Traffic Cone Types: A Buyer’s Guide

Need to buy traffic cones for your business? 

While you may not realize it, there are many different types of traffic cones available to buy. Not just the standard cone-shaped orange ones! 

Sometimes referred to as highway cones or traffic pylons, the below buyer’s guide will tell you everything there is to know about buying traffic cones. 

Read on to discover:

  • What is the purpose of a traffic cone? 
  • What are the different varieties of traffic cones? 
  • What do the different colors of traffic cones mean? 
  • What are traffic cones made from?
  • Where is the best place to buy traffic cones? 

What is the purpose of a traffic cone? 

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Traffic cones have multiple purposes, and without them, the roads would be much less safe. Some of the most popular purposes of a traffic cone are to provide direction around roadworks and maintenance and to alert drivers of hazards such as manhole covers and potholes. 

Traffic cones can also be used to direct pedestrians and can be seen on playing fields and in parking lots

Traffic cones are designed with maximum visibility in mind and typically feature a sturdy base to stop them from falling over. You can purchase traffic cones in multiple sizes and colors, depending on their intended use. 

If used at night, traffic cones must have a reflective collar on them to make sure they are easy to see and to ensure they work effectively. 

What are the different varieties of traffic cones? 



Different types of traffic cones have different uses, so you need to make sure that you are buying the right types of cones for your business. 

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Take a closer look at the main varieties of traffic cones that are seen on roads across the United States below. 


You may have spotted this type of traffic cone on the freeway on more than one occasion. One of the most commonly spotted types of traffic cones, the drum is, unsurprisingly, shaped like a drum and stands at around 3ft tall. 

This type of traffic cone is highly durable and long-lasting and can easily be seen from a long way away. 

Ideal for high-speed traffic areas. 


Traffic cones are another widely used type of traffic cone and are instantly recognizable by their cone-like shape. 

You can buy traffic cones in multiple different sizes and colors, but it is the orange traffic cone that is most widely used. 

Traffic cones are often spotted in car parks and also on the roadside where vehicles are temporarily parked. 


Markers are a slightly less common type of traffic cone and look like a combination of a tube and a cone. 

These types of traffic cones are tall and thin and are often used in zones where traffic and pedestrians are close to one another. For example, during public events in the street. 

Ropes can be easily added to marker cones to section off areas and to keep people safe.  


A channelizer is designed to guide motorists traveling at low speeds around work areas. This type of traffic cone features a wide and heavy base and has either 2 or 3 reflector rings on its top. 


Delineators are similar in their design to channelizers but tend to be used more for long-term environments. For example, on roundabouts and mergers. 

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These traffic cones have slightly smaller bases than channelizers but are designed to be placed in the ground for long-term use. 

What do the different colors of traffic cones mean? 

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When driving, you may have noticed several different colored traffic cones on or by the roadside. While most people will instantly recognize an orange traffic cone, there are actually lots of other colors available. 

Orange traffic cones 

As mentioned above, orange traffic cones are the most widely used and are there to warn motorists that safety hazards are present. 

You often see orange traffic cones near construction works or any other project that uses heavy machinery or construction materials.

These show that there is no immediate danger but that you need to be cautious as bodily harm could occur. 

Yellow traffic cones

Yellow traffic cones are rarer and are placed in areas where there is a slight risk of harm but no immediate danger. 

These cones are designed to encourage motorists and pedestrians to approach with caution and be more conscious of their surroundings. 

You often see yellow traffic cones in areas where utility works are ongoing. 

Green traffic cones  

Green traffic cones are very rarely seen and are designed predominantly to catch the attention of drivers. You sometimes see these traffic cones on and around construction sites as well as in the service industry, where they are used to cordon off work areas. 

What are traffic cones made from?

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Traffic cones used to be made from concrete, but today, they are made from either a type of thermoplastic or rubber. You can also find traffic cones that are made from recycled PVC bottles, and these are better for the environment, making them a good choice for businesses looking to showcase their sustainability efforts. 

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During the manufacturing process, traffic cones are typically made using one of the below types of molding: 

  • Blow molding 
  • Compression molding
  • Intrusion molding 
  • Rotational molding 

Where is the best place to buy traffic cones? 

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There are so many online stores that sell traffic cones. You can even buy traffic cones on eBay! Sadly, a lot of these places sell inferior products that will not last as long as you need them. 

When buying traffic cones online, you need to look for professional products that are made from long-lasting materials. If they are going to be used outside, you also need to look for weather-resistant traffic cones, as these are designed to withstand even the harshest of elements. 

It can also be helpful to read reviews online before placing your order as this can help to eliminate any poor quality traffic cone suppliers and ensure you do not waste your money on cones that won’t deliver what you need. 

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