Wooden gates suitable for automation

As well as manufacturing traditional manually operated gates, we also manufacture our wooden gates to suit automation. Depending on the method of automation you choose, we manufacture the gates differently to give superior strength.

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In this Electric gate guide

Automated wooden gates

The three methods of automating your wooden gates are above ground automation, below ground automation (both methods involve traditional swinging gates) and gates made to slide. Above ground automation is the more economical of the three methods. Above ground automation is the ram type method, with an arm attaching to your gates around centre height, whilst below ground automation involves the gate sitting within a shoe attached to the automation system at ground level. Sliding gates again tend to sit within a steel shoe.

Wooden gates suitable for above ground automation

If automating your wooden gates with an above ground automation system, then it’s just a simple case of adding additional bracing (normally to form an ‘X’ shape where possible) on the rear of the gates (as shown on our Caernarfon pair, right).

From the front the gates look exactly the same, but with the addition of the extra bracing on the rear of the gates.

Wooden gates to suit above ground automation
This additional bracing adds extra rigidity required when using automation due to the additional forces and torque that are acting on the gates every time they are opened and closed.

Usually, when using an above ground ‘ram’ type automation system, the automation will fit to the centre rail of the gates. Shown right is the same gate, but from the front.

Wooden gates to suit above ground automation

All of our wooden gates are available manufactured to suit above ground automation.
Please contact us for more details.

Wooden gates suitable for below ground automation

If using a below ground automation kit to automate your gates then a solid, full thickness bottom rail is required (shown right on a pair of our St Asaph gates) as well as additional bracing. As with above ground automation, the additional bracing provides the rigidity required with the extra loads placed upon an automated gate.

Solid, full thickness bottom rail? This means the bottom rail can be seen from both the front and back of the gates.

Wooden gates manufactured to suit below ground automation

Why a solid bottom rail?

If using a below ground automation kit, then when your gates are opening and closing, the full force of the automation equipment will be operating on the bottom of the gates.

With a solid bottom rail, the force of the automation is spread throughout this bottom rail, ensuring a longer life for your gates and peace of mind for yourself.

Wooden gates manufactured to suit below ground automation

Sliding wooden gates

All our wooden gates can be made suitable to be installed as an automated/electric sliding gate, however they are still made and supplied as a pair of gates. The simple reason for this is say you require a 12ft (3660mm) wide sliding gate – making this as one gate will result in greater movement due to it’s size than a pair of gates made to the same overall size. All timber will move to an extent (the natural movement of timber), the wider an item is in timber the greater the movement – others may tell you differently but we know timber (ask us a question and find out!).

Usually when supplied as two gates, the automater will sit the gates in a steel channel and then bolt the two gates together, other than that they are made exactly the same way as we make our gates when below ground automation is being used – with a big chunky 145mm / 5 3/4″ high full thickness bottom rail for strength.

What ironmongery will I need with an automated gate?

Other then hinges then generally nothing (unless the gates are sliding, in which case no ironmongery is required). If you’re using an above ground system, then you will require two pairs of hinges for a pair of gates, usually adjustable hinges – but most automation fitters have their own preferences.

If opting for below ground automation, then normally field gate hinges (also known as ‘wraparounds’) are usually required and for a pair of gates, just one pair of hinges are normally used (only a hinge at the top of the gate is required as the bottom of the gates sits within a shoe attached to the automation box).

If you opt for above ground automation, then again it’s just hinges that are required, usually either band and gudgeon hinges or adjustable band and gudgeons, depending on the preference of the gate automater.

Whichever method of gate automation you opt for you do not need dropbolts, ringlatches or any other ironmongery as the gates will only operate via the automation system – you will not be able to open them manually for normal day to day use.

Can I fit the automation to the gates at a later date?

It’s certainly possible but it’s best to decide on the method of automation you will be using first and then have the gates made with the method of automation already decided upon. It’s also best to have the set up of the gates in mind as, for example, you may find yourselves unable to automate the gates correctly; i.e. if hanging the gates from a post when using above ground automation, you will normally need a post large enough to fix the automation to.

Electric gates – other considerations

Some other things to take into consideration when opting for electric gates are to make sure the system has a manual release, so in the event of a power cut you can push the gates open. You can also get a back up power device so if the power does fail, then the gates will operate as normal.

Don’t forget the postman post person!

Unless you have a separate pedestrian access gate for the post man or woman, then they will not be able to gain access unless you either give them the keycode or are present to let them in through your automated gates. It’s quite common these days if you’ve no other access to combine the electric gates with a wall mounted mail box so you can be sure your post reaches you! We do supply Yale mailboxes both with our gates and separately here.

Do you supply gate automation kits?

No, you’ll find many companies offering DIY gate automation kits but we do not feel a DIY electric gate installation is any substitute for a professionally fitted automation system from a manufacturer approved installer. An approved installer will be able to sign off the gates as being safe (in some cases incorrectly fitted automated gates have severely injured and/or killed people) and also offer you a service plan to make sure the system is properly maintained throughout it’s lifespan. We regularly work with approved automated gate installers across the country and are more than happy to take instructions from your installer to manufacture an automated gate which is then fitted safely – giving you piece of mind.

Cannot find a local gate automater? We’ve worked with gate automaters across the UK so we may know one in your area – give us a call for more information.

For more information on why we do not supply gate automation kits and the changes that Gatesafe are trying to change in UK law, please see our blog post at Why we do not supply gate automation kits (opens in new window).

Our gates can also be supplied:

Double boarded – Want a wooden gate that looks the same from both side? If so then you want a double boarded gate
Open boarded or close boarded – Rather than the traditional boarded gate (close boarded) gate that you cannot see through, we also make open boarded or slatted gates that can be seen through – Open boarded & close boarded gates.
Customised to your exact requirements – Every gate can be customised to your exact requirements, so if you’ve seen something that is not quite what you want but similar then we’ll customise our gate to your requirements – Customise your gates.
Made to your own designs – Trying to match an existing gate design? Well if you can sketch it, we can make it – Bespoke wooden gates made to your own designs.
With fence panels to match – You can now have fence panels to match your new gates! Smooth planed, through wedged morticed and tenon jointed fence panels in hardwood and softwood! For more info please check out our Fence panels.