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Bollard Barriers for Store Front Protection

Bollard Barriers for Store Front Protection


ALL Readers: The purpose of this page is to give a rough overview of some basic bollard barrier systems. 
Our Definitions: We have come up with many of these definitions for our own purposes. They are not necessarily definitions that are used by others in the industry.

What is Bollard Barrier?

A bollard barrier or barricade is a line of bollards installed to inhibit vehicles from from crossing the line, while still allowing passage of non-vehicular traffic, such as pedestrians on foot, or people in wheelchairs or delivery persons with carts etc. Often called Perimeter Security Bollard Systems, Bollard Barriers have a multitude of applications and range widely in vehicle stopping capability. Here, we are talking specifically about Building Entrance and Store Front Protection from both errant vehicles and ram-raids.

You Cannot Deter an Accident

Obviously, you can’t deter an accident. Errant vehicles happen. Accidents happen at any time and they are most dangerous when employees and customers are present. It’s not only ram-raids you should consider, but accidents too. It’s one thing to lose money. It’s quite another to lose a life.


Bonus: People are Protected by Default

If a bollard barrier is designed stout enough to stop most ram-raids, it should also stop most accidental store front damage events. By stopping ram raids, you have the added bonus that people are protected too.

Bollard Spacing

Bollards that form a perimetery security line should be spaced no less than 3′ (36″) apart and no greater than 5′ (60″) apart. The minimum 3′ is to satisfy ADA requirements and may be different for your jurisdiction. The maximum 5′ is the recommendation to stop cars because they are generally no narrower than 5.5′ wide (66″). It is important to note a couple things. The closer they are together, the better the chances that a car will hit more than one.  The spacing is the distance between the outer diameters (OD) of the pipes, not the on-center distance. For example, a 6″ Schedule 40 has a 6 5/8″ outer diameter and so a maximum 60″ spacing would yield a 66 5/8″ on-center layout.

Errant Vehicles Happen

  • Operator error like “I hit the gas pedal!”, “I thought I was in reverse!”
  • Operator Error caused by Medical Condition
  • Reckless Drivers
  • Intoxicated Drivers
  • Car accidents
  • Mechanical problems


Ram-Raids are like a smash-and-grab with a vehicle. The criminal uses a car or a truck to smash through your front doors, or even a wall to gain access to your business. Often, the vehicle is stolen and is sometimes left at the scene, but other times driven off and typically ditched. Tens of thousands of dollars of damage is typically the effect on the business owner. In some cases, the thief might just grab a carton of cigarettes. That’s what you’d call a serious nic fit. In other cases, thieves have been known to haul of an ATM, or clean out a jeweler of their diamonds. Basically, if you have something people want, there probably exists a person crazy enough to try and get it.

Please Note: Stopping terroristic raids is outside the scope of this article and outside our realm of knowledge. The topic of this article is Bollard Barriers for Store Front Protection. When we talk about ram-raids, we are talking about burglary, not people on a suicidal mission to destroy. The K12 described below begins to enter the realm of High Security, but there are many levels above that. If you are looking for such protection, here’s a Google Search for “terrorist level security bollards”.

3 Levels of Conventional Bollard Barriers for Store Front Protection

All Store Front Protection Barriers are designed with some expectation that errant vehicles may collide with the barrier while providing substantial protection from ram raids. At St. Paul Sign, we construct barriers with conventional bollards in either of three ways:

  1. Deep Pier (DP): 36″-48″ deep independent pier footings. Bollard may be rebar reinforced. Pier typically is not reinforced.
  2. Deep Pier/Shallow Trench (DPST): Each bollard shares a “shallow” trench of say, 18″ deep by 22″ wide and the length of the bollard array. Then, each bollard pier extends down to 48″ below grade. Rebar reinforcement is a must.
  3. Deep Trench (DT): all bollards are set into a common reinforced trench 24″ to 30″ wide, 30″ to 36″ Deep and 30″ on each end longer than the bollard array. This is similar to the configuration of the Impact Rated Bollards Barriers (RBB) in next section. Rebar reinforcement of trench is a must.

CBB Codes

It will be helpful to fully name these systems. They are:

  • DP-CBB: Deep Pier Conventional Bollard Barrier (Strong)
  • DPST-CBB: Deep Pier/Shallow Trench Conventional Bollard Barrier (Stronger)
  • DT-CBB: Deep Trench Conventional Bollard Barrier (Strongest)

Deep Pier/Shallow Trench Conventional Bollard Barrier


Rebar Reinforcement

Concrete has very high compressive strength, but a low tensile strength. Tensile weakness means it will be pulled apart maybe easily. Reinforcing the concrete footing helps minimize tensile weakness there. Reinforcing with a couple pieces of rebar within a bollard stiffens it by minimizing the ability for the concrete to crack into pieces and move apart inside.

Matching Pipe to Footing

If the trench footing is virtually immobile, the weak point is going to be the bollard itself so it is important that it’s staunch enough to handle the impact without sheering off, or bending over. Some bending is good, or it would sheer. On the other hand, If the bollard outmatches the footing, the footing is going to shift or give way. These are the concerns of structural and mechanical engineers who work on designing crash-tested bollards. When one is designing a barrier using conventional bollards that are not crash-tested, one should err on the staunch side when selecting a bollard pipe, especially with a massive concrete Deep Trench DT footing. For more certainty in performance, you must use impact or crash rated bollards for your Bollard Barrier.

Bollard Pipe Sizes

> To understand Pipe “Schedule” or “Standard” declarations, see our article on Pipe Schedule vs Tube Gauge.

The CBBs are usually constructed using 6″ Schedule 40 Bollard Pipe. Heavier installations with more stopping capability may use 8″ SCH40, 10″ SCH40 or even 12″ STD (Standard) Bollard Pipe. For 6″ and 8″, we can also use Schedule 80, a thicker walled pipe to maximize capability in a more compact form. See 6″ SCH80 and 8″ SCH80. But, it is usually more effective to go to the next larger pipe diameter rather than a thicker wall.

Codes for systems can be appended with the pipe size like so: DP-CBB-6-40 or DT-CBB-8-40.

No pipe size in code means it is 6″ Schedule 40 by default.

3 Levels of Impact-Rated Bollard Barriers for Store Front Protection

For more certainty in the capability of the system to stop a vehicle of a defined weight at a defined speed, we have ASTM Impact-Rated Bollards at 3 levels of fortitude. (For a more in-depth look, see our Impact Rated Bollards page.)

When installed to specifications, these 3 systems are capable of the following:

  • C40: One properly installed single standalone bollard is engineered and designed to stop a 5,000 lbs. vehicle at 30 mph impact with less than 24″ of vehicle penetration. (Strong)
  • K4: The K4 passed an independent ASTM test of 2,430 lbs. vehicle at 42.6 mph with less than 24″ of penetration. (Stronger)
  • K12: One single standalone bollard has the ability to stop 15,000 lb. vehicle at 50 mph with 47″ of penetration. (Strongest)

RBB Codes

Our “Rated Bollard Barriers” (RBB) have the codes C40-RBB, K4-RBB and K12-RBB.

C40 & K4 Install Diagram

K12 Install Diagram

What is Bollard Penetration?

Penetration is how far the vehicle, at least the main part of the vehicle, goes past the bollard. A successful car stopping bollard can make it through the crumple zone of the vehicle and finally stop at the engine, which doesn’t “crumple”. A failed bollard will bend over, sheer or become uprooted at some point in the crunch, and penetrate an arbitrary or unknown amount past the bollard, depending on how much momentum is in reserve at the failure point in time. Impact and Crash Rated Bollards use penetration distances when describing their effectiveness.

C40 Impact-Rated Bollard Test

Levels of Building Entrance and Store Front Protection

Now that we’ve covered a spectrum of types of bollard barriers, it’s time to determine what is economical and sufficient for your business or organization. In general, the cost of a conventional system (CBB) along with a C40-RBB system is considerably less than a K4 or K12 Impact-Rated system. Here, we list the types of systems that an organization might use:

  • Any organization who wants simple errant vehicle protection: DP-CBB
  • Convenience Store: DP-CBB, DPST-CBB
  • Liquor Store: DP-CBB, DPST-CBB
  • Drug Store: DP-CBB, DT-CBB, DPST-CBB
  • Pawn Shop: DP-CBB, DT-CBB, DT-CBB-8-40
  • Cash-on-Hand Business: DP-CBB, DT-CBB, DT-CBB-8-40
  • Jewelry Store: DT-CBB-8-40, C40-RBB, K4-RBB, K12-RBB
  • Check Cashing Store: DP-CBB, DT-CBB, DT-CBB-8-40, C40-RBB
  • Bank:  DT-CBB-8-40, C40-RBB, K4-RBB, K12-RBB
  • Minor Government Building: DT-CBB, DT-CBB-8-40, K4-RBB
  • Major Government Building: K12-RBB or greater not described here
  • Skyscrapers: K4-RBB, K12-RBB or greater not described here
  • Airports: K12-RBB or greater not described here

Choosing Bollard Barriers for Store Front Protection

You don’t have to outrun the bear, just the other guy!

Grim, but often true. You may not necessarily have to have the highest rated bollard barrier to deter ram raiders. You may just need a basic one that is better than other like businesses nearby. If you are remote, or have something extra special like diamonds or cash, then you may want a high rated bollard barrier after all. In all cases, the strategy is to deter first, stop vehicles second.

1) Deter: To protect your storefront or building entrance, the strategy is to first deter would be ram-raiders by having what looks like a heavy duty system where the risk appears to outweigh the benefits of breaking in by ram-raid. Most often, they use stolen or rented vehicles, so it may be of no concern to the thief what kind of damage the vehicle undergoes. So, it may just be that the risk of bodily injury looks too great to bother with an attempt. Especially so if there are other like businesses equally prone to theft that do not have a bollard barrier.

2) Stop Vehicles: For one, the most common reason a business gets crashed into is operator error. This makes the first step, to deter, irrelevant. So, you want a system that can stop an out-of-control car up to a certain speed that you reckon is adequate. At the same time, you want a system that can stop a motivated ram-raider from breaking through.

 It’s a Judgement Call

In the end, only you can decide what kind of protection you may need. We are happy to chat with you and/or visit your property and go over options. Surely, there are budgets to work within, and you can let us know what you are comfortable with. Or have us give you a quote an a couple different systems. We’re here to help.


Call 651-432-4050 or email sales@stpaulsign.com to talk about Conventional and/or Rated Bollard Barriers.

The ASTM K-4 Bollard Crash Test

For comments on this article, please email sales@stpaulsign.com.

Bollard Installation Cost

Bollard Installation Cost

—> A quick note on In-Ground vs Base Plate Bollards

This page is mainly for In-Ground Bollard Installation Cost. Base Plate Bollard Installation is much more straightforward and comes down mostly to the cost of the Bollards and Anchors. Expect to pay around $20 per anchor for installation, or around $80 per Base Plate Bollard plus Bollard and Anchor Cost.

Question: How Much Does In-Ground Bollard Installation Cost?

Short Answer: 6″ Parking Bollards Installed Cost is about $700 to $1,200 each

 In-Ground Steel Parking Bollard Installation Cost Estimate

Here, we are lay out the costs associated with the installation of quantity 20 of the most common steel bollards in an existing asphalt parking lot. We hope this transparency will help you understand why bollard installation cost is what it is. By adding up these costs, we will arrive at a rough estimate that should be useful to you if you are planning such a project. The estimate will be somewhat scalable if you are in the same arena. So, say you have 15 or 25 bollards, then you might take the total and multiply it by .75 or 1.2, respectively. If you only have a few bollards, the estimate is not scalable, because some costs don’t scale, like less of a price break on steel and Sonotube, concrete truck minimums, setup time, equipment hours and laborers having less to do overall.

Bobcat T550 with 18-inch Auger Bit

Bollard Installation Specifications

  • 6″ Schedule 40 Steel Pipe, Quantity 20
  • Each pipe is 96″ long, with 48″ above grade and 48″ below grade in footing.
  • Concrete is at least 3500 psi and fills pipe and footing.
  • Concrete Footing has an 18″ diameter and goes 48″ deep.
  • At grade, a 24″ x 24″ square is cut out of asphalt or concrete to allow installation.
  • Footing: Cardboard form (Sonotube) is not generally needed. Pier footing is more stable with irregular walls rather than backfilled around smooth form.
  • At top of bollard, concrete is rounded out to a dome shape.
  • At grade, the concrete square is floated and broom brushed.

6-inch Schedule 40 Steel Pipes

Steel Pipe Cost

6″ Schedule 40 Bare Steel Pipe 96″ long and delivered costs about $220

⇒20 Bollard Pipes: $4,000.

Optional Concrete Form

We use carboard “Sonotube” forms sometimes because they help the person who’s augering know they’ve dug the right depth hole, and sometimes they’re just prescibed. But the argument can be made that without them, the footing ties right into the dirt which makes it sturdier. With quantity 20, medium to heavy walled 18″ diameter Sonotube, cut to 42-44″ long, cost about $30-$35 each including sales tax.

 ⇒Concrete Forms: $0 – $700 

Concrete Cost

This job has 20 bollards and each one takes nearly 1/3 of a yard of concrete. Altogether, that’s almost 7 yards, so one concrete load could do it, but usually it makes much more sense to do two pours.

If the parking lot is currently being used by customers, then often it has to be poured in two passes, because the whole lot can’t be overtaken at once. Additionally, it can be tough for a crew to efficiently level (plumb) bollards and manage pour and keep up with the finishing the setting concrete, all while negotiating cone and barricade setup for customers milling about a lot. For this reason, in most cases, it is better to have a smaller crew do 2 days than one. In any case, the pours are a bit putzy, so the concrete truck charges overtime. Also, 4 yards or less incurs a small load fee and brings the concrete cost to about $200-$225 per yard including sales tax. And you want a little extra each time, so we’re doing 2 trucks at 4 yards each.

The concrete pour is the most critical phase. It must be done correctly the first time!

 ⇒Concrete: $1,600 – $1,800

Track Loader and Accessories Cost

Whether rented or owned, a track loader, skid steer or mini-excavator along with accessories cost money. We use our own equipment except we may rent if job is far out of town.

Typically, we use a Skid Loader, a breaker, an auger head with 18″ auger bit and pallet forks. 

⇒Track Loader and Accessories: $1,000-$1,750

Traffic Control Barrel/Cone Rental

This is only needed when traffic control requirement is significant, for a job this size, we would rent 40 Traffic Barrels. Typical is $15 each per week plus delivery and taxes.

⇒Traffic Control: $0-$700

Other Materials Costs

Other materials costs are pretty self-explanatory but I’ll say a few things. Some items like haul-away may be handled by the main contractor. Ply and other materials may just be old stuff used from other jobs. Cutting the 20 squares out of asphalt costs a blade basically. Ram Board is a cardboard floor covering we place on asphalt around each bollard because concrete is messy. The 3/4″ Plywood is used to cover the open holes for safety, and as surface protection. We stock and reuse what we can, but about 4 sheets get ruined and tossed. The costs include taxes.

+Dirt/Asphalt/Debris Haul Away: $0-$400

+Asphalt Cutting Blade: $0-$225

+Ram Board: $0-$80 

+Plywood: $0-$160

+Tarps/Poly: $0-$50

+Diesel for Track Loader: $100

+Gas for Generator, Asphalt Saw: $0-$30

⇒Other Materials: $100-$1,045

Labor Costs

A project this size is equivalent about equivalent to a 5 day job for 2 experienced workers at $500/day each = $5,000

⇒Labor: $5,000


A portion of the company’s overhead has to be calculated into the cost for the project. In general, this is a rough estimate, but we figure this project accounts for about a 1/4 to 1/3 months overhead. This translates roughly to a portion of the liability insurance ($200), office/shop lease ($400), equipment purchases and financing ($400), advertising and website development ($50), office expenses ($50) etc. Not to mention health and vehicle insurance! (but we won’t add that here.)

⇒Overhead: $1,100

Total Project Costs

Here we total up all the project costs to our company and come up with a Total Cost Range we feel is accurate.

+Bollard Pipes: $4,000

+Concrete Forms: $0 – $700

+Concrete: $1,600 – $1,800

+Track Loader and Accessories: $1,000 – $1750

+Traffic Control: $0-$700

+Other Materials: $100-$1,045

+Salaries and Labor: $5,000

+Overhead: $1,100

⇒Total Project Costs: $12,800 – $15,095

Bollard Installation Estimate Range

The company needs to make a money in order to stay in business. There are many other costs for the business as a whole. Also, the company puts up all the money for materials and labor and is basically financing the operation. On a project like this, we would add 50%-75%. We take the Low Project Cost times 1.5 to arrive at the Low of the Estimate Range. Then we take the High Project Cost times 1.7 and to arrive at the High Project Range. These values together comprise the Estimate Range.

⇒Estimate Range: $17,700 – $25,500

⇒Estimate Range: $885-$1275 per bollard

From Estimate to Bid

Having taken the time to do a thorough estimate, we can now convert it easily into a bid with a few considerations.


The number we arrive at depends on a number of things:

  • How accurate do we feel our estimate is? Are there any wildcards?
  • How efficiently can we execute this project?
  • How busy or slow are we?
  • How soon is the deadline?
  • How short is work window?
  • Is it near freezing, complicating digging, concrete pour and wet sawing?
  • Is it a non-local installation?
  • Is project site remote with extra charges for concrete truck or other materials deliveries?
  • Have materials prices changed or are they different for the region?

Bollard Installation Cost

In this case, the bollard installation cost to the client is about $800 to $1275 per bollard as specified. Lower quantities will be higher per bollard while for higher quantities, you will see a price break. And, if the specifications are different, obviously this will change the cost too. For example, it the bollards were installed before paving, then no asphalt cutting and breaking would be required. Finally, higher quantities have savings. Hence, the cost per bollard might go as low as $700. And $1275 per bollard is unlikely, so let’s say $1200 max.

The per bollard bottom line is…

Bollard Installation Cost is $700 to $1,200


Need a Proposal, Quote or Bid on Bollard Installation?

Via Online Quote Forms

For In-Ground or Cored Bollard Installation -> USE THIS FORM

For Base Plate Bollards -> USE THIS FORM

Via Email

Email a your request to sales@stpaulsign.com along with pertinent drawings, blueprints or otherwise.

We look forward to working with you!

In-Ground Bollard Installation Quotes

Click Here

Base Plate Bollard Installation Quotes

Click Here

Pipe Schedule vs Tube Gauge

Pipe Schedule vs Tube Gauge

Confused about Pipe Schedule vs Tube Gauge meanings? Confused as to why 6″ Pipe does not have a 6″ diameter?

Nominal Size

Nominal pipe sizes are given by their inner diameter (ID) while nominal round tube sizes are given by their outer diameter (OD). So a 6″ inch pipe might have an OD of 6.5″. “Nominal” means “in name only”. Simple right? Nope. With Schedule 40 Pipe, a 6″ pipe has about a 6″ ID and 6 5/8″ OD. With Schedule 80, a 6″ pipe has a 6 5/8″ OD but a 5.761″ ID.

What’s important to remember, is these are just names. If the dimensions are critical to you, just call it 6 5/8″ OD with a 0.28″ wall, not just 6″ Schedule 40 pipe.

A 2×4 is not 2″ by 4″

Like when you buy 2x4s, you know they aren’t actually 2″ by 4″, but 1.5″ by 3.5″. Yes, with round tube, the nominal size is the same as the outer diameter. But with pipe, as you would think, the concern is with the volume of a fluid that could flow through it, so it is of lesser concern what the OD is.

Wall Thickness

Wall thickness for tube is given by it’s gauge, while the “schedule” of the pipe is the indication of its thickness. The higher the schedule, the thicker. But unlike the gauge of tube which is the same wall thickness for all tube sizes, the wall thickness of a pipe depends BOTH on it’s nominal size AND schedule. So a pipe the Schedule 40 in a 4″ Pipe will be a different wall thickness than a 6″ Pipe.

Click here for US Standard Pipe Sizes on Wikipedia

Clarification on Bollard Cover Sizes and Thicknesses

When we say a 6″ bollard cover, we mean that it fits a 6″ Pipe. Either 1/4″ or 1/8″ thicknesses in bollard covers will fit over the nominal pipe size as indicated.

Steel Pipe and Tube St. Paul