How Does An Automatic Gate Opener Works

Understanding How Does An Automatic Gate Opener Works

Automatic gate opener has gate operators which main function is to open and close the gates. Most of the time the gate openers are installed at the end of driveways. There are several types of operators some of which are hydraulic, solar panels and electromagnetically.

The gate opener can be programmed to be used with a wireless transmitter or manually, both are designed for sliding or swinging gate openings.

How the gate opener work will depend on the type and size of the gate used. There are various types of gate systems and they are available in different sizes. Some gate will slide side to side, others slide open and close and there are gates that swing open from a pillar of a gate post.


Different Power Source 

Most of the automatic gates apply an integrated security system with access controls and a slide mechanism. These gates are powered by an electric motor using an AC or DC.

Two Important Parts Essential For Opening And Closing The Gate

The Control Box

How Does An Automatic Gate Opener Works


The receiver, power pack, battery and the motherboard are found in the control box. It controls all the different input devices. The control box can be set up to 2.5mm from the gate but you can extend the cable up to 15m from the gate. It is fully secured and is made of very tough plastic. 

You can install it in an area where no one can see it. Some manufacturers offer a steel box to protect the control box.

The Actuator Ram

How Does An Automatic Gate Opener Works


The Actuator Ram is stainless steel, heavy-duty, corrosion-free and powder coated metal parts. It has a rubber seal to keep it protected from grit and water to enter the internal parts.

The main function of a linear screw actuator is to make sure that the gate is held firmly when in closed or open position. The actuator ram can be attached directly to the gate, the endpin is replaced by a stainless steel pin and lock for better security. Included is a 2.5m cable.

Different Kinds Of Gate Opener And How They Work

Each type of gate works differently. Below are some types of gate opener and how they function:

Swing Gates On Pillars Or Hinges

How Does An Automatic Gate Opener Works


Normally swing gates are hinged on pillars or posts. They open in different directions and can be automated with the use of an electronic system. The motors of these electronic systems are installed underground below the pillar and gates in the foundation box.

The motor is then connected with the use of invisible levers. The box and the lid will be the only thing that will be visible. Mounted pillars or above ground systems are normally found inside the gate at the back of the pillar.

These systems are available in different varieties like rams which are applied on wooden gates and the linear or articulated arms used on wrought iron.

Gates Applying Cantilever Or Tracks System

How Does An Automatic Gate Opener Works


A sliding gate runs on tracks or on a cantilever system. The tracks are positioned width-ways across the driveway and along the pillars side. The gate moves over this track with the help of the rollers similar to how a train on the rails works. The track that runs across entrances with uneven surfaces uses cantilevered gates.

These sliding mechanisms are powered by a motor and gearbox, which is mounted inside the gate. There are different kinds of motors which provide various weights from 300kgs to 400kgs.

Swing Gates

How Does An Automatic Gate Opener Works


This type of gate is hinged on one side and swings open and close. It usually travels a 900 arc between their closed and open positions. The swing gates have a single or double leafs and can be swinging in or out.

This is the recommended type of gate for residential applications because of ease of installation and is much cheaper. Swing gates move over a large arc, thus it requires enough space to provide clearance to approaching vehicle while the gates open or closes.

It also requires safety considerations to avoid vehicles or people from getting trapped or hit by the moving gate.

Slide Gates

How Does An Automatic Gate Opener Works


For light-duty commercial applications, the slide gate is the recommended type of automatic gate.

It is mounted parallel to the inside of the fence and slides back and forth horizontally across the gate opening. This system uses rollers underneath the gate to support it. The rollers move along a metal track that has been installed on the ground across the gate opening. Another name for slide gates is V-track gates or rolling gates.

Since this type of gate makes use of rollers that run along the ground, it may encounter some problems like getting blocked by ice, debris or snow. Friction may also produce which makes the gate operator function harder to open and close the gate. Because of these issues, some gate operator makers discourage the use of sliding gates.

Vertical Lift Gates

How Does An Automatic Gate Opener Works


This type of gate moves up and down vertically to open and close the gate. It should be lifted high enough to let the vehicles pass into it. Vertical lift gate needs tall vertical support towers to be mounted on each side of the gate entrance.

If there is limited space available next to the gate opening this type of gate is recommended. It is also fast and reliable. The look of the vertical support towers provides a very industrial look, which makes them unfit for use in places where the look is vital.

Final Thoughts 

Choosing which type of automatic gate to use is a hard decision. They are expensive to install and need regular maintenance. Do not purchase an automatic gate opener because your neighbor or friend is using it. You need to consider how the automatic gate opener works and the style of your gate.

If you are not sure which opener to buy, you can ask the help of an expert to assess your needs and choose the right product.

Leave a Comment: