What Are Type 1, Type 2, And Type 3 Portable Barricades?

Traffic control is something that we are all at the very least fairly familiar with. We’ve all been stuck in traffic and have seen more than our fair share of orange and white barrels. If you’re going to be managing any form of traffic control, you need to know the differences between the classes of barriers. Especially when they are used! The three styles of barricades we will be addressing today are what is known as type 1, type 2, and type 3 portable barricades. 

Type 1 Barricade

The type 1 portable barricade is actually pretty simple to identify. The number in the name for type 1 and 2 barricades simply denote the number of surfaces on each face dedicated to being reflective. For example, the barricade shown to the right is a type 1, having only one reflective surface, and resembling a sawhorse. Type 1 portable barricades are often able to be easily folded for storage, and damage reduction should they be hit by a vehicle. Some varieties can even have flashing lights mounted on top. Barricades do not need to be foldable to be classified as a type one however. Type 1 parade barricades are larger providing more of a physical barrier like the one seen below.

Type 1 barricades are most often used for pedestrian control and on residential streets or back roads where there are low speed limits. They are inexpensive to make and buy, making them a favorite for smaller projects, but they lack the sufficient reflective surface to be used on construction projects near larger roads with higher speed limits. The laws regarding the use of type 1 barricades vary from state to state, and city to city, so be sure to check your local government for the most accurate regulations near you.

Type 2 Barricade

A type 2 barricade follows the same pattern as the type 1, making it an easy association to remember. The type 2 barricade is simply a portable barricade having 2 surfaces dedicated to being reflective. Once again type 2 barricades are most often foldable and do often have blinking lights mounted to the tops. But they are not required to fold. 

Type 2 barricades are much sturdier than their type 1 counterparts, and having more reflective surface area makes them more suitable for larger crowd control, and jobs on larger city roads. Though still not outfitted for sudden road closures or highway usage, type 2 barriers are a versatile addition to the traffic control toolset. Specific regulation regarding the usage of type 2 barricades again can be acquired from your local government.

Type 3 Barricades

Type 3 barricades follow the same rule when it comes to reflector surfaces. However they differ in the fact that they refer to only one kind of barricade. There are no fold-able or parade varieties of a type 3 barricade. The type 3 barricade is a barricade built of two vertical rails with three horizontal sections of reflection tape running horizontally along boards attached to the poles. This barricade is arguably the most well known when it comes to barricades.

These barriers are used most often for road closures and other high speed construction zone applications. Specific regulation regarding the usage of type 3 barricades again can be acquired from your local government.


While there is a plethora of different forms of barricades for pedestrian and traffic use. Understanding these three terms will go a long way in preparing to manage your own projects. Be it a complete highway resurface, or a small block party, you are responsible for the acquisition of the right equipment for the job. For more information on when and where to use different barricades please visit this page. If you’re wondering where on earth to get the barricades from in the first place. There are countless local companies in the US just like Capitol Barricade that rent out barricades and traffic control equipment to keep you, your party, or your project on track. For help finding the best option near you, ask around! The best references are people you know.