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Top 3 Differences Between the B400 and B500 Traffic Drums

Picking out a traffic barrel is not as easy as one would think. Much like a snowflake, not every traffic drum is the same. Seeing these drums on the highway, you don’t realize that they are all different. We are here to make it a little easier for you to determine which drum is right for you.

1. Size Matters:

The B400 and B500 drums both stand at 36” inches (not including the plastic handle) and have an 18” diameter. However, these drums are each made for specific bases and their weights.

B400 B500 Base Options

B400 drums come with 4 base options: the 3lb standard plastic base and the 20lb, 35lb, and 40lb heavy rubber bases. These are bases that clip onto the bottom of the drum for a secure fit and have their own separate handle. With many state DOT’s requiring heavy weighted bases, this makes the B400 a great option.

The B500 drums have a more familiar base as these are seen more frequently on the freeway. Our B500 drums have one base option: the tire ring base. This 22lb rubber base fits around the drum and grips to the ground for high impact hits. This drum has a ribbed bottom for an easier grip to the base, and the detachable base, along with the non-circular cross section of the body, inhibits rolling after impact.

2. Weathering the Cold:

B400 Traffic DrumsThere aren’t many issues with weather that our drums can’t power through. However, when choosing a drum, you should consider the climate you live in. The cosmetic appearance of the B500 and B400 drums are slightly different and for good reason. The B500 drums have recessed sheeting and rounded edges from top to bottom. This allows for a rebounding effect when they are dented and is effective in all climates. (Fun fact: leaving dented B500 drums in a heated area will pop the dent back into place.) The more rigid edges of the B400 drum make it more challenging to use in colder climates as the cold can cause the rigid edges to crack and is best use in warmer climates.

3. Stacking Up:

B500 Traffic Drums

A final thing to consider when choosing a drum is the quantity you’ll need. Both the B400 and B500 are available in a quantity as small as one drum or as large as a full pallet. While both of our traffic drums stack up to maximize space, our B500 drums have the rounded body and handle to stack higher and tighter together. This means a truck can hold up to 12 drums per stack and 40 drums to a pallet. The B400 drum is more boxy to prevent rolling and is available in 32 drums to a pallet. 

While every city and state have different guidelines that determine which drum and base you should use, for those that need just a little more guidance in knowing what to consider when choosing a drum, we hope we were able to help you.

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