Types of Electric Automatic Gates
There are many different types of automatic gates, and they all have unique benefits. It’s important to take into consideration the size, weight, and height limitations of each gate before purchasing one.
The range of materials to choose from to complement your building and its surroundings is broad and includes options such as stainless steel and aluminium construction through to durable timber slats. The range of electric gate designs also offers a lot of flexibility in terms of finding the best option for your space due to how they can be opened in various ways to allow people to enter and leave the premises quickly and safely.
Out of all automatic gates designs, the most common are sliding, swinging, vertical lift and bi-folding gates. Barrier arm gates are also a popular inclusion in commercial applications like car parks, airports and front entrances to industrial sites.
Knowing which automatic gate is right for you will depend not just on your budget, since automatic gates are more expensive to install and maintain than manual gates, but also more importantly on your accessibility needs and property layout. Factors like space and uneven terrain also play an important role in influencing your decision. Fortunately, there are plenty of options available.
Automatic Swing Gates
Swinging gates are among the most popular automatic gate designs on the market, and they can be found on residential properties and commercial car parks alike. They pivot on traditional door hinges and the gate arms swing open to allow traffic in or out of a property, building or car park. What’s nice about these gates is that they can swing in either direction, with their design featuring two doors on each side so you don’t need to worry about which direction to open them. That’s providing you can indeed open them both ways since this may not be possible in one of the two directions due to limitations imposed by the driveway and building layout.
There are some considerations to make with automatic swing gates. You must ensure the terrain is even and flat enough, because the gates will not open if anything bumps them from the side. You also need to ensure there is enough room for the gate arms to swing in their open position, as they can’t be placed too close to a building wall or access point.
Aside from this, an automatic swing gate is straightforward to install and durable, with very little maintenance required beyond periodic lubrication of the hinges. It’s also a good idea to regularly check the hinges and the gate cables to make sure they’re in good condition since this will extend their lifespan.
Automatic Sliding Gates
Automatic sliding gates are similar in terms of construction to swinging gates, except that they roll along straight tracks back and forth using rollers instead of swinging on hinges to open and close. The tracks and gates are usually made from a single piece of extruded aluminium or stainless steel. In other words, an automatic sliding gate is constructed for increased security.
Automatic sliding gates offer next level security and protection for residential and commercial properties. The sliding gate itself is mounted parallel to the inside of the fence and slides horizontally from back to forth in order to open and close. Rollers are attached to the bottom of the sliding gate, which enables it to glide seamlessly across the track – making them harder to force open as they have fewer vulnerable points than the automatic swing gate whose hinges and ground clearance gap, the space between the base of the gate and ground, are known vulnerabilities exploited by thieves to gain illegal access.
Automatic Vertical Lift Gates
If you have a high fence, installing a vertical lift gate is an excellent option. These gates open vertically by lifting the top of the gate straight up into the air rather than swinging it open. The gate is held in place by a vertical support tower and a ground anchor to stop it from opening accidentally. As a result, cars and pedestrians go under the gates to leave and enter premises, rather than through them.
Automatic vertical lift gates are an ideal choice if space is limited and the surrounding terrain is uneven. They’re quick to use and very reliable, though they are also frequently the most expensive option amongst electric gates. The combination of a chain drive mechanism ensures smooth performance and counterweights to help ease the burden placed on the motor, thus increasing its lifespan.
Automatic Bi-Folding Gates
Bi-folding gates are among the most versatile automatic gate designs and can be used with a private home, high fence, or commercial property to effortlessly let people in and out. They possess a unique feature that makes them stand out among other gate designs: they can be folded in on themselves and stored alongside their tracks. This allows them to be far more compact than other automatic gates when not in use, which is particularly helpful if you have a smaller space to accommodate them in.
Because of their folding design, automatic bi-folding gates open quite quickly. However, they have a greater amount of ‘entrapment points’ where human operators or pedestrians may have a finger or limb caught or trapped while the gate is being closed, so extra safety steps are required to ensure the surrounding area is safe when these gates are in use.