Crash Barriers: What Are K Ratings?

High Security, K Rating

K Ratings will tell you how strong your high security fence is against the impact of a vehicle.

If you own commercial property, you might be in the market to increase the security of your perimeter. As you begin doing your research on the most effective high security options available to you, you will learn to consider crash rated gates, fences, barriers and bollards. Crash rated material and products are not just common on commercial property, but industrial and government property as well. You may find yourself confused when you encounter a wide array of anti-ram options that include “K Rated” in the description of alongside different numbers. So, what is a K rating and what does all of this mean?


  • A ‘K’ rating is Crash Test Certification issued by the Department of State (DOS) to a barrier, fence, gate or bollard that indicates perpendicular impact by a 15,000 lb. (6810 kg.) vehicle.


In layman’s terms, the test measures the barrier’s ability to stop a moving vehicle from penetrating it (by more than 36 inches) at different speeds. If someone is trying to break into secured property, it is not uncommon that they will attempt ramming the barrier with their vehicle at a high speed. The higher the K (speed) rating, the more stopping power the barrier has against penetration.


What Do The Numbers Mean?

There are three certification classes of K ratings: K4, K8, and K12. Each rating is certified to withstand impact from vehicles traveling at different speeds, as follows:


  • K4 – 30 mph (miles per hour) speed or 48 kph (kilometres) speed
  • K8 – 40 mph or 65 kph
  • K12 – 50 mph or 80 kph



Interested in K Rated Security? Contact Hercules High Security

Crash-rated products with K ratings provide the utmost security and enhanced safety to your perimeter. Call Hercules Fence today to talk about installation, we offer options with every K rating certification! We have decades of experience in the fencing industry and can offer you the best in ornamental steel, chain link, welded fences and more. Our dedicated teams of fencing professionals are highly trained, skilled and experienced in providing quality fence installations of any type. We’ll work with you to find a fence that bests suits your needs and budget.

We have six convenient locations and there is a Hercules Fence professional ready to serve you from Maryland and the Washington Metropolitan area to North Carolina. Our branch offices are in Manassas, Richmond, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina.

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