articulated arm gate opener
arm gate opener

What are articulated arm gate openers?

The articulated arm motor has a hinged arm which acts like a pincer – the motor is attached to the post or pillar and the end of the jointed arm attaches to the gate itself.


When under operation, the motor effectively pulls the hinged sections together, which draws the gate open and then expands out again to close. It’s a very simple mechanism which can be installed to overcome potentially problematic gates!

There are a few decisions you have to make when choosing your gate automation but one of the most important factors is the location of your hinges.


Why does hinge position matter?

There are 2 main types of above ground gate automation kits: Ram arms or Articulated gate arms

In order to mount a ram arm and achieve the straight line geometry required, the gates must be hung to the back of the gate posts or pillars.

If the gate hinges are in the centre or the front edge of the posts or pillars, then it is not possible to use a ram arm (without significant and unsightly modifications). In these situations, the best type of arm to use is an articulated gate arm.

Pros of articulated arm openers:

  • They can be fit on to most gates, regardless of where their hinges are which makes them a great choice for gates where the hinges are placed awkwardly


  • Can be faster than underground or ram arm motors as the mechanism undergoes less travel than ram arms


  • Easier to install than regular arms (although, as with most gate motors, some welding will be required) and can be mounted on to wide pillars and columns.


  • Ultra reliable motors – due to the exceptionally simple mechanism, articulated gate openers which have been correctly installed require little maintenance and rarely breakdown which makes them a sound investment for your property

Cons of articulated arm openers:

  • Can create a trapping point during operation; this should be taken in to consideration especially if you have children who can access the back of the gate during its operation


  • Not as attractive to look at compared to other types of electric gate motor due to the arm mechanism


  • Cannot be used on closed boarded gates due to the ‘sail effect’ that creates strong resistance on the gates in windy weather


  • You need a significant amount of space to mount the gate motor so they are only really suitable on wide columns or pillars

Whatever your reasons for choosing a set of articulated arm gate openers, we are here to help. Our experts have been installing gate automation for over 30 years so there is nothing we haven’t come across. If you need any advice, please contact us on 01282 677300 – our technical department are on hand to answer any questions.