Key Points to Consider Before Investing in Gate Automation

Automated gates provide a solid line of physical defence on any site; both residential or commercial. Whether allowing or preventing access, installation of automated gates can improve the flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, strengthen the security of a perimeter, and uphold safety.

When it comes to investing in gate automation at a commercial site, which are often larger and have to meet more complex requirements, additional factors must be taken into consideration.

Our gate automation specialists at Jacksons have compiled this blog to help assess your needs and specify electric gates which meet your requirements.


Some sites are frequented more than others, but regardless of how many times a day your gate opens and closes, getting optimum use from your automated gate should be a priority.

The motor should be robust enough to withstand the number of openings required per day. With concealed, underground and hydraulic ram operators available on the market, you can make sure that your automated gate offers the best return on investment.


Classified as machines, automated gates – particularly commercial and industrial gates – are large and heavy, requiring special installation by a registered professional. All Jacksons Fencing’s gate automation engineers, technical advisers and installers are DHF trained to a minimum of Level 2 to ensure correct, legally-compliant installation and peace of mind for our customers.

Access Control

Automated gates are often installed where access to a site needs managing. This could be to prohibit entry at night or to monitor who is within the perimeter at any given time.

Considering access control is key to ensuring the intended functionality of an automated gate. How will the gate operate for different people visiting the site? Will entry require a key card/fob or will it be manned by security staff? At what times of the day will the gate be in use?

Gate Mechanism

With a broad array of mechanisms available, selecting gate automation that is suitable for your site can feel like a daunting task. With swing, sliding, cantilever and bi-folding gate options to choose from, it is important to assess the pros and cons of each before specification.

Bi-fold speed gates are great for high security and rapid access like ambulance stations or data centres. Swing gates can be more difficult to place on uneven or sloping terrain; they should ideally be positioned on flat ground as placing them at the bottom of a hill will prevent the gates from swinging inwards. Sliding gates are a good option where ground slopes upwards from where a gate would be positioned but the gate leaf needs an area to slide into when open. There are different options for sliding gates too – cantilever and tracked styles which both come with varying advantages and disadvantages.


Whether timber or steel, the material selected for an automated gate should be properly treated and prepared for a long life to maintain safety, security and the structural integrity of the gate. All of our steel gates are galvanised to BS EN 1461 as standard and our timber gates are kiln-dried and pressure treated using our unique Jackcure® treatment, and constructed with an internal steel frame to prevent twisting.


All machines require servicing and automated gates are no exception. Current Health and Safety regulations stipulate that site owners have a responsibility to ensure automated gates and barriers are regularly maintained and recorded by a qualified individual.

Our gate automation maintenance contracts cover customers under regulations for safe performance. The frequency of your service appointment will depend on the size of gate and frequency of operation, amongst other factors such as its location (for example in coastal areas). We will put together a service plan for you to provide you with reminders.


Fences and gates, whether manual or automatic, are prone to vandalism. Commercial properties are likely to be targeted by trespassers so specifying a gate with a robust, tamper-proof design can make all the difference when it comes to protecting your site.


Gate automation should be treated as an investment, particularly where safety and security are concerned. Automated gates carry a sizeable price tag so opting for one with a generous guarantee is paramount to cover you should something go wrong.

When researching, make sure to check that both the materials and automation of your gate are included in the guarantee. Jacksons’ customers benefit from a 25 month parts and labour guarantee on the automation element of the gate, subject to a service contract being taken out in the second year. The gate itself, whether metal or timber will be covered by our industry leading 25 year guarantees.

At Jacksons, we pride ourselves on offering installation services for our full range of fences and gates, including automated systems. We work with clients to create the optimum perimeter security solution, no matter their need. To find out more about how Jacksons can help you to specify an automated gate that’s appropriate for your site, contact us today.

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Jacksons Security has a range of products relating to this article, all complete with our 25 year service life guarantee. If you cannot find the item you are looking for, please do not hesitate to call our friendly sales team.

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From design and manufacturing to supply and installation, we can help you with your project. If you'd like to discuss anything in this article or need information or guidance, please feel free to contact us at any stage to discuss your requirements.