We recently helped a client with an existing Centurion D10 Gate motor installation that was giving him problems. He is located in the Sandton, Morningside area in Johannesburg.
The gate rack
was installed in such a way that the weight of the gate was resting on the pinion
. This damages both the pinion and also the gearbox of the motor.
Like all gate motors, the Centurion D10 Gate motor installation quality plays a large part in having a gate motor that works smoothly and efficiently. There are many aspects to pay attention to, but one that can negatively affect the life span and gearbox of the motor is the distance between the rack and pinion.
There should always be a bit of space (about 3mm) between the rack and pinion.
Gate motor rack and pinion
Correction of this Centurion D10 Gate Motor Installation
After adjusting the the rack by re-welding it onto the gate, the gate was moving much better. We also replaced the damaged pinion. We also took the motor to Centurion and booked it in for a F1 service. This service is their fastest service, and you usually get the motor back the next day for re-installation.
Other aspects to look out for with sliding gates and large gates in general.
- Firstly, gate wheels must be in good working order – Test your gate wheels every 6 months by lifting the gate on the side and checking if the wheels turn freely
- Secondly, the correct gate wheel profile must be used. The round profile for round bar tracks and the v-shaped profile for angle iron tracks
- If you use the wrong gate wheel profile it can cause extra vibrations while the gate moves and this in turn can cause the rack welding and gate wheel welding spots to break more easily
- And, finally, make sure you clean your gate track after every bad weather episode. Soil, and vegatation will decrease your gate wheel life span
We received a message from the caretaker of a complex – an existing client of ours – for gate repairs Ferndale in West Avenue:
“Someone bumped our complex gate last night and derailed it. Can you please send someone to put it back on track?”
We quickly logged the gate service request. Then we sent two of our teams out to the site to assess the situation. Why two teams? This was because we know this complex and the gate is very large and very heavy. If the work involved lifting the gate and putting it back on the rails, it would need more than two men to do this.
We found that, not only had the gate been pushed off the gate track
, but it was also bent due to the impact of the vehicle driving into it. We needed to bend the gate to return it to a straight position in order for us to get it working smoothly again. Our gate bending is done on site
with a mechanism that we have developed for the task.
It is not always possible to bend a gate. If the damage is too large, it may be necessary to actually replace the gate. If the gate has diagonal bars, it is not possible to bend it properly back into shape. Fortunately, in this case we could go ahead with the gate bending.
Gate Repairs Ferndale – Work Done
Our gate repair work
involved three main tasks.
- Firstly, because the gate was bent, it would not move properly on the track. So, we needed to bend it back into a straight position.
- Secondly, we had to lift the gate up and back onto the track
- Finally, during the accident, the gate motor rack (also known as the “long gear”) had been broken because of the accident; so we needed to weld it back onto the gate.
The important point to remember is that the gate needs to be properly aligned and straight in order for it to move smoothly. Furthermore, in order for the gate motor to run easily, the gate needs to be in good working order. If the gate is getting stuck, this will damage the motor. Then you will end up with an even bigger problem!
Within a short time we had a complex that was secure again; and another addition to our list of gate repairs Ferndale.
Our latest new gate motor installation Morningside Manor in Sandton held a few challenges for us. The existing motor was an old Hansa Deluxe motor that had finally stopped working. We replaced it with a new Centurion D5 Evo
. We recommend this gate opener for all normal, residential sliding gates.
Usually the gate motor installations take about 3 or 4 hours, but in this case there were some challenges. This was because of a tree right by the base-plate which is where a gate motor gets installed. The tree roots were lifting the base-plate by at least the height of about 2 bricks. This made it impossible to weld the long gear (or the gate motor rack
) onto the gate without it breaking off while the gate is operating.
Solution: Gate Motor Installation Morningside Manor in Sandton
The solution in the end involved some construction work. We removed the bricks and some concrete to make space so that we could install the track of the gate at a lower position. This enabled the gate to move a little bit more evenly.
Yes, you need the technical know-how with a gate motor installation, but it is practical experience that counts for about 95% of successful results.
We need to check the gate and the gate track
; the gate straightness and alignment; the gate wheels and all mechanical aspects of the gate. These need to be mechanically sound before a gate motor can operate properly together with a gate.
We advise against planting large trees close by to your gate and your gate motor simply because the roots always causes problems. If you have a large tree close to your gate it is definitely worthwhile to consider removing it before any damage is done and repair costs escalate.
We also installed some anti-lift brackets
to make sure that the gate can’t be lifted by burglars too easily.
With a bit of extra effort and carefully paying attention to the gate track we got the gate motor to function properly with the gate. Another gate motor installation in Morningside Manor and another happy Sandton client.
We recently inherited a gate and gate motor problem in Landhuis Street, Weltevreden Park, Roodepoort.
The client had someone else install the gate motor for them a year or two ago. They were very unhappy with the quality of the service and the outcome of the installation. Therefore they contacted us to assist going forward.
Gate and Gate Motor Problems
There were several problems that we identified and resolved.
One of the first things we found was that the gate wheels were broken and that they needed to be replaced.
Secondly we found that the gate motor rack
was also in a very poor condition. The people who installed the gate motor had not replaced the rack at the time as was necessary. The installer should have installed a new rack with the new gate motor in this case.
Thirdly, and this was one of the biggest mistakes caused by the previous installer, they welded the gate motor bolts onto the nuts. This means that you cannot remove the gate motor and, for example, take it for a service. This is a massive problem. At least the gate motor that was installed was a Centurion D5 Evo
which is a top-of-the-range gate opener.
Fourthly, the gate itself was bent a little bit which means that it moved very tightly.
Finally, because the gate wheels
had seized and the gate was bent, the gate motor had been damaged. Furthermore, there was oil in the area of the rotary encoder which is a clear sign that a gate motor needs servicing. The gate motor needed to be taken to the manufacturer – Centurion – to be serviced. And, due to the welding of the gate motor bolts as explained above, it was not an easy task to remove the motor.
Gate Repairs Weltevreden Park – Landhuis Street
So, our list of tasks included:
- Replacing wheels
- Installing a new rack
- Bending the gate
- Taking the gate motor for a service
After our repairs to the gate and gate motor
, we have a gate that is moving very smoothly; the gate motor doesn’t struggle to open and close the gate; and we have a happy client with a working gate and gate motor.
It is important to remember that the gate needs to be mechanically sound before you can solve any gate motor problems. The approach is that you need to be systematic and resolve each problem that occurs so that you have a good end result.
Certain areas in Johannesburg are very prone to break-ins at the entrance gate. Even if you have all the anti-lift brackets and other basic security measures in place
, you still find that you can have regular break-in attempts at your gate. There is, however, a gate security upgrade that you can make in order to increase your protection.
One of our clients in Robin Hills, Randburg, tells the following story:
He has two daughters. Granny took the eldest daughter to ballet. The younger daughter, who is 10-year’s old, stayed at home with a nanny. This literally took only 10 minutes. Three robbers broke through the driveway gate and made their way towards the house. At that time, his daughter went to the kitchen to fetch a drink from the fridge. As she came into the kitchen, she saw the three perpetrators. She was incredibly lucky that their backs where turned toward her and they did not see her. She quickly slipped to the side and hid in the nanny’s room. In the meantime, the burglars stole a significant amount of electronic equipment such as televisions, computers etc.
This particular client was very frustrated. He has had break-in attempts every 4 to 6 weeks. His frustration is enough that he wants to put his house on the market and is planning to move to another area. We suggest that he add an alarm system to his gate to warn him if there is any tampering at the gate.
The Gate Security Upgrade Solution
It is not always convenient to have your usual house alarm on, especially if you are at home. Most alarm configurations are not configured in such a way that there are always active zones and extra security measures at your gate.
We suggested adding infrared beams at his gate and connecting them to his alarm. The beams are basically connected to his alarm as a panic. So, if someone stands at the gate, or tries to break open the gate, the security company sees it as a panic button that was pressed.
The whole system is connected wirelessly to his alarm radio. A transmitter at the gate motor that is connected to the beams will activate the alarm when someone breaks the beams or stand in the way of the beams. After all someone should not be standing right next to your gate for any reason. They can stand at the intercom mounted on a goose-neck pole some distance away from the gate.
When the gate motor is activated by his remotes it disables the alarm while he drives in and out of his property. The beams also prevent the gate from closing onto his vehicle. We also activated the fast close functionality to make sure that his gate close immediately when he has passed the beams.
Not long after this gate security upgrade, there was yet another break-in attempt; only, this time the security company was alerted immediately and action could be taken.