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Gates come in many designs but for driveway gates there are two common configurations. These are either sliding or swing gates.
So what are the advantages and disadvantages or each type of gates?
Sliding gates are usually made up of one, larger gate that slides across the driveway entrance. Swing gates are usually twin gates that open in the middle and swing open into the driveway. However, sliding gates can be made to look like two swing gates.
Any opening gate requires space to move into and this is where sliding gates and swing gates are very different. Sliding gates need to slide along a continuous, straight track across the opening between the pillars or posts until the gate has completely cleared the opening. Swing gates move through an arc from hinges on the pillars into the driveway (usually), so nothing can be left in this space to stop the gates from fully opening.
Sliding gates are moved along a track on wheels by a motor with a toothed cog on its side. This meshes with a toothed rack mounted along the length of gate and moves the gate when rotated.
Swing gates are moved by motors mounted on the pillars or sunk underground, by mechanical arms and rods that connect to the gate. This is often inefficient as the force applied to the gate is usually close to the hinge rather than at the opening edge where much less force is required to move the gate. When swing gates have no gaps in their surface (fully boarded), a strong wind blowing on them will significantly increase the force required to open them.
To open fully, swing gates move a shorter distance than a sliding gate. With a 4m gap between pillars, a sliding gate moves more than 4m,while the opening edge of each swing gate moves 3.141m to open 90 degrees. Despite the differences in motion type (sliding vs rotating) and motor action, swing gates are slightly quicker to open because of this.
Any gate automation system installed without due consideration for its use, who will have access to it, and where the possible danger areas are, is not safe.
Sliding gates move across stationary surfaces so they have the potential to cause shearing and crushing injuries. Swing gates can cause pinching and crushing injuries at the hinges and impact and crushing injuries as the gates swing open.
Sliding gates should not be installed on slopes as they require more force to push uphill and higher breaking force to stop them accelerating downhill.
Swing gates and sliding gates both have risks but a qualified installation engineer who fully understands the unique safety requirements of your installation will assemble and install the safest possible gate system which type of gates you choose.