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Jaybro Buyers Guide: Water Filled Barriers

Water filled barriers are a lightweight and versatile barrier, commonly used to fence the perimeter of worksites and construction zones. These barriers consist of a hollow blow-moulded plastic shell that is formed in such a way to give it structural integrity and strength. When this shell is filled with water it becomes a heavy and robust barrier that resists impacts.

There are lots of different shapes and sizes of water filled barriers however the main differences are their weight and construction. As you might expect, the more lightweight barriers are not crash rated. These primarily provide a low impact visual barrier for pedestrians or are very low-speed traffic areas such as car parks, events and construction sites.

Which Water Filled Barrier Should I Choose?

How much impact a water-filled barrier resists is generally the key question that determines which type you should choose. If you need a water filled barrier that is crash rated, meaning it will withstand impact from vehicles travelling upwards of 50km/hr, there are certain models that are built for this purpose. These are stringently tested and need to be approved by various road authorities if they are to be used on public roads.

However, if you need a water filled pedestrian barrier – one that is simply for creating a walkway along a worksite for example, the choice is less complex. Water filled pedestrian barriers such as the Engage* or the Trafix 2000 provide strong and reliable worksite protection.

We’ve put together this buyer’s guide to help you determine which water filled barrier is best for your individual needs.


MASH Tested Crash Rated Barriers

NCHRP350 Tested Crash Rated Barriers

Non-Crash Rated Pedestrian Barriers

Water-Wall Water Filled Barrier | Crash Rated


Best for: private, local and council roads

MASH tested: TL-1 MASH rating
NCHRP350 tested: No
Weight When Empty: 41kg
Weight When Full: 500kg

When completely filled with water, the Water-Wall barrier weighs a solid 500kg. This is in part why it has achieved a TL-1 MASH rating (read more about MASH ratings here).

Made from polyethylene, the Water-Wall is a new product to Australia. It is designed and crash tested for use on all private, local and council roads. Note however that this product is not approved by the national authority Austroads for use on state road networks.

It’s tough, rigid and each module connects together with a steel pin, forming an unbroken barricade. A double knuckle design at the connection points minimises breakage at the pivoting hinge points and enables a 30-degree pivot between each barrier. This means you can create a curve with your barriers as well as a straight line.

To offer even more flexibility the Water Wall fence is a wire mesh attachment (or anti-gawk screen) that fixes to the top of the barriers. These fence panels have a long steel pin that drops into the hinge of each barrier, forming a strong fence. The barrier can then do double duty as your site hoarding, by fixing printed mesh to the fence.

And when your project is done, the barriers are easy to move and transport. They feature pallet jack through-holes for easy movement, with each module weighing only 41kg when empty. Up to ninety barriers fit on a truck for bulk transport in between jobs.

Armorzone Water Filled Barrier | Crash Rated


MASH Tested

Best for: worksites with design speeds up to 70 km/h 

MASH tested: TL-1 & TL-2 MASH rating
NCHRP350 tested: No
Weight When Empty: 56kg
Weight When Full: 496kg

NCHRP 350 Tested

Best for: worksites with design speeds up to 70 km/h

MASH tested: No
NCHRP350 tested: TL-2
Weight When Empty: 50kg
Weight When Full: 570kg

  • Armorzone Water Filled Barrier  |  Crash Rated (MASH)
  • Armorzone Water Filled Barrier  |  Crash Rated (NCHRP350)

The Armorzone barrier is available in two different variants: one that has been crash tested in accordance with the original road testing procedures outlined in NCHRP350, and a newer version that is tested in accordance with MASH. Although they look the same at first glance, the two types have different specifications and it’s important to ensure you’ve got the right barrier for your needs.

The main difference in these two different test methods is that the original NCHRP 350 methodology was developed decades ago when typical vehicles were smaller and lighter. Over time, the type and variety of cars and trucks on today’s roads has changed and therefore a newer more relevant set of testing criteria was developed, known as MASH. Amongst other things, the weight of the vehicle used in testing and the angle that it impacts the barrier differs between these two tests, and therefore they are rated in different ways.

First let’s look at the original Armorzone barrier. It is crash tested to NCHRP350 TL-2 at 70km/hr with a 2000kg vehicle. At this speed it achieved 2.1 metres deflection at 70km/hr during testing.

These water filled barriers are linked to one another using a galvanized steel pin connector. Once connected and in place, the barriers can be filled with up to 520 litres of water. However, when empty, they are very easy to manoeuvre, weighing just 50kg. To provide the published test level protection, these barriers should be used in runs of 50 metres at a minimum.

It provides up to 70kph work zone barrier protection. Additionally, the ArmorZone is tested and proven to assist with vehicle control, offering low deflection.

Now let’s look at the MASH tested Armrozone barrier. This version takes 440 litres of water to fill and weighs 56kg when empty. Like the original version, it provides up to 70kph work zone barrier protection.

The Armorzone TL-2 Plastic Water Filled Barrier has been tested to meet the evaluation criteria of MASH TL-1 and TL-2 for a longitudinal barrier. When tested with a heavier 2270kg vehicle it achieves Test Level 2 at 70km/hr. The deflection measurements are different too, with this MASH version reporting 2.1 metres deflection at 50km/hr, and 4.1 metres deflection at 70km/hr.

Of course, in both cases the barriers must be filled with water to comply with these test levels.

Trafix Water Filled Barrier  |  Non-Crash Rated


Best for: pedestrian control, carparks, worksites 

MASH tested: No
NCHRP350 tested: No
Weight When Empty: 20kg
Weight When Full: 327kg

The Trafix barrier is an Australian designed and manufactured water filled barrier that provides excellent pedestrian and work site protection. Ideal for use in car parks and on construction sites, the Trafix is a 2 metre long barrier that locks to other units with a moulded plastic male/female pin. This means there are no loose parts to keep track of; the barriers simply slot into each other.

The UV stabilised polyethylene shell weighs 20 kg when empty, and 327kg when filled with water. It provides a highly visible pedestrian barricade that is available in red or white.

Plus, anti-gawk screens can be fitted to this barrier too, just like with the Water-Wall. The addition of these specialised fencing pieces turns the barrier into a theft and trespassing deterrent, plus it provides a base for fence mesh to be fixed to.

There are also accessories available for the Trafix barrier – including insect proof lights, wear/grip treads, and signage can be attached to give 24 hour traffic control.

Engage Water Filled Barrier  |  Non-Crash Rated


Best for: Light pedestrian control

MASH tested: No
NCHRP350 tested: No
Weight When Empty: 24kg
Weight When Full: 105kg

*Update 26-8-19: This barrier is discontinued and therefore no longer available from Jaybro. The other barriers mentioned above, particularly the Trafix, are a great alternative. If you were specifically looking for the Engage and you’d like to discuss your specific application, please give our friendly barrier team a call. 

The Engage water filled barrier is a good choice for deployment in very low-speed areas such as car parks, events and construction sites. The Engage barrier measures 2200mm long and like the others mentioned, it is simply filled with water to create a strong barrier solution.

This particular barrier is one of the lightest weight options at only 105kg when full – hence it’s best for pedestrian use only. When empty the Engage weighs just 24kg making it easy to move around the site as necessary. Made from hollow polyethylene in either white or orange, the Engage has a moulded male pin lock on one end and a female lock on the other, enabling workers to easily link many barriers together. This water filled barrier doesn’t have any specific safety ratings meaning it should not be used to protect people from vehicles.

It does, however, offer superior quality and strength for a lightweight plastic barrier. The polyethylene plastic provides the barrier with flexibility and prevents cracking. It is best for pedestrian control and can be used to create parking and loading zones or cordon off construction areas.

Help and advice on
choosing a water filled barrier

Jaybro is a leader in water filled barriers, concrete barriers, and traffic management solutions – get in touch with our friendly team if you need some advice on the right water filled barrier for your project.

*ProChoice Safety Gear RPE Information Alert, P2 respirators vs N95 respirators.

This information is provided as an introductory guide only and does not constitute professional advice. Ensure you make your own independent enquiries before deciding if a particular product is right for you. Consult the regulations and standards applicable to your area and check with your workplace health and safety representative for further information. Jaybro does not warrant the accuracy, content, completeness or suitability of the information on this site (or any site owned by the Jaybro Group) for your individual purposes.

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