If you have an automatic gate on your business or residential property, how well it works affects the efficiency of your entire operation – so you want the gate machinery to run smoothly, quietly and remain trouble-free. But we all know machines wear out, and the digital systems that control them can suffer glitches and interruptions. A broken gate or gate opener that needs service can cause traffic jams, downtime, and leave your outdoor lot a weak point in security.
To minimize the impact of these issues, you need to not only pick the right mechanized entry system for your business, but also to make sure that it’s properly installed, and that you’re prepared to deal promptly with any problems that might arise later. Automating your gate opener system has its advantages, but it still needs to be done with careful thought if you want it to be the upgrade to really matter in terms of increasing security and efficiency.
Optimizing your new automated gate means thinking about and preparing for potential difficulties long before they have a chance to develop – even before you choose your gate and have it installed. Will you be ready to deal with a power outage that shuts down electricity to your front gate, for example? And what kind of key or device do you want your employees to use to activate the gate opener?
Choosing the right automated gate opener setup
Here are some things to keep in mind about installing new automated gate systems:
- No matter how good a mechanized gate assembly you choose, if the gate system isn’t installed correctly in the first place, all kinds of problems can later ensue. Malfunctioning gate openers leave you and your property liable. Gate system installation should include features to prevent any obstacles or environmental factors from causing damage to the gate and its opener.
- And there are plenty of potential hazards to take into account. These range from damp ground conditions that compromise system operation, to invasion by ant colonies, interfering radio transmissions, shifting ground that makes the gates uneven, malfunctioning photo sensors, and more.
- Before installing a new gate system that operates automatically, you should review a variety of factors, including how heavy and how wide the gate will need to be, how much traffic will be going through it, how fast you will want it to operate, and what type of terrain it will be located on.
- Automated gate openers all vary in specs: horsepower, operating mechanism, cycle life and size of gate opening it can handle. Taking all these things into account will help you in choosing the system that’s right for your site and best meets your specific needs.
- Consult an exterior door installer who specializes in gate sales and service; they’ll ensure you install the right automated gate system. You don’t want to end up failing to ask these vital questions and having an automated gate that doesn’t at all work for your purposes. What if clearance isn’t high enough for some of your equipment? Or the motion sensors aren’t able to function to the sensitivity you need them to?
- Having a backup power source such as a battery system in place can be a real lifesaver in the event of a power outage. Your gate opening mechanism is likely to be driven by an alternating current (AC) motor and auxiliary motor; having a backup online that’s ready to kick in when it’s needed will ensure that your automated security gate can keep opening and closing until the power comes back on. Adding this hardware accessory to your commercial gate opener can make all the difference in a weather or fire emergency.
- To give your employees easy and secure access, consider using smart phones as your electronic remote gate-operating devices; they’re increasingly popular as the triggering method of choice for automatic gates, and for good reasons. Your cell phone is something you’re likely to carry with you nearly all the time. Instead of having to keep track of keys, cards or fobs, staff members can signal the gate to open simply by making a free call or clicking an app on their phone. This way, you can also revoke access to the security gate from individuals without having to collect their keys or change locks.
- Sometimes, people ask if it’s possible to convert an existing, manually operated gate into a mechanized one. It can be, as long as the original gate is structurally solid, opens and closes freely, and meets certain safety standards. We can also retrofit a manual gate with a few changes to its operating mechanism in order to make it compatible with an automated gate opener system.
- You’ll also have to consider issues such as what material the old gate is made of, how it opens, and what types of hinges and brackets it has. In most cases, it’s probably a much better idea to just replace the existing gate with a completely new automatic gate system. As well, a new automated gate and opener system can really give your business’ outdoor space a facelift.
- And we all know how important curb appeal is to a business’ reputation – if your lot is visible from the road, its appearance is just as important as that of your storefront doors and windows.
If you have a manual gate at your business, no question – it’s time to upgrade. Hire an experienced commercial door and gate installer; ask them some questions and let them help you decide your best options. Your best path to avoiding automated gate problems, and to keeping your residential or commercial traffic moving, is to invest in quality products and proper installation. We can help with both. Let SACS DOOR & GATE advise you on your next upgrade to a smart automated gate opener system. We can help you with design, installation, and provide ongoing gate service to keep your business running smoothly.