Bollard Proof provides clients with the highest level of validation of bollard load capacities with real-world testing.

Bollard Proof provides clients with the highest level of validation of bollard load capacities with real-world testing. We do this by pull testing each bollard, either to your specified load capacity and angle, or to 10% above its manufacturers/suppliers rated capacity.

Most bollards are produced in foundries from castings of either steel or iron. The foundries do not sell the bollard castings direct to the market, so they are invariably traded through companies specialising in the supply of port infrastructure equipment. Casting of metals is a process that requires a high degree of skill and science, from molten metal flow simulations during the design process to avoid differentials in cooling (leading to unwanted shrinkage, porosity, and dimensional stability) to the quality of the metal composition, and the avoidance of inclusions and contaminants within the cast product.

Bollard Proof are not casting experts, but we would ask our clients the following questions:

  • How can you tell if your bollards are fit-for-purpose on your berths for modern ships when they were installed over 50 years ago?
  • Did your bollard manufacturer/supplier provide you with design standards, calculations, statements and checks of the bollard body and anchorage, for all combined rope angles and load factors?
  • Has your new berth had bollards installed which the manufacturer/supplier has provided with little accompanying documentation of their source and quality? How can you be sure that they will perform?
  • Did your bollard manufacturer/supplier appropriately advise you of the necessary torque settings or preloading conditions of the anchor bolts to prevent movement of the bollard under load?

If you are uncertain about any of the above, then bollard load testing is essential. Bollard Proof Ltd can test your bollards to provide certainty that they are fit for purpose and satisfy your risk profiles in respect of insurance.

We have developed an adaptable and versatile test device that can pull test bollards up to 125 tonnes in combined vertical and horizontal angles. The range of angles is shown opposite.

Although 125 tonnes is currently the largest load that we can test, we have in development a similar device that will extend this capability to 300 tonnes.


Mooring bollards are a safety critical component of any port or dockside structure. Their function should be to reliably hold a docked vessel against its mooring lines during any ship to shore related operations. As ships get larger and freeboards increase, the service duty on bollards becomes ever more demanding and imperative.


Bollard Proof’s test rig is a portable device that can be delivered to the quayside. Unlike other current methods of testing bollards, such as pull-testing between adjacent bollards or hammer tests that record and analyse the resonance in the bollard, our system simulates an actual ship’s mooring rope that loads the bollard by pulling away from the quayside in a range of combined vertical and horizontal angles.


The test is conducted remotely from within a control van with umbilical line between the rig and the van. 

The rope that attaches to and pull tests the bollard is a short length, typically 2 metre low-creep synthetic rope. It pulls away from the quay, so the trajectory of a failed bollard would be seaward, although its energy would be quite small.


Clients, or their representatives, are welcome at our Test Centre in Cumbria to witness testing first hand. 

We can test new or removed bollards to customer requirements. Bollards will be bolted to an adaptable test bed and pulled at combined vertical and horizontal angles to their rated working capacity, or 10% beyond.