Reliability and Your Gate Opener

From time to time our customers ask us why their gate opener is not as reliable as their garage door opener.  Last week we covered routine gate and gate opener maintenance tips that every gate owner should do.  These tips will lead to higher levels of reliability for your gate and gate opener.

Lets first discuss why your garage door opener tends to be more reliable than your gate opener.  One of the major areas that leads to the increased reliability of the garage door opener is that the garage door opener is protected from the elements.  Because of this the lubricants on the garage door tracks last longer and need less maintenance.  The springs on the garage door assembly help the door become neutrally buoyant.  When the garage door is neutrally buoyant, it allows the opener to pull the door open with minimal force.  Now, here is one of the areas where you can increase the reliability of your gate opener system.  You should be able move your gate to the mid point of its cycle.  The gate should not move towards the open or closed position.  If your gate does move adjust the hinges so the gate become neutrally buoyant.

Additionally your garage door opener is protected from the elements whereas, your gate opener is constantly exposed to the weather.  This is where the continual maintenance is key for the reliability of your gate opener.  If you have a swinging gate, the force of the wind can cause additional strain on your gate opener.

So if take both of these videos into consideration, you will be able to get garage door opener reliability with your gate opener.

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Walking Dead Zombies Are NO Match For Our Driveway Gates

With the 6th season of AMC’s hit television show “The Walking Dead” set to premier on Sunday, October 11 at 9:00 pm EST, we are reminded once again of the big problem at hand: the pending zombie apocalypse. You may be thinking to yourself, “I don’t think I’m prepared for the imminent doom that zombies will soon bring.” What you should be thinking is, “How in the world can I secure my home from the zombie herd or the passing door to door salesperson?”

With the 6th season of the hit television show set to premier this October 11th at 9:00 PM Easter, be on the lookout for zombies trying to enter your property.
With the 6th season of the hit television show set to premier this October 11th at 9:00 PM Eastern, be on the lookout for zombies trying to enter your property.

Without fail, the zombies come out to play on Sunday nights. What goes to say Rick and the others are the only ones that have to deal with ghoulish zombies. Maybe you don’t have “zombies” in your neighborhood, but what about that door to door salesperson? The temporary fix is to ignore the door and just remove their pile of flyers once they leave. But this doesn’t happen until you’ve been struck with a barrage of knocks and doorbell rings. We’ve heard your cries of fear of impending zombies and perused through your letters of irritation with unwanted salespeople, and we’ve gathered only the best products to assist you in your new protection plan.

GateCrafters Semi-Custom Driveway Gate
This is a great example of a customer installation of a GateCrafters’s Driveway Gate!

Now the impending zombie horde may not be the strongest threat to your safety (zombies are kinda mushy), but you can rest assured that your driveway gate is made from top quality materials.  Other area that needs to be addressed is driveway gate automation.  When you want to go foraging for supplies at your local grocery or home improvement store, GateCrafters has a gate opener for your gate.

Our zombie response experts are standing by to help you design a zombie proof gate system that will fit your unique needs, whether that be a high horse power system to move the herd of zombies from your property or a custom designed solar powered system than continue to power your gate opener during power outages.  Solar power is perfect for remote properties where you have long driveways and perfect for those who want to decrease their reliance on grid power.

GateCrafters can build the zombie proof gate the zombie proof gate of your dreams. Whether that is a 8 foot tall Zombie Blocker or gate frame that you clad with the wood of your choice and barbed/razor wire of your choosing. If you’re like me and don’t want to take any chances with this zombie apocalypse, GateCrafters has a selection of ready to ship Estate Swing gates for your choosing (both swing and slide gates available).

Estate Swing Driveway Gates are ready to ship right from the GateCrafters' warehouse right to your front door!
Estate Swing Driveway Gates are ready to ship right from the GateCrafters’s warehouse right to your front door!

If you have any additional questions regarding the zombie proofing of your driveway or general questions you may have about purchasing a driveway gate and gate opener, please call our sales reps at 1-800-537-4283.

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When Do I Need a Charging Control Board for my Gate Opener?


One of the many questions that we receive regarding gate openers is “When does my gate opener system require a charge controller?”  So we sat down and put together a quick video guide explaining your options.

Just as a reminder, the info in this post and video typically only applies for 12VDC systems from Apollo, Estate Swing, LiftMaster, GTO, and Mighty Mule.  Typically 24VDC systems do not utilize solar power or batteries and so you will always have a charge controller in your system (if needed).

Most residential gate opener systems use solar panels between 5 and 30 watts.  When you buy any 5 or 10 watt solar panel from GateCrafters they have a built in charging diode that prevent the battery from being discharged during the night.  These panels can be directly mounted to the battery terminals on a group size 24 deep cycle battery.  When you start using solar panels greater than 10 watts, you will need a charging control board.  GateCrafters offers a very popular 12VDC charge controller that works with solar panels up to 30 watts and 1800mA A/C charging transformer.

Charging control boards are intended to extend the life of your batteries in your gate opener system.  Most solar gate opener systems utilize group size 24 batteries, however some use smaller batteries such as, 7ah batteries.  Systems with the smaller size batteries will always have to use charge controllers.  This is due to the charging device (whether it is a solar panel or charging transformer) over powering the battery, therefore decreasing its useful life.

When working with commercial 12VDC gate opener systems, you will typically be using solar panels greater than 30 watts.  GateCrafters sells solar panels up to 245 watts and has charge controllers to work with these higher wattage panels.  If you are looking to add a commercial solar powered gate opener system please call the technicians at and they will be able to specially design a system based on your needs and unique solar zone.

Stay tuned for more helpful advice from the staff at

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