Crash Truck – Cost, Weight and Dimensions

By Max Anthony •  Updated: 03/25/23 •  5 min read

Crash Truck

What is a Crash Truck?

Truck Mounted Attenuator (TMA) trucks or crash trucks are designed to save lives in the work area. Verdegro dampers are tested against (NCHRP350 TL-3 & MASH TL-3) and are designed to absorb high speed (or low speed) impacts, reduce damage to vehicles and save lives of workers and meet all work area safety requirements.

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A truck mounted muffler (TMA) is a safety device that is welded or bolted to the rear of a work truck. TMAs vary in size, but are most often at least 1.5 meters wide, as they are intended to reduce the impact of car crashes.

TMA materials can vary from aluminum to galvanized steel, but the general logic is that stronger materials and construction help produce a TMA that is strong enough to withstand a vehicle crash.

Since the widespread use of TMA, road construction companies have significantly reduced the severity of accidents and reduced the number of casualties among road workers and motorists. Generally, dampers consist of crash-damping type devices designed to absorb energy.

These devices provide the first point of impact to the rear of a TMA-equipped truck when mitigating impact from vehicles approaching from behind. Also known as a shock absorber unit, this type of impact protection offers maximum resistance to damage.

A more advanced TMA would look like this: BLADE-TMA The TMA is equipped with a spoiler blade. This bar is rated to hit up to 15 mph. The plate behind the disruptor bar to which the disruptor bar is attached is the wafer plate. This greatly reduces impact before the cushion has to absorb more energy.

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A quick release section between the damper and the dolly lifts the energy absorbing pad for transport. During impact, cushioning is used to dissipate kinetic energy when the impact exceeds the force that the disruptor bar and wafer plate are capable of. Absorption is the primary prevention mechanism to ensure that deceleration does not exceed dangerous levels for the driver and passengers.

What are the Advantages of Using a Crash Truck?

A crash truck equipped with a truck-mounted attenuator (TMA) serves as a necessary safety device for roadside construction sites. In fact, most states have specific regulations governing the use and placement of crash cushions.

State regulations may vary, so you should first familiarize yourself with the relevant TMA regulations before making a decision. Failure to comply with TMA regulations can result in significant fines and liability costs in the event of injury or death in the work area.

In most cases, using MASH-tested crash absorbers and following good placement guidelines is sufficient. Here are some advantages of using a crash truck.

Crash Truck

Improved worker and driver safety

A damper mounted on the truck is carefully designed to absorb the kinetic energy generated by collisions with misdirected vehicles and turn the wayward vehicle. In this way, crash absorbers keep road workers and bystanders safe and reduce the risk of serious injury or death.

This is the most important and obvious advantage of having reliable crash absorbers in your workplace.

Help protect your workspace and avoid liability costs

Accidents in work areas can be devastating. Failure to comply with TMA regulations can result in significant downtime and significant liability costs, in addition to the obvious risk of injury and death.

Using his truck-mounted Mash-tested muffler on a properly weighted chassis increases worker safety in the event of an impact.

Protect expensive machinery and equipment

Road construction often relies on expensive machinery that can be damaged in a crash. Collision-absorbing trucks can be very helpful in this regard due to their ability to absorb dynamic impacts and deflect errant vehicles away from personnel and equipment. it is imperative to have high-quality anti-collision trucks in the fleet.

What are the Specifications of a Crash Truck?

The Scorpion II Track Mount Attenuator (TMA) is a mobile impact attenuator that mounts to the rear of the support vehicle’s frame. TMA can be used on shadow trucks, fixed block vehicles, or pre-alarm vehicles that move before moving or stationary maneuvers.

The TMA has been tested and meets MASH TL-3 (62.5 mph / 100 km/h). The TMA is a support vehicle with a minimum real weight/curb weight of 6,804 kg (15,000 lbs) and can be used with no weight limit (infinite weight).

Lighting consists of LED brake, direction, signal and running lights for improved advance warning to the driver. The TL-3 TMA has overall dimensions of 12.94 feet (3.9 m) x 8.0 feet (2.4 m) x 2.0 feet (0.6 m) with a ground clearance of 12″ ± 1″ (305mm ± 25.4mm). Use in horizontal operating position.

The Scorpion II TMA consists of three main components:

Struts, cartridges, fuse/membrane frames. Struts and cartridges are energy absorbing parts. The strut is located closest to the escort vehicle, and the cartridge is located furthest from the escort vehicle.

The cartridge is usually the first component hit by a misdirected vehicle. The strut consists of four external convex aluminum tubes (two on each side) that form a structurally welded aluminum structure.

Aluminum structural weldments are bolted to a structural steel membrane/support frame. The TMA can be rotated to a 90° double-fold position on support vehicle beds with a stowage height of less than 12′ 5″ (3.8 m).

An optional hydraulic vertical lift can be used with the TMA. to lower the TMA to the use position. The vertical lift is driven by the same onboard hydraulic system that rotates the TMA to drive/store and deploy positions. Vertical lifts are sequenced to raise and lower panels to reveal expanded messages, turn signals, or other notifications.

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Max Anthony

Max is a gizmo-savvy guy, who has a tendency to get pulled into the nitty gritty details of technology and cars. He attended UT Austin, where he studied Information Science. He’s married and has three kids, one dog and a GMC truck and a Porsche 911. With a large family, he still finds time to share tips and tricks on cars, trucks and more.