Gate Operators Main Page

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PTI Security Systems hardware can work will just about any gate, overhead door or pedestrian door you'd want to use on a facility.

Slide Gate Operators

The vast majority of sites use a slide gate to control access into and out of a facility. The operator uses a chain, belt or hydraulic pump connected to pinch rollers, to pull the gate open and closed. Limit devices connected to the operator sense when to stop the gate in the open or closed position.

Advantages of having a slide gate are:

  1. Security. Since the gate is a solid barrier, this helps prevent unauthorized access onto the property.
  2. Conveniance. The gate may have signage that advertises the facility, explains operation of the access system, access hours and safety warnings.
  3. Cost. Slide gates generally cost less than some other types of gates.
  4. Size. Slide gates can close off a larger opening than any other gate type. Most all others are restricted to a maximum of 20 feet for a single operator. A chain driven slide gate can generally close off an opening of 35 to 40 feet, and a hydraulic/track operator has an essentially unlimited opening width.

Disadvantages of a slide gate are:

  1. Space. That large gate has to have somewhere to retract into while it is opening.
  2. Speed. Because of safety regulations, slide gates are restricted to a max opening speed of 1 foot per second. That can take a long time when you have a large opening.

To troubleshoot hardware problems with your slide gate operator, click Here


Barrier Arm Gate Operators

These gates are also common, and are usually used together with a manual or motorized slide gate. This operator uses a motor connected to lightweight (wood, fiberglass, etc.) arm that can be up to 20 feet long. The arm raises up into the air to allow vehicle passage, and automatically closes once the vehicle has passed through.

Advantages of barrier arm gates are:

  1. Speed. This operator reacts the quickest to commands, typically only taking 2 to 3 seconds to open or close. This can be especially useful in a situation where the entrance has a limited amount of space for vehicles to line up to get into the facility (For example, just off of a busy street).
  2. Cost. These operators have the lowest cost of the major types.
  3. Maintenance. These operators generally require less maintenance than other types.
  4. Space. The operator has a very small footprint and requires no horizontal space to retract into.
  5. Battery BackupAn electronic file containing historical events, data, and setup information for a site. This should be kept in a separate off-site location to allow the quick repair of a site in case of catastrophic data loss such as physical destruction of the computer or office, computer crash, employee error, etc.. Some brands of these operators have a built in battery backup system.

Disadvantages of the barrier arm operator are:

  1. Security. Since the barrier is only a small arm, the path into the facility is not secure and the operator only provides traffic control. This is why the operator is usually backed up by a slide gate that will close after hours.
  2. Vulnerability. Since the arm is made of a lightweight material, it can be susceptible to damage from vehicles. (However, it can be replaced at a lower cost than a metal gate could be in the same situation.)


Vertical Lift Gates

A vertical lift gate uses a motor and belt system, attached to a counterweight spring system that the gate is mounted on. This allows the entire metal gate (up to 18' long) to be opened vertically. The gate itself is purchased from the same source as the operator.

Advantages of lift gates are:

  1. Speed. Opens faster than a slide gate, but not quite as fast as a barrier arm gate.
  2. Space. Since the gate opens vertically, it needs no space to retract into. However the footprint (concrete pad) is larger than any of the other gate types.
  3. Convenience. The gate may have signage that advertises the facility or explains the operation of the access control system. Depending on the weight of the signage, this may require adjustment of the counterweight system.
  4. Battery BackupAn electronic file containing historical events, data, and setup information for a site. This should be kept in a separate off-site location to allow the quick repair of a site in case of catastrophic data loss such as physical destruction of the computer or office, computer crash, employee error, etc.. Since the operator actually runs off of a 12 volt marine battery that is constantly charged, this means that the operator has a battery backup that will run it if the power goes out (remember, the access control components must also be backed up).
  5. Security. The gate is a solid barrier, improving site security.

Disadvantages of the lift gate are:

  1. Size. This operator is the largest of all types. Installing it requires a large concrete pad to be poured, and also requires mechanical help to unload it from its shipping transport and move it into position.
  2. Cost. This operator is more expensive than other types, but the cost of the gate itself is included.