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If you know nothing about gate automation and the types of gate available to you, your consultation with a qualified gate installer will give you lots of valuable information. But to help you chose the right installer and the right gates for you, here’s a brief run-through of what’s available and what works best where.
Starting with no gates, just an empty driveway entrance, what’s the best type of gate automation for you?
Do you have enough room for swing gates to move through as they open so that they don’t hit anything like a car or a wall? If not, do you have enough room for a gate that is wide enough to fill your driveway entrance and more, to slide back along your fence, hedge or wall?
Have a look at the following diagrams to see what we mean.
If you’ve decided that sliding gates are for you, gate automation selection is simple.
A sliding gate motor may have a few differences in terms of safety and power output, but the basics are essentially the same.
The gate slides open and closed along a track that runs across your driveway and along your wall, hence or hedge where the gate will open.
The gate itself has a toothed rack mounted to the inside towards the bottom.
The motor is mounted inside one of the pillars or posts. It has a toothed gear that meshes with the rack on the gate. As the gear turns it opens or closes the gate.
With swing gates, you have more choice. Gate openers are either electromechanical or hydraulic.
The main types of swing gate motors are ram and threaded shaft, underground or articulated arm. There are also concealed in-post and wheeled motors but these are used less in the UK.
Rams are hydraulic and push and pull a piston mounted to the gate.
The motor body is mounted to the pillar or post so that an extending piston opens the gate and a contracting piston closes the gate.
Threaded shaft motors look very similar to hydraulic rams but the gate mounting is on a threaded shaft inside the housing.
As the threaded shaft is turned by an electric motor, the mounting moves along its length to open and close the gates.
Threaded shaft rams are less expensive than other options but all rams require careful alignment during installation.
Underground motors are installed inside robust housings sunk into pits dug beneath the gate hinges.
The only part visible outside the housing is the arm that is mounted to the underside of the gate.
This is connected directly to the electric motor or hydraulic system that turns the arm and so opens and closes the gate.
Undergrounds can be expensive as they require ground works, appropriate drainage and careful alignment as the arm pivot has to be in line with the gate hinge.
Articulated arm motors use a jointed, two piece arm usually mounted to the underside of the gate motor. The end of the arm is mounted to the gate and the motor body is mounted to the gate pillar or post. As the motor turns the arm, the gate is pushed open or pulled closed. Articulated arm motors allow more leeway with mounting tolerances but can require wider pillars for mounting. They also use an arm whose joint closes up as the gate opens, so users have to be aware of the risks of getting something caught inside the arm.
This is a very quick run-down of the types of gate automation available. For more details or to arrange a visit from a local installer, call Linkcare now on 01895 232 626.