All vehicle gate motor has different functions. They are also manufactured to operate within specific parameters.
It is therefore important to choose an electric motor that will do the job for you. It must be able to provide the functionality you need; it must be able to easily carry the workload (length, weight, and number of openings) of your specific gate.
Needless to say, but it is equally important to make sure that the gate and motor is installed properly. Accidents at gates can be costly and in cases traumatic if other humans, kids, and pets are involved. We specialize in gate motors and can advise you best.
Most features are built-in and are pretty standard between the different brands. However, there are subtle differences, like for example holiday lockout features that is not available across the board.
Ensure that your motor choice has the features you want.
The most commonly used features are:-
Auto close after a gate opening. Calculate the desired auto close time. Set auto close on a very long time, or avoid this feature altogether if you don't have safety beams installed.
Make use of the pedestrian facility for domestic staff and people visiting on foot.
A wrong collision sensitivity setting can cause serious damage to vehicles or injury to humans and animal.
Beware of the advantages and disadvantages of safety beams.
Gate Safety Beams
Gate safety minimize damage to cars, and injury to people and animals.
However, be aware that beams can be used against you should you be the target of a hijacking or robbery.
Have them installed inside the property; away from potential tampering from the outside.
Most motors (not all) comes equipped with a backup (12 volt systems), or two (24 volt systems).
For now, these batteries are of the Lead Acid or Gel type. These batteries has a drawback in the sense that they have a limited life expectancy. They would typically have to be replaced every two to three years. An unstable mains environment (for instance during load shedding) will reduce that life expectancy even more.
Consider replacing the motor battery with a lead crystal type. You'll receive a three year guarantee, plus it has a life expectancy of about 18 years.
Lead Crystal batteries can be discharged to zero volts without damage. It recharges three times faster than conventional batteries.
It may add a bit to your costs now, but it will definitely save you a lot of battery related frustrations in the future.
All motor manufacturers have guidelines in place that will limit the negative effect of lightning damage.
These steps prescribed requires that the gate motor be firmley earthed to ground.
In-line lightning protection can also be incorporated very effectively in areas prone to severe lightning.
Although these lightning protection measures goes a long in protecting your gate motor, no system will survive a direct lightning strike.
Armed Response Companies
Armed response companies may experience difficulties gaining access to your property when responding to an alarm.
These companies may sometimes install their own keypad setup in order to open you gate.
In other instances you may have to supply them with a separate remote. Keep this in mind when placing your order.
Identify the pros and cons of supplying remote controls to your domestic staff.
Remember to add extra remotes when placing your gate motor order.
Motors are typically stolen very soon after being installed.
Installing alarm sensors under the motor has proven ineffective due to the method used when stealing them. A perimeter alarm beam or outdoor passive covering the motor works well though.
A quick and less complicated method is to enclose the motor with a steel cage and lock it with and insurance certified lock. This has unfortunately also proven to not be a completely theft-proof system. Most motor suppliers offer these steel cages as a stock item.
In the end, make sure your motor is insured. Losing it to theft is not only costly, but also an inconvenience.
Gate Motor Installation
Every motor is supplied with it's own installation manual.
It falls outside the scope of this web page to discuss each installation in detail.
However, the following needs spacial mention:
Electrical supply - These must comply with regulations. Keep cable away from flower beds and don't leave exposed to the sun.
Keep excessive water flow away. build a retaining wall in front of the motor if need be. There is no reason that the motor be mounted n ground level it can be on any height as long as the structure is firm and stable.
Position it away from traffic passing the motor.
You'll need space to work with motors mounting bolts and nuts. Don't mount it too close to steel gate pillars.
Intercoms may be configured to open the gate. Make sure your intercom cables are wired correctly to the motors.
Gate receivers have a limited range. If you need the remotes to work over an extended range, think to provide for cabling to lift the receiver higher up on a pole.
You open and close your gate day-in and day-out without ever giving it a second thought.
Fact is, you don't really have to worry too much about the gate opener because (most of them) are designed to take a fair amount of hammering.
However, these aspects that will play an important part in the life expectancy of your gate motor:
The gate must be installed level and plumb
Hinges on swing gates must move freely.
The gate wheels on sliding gates must move freely. The gate should travel freely when moved by hand.
Choose the correct motor for your gate size.
Choose the correct motor if the gate is going to open a lot during the day.
The motor must be installed strictly to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Perform preventative maintenance on the gate and motor.
What to do next
Pick up the phone and call me if you need some assistance. Alternatively, complete the form at the bottom of this page stating your problem. We'll get back to you with an answer.
Follow this link if you need some general tips on gate automation:
This page discusses the different types of sliding gate motors:
Sliding Gate Motors
These pages each link to a specific motor brand.
NiceHansa Gate Operators
ET Gate Operators
Perhaps you cannot wait to get your gate motor installed and running, but take some time out and find out what you can do to properly maintain your motor. Click this link; it will tell you what to do to add years to its life.
These two links gives tips on motor repairs and motor replacement: