Talking About Fence Materials

An In-Depth Guide to Electric Gate Types

Combining security with convenience and style, an electric gate can be the perfect complement to your home. With all of the different types of electric gates available, though, it can be difficult to choose the one that works best for your home. Here is an in-depth rundown of several common electric gate types.  

Swing Gates

True to their name, swing gates can swing inward or outward, just like the front door of your home. Since they're usually built with few moving parts, they're generally considered to be the simplest and easiest-to-maintain form of electric gate available. They're also available in a wide variety of materials, including wood and wrought iron.

While swing gates are easier and more affordable to install, they require more driveway space than a comparable sliding gate. The driveway itself also has to remain relatively level; otherwise, the gates can get themselves stuck on the slanted driveway surface.

Sliding Gates

There are actually three different types of sliding gates available—V-track sliding gates, rear pipe track sliding gates, and cantilever sliding gates. V-track sliding gates are named for the V-grooved caster wheels they use. These wheels allow the gate to travel along a rail made from inverted-angle iron. V-track sliding gates are typically reliable, but the track has to be kept clear of snow, ice, and other debris in order to function properly.

Rear pipe tracks are commonly used on chain-link sliding gates. For these, rubber wheels ride on a pipe that's mounted to the back of the fence panel, allowing the fence to slide open and closed. These fences are usually the most affordable option for sliding gates, but they require the addition of an inverted-angle iron track and a V-grooved wheel when being converted into an electrically-controlled gate.

Cantilever sliding gates ride along wheels that are raised off the ground and fixed in place. As a result, the gate itself appears to be floating as the wheels effectively pull the gate open and push it shut. A small guide wheel fitted at the end of the cantilever gate helps maneuver the gate into the latch. Cantilever sliding gates aren't affected by debris, but they often require more space since they're slightly longer than a driveway opening.

Folding Gates

Folding gates share the same overall appearance as swing gates, except these gates are hinged at the middle of their panels. This allows the gate to fold in on itself instead of swinging outward or inward as it opens and closes. As a result, a folding gate takes up less space than a traditional swing gate while it's in the open position. Folding gates can also be designed to rise at a slight angle to accommodate driveway slopes.

Vertical Lift and Pivot Lift Gates

Imagine a cantilever sliding gate. Now imagine one that pivots vertically into the air and out of the way as it opens. That's basically the gist of how a vertical pivot lift gate works. Pivot gates are ideal for driveways that don't have enough room for a swing gate or a cantilever sliding gate to open. However, there has to be enough clearance available for the tilting gate to rest while it's in the open position.

Vertical lift gates work on the same principle, except those gates are capable of lifting straight up into the air. These types of gates aren't commonly used in residential applications due to their higher installation costs. Instead, they're often used on industrial sites where security is a primary concern. Vertical lift gates offer an attractive solution for space-starved areas where traditional cantilever and swing gates won't work.

For more information about electric gates, contact a representative from an establishment like F & W Fence Company, Inc.