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Old January 3rd, 2011, 09:30 PM   #3101
ChrisZwolle
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Sign making is a special business. Usually only a few companies do that. In the Netherlands there may be 4 or 5 sign-making businesses (regarding directional signage). Second, many people severely underestimate how large these signs are. An overhead sign for 3 lanes + exit quickly amounts to some 60 - 70 m² of metal. Metal isn't free either. Then you have to mount it across the roadway. The gantries are probably most expensive if there are no special electronics (such as motorway traffic management) required.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 01:58 AM   #3102
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This pic should show the size a bit, also of the required gantry:



Source: Europoles, one such sign producer. The gantry is made of concrete btw.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 03:55 AM   #3103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kato2k8 View Post
Pricy electronic display version:
http://www.fernfahrer.de/newsarchiv/...sicherheit.htm
(55 new Verkehrsbrücken with 290 displays total on the A8 costing 21 million Euro - note: pic in link unrelated)
I should like to see the German prices in the Czech Republic.





The whole tender was for Kapsch and the price tag was 40 mil Euro for 30 boards. Even if some additional costs would be substracted, the net price of one board would be around 0,5 mil Euro.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 03:59 AM   #3104
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The signs are so expensive becasue there is little or no competition on the market. In cases of some countries :O (CZ) I would dare to say, there is the supplier setting the price before the tender starts. This holds for the whole motorway construction business.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 11:27 AM   #3105
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Above all, it's labour cost I'd say. You probably need experts to put them up, usually they work at night to affect traffic the least possible, etc. It all adds up on the price tag.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 10:40 PM   #3106
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It all starts with raw material. As Chris mentions, it starts with 60-70 m2 of metal, and it won't be of scrapheap quality. Than the gantry, which is heavy and made out of strong materials. And because the gantry is heavy, you will need a good counterweight underground at both sides of the gantry. That makes very high costs, and then you have to start manufacturing the sign (i.e. its contents printed on DiamondGrade plastic), place it and pay the people involved in that very process. Only at the latter stage, a lack of competition in market may start to play a role in high prices, but that is only after incurring a lot of costs that cannot be avoided, even in fierce competition.

It is the sheer cost of material that makes the major difference in pricing between a small sign (e.g. the one posted at #3098) and a gantry. A small sign requires less material, not much of a supporting construction and therefore a very limited counterweight.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 11:03 PM   #3107
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I would like to ask about formal aspects of road rules in Federal Republic of Germany. You have quite a lot of documents (laws) concerning road traffic. There are:
Straßenverkehrs gesetz (StVG)
Straßenverkehrs ordnung (StVO)
Straßenverkehrs zulassungs ordnung (StVZO)

Can anyone explain me what are the differences between them?
Which of these documents describes such questions as: priority at junctions, roundabouts, right of way of trams (when, what types of junctions at), overtaking etc. Where can I find official list of traffic signs in German language (list published by the government or parliament).

I will be grateful for informations.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 11:03 PM   #3108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Pino- View Post
It all starts with raw material. As Chris mentions, it starts with 60-70 m2 of metal, and it won't be of scrapheap quality. Than the gantry, which is heavy and made out of strong materials. And because the gantry is heavy, you will need a good counterweight underground at both sides of the gantry. That makes very high costs, and then you have to start manufacturing the sign (i.e. its contents printed on DiamondGrade plastic), place it and pay the people involved in that very process. Only at the latter stage, a lack of competition in market may start to play a role in high prices, but that is only after incurring a lot of costs that cannot be avoided, even in fierce competition.

It is the sheer cost of material that makes the major difference in pricing between a small sign (e.g. the one posted at #3098) and a gantry. A small sign requires less material, not much of a supporting construction and therefore a very limited counterweight.

Maybe get them 100% manufactured in China and transport them back to Germany, perhaps by rail through Russia? It would be interesting to see how much could be saved by that.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 11:08 PM   #3109
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ok, but it is still unbelievably expensive. lets start with raw material. let it cost 1/5 of total price. so cca 15-20000€. the first thing which comes to my mind and has similar area is metal roof for a house. do you really think it can cost 15000€?! and roof is more complicated system than direction sign board. it can cost up to 5000€, works included.

it is not that i don't trust in those prices, you have proved them, but they are unbelievably unreal and crazy imo.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 11:32 PM   #3110
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Overhead signage receive significant wind force, thus gantries must be very solid in order to withstand a gale.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 12:54 AM   #3111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Praktykteoretyk View Post
I would like to ask about formal aspects of road rules in Federal Republic of Germany. You have quite a lot of documents (laws) concerning road traffic. There are:
Straßenverkehrs gesetz (StVG)
Straßenverkehrs ordnung (StVO)
Straßenverkehrs zulassungs ordnung (StVZO)

Can anyone explain me what are the differences between them?
Which of these documents describes such questions as: priority at junctions, roundabouts, right of way of trams (when, what types of junctions at), overtaking etc. Where can I find official list of traffic signs in German language (list published by the government or parliament).
Such information can be found in the StVO.

The StVG is the law for road traffic (contains e. g. general rules for the vehicle register, penalties, etc.) StVO and StVZO are the detailled regulations ("(Ver-)Ordnung") of the StVG by the ministry of transport (authorized within the StVG (a law passed by the parliament) to enact them). Therefore, the StVO can be changed quite easily (without having to pass the changes through the parliament) by the executive (the ministry). For drivers, the StVO is by far the most relevant one containg all the relevant regulations for traffic (e. g. way of right, traffic signs, rules of behaviour, etc.).

The StVZO is loosing importance more and more and will be replaced by other regulations in the future. Two parts were already transferred into the Fahrerlaubnisverordnung (FeV) (regulating driving licences and penalties for offences against them) and the Fahrzeug-Zulassungsverordnung (FZV) (regulating the registration of vehicles). Two more regulations (Fahrzeug-Genehmigungs-Verordnung (FGV) and Fahrzeug-Betriebs-Verordnung (FBV)) will replace the remaining parts of the StVZO in the future.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 02:49 AM   #3112
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ok, but it is still unbelievably expensive. lets start with raw material. let it cost 1/5 of total price. so cca 15-20000€. the first thing which comes to my mind and has similar area is metal roof for a house. do you really think it can cost 15000€?! and roof is more complicated system than direction sign board. it can cost up to 5000€, works included.

it is not that i don't trust in those prices, you have proved them, but they are unbelievably unreal and crazy imo.
I agree completaly.

It is just ridiculous when something like a road sign costs more than a family house (actually a villa).

Just compare:

180 th. euro, 226 m2
http://www.rdstyl.cz/typy-domu/exklu...sive-plus.aspx

500 th. euro



The conditions that it has to stand are more or less the same. The only reasoning for such exceeded prices are special relations between the demanding side and supplying side due to the lack of competition.


There are many tricks that you can use. You can say, that the boards might be constructed only by certified firms. Then you will make it very hard to get these certificates.... Other one, you could ask very specific conditions for the realization of the signs that would yield in only few participants in the tender... etc. etc. There is also maybe too many middle man involved.

Anyway when you check prices here, you might get a picture:

http://www.alibaba.com/showroom/highway-board.html

E.g. this board costs according to the manufacturer US $1,300 - 1,600 / Square Meter, Available in Hong Kong.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 03:07 AM   #3113
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Still doesn't account for the over-inflated prices..... As I recommended, the German Government should consider Hong Kong or China for future signage. There definitely appears a lack of competition in this business in Germany / other parts of Europe. Seriously though, only a super-rich country could afford to pay that amount of money for Highway signs. Even non-gantry signs seem ridiculously expensive - EUR 3,000 for the small yellow sign on the previous page is too sweet a price for any Government to pay. Especially in the current economic climate.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 03:20 AM   #3114
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well I believe that some of them indeed come from China, but through european middle man that cuts the hair... .
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Old January 5th, 2011, 09:21 AM   #3115
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It has turned out that even a German manufacturer cannot create signs in accordance with Dutch lay-out standards (see the somewhat odd-looking signs close to the A2-A73 intersection). Imagine what the Chinese would come up with.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 10:21 AM   #3116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surel View Post
I agree completaly.

It is just ridiculous when something like a road sign costs more than a family house (actually a villa).

Just compare:

180 th. euro, 226 m2
http://www.rdstyl.cz/typy-domu/exklu...sive-plus.aspx

500 th. euro
http://www.rsd.cz/rsd/rsd.nsf/a3eda2...ElemFormat=jpg


The conditions that it has to stand are more or less the same. The only reasoning for such exceeded prices are special relations between the demanding side and supplying side due to the lack of competition.


There are many tricks that you can use. You can say, that the boards might be constructed only by certified firms. Then you will make it very hard to get these certificates.... Other one, you could ask very specific conditions for the realization of the signs that would yield in only few participants in the tender... etc. etc. There is also maybe too many middle man involved.

Anyway when you check prices here, you might get a picture:

http://www.alibaba.com/showroom/highway-board.html

E.g. this board costs according to the manufacturer US $1,300 - 1,600 / Square Meter, Available in Hong Kong.
http://i00.i.aliimg.com/photo/v0/342...Pixel_10mm.jpg
You can't compare the price level of two completely different countries like that.
E. g. in Germany, you will hardly be able to build a house under 300,000 or 400,000 Euros. One the size you posted (if it's not pre-produced in a facory) will easily cost close to a million - land aquisition not included, obviously.
In China, where minimum wage is probably 150 to 200 Euros, you can of course put up such a sign way cheaper than in Germany, where someone in the building business earns 2,000 or (way) more a month. The same is true for a metal roof: You probably won't be able to get one under 10,000 Euros (or maybe more) (at least legally and for a house of similar size than a motorway gantry sign). And so on.

The price is quite plausible.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 01:56 PM   #3117
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E. g. in Germany, you will hardly be able to build a house under 300,000 or 400,000 Euros.
Offtopic, but i don't agree with that. At all. Depends a lot on where in Germany you want to build it of course. In the south 150-200 grand minimum, in the north half that. Including land acquisition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thun View Post
In China, where minimum wage is probably 150 to 200 Euros, you can of course put up such a sign way cheaper than in Germany, where someone in the building business earns 2,000 or (way) more a month.
Sign-making should be IG Metall tariff, not building. Hence €7.92 minimum wage instead of €10.70, or about €1330 per month.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thun View Post
The same is true for a metal roof: You probably won't be able to get one under 10,000 Euros (or maybe more) (at least legally and for a house of similar size than a motorway gantry sign).
True.

As for competition, iirc there's over two dozen sign making companies in Germany. And any other qualifying company in the EU can take part in the tenders too...
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Old January 5th, 2011, 02:13 PM   #3118
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You can't compare the price level of two completely different countries like that.
I did not do that.
I just compared the price of such a sign in Czech Republic, which is even higher than in Germany and price of a house in the same country. The comparison was just to get some general idea about sensibility of such prices.


Since the morways as well the signs on them are paid by public money I dont really care what is the wage of someone working on it. The only thing I care about is what are the costs to the government and whether the government is seeking the lowest price possible (or best price/quality ratio).
The price of such a board in China was the manufacturer price. If we add shipping to Europe, duty, whatever, the price of board could perhaps double or tripple. You have to either compete with that, or get it from there. Add some construction costs, ok, here you pay the 2000 - 4000 euro wage per month. Even if five people were working on it for month we get maximum of 20 000 euro wage costs (absurd). The Led board price 30 m2 = 40 000 euro + shipping 40 000. Even if gantry was around 40 000 euro, ok, but it is rather lot for standardized premanufactured thing. We get on some 140 000 euro. Add some profit margin of 15 %. These numbers are rather oversized to give good buffer, but anyway:

We are now on 161 000 euro. Thats it. And thats for an electronic LED motorway gantry board.

In reality the prices are 2-x times higher and the profit margins are around 200 % or more.

I dont deny that the price is plaussible. It is. It is actually payed to the supplier. What I try to point out, that the price is absolutelly ridiculous.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 06:25 PM   #3119
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It's not only about that. European signs have to withstand harsher climates than your "average Chinese cheap [crap]". For instance, they are treated against corrosion from salt on winter months. Many signs use the latest available reflecting technology.

Many signs are equipped with traffic cameras.

They are required to be, in many areas, lead-free and also free of many compounds we deem toxic, that the Chinese don't care about there.

Also, installation of signs is meant to be minimally disruptive, meaning taking 4, 5 times longer to completely fix it on the highway as compared to a scenario in which they just shut down the highway for couple days. In Europe, you just can't do that - sending all highway traffic into a nearby county road through some old villages never meant to bear 50.000 DVC...

We do need more competition, though.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 06:33 PM   #3120
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@ kato: Still, you need builders to put that thing (and the gantry) up. I would be surprised if the cost of labour for the actual manufacturing of the sign would be higher than those for the works on the road.
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