Understanding Load-Bearing Capacity for Concrete Barriers

Posted on in Concrete barrier hire, Concrete Barriers
Kentledge Blocks Moving

As suppliers of premium concrete blocks and barriers for construction sites and engineering projects across the UK, Maltaward is often asked – does the load-bearing capacity of concrete barriers matter?

It’s an important question. When implementing robust perimeter protection measures on your site, you need assurance the chosen barriers can withstand operational wear, environmental elements, and potential impacts without failing.

At Maltaward, we provide durable concrete barriers designed and tested to handle heavy loads while keeping sites, assets, and people safe and secure. Read on for professional guidance on assessing concrete barrier load capacities.

What Factors Influence Concrete Barrier Strength?

Several variables affect the load-bearing capabilities of concrete products like barriers, blocks, and bollards:

  • Concrete Grade – Concrete is rated on a scale from C10 to C60, indicating its designed compressive strength in megapascals (MPa). Higher grades from C40 upwards are typically used for structural load-bearing masonry work and heavy civil applications.
  • Reinforcement – Steel reinforcement bars (rebars) integrated into concrete add tensile strength to handle flexing and impacts. Hollow blocks – often lighter than solid concrete blocks – often require steel reinforcement and can work in a load-bearing capacity.
  • Concrete Density – Heavier, thicker concrete can manage greater surface loads without cracking or crumbling. They are typically more difficult to handle than more hollow or less dense blocks but often add greater stability in upholding structural integrity.
  • Dimensions – A barrier’s length, height and width impact total load capacity based on sheer mass. Wider jersey concrete barrier bases especially improve stability.

Considering these variables, we formulate commercial-grade concrete barriers to handle heavy loads while remaining portable via special equipment and machinery. Let’s explore more specifics on barrier strength ratings.

Load Bearing Capacities by Barrier Type

Our concrete barriers are designed in compliance with British Standard EN 1317 to tolerate significant uniformly distributed loads without fracturing or overturning.

Jersey Barriers

With slender profiles enabling quick installation and reconfiguration, jersey barriers have moderate load handling.

  • These are manoeuvrable 1500kg concrete barriers.
  • They are made from high-strength precast concrete (50N/mm2).

These would be suitable as car park dividers, roadside barriers, security access perimeters and crowd control.

Whether buying or hiring, we can supply precast concrete jersey barriers nationwide with prompt delivery.

TVCBs (Temporary Vertical Concrete Barriers)

TVCBs can be installed where heavy-duty barrier protection is required. These barriers and bollards come in a variety of sizes and configurations, but as a loose guide:

  • Each block weighs 2.5 tonnes.
  • They can be bolted together to add extra resilience.
  • They are also made from resilient precast concrete (50N/mm2).

Their versatile design with interlocking capabilities makes them easily configurable and can manage traffic and people, as well as loads, fairly comfortably. Entrusting shear loads to them should be considered by consulting concrete barrier supplies like Maltaward, who can guide proper installation and configuration.

Kentledge Concrete Blocks

Kentledge blocks (otherwise known as hoarding or kelly blocks) may not be as heavy as TVCBs or jersey barriers, coming only in either half-tonne or full-tonne maximums.

However, their expanded surface area (1030x750x750 for 1-tonne blocks, and 1025x430x580 for 0.5-tonne blocks) makes them suitable products as anchors. They provide secure anchorage for scaffolds while also making them ideal counterweights on cantilevered structures. They are made using high-strength concrete (50N/mm2), thus giving them tremendous resilience for all types of downward pressure.

Are Interlocking Concrete Blocks Load-Bearing?

Load-bearing capacity is a vital consideration that engineers must take into account before any construction begins. The foundation must be able to handle a certain amount of weight and no more, whether it’s a temporary wall or a multi-storey building.

Interlocking concrete barriers are load-bearing, to some degree. The configuration of the groups of concrete blocks will undoubtedly make them capable of handling certain weights. As weight is evenly spread across more interlocked concrete barrier stacks, each block will be able to tolerate more downward pressure.

However, using a higher load than what interlocking blocks can bear will result in instability and affect ‌structural resilience. Therefore, it’s vital to ensure that any subsequent construction work is not placing too much pressure on blocks, even if multiple ones are installed in unison.

Optimise Site Protection with Our Concrete Barriers and Blocks

While this overview explores some factors to consider when exploring loads for concrete bollards and barriers, total product capacities can’t be summarised by basic metrics alone.

Custom security requirements, environmental conditions, foundation preparations, and certified testing procedures all impact real-world functionality. That’s why Maltaward goes beyond conjectures to deliver rigorously tested defensive concrete products suitable for your specific needs.

Maltaward stands ready to fulfil any complex concrete load-bearing prerequisites to help developers meet project milestones without compromising safety. To request guidance from our in-house safety experts, contact us today.

Bill G
Bill G
1 July 2024
Very good customer service, competitive price and good communications. Delivery driver was safety conscience, careful and efficient. When I was uncontactable for the 2nd delivery and driver needed access to the sluice through security gates, Maltaward contacted our "national customer contact centre" who provided a contact number and the delivery was made. A big thank you to the company and driver for their persistence and patience. Would highly recommend this company.
Steph Davies
Steph Davies
2 November 2023
I have been using Maltaward for about 12 years, mostly using their traveller eviction services. They have always been very helpful and easy to deal with. No fuss, just get the job done! More recently in my new company, I have brought them in to use utilised their vacant security services. They have worked with me to provide the correct service for our specific requirements. They have a common sense approach to everything. I really cannot recommend the team enough. They have been without a doubt the best security company I have been involved with.
Tom Lampard
Tom Lampard
2 November 2023
Everyone, and I mean everyone!, from the office team to the guys that drop the barriers, at Maltaward is very responsive, polite and genuinely helpful! I have used them at several sites and they have never let me down!
Syanne Mara
Syanne Mara
23 January 2023
Amazing service as always with a quick response time. Maltaward always have a solution to all problems and execute any works or requirements swiftly and thoroughly.
Julie Curtis
Julie Curtis
23 January 2023
Excellent product & delivery. We have ordered from Maltaward several times and we can't fault them.
21 November 2022
Quick turnaround and a good job. Many thanks .
Ian Rhoden
Ian Rhoden
26 August 2022
Great experience Keith was top-notch
Declan Goldie
Declan Goldie
9 August 2022
I have used maltaward for years. Jim has been very helpful throughout this time. Thanks
Sally Atkins
Sally Atkins
1 July 2022
Just wanted to say a big thankyou to your driver Del, although he didn’t like nettles :) he carried out the job with no bother. Would highly recommend Maltaward

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We are really greatful for you guys organising these barriers, the driver was early, took no time at all and we are now properly secure. We will only use you for this sort of stuff in future, 10/10 service.


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