22 February, 2024

Sliding gate drives – how to choose the best solution?


In times when comfort and safety have become priorities, choosing the right gate drive becomes particularly important. We expect it to open quickly and smoothly, especially in the worst weather conditions. Which one to buy to boast about it and not curse it? Let's analyse a range of options.

Table of Contents

Gate drive – a new friend of the home

Pea-sized raindrops drum on the car roof, we forgot our umbrella on the dresser in the hallway in the morning, and eight hours at work exhausted us almost like ever. And now we have to walk straight into the downpour to open the gate and get into the warm home. All know this too well, and life serves us many such moments. What if all we needed was a remote control to open the gate and experience a bit of comfort after a hard day? That's why gate drives were invented for entrance gates.

Automatic drives are no longer the whims of the rich but a home improvement that doesn't have to come at inflated prices and will become our friend from the first moments, all thanks to technologically advanced devices and their accessories, which provide convenience and safety for household members. Thanks to photocells, we won't accidentally hit the gate, and with a motorised sliding gate, we'll save plenty of space on the plot. This is just the beginning. But first, a bit of information.

Let us now discuss the two main types of gates, the distinction being crucial, as their designs require us to purchase a specific drive.

Entrance gates – what do we need to know?

Eko-Okna fences, including gates, are made of aluminium and steel. These materials resist weather conditions, biological factors, and mechanical damage typical of everyday life. This is necessary if they are to withstand rains and frosts for years and, thanks to their drives, open on call. The universal, elegant design and a multitude of patterns allow us to adapt the spans to our taste.

Types of gates

The choice of drives depends on the gate type. We can pick:

The choice largely depends on the shape of the plot and the location of the house on it, but also on our preferred architectural style. Let's take a closer look at the types of entrance gates, as this is the first determinant of what drives we can and should buy.

Sliding gates

A sliding gate, when opening, slides sideways. It moves along a track and hides behind the fence.

It is a fitting solution for owners of short plots because:

It's also an excellent option wherever the area tends to be windy. A classic swing gate can be blown open by a strong gust of wind, while a sliding gate withstands.

Double-leaf gates

A double-leaf gate, also known as a swing gate, consists of two movable leafs. Each of them opens simultaneously or independently. The leaves are mounted on hinges.

Double-leaf models work well for long and flat driveways. With them:

A drive for the entrance gate

We already know that we need to ask for a product suitable for a specific gate type at the store, for example, a gate drive for a sliding gate, to receive a product with the appropriate shape and power. Let us take a closer look at what other gate drive features we need to take into account.

Sliding gate drives

Sliding entrance gates 'disappear' behind the fence. For this reason, before heading to the distributor to place an order, we need to carefully measure the fence and the gate width to ensure smooth opening and closing. After all, a sliding gate drive is an investment that costs a pretty quid.

When it comes to the drive itself, we need to consider:

Double-leaf gate drives

Double-leaf gates also need to be measured before buying a drive for them. As in the case of a "sliding" door, we must remember the material of the gate.

What information do we need to prepare before visiting the distributor if we want to choose a drive that meets our needs?

Drive selection

We already know a little about matching the drive to the gates, and we can also write down essential information before visiting the sales showroom. Now it's time for the penultimate step, i.e. selecting the drives based on the power source.

Types of drives by power source

If we consider the power source, there are three options to choose from, depending on whether we are environmentally conscious and whether there is an electrical socket near the gate. Let's take a brief look at them.

Powered by electricity from the socket: commonly used, allow for initial savings at purchase because they are usually the cheapest.

Powered by solar energy: environmentally friendly but more expensive, do not generate additional costs during use and allow energy independence. The Somfy solar-powered system shows that this is easy.

Hybrid: use a combination of different energy sources, providing even greater peace of mind.

Advantages and disadvantages of different drive types

Which drive, in terms of power supply, is ideal for us? Each type of gate drive has its strengths and weaknesses.

Accessories for gates and drives

We've talked about obstacle sensors, but they are just one example because accessories for gates and drives are a vast topic. The distributor can present us with at least a dozen options, each offering additional safety and convenience. Before visiting the showroom, it's worth doing some research, even briefly, like we've done below. What can we gain from these additions?

Automatic sensors: By detecting the presence of vehicles or pedestrians, they automatically open or close gates. No careless child, elderly dog, or delivery person will get caught in the gate.

Intelligent automation: Drives can integrate with smart home systems, which enable remote operation, creation of usage scenarios, integration with doors or roller shutters, and product monitoring. An example? We can set the gate to open at 7:30 a.m. when we leave for work and close around 8:00 a.m. when we're definitely on our way to the office, even after hitting the snooze button on our phone alarm multiple times.

Batteries: In this case, drives utilize a built-in backup battery, allowing the gate to function during power outages, for example, during winter storms that may damage power lines.

Signalling lamps: This is an option for gates we can buy anytime. Modern lamps tell us to keep our distance from the closing gate and make the driveway more attractive with their design.

Drive and gate maintenance before winter

We must realise that the drive and gate require regular maintenance, and the area around them needs systematic snow removal and sweeping.

Gate drives are a long-term investment, so it's worth ensuring that dirt and corrosion don't ruin this perspective. Fortunately, maintenance work comes at a small cost, so let's see what our brief guide has to say.

Care for your gate

We first need to take care of the gate to keep the drive working flawlessly. What should one do to ensure it opens and closes smoothly?

Care for the drive

The drive requires slightly more care than the gate, but its maintenance involves only simple, short tasks.

A drive to bring us into the 21st century

After reading, we know that life truly is easier with a drive. It is a personal butler for our cars that helps us through tough mornings and welcomes guests to the birthday party even before they step through the door.

Let's also remember to choose a reputable manufacturer. One that creates high-quality drives and selects components carefully. We wish you a fruitful order!


See also

Eko-Okna S.A.
Kornice, ul. Spacerowa 4
47-480 Pietrowice Wielkie
NIP: 6391813241, KRS: 0000586067

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