What are the Different Types of Automatic Gates?

Do you prefer a more modern and secured gate at your residence? Getting an automatic gate will help. There are several automatic gates available in the market. Deciding which type of automatic gate is a huge decision for your home security, as automatic gates can be expensive and require regular maintenance. Depending on the architects and builders may not help, as they may get the cheapest gate possible, and the owner may experience frequent downtime and costly repairs. You have to get acquainted with the different types of automatic gates and get the services of a professional engineer to help you assess your needs.

Here are the different types of automatic gates:

1. Swing

The swing gate is the most common type of automatic gates. It’s operated with an access control panel and operated with the help of remote controls. It’s installed in properties where there’s enough room for the gates to swing inwards. Swing gates are much cheaper than sliding gates, but it performs really well. Swing gates are easy to operate and gives access only to people who use the remote control or control panel. Once the gates open, it pauses for a considerable amount of time before closing to make sure people and vehicles have already entered or exited the premises.

A typical automatic swing gate is constructed from:

  • One or two metal or wooden gates
  • A pair of remote controls
  • A pair of gate operators (mechanisms that open or close the gate)
  • A control panel
  • Intercom or numeric keypad (for access or entry without remote control)
  • Photoelectric cells (for sensors that detect the presence of vehicles or people in the way of the gate to avoid accidents or damages)

The type of mechanism differs in the case of swing gates. Here are the three different types of gate operators:

  • Underground gate operators

Underground gate operators are the most popular method of swing gate automation because it’s discreet and it doesn’t affect the aesthetics of the gate. It can be used for gates that are up to 3.5m each panel in length. This mechanism can be added to most pre-installed gates, or you can get it in electro-mechanical or hydraulic versions.

  • Above ground Ram

Also known as the worm-driven gate operator, the above-ground ram is an electro-mechanical operator that can be used for installing new paired or single swing gates. It’s also one of the most versatile operators because it can be used to automate pre-installed gates. This motor is very easy to install, and you don’t have to dig the ground to install it. It’s directly attached to the gate posts and pivots where it’s attached to close and open the gate.

  • Above ground articulated arm

If the pillar in which the gate is attached is large, you can’t use the above-ground ram. You need something with an articulated arm for gates. The above-ground articulated arm can be used for gates that are up to 4 meters each panel in length. It can also be used to automate pre-installed gates.

2. Slide

As the name suggests, a sliding gate slides to position to open and close the gate. These gates require space and are usually installed in commercial sites. However, this kind of gates can also be installed in a residential complex if there’s enough open space.

A typical sliding gate system comes with these parts:

  • One sliding gate with wheels
  • Tracking or groove in which the gate runs
  • Gate operator
  • Control panel
  • Remote control
  • Intercom or numeric keypad (for access or entry without remote control)
  • Photoelectric cells (for sensors that detect the presence of vehicles or people in the way of the gate to avoid accidents or damages)

There are different kinds of sliding automatic gates:

  • V-groove rolling slide

Of all the sliding gates, the V-groove rolling slide gate is the most common for commercial facilities. When it opens, the gate moves sideways to the left or to the right and aligns parallel to the fence as the cars enter. The movement is caused by the roller blades sliding along the underside of the gate over a V-groove ground track, which holds the gate in alignment.

The rolling tracks on this kind of gate can get caught with dirt and debris, plus the wheels are on the ground level, so it’s susceptible to wear and tear. It’s a high-maintenance gate that needs regular cleaning with regular use, so it’s not advisable for gates of high use.

  • Cantilever

Like the V-groove slide gate, the cantilever slide glade opens by sliding sideways to make way for the vehicle. However, this kind of gate is not guided by rollers along a round track, but through roller trucks or roller, wheels mounted to gate posts.

  • Overhead

Overhead slide gates are installed with an overhead beam to support an enclosed track. A panel is hung from the overhead track to roll back and forth when the gate is opening or closing. This uses less space than the other two types of sliding gates. However, the height of an overhead beam creates an overhead restriction – it’s usually at 16 ft. high.

3. Vertical Lift

Vertical lift gates are a fancy way to automate your gate. This kind of gate moves up and down vertically over the opening of the gate. These vertical lift gates need tall vertical support. It lifts high enough so most vehicles can pass through. Since it doesn’t need space to the sides, front, and rear, the vertical lift gate is one of the most space-efficient gate designs. It can also span large openings – even up to 60 feet – making it a popular choice for commercial and industrial applications.

However, vertical lift gates can look imposing for some, and the thought of passing under a vertical raising gate can be unsettling for some drivers. But because this type of automation is fast and reliable, it can be a good investment for your residential premises.

4. Vertical Pivot

The vertical pivot gate rotates in and out of the gate opening. The gate opens by rotating upward at one lower corner, and then it pivots 90 degrees upward. It rests on the side edge when it’s fully open. It’s more convenient than a vertical lift gate because it doesn’t require a support tower since the gate operator entirely supports it. A relatively small amount of space for storage on one side is required for the gate panel while it’s opened. This design is suitable for most industrial settings where space to the sides of the vehicle is limited.

5. Bi-Folding

With bi-folding gates, you can find two gate panels that meet at the center when closed. Each of the panels is divided into two, which are joined by hinges, making it possible for the panels to fold and contract to the sides when the gate opens. Some bi-folding gates have only one panel that opens to the side. This type of gate may or may not use overhead tracks to guide its movement.