologies’ VP, Abe Zeiger knew it was time to find a better and safer transport solution for their Hook & Go Portable Signals. “When I started researching trailer manufactures, people had great things to say about the Felling Trailers’ products. As I started reaching out to manufacturers, I didn’t get a lot of help or responses. Felling Trailers was quite the opposite of that. Mark (Rapp, Utility & Telecom Product Specialist for Felling Trailers) has been great since day one. We discussed what I was looking for, and he (Mark) started sending me options,” said Zeiger. “We started by modifying three stock Felling FT-3 Utility Pan trailers. The units have since evolved into a custom trailer fitted to Branz’s specifications for hauling the portable traffic signals,” said Rapp. The two men worked to customize the trailer in a few ways, starting with the ramp by adding 72″ pan style runners that provided a gradual, controlled incline for operators to load/unload the signals safely. From there, they worked on a latch pin system to secure the portable signals to the trailer for transport. “The latch pin system allows the signals to be secured to the trailer quickly and safely. Next, we started looking at what we could change to reduce the overall weight of the trailer. Mark has been very good at responding to questions and thinking of ideas for modifications. Mark also invited me to bring the signals up to Felling’s factory, so we could really refine our design. This helped everyone figure out what may not be needed and ideas for features to be added. Felling’s people are the pros. That’s why I chose to do business with them,” said Zeiger.
Branz Technologies now has more than two-dozen of the custom FT-3’s in service as transport solutions for their Hook & Go Portable Signal Systems with more in the works. “We currently have units in six states (NC, SC, VA, PA, TN, & MN) and are currently working on building a nationwide dealer program for the Hook & Go Portable Signal Systems. We are happy with the quality and robustness of the trailer. Customers are always complimenting us on how well built the trailer is,” said Zeiger.