Innovating DMS Cabinet Designs for Convenience and Safety

Since our first DMS rolled off the line in 1988, Daktronics has been designing DMS products for a wide swath of ITS applications. Over the years, our engineers have combined innovation with application – resulting in a robust lineup of Vangaurd® DMS which withstand harsh climatic environments and comply with all industry regulations.

Today, our DMS feature front access, walk-in, rear access and road-side cabinets for convenience and safety. Although all of our DMS share several capabilities and options, we want to help our customers choose the right access configuration for their unique projects. It’s a decision which can reduce costs for maintenance and/or provide safety precautions where they are needed the most.

Rear Access DMS
Rear Access

Our very first DMS product, built in 1988 for Connecticut DOT, was a full-matrix (24×64) display which featured Glow Cube™ technology (a pre-cursor to LED) and rear access doors. Today, our standard rear access product, The Vanguard VF-2100 (shown above), has sliding doors on the rear of the cabinet which allow technicians to access all of the internal components from a catwalk or bucket truck without distracting passing motorists. As opposed to hinged doors, these sliding panels won’t catch strong wind or conflict with mounting structures. The rear access cabinet design is considerably thinner than other stand-alone walk-in cabinets, and is typically mounted on overpasses or stand-alone metal structures.

Front Access DMS
Front Access

We received our first order for front access LED DMS from New Jersey DOT in 1994. We currently offer three standard front access displays, the louvered Vanguard VL-3500 and VF-2300 and the mask-faced VF-2400 (shown above). Front-access DMS are very popular for mounting on bridges, tunnels and any other surface-mounted ITS application. Whether they have hinged doors (VF-2400) or louvered modules (VF-2300 and VL-3500), these displays can be reached via bucket truck or catwalk, allowing service personnel to troubleshoot and identify troubled areas and make necessary drop-in part replacements.

Walk-In Access DMS
Walk-In Access

Our most popular DMS is the Vanguard VF-2000 (shown above) which features a convenient walk-in cabinet. New Jersey DOT was the first customer to order this configuration in 1996. Today, our walk-in DMS can be seen along roads in 48 of 50 states. Walk-in access is especially appreciated by maintenance personnel who are protected from harsh weather conditions while running diagnostics or accessing components. In addition, the enclosed workspace allows the technician to perform service over the roadway without the risk of dropping parts or tools.

Road-Side Access
Road-Side Access

In the past few years, many agencies have deployed dedicated DMS (DDMS) mounted on static panels to convey travel times or toll rates. These displays are especially useful for HOT lanes, tollways and arterial routes. The lightweight Vanguard VM-1020 features a road-side traffic cabinet which houses all of the critical components (illustration shown above). This eliminates the need for bucket trucks or lane closures to perform maintenance. Since the critical display components are housed in the road-side cabinet, the actual display is only two inches deep when mounted on static signage.

Making the Choice

Your regional Daktronics Representative can help you and your agency pick the right DMS for your application. Visit to learn more about what our products can do for you.

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