In our most recent posts here at Gate Auto, we’ve explored the advantages of our underground gate kits, and the benefits of our above ground swing gate kits. So naturally, this week we’re focusing on our sliding and cantilever automated gate kits. Now, one important distinction we have to make right off the bat is that these are not the same thing; whilst they use the same type of gate automation motor, they have quite significant differences in their hardware.
Advantages of sliding gates
- Great when you’re short on space
- Highly secure and effective intruder deterrent
- More cost-effective compared to cantilever gates
- Self-locking motors
Electric sliding gates have wheels set in to angle iron at the base of the gate. These wheels have either a V or U groove profile and run along a track in the ground. Tracks are either set in to the ground or bolted on. Toothed racking attached to the length of the rear of the gate connects to the motor at the drive end of the gate, creating a rack and pinion drive system.
The chief advantage of automated sliding gates is probably obvious at a glance; since the gates don’t have an opening axis, they’re fantastic for areas where you might be limited on space (they’re often used on relatively small residential driveways, for example.)
Due to their robust appearance, they’re also a great visual deterrent for potential intruders on your property; as with underground gate kits, they’re highly resistant to tampering, and they present a particularly solid barrier to anyone looking to gain entry. They are also cheaper than cantilever automated gates, and share some of the same advantages, so they can be a good compromise if you decide the former might be slightly out of your price range.
It’s worth noting, however, that sliding gates do require some maintenance. Since they run along a single track, this track needs to be kept clean and regularly cleared of debris, especially in autumn and in snow conditions. If the gate detects even a small object in its way as it slides along this track, the system will automatically stop the gate for safety purposes. They’re also relatively noisy, which is sometimes a concern for our residential customers.
It’s also important to bear in mind that if your driveway slopes to either side, it is impossible to install a traditional sliding gate for three reasons. One is for safety – if the gate was to disengage with the motor, the gate could fall closed and crush a person. Another is that the strains placed upon the motor to move the gate up and down a slope would be far more than the motor would be able to handle. Also, your gate would be wonky, running down a slope!
Advantages of cantilever gates
- Perfect solution for sloped driveways
- Most attractive option aesthetically
- Virtually silent and maintenance-free
- Highly secure and effective intruder deterrent
- Self-locking motors make break-ins more challenging
Automated cantilever gates are a highly popular option amongst our customers, as they share many of the same advantages of sliding gates with very few of the downsides. The hardware does, however, come at a higher price point.
Cantilever gates differ from traditional sliding gates in a couple of ways.
The gate itself has a different structure to a traditional gate. In order for the gate to counterbalance, the gate requires an overhang to be built to the drive end of the gate. The gate is then suspended above the ground using a pair of wheeled carriages that must be bolted to a concrete pad at the drive end of the gate. A C-profile rail attached to the underside of the gate holds the gate to the carriages whilst ‘stops’ prevent the gate overrunning at the end of both the open and close cycle.
This design offers several immediate benefits; firstly, it makes cantilever gate options a fantastic option for sloped driveways. They’re also virtually silent, increasing their appeal for residential environments, and don’t require nearly the same level of maintenance as sliding gates. What’s more, many of our customers – both residential and commercial – find them to be the most aesthetically appealing option, and they’re frequently used for heavy-duty applications on commercial sites and industrial parks. All this does come at the cost of a higher price tag than sliding gates, though, and since the overhang isn’t optional, it automatically disqualifies them as an option for some environments.
So which one should you choose?
Here at Gate Auto, we’d always recommend the cantilever gates over the sliding gates if they’re a viable option for you – and indeed, they are often the favoured choice amongst our customers. However, the option that’s best for you will often come down to your personal requirements and the demands of your environment. For example, while cantilever gates are fantastic for new build homes, some residents are uneasy about the idea of digging up their gardens to install the concrete pad that cantilever gates require. Whatever the case, our experts are always happy to advise here at Gate Auto.
We have over 30 years in supplying and fitting high-quality gate automation, we provide a wide range of electric gate kits and garage door openers alongside an array of accessories to ensure you get the most out of your investment. Feel free to browse them right here on our site, or give us a call on 01282 677300!