Gates are necessary at many businesses with outdoor lots or types of inventory that would require gating the commercial storefront doors and windows. Gates provide safety and security for your equipment, inventory and employees. And while it’s true they are almost purely utilitarian, it is unwise to write them off as something you should just buy a “standard” version of, install and then try to forget it’s there. Several styles of gates exist that give you both functional and aesthetic options so you can keep control over the way your business looks without sacrificing security.

  • Vertical lift gates provide the ability to have openings big enough for large vehicles without needing the horizontal space to open the gate sideways. Vertical pivot gates open at an angle (think the motion of the bars at a toll gate or a paid parking lot) and provide the same advantage of saving horizontal space.
  • Rolling slide gates open sideways and use a track to pull away from the opening sideways (along the fence line). Cantilever slide gates open horizontally as well but only from one side and not in a track.
  • Swing gates are kind of like doors and either 2 swing 90 degrees inward or outward or 1 swings 180 degrees (either way).
  • Accordion gates are great for securing the storefront itself if you want to protect your street entrance from damage or intrusion.

You need to consider your business’ spatial capabilities, its curb appearance, what size you need to accommodate what’s going in and out of your lot, and what your safety concerns are. It’s always smart to speak to a professional who specializes in gate service and installation when considering your options.

How Will People Get In and Out? Gate Openers and Gate Automation

Say you’ve decided on the gate you want. Now you have to decide what kind of gate opener you’re going to use. How are employees or suppliers supposed to get in and out efficiently while keeping the gate secure? These days, there are several options to choose for gate openers, and all of them are better for security, function and appearance than a padlock and pulling your gate open and closed manually.

  • Linear ram motors are affordable and easy to install; they have an arm that extends and contracts to pull a swing gate open and close.
  • Underground motors, when installed, are essentially invisible and can pull and push a sliding gate back and forth; sliding motors are pretty similar in the way they function.
  • Articulated arm openers are particularly useful for smaller gates or openings that can’t accommodate the space a linear arm requires.

You have just as many options for the locking/access mechanism that provides secure entry and exit from your gated area. There are always manual locks and basic remote controls – easy, affordable and simple. But modern technology has improved gate automation and security with key card openers, digital keypads you can assign passcodes for, fingerprint readers, and even phone entry – where you can use your smartphone to access the gate. Whatever you decide, choosing to install gate automation products is standard procedure for anyone who wants to ensure their business is kept safe and secure. It lessens wear and tear on the gate by eliminating human error in manual opening and closing, and it reduces and simplifies any gate service you may need as the gate and its opener age.