Carefully Determine Clients Needs

         I would like to address the subject of selling residential gate operator systems. I stress the word "systems" because we do not sell gate operators, we sell gate operator access control systems.

         There are two basic types of residential gate operator systems projects you may encounter and it is very important you determine which category your projects falls into before working up a price. To determine which category your project will fall under, simply ask your customer if visitors or guess will be using the gate. If the answer is "no", the project falls into category A; if it's "yes", it is category B.

          Although there are category A projects all over the country, they are most common in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida.

          The gates on these projects are usually next to or very close to the customer's house. The gate operators are usually controlled by a radio transmitter in the homeowner's car, just like those used for garage door openers. 

          It is also handy to install a simple digital keypad, key switch or even a hidden weatherproof push-button that can be reached from both sides of the gate by the owner who might need to walk the dog, get the mail, etc.  There's nothing worse than locking your customer in or out of his own gate by overlooking this potential situation.

         Every gate operator by every manufacturer will work on category A gates. To determine the gate operator system you need to consider the following:  Gate size, gate weight, slide or swing, driveway grade (if any), cycles per hour or day, back space and side space problems, aesthetics, are safety devices needed, voltage available and location of power, who is going to use the gate.

           Even if they are close, don't cheat yourself or your customer by installing a gate operator system that doesn't meet all the specifications of your project.

            Remember, you have to warranty that operator for a year or more, and even if the manufacturer replaces the parts for free, it's your time and labor.

            Gate operators for category B gates must be "system capable". System capable means that in addition to the homeowner's radio transmitter for entry, the gate operator must have a timer to prevent the gate from closing on a vehicle.

             Although category B gates are usually further from the house than category A gates, often even our of sight, the one thing that sets them apart is the fact that provisions must be provided for guests and visitors to enter and exit.

             A typical category B gate system will include; gate operators, radio receiver, intercom or telephone entry device, timer to close, loop detectors for safety, a free exit loop, an auxiliary opening device for the homeowner when the doesn't have his radio transmitter, and most importantly, provisions for the local fire department.

             With a little pre-planning, your customer can have an access control system specifically adapted to his or her needs.

                                                  Written by: Ronald J. DiMedio

What IS UL-325 For A Gate

What Is UL-325 For A Gate


Additionally, March 1, 2000 is the operative date for compliance with revised instructions governing installation.  It is important to remember that continual compliance is a requirement of maintaining a listing and labeling program.

 Overview of UL 325 and Gates

 Highlights of UL 325 include the following:

 ·        A glossary which defines each type of operator

·        Different “classes” of gate operators

·        Entrapment* protection criteria for each “class” of operator

·        Entrapment* alarm criteria

·        Requirements for gate construction and installation

·        Instructional requirements placing increased responsibility on installers

 *In the document, “entrapment” is defined as “the condition when an object is caught or held in a position that increases the risk of injury.”

 A key part of the UL 325 standard is a table that summarizes the entrapment device options for different classes of operators of the various types of gates included in the standard.  The table, labeled “Table 30A.1,” is reproduced here from the 4th edition of the Standard for Safety  for Door, Drapery, Gate, Louver, and Window Operators

and Systems, UL 325. It is reprinted with the permission of Underwriters

Laboratories, Inc.  Refer to the table as you read about the provisions that are described in the following sections.

 Gate Definition and Types

 UL 325 defines a gate as “a moving barrier such as a swinging, sliding, raising, lowering, rolling, or the like, barrier that is a stand-alone passage barrier or is that portion of a wall or fence system that controls entrance and/or egress by persons or vehicles and completes the perimeter of a defined area.”  The main types of gate operators/systems addressed in UL 325 are barrier, vertical pivot gate, horizontal slide gate, swing gate and vertical slide gate.  It is important to note that all gates included in UL 325 are defined as vehicular gates and NOT PEDESTRIAN GATES.  Property owners are expected to provide a separate entrance for pedestrian access.

 Gate Operator Classifications

 Distinct types of classifications have been established:

 Class I:  Residential usage, covering one to four single family dwellings.

Class II:  Commercial usage where general public access is expected; a common application would be a public parking lot entrance or gated community.

Class III:  Industrial usage where limited access is expected; one example is a warehouse property entrance not intended to serve the general public.

Class IV:  Restricted access; this includes a prison entrance that is monitored either in person or via closed circuitry.

 The classes are defined by the entrapment protection requirements included in UL 325.  These requirements are that: 1) each class must have primary and secondary entrapment provisions; 2) each class must have different types of protection for the different classes of operators as well as for the different categories of operators; and 3) the same type of device cannot be used for both primary and secondary protection.

An exception to compliance with the provisions of Table 30A.1 has also been noted in the standard.  An operator considered exempt would require all of the following: 1) operates a vehicular barrier (arm) that is not intended to move toward a rigid object closer than 2 feet; 2) does not have a pinch point between moving parts by virtue of the operator’s design or complying installation; and 3) is not required to be provided with means to protect against entrapment.


Difference Between A Rolling Gate & A Cantilever Slide Gate

                        What Is The Difference Between A Rolling Gate


                                    A Cantilever Slide Gate


There are always questions by first time buyers about the difference between a Rolling Gate and a Cantilever Slide Gate. The description below explains it clearly.

A Rolling gate rests and rolls on the ground wheel carrier. It is always the size of the opening of gate; whereas a Cantilever slide gate ( Figure 2) is 50% longer than the opening so it is held above ground (about 6"), as it slides and in closed position the extra length (counter balance) is held between the cantilever rollers which are mounted on the posts, 2 above and 2 below. Figure 1 below shows rolling gate has 2 track wheels that are mounted to the back vertical of the gate frame with a wheel bracket. The wheels roll back and forth on the pipe tracks (shown 2 horizontal pipe rails in the middle of posts). The track wheels each also have a safety clamp that overlaps over the track rails and holds the gate upright and prevents it from falling forward. This is very popular solution for residential, light commercial and interior commercial / industrial uses where the space limitations do not allow for swing gates or cantilever gates.

The Cantilever gate shown in figure 2 has two gate roller posts and one latch post. The gate slides between the two rollers on top and bottom and is also held up by these rollers. As it slides to close, the counterbalance which is the extra length of the gate, is held between the two rollers.

 Cantilever gates require enough space for full length of the opening plus the counter balance or back frame section on the opening side. These gates are always welded and the horizontal rails on top and bottom are always 2 1/2 inch OD. or 2" X 2" square tube.

What Is The "Right" Way To Brace A Gate

 What Is The “Right” Way To Brace A Gate

  The reason we brace gates is primarily to keep it from sagging, to keep it functioning as it was intended to from the beginning.

Poor or improper bracing will cause the gate to have " Vertical Deflection" or sag.  Compression Bracing

 A compression cross-brace takes weight from the top bar and transfers it by pushing down against the bottom hinge,

or a vertical component or post, which transfers load to both hinges.  Hinge Side on Right with Brace running from Top of latch side to bottom of hinge side. Typical on Wooden Gates.


 Compression bracing should be used on Cantilever gates as well since the load is transferred differently than a hinged gate. Cantilever gates are some of the strongest designs because of how they transfer loads and mitigate deflection. Our EZ Slide Track gate kits can be added to chain link gates or ornamental iron frames

  In engineering terms, deflection is the degree to which a structural element is displaced under a load. It may refer to an angle or a distance.

Should A Third Post Be Added

NO, NO, NO.......If the idea is to improve the performance of the gate without altering the gate frame it self, you have just taken a giant step backwards by adding a third post with rollers.

Think about how the cantilever rollers work in relation to one another. When you see a gate moving into the closed position, if there is any gap at all between the gate frame and the cantilever rollers, you will see the weight of the gate resting on the bottom roller of the backframe post nearest the opening, while the gate will be pressing upward into the upper roller on the rear post.

When the gate rolls back into the full open position, weight shifts from the bottom roller on the front post to the upper roller on the front post and the rear post now receives the load on to the lower roller and no load on rear post upper roller.

Only TWO ROLLERS are working at any one time, now you are going to introduce a third post with rollers placed exactly between the front and rear posts. 

Will you nullify the laws of physics? How many rollers will the gate ride on? The anwser must still be "two".

In effect, you have now reduced the effective backframe size by 50%. By adding the third post you have cut the backframe distance in half from you original design, because only two rollers are working at any one time, the front roller and now the new middle roller will pick up load.

The net result is your gate now is harder to move, NOT easier.