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Ram motors are a type of motor used to automate swing gates. They can be chosen as an alternative to articulated arm motors, underground motors or in-post motors. There are several reasons why a ram may be selected over other styles of gate motor. This article explains more about ram motors, how they work and the possible reasons and benefits of choosing one to automate a gate.
Characteristically long and thin, ram motors are installed by attaching one end (that houses the motor) to the gate post and mounting the other end to the gate. To operate the gate, an arm is extended from the motor housing, effectively pushing the gate open, and retracts back to pull the gate closed. This operation is achieved by a hydraulic piston or linear screws attached to a threaded shaft in each motor. Linear screw motors are long and thin but do not have a visible extending ram. Instead, the motor turns a threaded shaft that runs alongside the gate when mounted. The gate mounting point is connected to an internally threaded device mounted on the shaft. As the motor turns the shaft, the mounting is brought closer to the motor or moves away from it. In doing so, it opens or closes the gate.
When compared with an articulated arm motor, rams need less space to operate as articulated arms must have available room for the arm to manoeuvre as the gate opens.
Ram motors are usually the most cost-effective form of gate automation if installed by a competent installer. By contrast, underground gate automation is often the most expensive, primarily due to the necessary groundworks required to house the motor and ensure suitable drainage. In-post gate motors also come at a higher cost of purchase and installation.
Ram motors are capable of operating swing gates with a leave of up to seven meters. In comparison, undergrounds can manage around five meters. Also, ram motors have the gate mounting away from the gate hinge, resulting in less force being needed to open the gates. Furthermore, because they are connected further along the gate they are more suitable than undergrounds for gates in windy locations.
The slimline appearance of ram motors makes them relatively discreet. Underground gate automation is often considered more discreet; however, the difference is that from the outside of the gates, ram motors are not visible. If an underground system is used, from the outside, it is still possible to see motor covers and gate connection arms and shoes. Combined with their effectiveness, the appearance of rams makes them a popular choice for many.
All DC motors have a control that provides obstacle detection, and some 230V controls will also provide obstacle detection. The obstacle detection is provided by the control box getting feedback from the motors.
The reason someone may choose to install an automated gate system may vary; therefore, there may be some disadvantages to ram motors depending on the application. While cost-effective, ram motors do require careful alignment, therefore a competent and experienced installer must be used. In the event of a power cut or motor failure, they can only be manually released from the inside of the gates, posing a problem if someone was stuck outside.
If you need more information, please read our blog – What Gate Automation System Do I Need? The Linkcare website also has a wide range of automation kits, motors, parts and accessories for remote control gates.