In the 1960’s Reflexite Inc. designed and created the first prism based reflective film. These films or tapes differ from glass bead films in that they are much more efficient in managing and returning light. About 250% more efficient. Because of its efficient design, a prismatic tape can reflect at rates of 500 – 1000 candelas. This powerful return of light allows the tapes to be seen at thousands of feet away versus hundreds of feet for glass bead tapes. One of Reflexites most popular prismatic products is called DOT C2 tape. Also known as conspicuity tape. This tape is seen on over the road trucks all over the country and around the world.
DOT C2 reflective tapes are designed to be used on tractor trailer rigs. It is a federal regulation in both the US and Canada that all tractor trailers exceeding 10,000 lbs. be marked with alternating red and white DOT approved 2″ wide (minimum) conspicuity tape along at least 50% of their lengths (can be segmented) and entirely across their back ends. Solid Silver/White DOT tape is required to mark the upper rear corners of trailers by the placement of two 2 inch x 12 inch segments together to form an inverted “L” in each corner. . Although DOT tape is made for trailers it is also very popular for non DOT applications such as motorcycles, bikes and other vehicles due to its extreme brightness and aggressive adhesive.
The C2 designation is simply the width of the tape. The most common and minimum required width is the 2″ DOT-C2 tape. We have information on C3 and C4 tapes here. A 3″ tape will however give you 50% more reflectivity and a 4″ will put out 100% more than a 2″ wide tape. For certain applications this is very beneficial and can make a work zone much safer.
The tape is available at the following websites. www.safety-tapes.com and www.reflects-light.com. Both sites are owned and operated by Reflective Inc. We have been in business since 1998.
The new MUTCD standards now require railroad crossing gate arms to be equipped with a striped retro-reflective tape. Note-This new standard applies to all gates and not just railroad or grade crossings. The requirements are as follows.
US DOT FHWA Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) – 2009 Edition per Section 8C.04 Paragraph 05 stating “Gate arms shall be fully retroreflectorized on both sides and shall have vertical stripes alternatively red and white at 16-inch intervals measured horizontally”. To view our full article on the MUTCD gate arm requirements CLICK HERE.
The reason for this change is simple. Barricade tapes that are slanted direct traffic one way or another. A left slant tape directs traffic to the left and a right slant tape directs traffic to the right. At a railroad crossing you are supposed to stop. Hence the change to a tape that does not slant but instead is striped vertically.
The type 2 or better requirement comes from the MUTCD standards for street signs. Most street signs must now use type 2 or better retro reflective material. Because of this it is recommeded that you use the same guidelines for reflective gate arms. Also, it is recommemded that you use the widest tape that will fit on the gate arm. In the event of an accident you will want to be able to show that you followed the MUTCD standards and also used a reasonable width of tape.
We carry a Reflexite Prismatic Type V gate arm tape in 1″,2″,3″ and 4″ widths. The tape is available at the following websites. www.safety-tapes.com and www.reflects-light.com. Both sites are owned and operated by Reflective Inc. We have been in business since 1998.