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FHWA Highway Safety Programs


Sign Posts

For routine patrols, take several sign posts commonly used in your patrol area. Remember there may be several types in common use in the area including wood, steel U-channel, perforated square tube, etc. Suggested numbers of posts for large areas include:

  • Six (6) wood posts 4" X 4" X 12'.
  • Four (4) wood posts 4" X 6" X 14' - pre-drilled.
  • Four (4) wood posts 4" X 6" X 16' - pre-drilled.
  • Four (4) U-channel posts 8' long.
  • Four (4) U-channel posts 10' long.
  • Four (4) square steel tube posts 2.25" X 2.25" X 10' long.
  • Others as unique to your area.

Supplies and Sign Hardware Items

You should take enough hardware to replace a minimum of 20 sign panels and 10 sign supports. Whenever your hardware supply falls below this level, obtain more before beginning a patrol. You will also need to carry a supply of:

  • Anti-theft, vandal-resistant fasteners.
  • Oversized neoprene or nylon washers.
  • Several boxes of bolts with nuts.

If you plan to make field repairs to damaged sign faces (repair the legend or lettering) rather than do this in the shop, you will need additional field supplies, including:


  • Facemask to protect lungs from spray paint and dust.
  • One package of assorted capital letters.
  • One package of assorted arrows and numbers.
  • Two rolls of transparent film (one 2-inch width, one 3-inch width).
  • Four one-quart cans of clean sealer or equal.
  • Four one-quart cans of thinner or equal.
  • One-pint can of activator or equal.
  • One rolls each of reflective tape in red, yellow, green, orange, blue and white (background).
  • One container of naphtha, and a large can of wood filler.
  • Two rolls of aluminum foil tape for backing sign holes.
  • Utility knife.
  • Two rolls of masking tape.

Hand tools

Suggested hand tools for sign maintenance patrols:

  • Several different size adjustable wrenches and a pair of adjustable (horse-faced) pliers.
  • Weed cutter for clearing vegetation-blocking signs.
  • Loppers for clearing vegetation.
  • 3-cu. ft. utility wheelbarrow as there may be a need to mix concrete for sign bases, move hole spoil, or bring in material to fill holes.
  • Brace and bits to drill holes in wood posts.
  • Set of woodworking chisels for trimming wood posts.
  • Hacksaw to cut bolts and rivets.
  • Crosscut saw for cutting wood posts.
  • Posthole auger, posthole digger, and posthole breaker bar for preparing new postholes and resetting posts.
  • Double-handed slip hammer of suitable size for driving posts, usually U-channel and square tube.
  • 16-lb. or 20-1b. double-faced sledgehammer.
  • 6-lb. double-faced hammer.
  • 16-oz. or 20-oz. curved claw hammer.
  • Long-handled shovel.
  • Heavy-duty tall stepladder or an extension ladder.
  • Rubber mallet.
  • Fender dolly.
  • Cold chisels, various sizes.

"Photo. A truck equipped with flashers and carrying signs, sign posts, parts, and tools is shown."

Example of Truck for Sign Maintenance.