Unless you possess the power of teleportation (in which case we’d like offer our thanks for reading our modest newsletter, oh visitor from another world), chances are that you gain access to your property by means of a point of entry enclosed by walls, or “gate” as we sometimes like to call it (as an interesting aside, the word “gate” derives from the old Norse word gata, meaning road or path). But, perhaps you only recently had the fence or wall erected and it as yet sans gate, or you have simply decided to automate an existing one. Then, dear reader, it is important to know what kind of hardware you’ll need and what function it performs, lest you end up with a gate that is either recalcitrant or, even worse, unsafe. Fortunately, we’ve been in the gate automation business for going on 30 years and we’re channelling that experience towards guiding you in any-gate related endeavours that you may wish to undertake.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Guide-rollers do exactly what their name suggests, they guide the gate. In other words, the guide-rollers – which are normally just two nylon rollers that rotate on shafts – hold the gate vertically and prevent it from falling over which is, you know, something you’d want to avoid if possible. For improved safety, we recommend fitting additional support posts to prevent the gate from falling over should the guide-rollers fail.
Again, the job description is more or less in the name here. Anti-lift brackets help prevent unauthorised access to your property by ensuring that the gate can’t simply be lifted off its track by some devious criminal/strongman combo (of course, most gates are light enough not to require a strongman to lift it, hence the need for anti-lift brackets).
Endstops are very important from a safety point of view and prevent your gate from abandoning its track. Remember that there is always the chance, however remote, that the gate will overrun its limits (and we’d like to point out here that with our new generation of gate motors, the chance is even more remote since the operator will always look for the origin magnet and will run the gate slowly if it is not detected), and you don’t want the gate behaving like a runaway train with nothing to stop it. CENTURION recommends installing mechanical endstops that are sturdy (preferably welded onto the track) and do not move even when subjected to considerable force.
The movement of your gate depends largely on the presence of a collection of spherical objects that rotate about a shaft, or “wheels”. Keep in mind that the entire weight of your gate will rest upon the wheels, so it’s important to keep them in a good condition and rotating freely. They will also need to be compatible with the profile of the rail. CENTURION stocks both U- and V-profile gate wheel kits, as well as the novel GateShoxsystem which dramatically reduces noise in sliding gates. Over time, the rails of sliding gates can become corrugated and uneven from use, and GateShox help absorb the load through a spring system, resulting in a smoother ride and quieter operation.
If you’re planning on automating your gate (and, let’s be honest, it’s the logical thing to do), you’ll need a toothed rack fitted along the length of the gate to mesh with the pinion of your gate motor. The setup works in an almost identical fashion to the rack-and-pinion configuration found in the steering wheel mechanisms of most cars and, depending on which operator you’re planning on having installed, you’ll need either Raz, nylon angle or steel rack. Not sure which one? Give us a call on +27 11 699 2481 for some friendly advice.
A Reliable Gate Motor
We previously likened buying a new gate operator to selecting a new car. Considerations such as the weight of the gate, maximum number of daily operations, push force and duty cycle all need to be taken into account when choosing an automation system. But, most of all, it’s important to ensure that you choose a gate motor that will never leave you out in the cold, so to speak. CENTURION manufactures a wide range of reliable swing and sliding gate motors for domestic, light industrial and full industrial applications. Our operators are constructed from only the most robust materials in accordance with the ISO9001 quality assurance system, and carry a 24 month warranty.