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subk
Dec. 11, 2010, 07:49 PM
Anybody have any input on DIY automatic gates for my farm? It would be for my driveway so pretty heavy use. Mr. subk is pretty handy, and he was looking at a something at Tractor Supply last week that seem so low priced that I worry it was "cheap." I'm wondering about brands and quality and anything I haven't thought to ask because I've never had one...

Bluey
Dec. 11, 2010, 08:00 PM
The best in the industry today are the GPO sliding gates:

www.gtoprostore.com

They also have swinging gate openers.

The Mighty Mule type they sell in Home Depot and those stores doesn't seem to work for long in our winds and dusty conditions, most I know put those in are not working after a while.

Others seem to like them ...

You can buy the parts and put the system in yourself, it is easy.

tasia
Dec. 11, 2010, 08:33 PM
I have two MMs. One electric the other solar. After you replace the motherboards $$$$$ they seem to work fine:( The company who I purchased them from and who repairs them for me, won't sell them anymore:no: I believe they recommend Appollo gate operators now. Spend the money and get a good one!! It will save you a lot of frustration and $$ in the long run.

clanter
Dec. 11, 2010, 11:28 PM
Just be careful, yes you can easily install an automatic gate system but it is not a one size fits all applications.

If you pm me your needs I can provide you some direction. I have been employed in that industry for over thirty years and have worked for several of the manufacturers.

In an open forum I can not provide specifies as to why one would be better than another as the manufacturer you are talking about loves to sue

In general a slide gate system is much better in the long run. You have more security and the systems can be installed to work well in most all applications.

Guilherme
Dec. 11, 2010, 11:50 PM
I don't know if these are a DIY product but if I were going to use an auto-opening gate I'd use a vertical pivot lift gate.

Not recommending this company, but only present it as an example: http://www.estate-gate.com/index.html

The Ranch Gate looks pretty basic, the Estate Gates more fancy.

I saw one set up in Nevada several years ago. The lady had it because no matter how deep the snow got she never had the gate jam either open or closed. While snow is not such a big deal in TN a 12 foot gate is pretty heavy and will need some heavy duty hinging. The vertical gate pivots with almost no effort, meaning only a small motor is needed. That can be a consideration if it's going to solar powered.

G.

clanter
Dec. 12, 2010, 12:35 AM
A vertical pivot lift gate is not the average DIY project as it will require machinery to set in place as these operators are shipped complete often with the gate panels... and are not normally cheap

Nezzy
Dec. 12, 2010, 09:40 AM
We had a mighty mule at our last property, it was great until some trespasser on a snowmobile crashed into the gate. Then the gate had to be replaced, but the might mule was still good.

tasia
Dec. 12, 2010, 10:15 AM
We had a mighty mule at our last property, it was great until some trespasser on a snowmobile crashed into the gate. Then the gate had to be replaced, but the might mule was still good.

I added my gate and operator to my insurance policy. I figure at some point someone is going to hit it or one of my trees will take it out.

Bezysmom
Dec. 12, 2010, 11:35 AM
I just got a quote for a 14 foot gate (electric) from a local installer. It was $12,000. I could put in a MM a year and come out ahead. Oh and it was over a T more to run the electric. Way out of my ballpark.

tasia
Dec. 12, 2010, 11:59 AM
I just got a quote for a 14 foot gate (electric) from a local installer. It was $12,000. I could put in a MM a year and come out ahead. Oh and it was over a T more to run the electric. Way out of my ballpark.

Keep shopping. Is the quote itemized?

Bluey
Dec. 12, 2010, 12:38 PM
This is a 12' ranch gate a neighbor installed himself about 8 years ago, a sliding GTOPRO gate system.
At that time, he said the system cost about $600, so probably twice as much today, plus installing it:

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a298/Robintoo/Pipefence001.jpg?t=1292175111

We are so windy here that swinging gates are questionable, if they are where they catch the wind and of course in the winter the snow drifts keep them from opening too.

He said his will slide right thru snow drifts and he can pull in there to feed cows and break ice just fine.

I would check with several companies, as some of those that put in residential gated community systems may be a little bit more competitive than others in their prices.

To do it yourself, you can order everything online, but will have to eat any learning mistakes, some may be expensive.;)

clanter
Dec. 12, 2010, 01:06 PM
I just got a quote for a 14 foot gate (electric) from a local installer. It was $12,000. I could put in a MM a year and come out ahead. Oh and it was over a T more to run the electric. Way out of my ballpark.



Go solar if you are not too far north...solar equipment carries a 30% Federal Tax Credit through 2016.... if you were to pay $5K for the operator system... it would be a $1,500 tax credit at the bottom of your return

If far north use a combined solar/wind system...still qualifies for the tax credit

There is no maximum credit for systems placed in service after 2008. The maximum credit is $2,000 for systems placed in service before January 1, 2009.

JackSprats Mom
Dec. 12, 2010, 02:50 PM
I'm in exactly the same place you are and so DH is looking into who does what and why.

Not sure who we're going to use at the moment but I can tell you everyone has said MM will fail within a short time.

clanter
Dec. 12, 2010, 06:21 PM
The number one problem with the GTO or Mighty Mule (These are the same gate operators just different labeling) is the batteries.... you can correct many of the issues by going to a larger glass mat or marine lead acid...you will need to add a battery box near the control panel.

A full charged battery at 80F should read 12.7 volts DC +/- , if it reads 12.4VDC it is 25% discharged, 12.2VDC it is 50% discharged.....if it only reads 12 volts it is down to about 25%

As temperatures drop so does the performance of the battery; a fully charged battery at 80F would be only 65% charged at 32F, 40% at zero degrees F, 25% charged at minus 32 F.

The GTO/Mighty Mule has small 7 or 7.5 amp hour batteries; they are affected greatly by temperature changes...especially if solar charged

subk
Dec. 12, 2010, 06:54 PM
clanter, mr.subk thanks you for the calculations. He's was already thinking of two marine batteries wired in parallel with a good sized solar panel. Would that work?

Bluey
Dec. 12, 2010, 07:01 PM
The number one problem with the GTO or Mighty Mule (These are the same gate operators just different labeling) is the batteries.... you can correct many of the issues by going to a larger glass mat or marine lead acid...you will need to add a battery box near the control panel.

A full charged battery at 80F should read 12.7 volts DC +/- , if it reads 12.4VDC it is 25% discharged, 12.2VDC it is 50% discharged.....if it only reads 12 volts it is down to about 25%

As temperatures drop so does the performance of the battery; a fully charged battery at 80F would be only 65% charged at 32F, 40% at zero degrees F, 25% charged at minus 32 F.

The GTO/Mighty Mule has small 7 or 7.5 amp hour batteries; they are affected greatly by temperature changes...especially if solar charged

Didn't know they are the same?:confused:
The fellow putting up GTO in building compounds here told us they were not, several years ago, that he went behind Mighty Mule ones, putting in GTO's and those lasted much longer.

Maybe he was fibbing a little bit?;)
Is that new?

clanter
Dec. 12, 2010, 07:16 PM
For a short period of time I worked for GTO... the Mighty Mule is the retail line (Tractor Supply, Northern Tool, Home Depot and others)... supposedly the GTO was to be the professional line... these operators do have small differences but are made with the same technology and share many, many common parts... several models are just relabeled.

If you are having issues with GTO/Mighty Mule that they refuse to take care just contact their owners Nortek…. Go to Nortek’s web site… hit “contact us”… and believe you will obtain results

http://www.nortek-inc.com/

Bluey
Dec. 12, 2010, 07:26 PM
Maybe that is what he meant, that the Mighty Mule were a low end product and that is why he was called by the owners tired of that and was putting in, according to him, the better GTO systems.
At that time, his were sliding gates, Mighty Mule swinging ones and in our country, swinging won't easily open into our fierce winds.

I must have misunderstood them to be a different product.:confused:

I don't know which brand he is selling today, a few years later.

clanter
Dec. 12, 2010, 07:31 PM
Is that new?

No... The Mighty Mule was originally a knock off of the Apollo, the first ones used the same control board as the Apollo which was a generic board produced by an outside vender (Puslar). The GTO "Pro line" however was created about ten years ago to expand their reach into the more profitable commercial/professional markets.

When used as designed, in the specific applications the GTO product was intended to be used they will work, however vary the criteria they are less likely to perform in an acceptable manor then some other manufacturers.

clanter
Dec. 12, 2010, 07:38 PM
MAt that time, his were sliding gates, Mighty Mule swinging ones and in our country, swinging won't easily open into our fierce winds.
.

There are models of the GTO sliders that are marketed under the Mighty Mule name... check Northen Tool or Home Depot

Yes ...slide gates are more secure and require, in most cases less force to operate.

As a note rather than running a slide gate into a latch have the panel extend and run it between two posts on the latch side... if the dude with the big truck that has big tube steel brush guard on its nose tries to crash the gate, it will just wrap around his (or her's) truck...this cheaply makes the gate system into sort of a K4 rated crash gate

Bluey
Dec. 12, 2010, 07:40 PM
Thanks for all that information.
We are still opening our front gate by hand, just can't decide what to do there, will some day and then we will have more to go by.:cool:

Tiki
Dec. 13, 2010, 02:00 PM
I guess these will keep out vehicular traffic, but won't do anything to keep neighbors and nosies from hopping over the gate. How high are they? Can the horses jump out?

clanter
Dec. 13, 2010, 05:26 PM
how high do want it be would be the question

Bluey
Dec. 13, 2010, 06:11 PM
I have seen very wide and 8' tall sliding gates, like they have at our water purification plant, that also tests private wells.

I think they can make them any size you need and also no climb, that means for people tall gates with vertical bars, without anything to get a hold of to climb.

clanter
Dec. 13, 2010, 06:47 PM
without anything to get a hold of to climb.


The very small mesh (1/2") can be climbed using screw drivers... that is what the Texas Department of Corrections learned after some inmates scaled a 14ft fence using stolen screw drivers

Bluey
Dec. 13, 2010, 08:53 PM
This is what they call around here "no climb" gates:

http://www.mulhollandsecurity.com/images/security_gate06.jpg

http://www.mulhollandsecurity.com/images/security_gate13.jpg

The vertical bars don't have anything to hang onto and are too close to get a let in and around them.
Pointy ends add to the danger of trying to get over them.