Driveway Gate Rehab / Redo

LarryBud

Active member

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L3130
Dec 5, 2020
241
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Cleveland, MO
I have a driveway gate which is functional but is on my project list for this winter. The 16' tube gate is in fine condition and I plan on reusing it. The post are not plumb and need to be reset or more likely, replaced. I also would like to install a solar opener with a lock option.

Questions:

1) Any links or advice on the easiest way to set the gate post? My plan is to rent a 3 point auger and set them with concrete. I f I do this will I still need to build an H frame, just use a die down cable or other options? I want it sturdy and I haven't built fence in the past. I was thinking I'd use railroad ties.

2) Any advice on a solar gate system. I see several out there and I can also see where malfunction ( especially when I need to lock it ) would be a problem.

3) Anything I'm not thinking of? I know it's not rocket science but I'll take any advice out there.
 

GreensvilleJay

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16' gate is a lot of weight, far ,far away so you need a STRONG post and base.
Perhaps use one of the ''bigfoot' style forms,6' below grade and power tamp the back fill ?
Don't know if MO gets frozen,but deeper is better.
An option might be a horizontally sliding gate ? Neighbour did that, easy to operate,simple to install,easy to maintain, no big post to worry about 5-10-25 years down the road.
 
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wp6529

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B7100DT
Oct 31, 2023
152
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TX
Ghost Controls seem to be the better option. I'm using their heaviest duty version on a pair of 8' tube gates so it's under about as little stress as you can get. I've had them in place a few years now with no issues.

Due to the light weight, heavy clay soil and plans to redo to a nicer gate setup eventually they are just on regular galvanized posts set in the ground about 4' deep with no cement.

If you want posts for heavy gates to stay plumb you really need to tie them together, I typically see this as the big overarm with the ranch sign. This prevents the gate weight from tipping the posts inward. Another way to do it if you don't want the overhead is to cut a trench across the width, drop in some rebar across, your posts at the end and fill with concrete. Serves the same function but is underground and not visible.

Malfunctions aren't a big deal if you were to have one. Just have the key on your keyring and worst case you have to go out and manually unlock the gate lock and the lock on the operator pin and manually open the gate.

The ghost Controls remotes have pretty decent range and they have waterproof versions to put on your tractor or ATV. The built-in remotes on many vehicles can be trained to operate the gate as well, but typically have shorter range and you may have to try training a few times to get it to work.
 

The Evil Twin

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L2501, LA526,
Jul 19, 2022
2,469
2,405
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Virginia
Instead of an overhead truss, you could use a gate wheel. We installed one on the gate at the back side of our neighbors property. The land slopes down, so the wheel is up in the air when the gate is open. But, when closed, the wheel takes the weight off of the post.
 
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LarryBud

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L3130
Dec 5, 2020
241
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43
Cleveland, MO
Thanks for the feedback. I think the current gate will weigh in at around 70 lbs.

I don't think we get much of a ground freeze around here. A few could night a year but lots of 40s and 50s all winter long.

The overhead cross brace would be a solid / quality solution but that would bring in a whole new level of equipment and manpower of which I just don't have ready access.

I'm intrigued by a horizontal slider. A quick search didn't show many options for a farm application. The ones I saw had ground tracks which would not be practical with my gravel drive. Any farm / solar examples out there?

Thus far, I think my best bet is well anchored post but I'm still open to ideas.
 

wp6529

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B7100DT
Oct 31, 2023
152
96
28
TX
Thanks for the feedback. I think the current gate will weigh in at around 70 lbs.

I don't think we get much of a ground freeze around here. A few could night a year but lots of 40s and 50s all winter long.

The overhead cross brace would be a solid / quality solution but that would bring in a whole new level of equipment and manpower of which I just don't have ready access.

I'm intrigued by a horizontal slider. A quick search didn't show many options for a farm application. The ones I saw had ground tracks which would not be practical with my gravel drive. Any farm / solar examples out there?

Thus far, I think my best bet is well anchored post but I'm still open to ideas.
Don't overlook the in-ground grade beam option. It doesn't need to be very wide nor does it need any form work if your soil is stable. You can cut the trench with a rental trencher and get a 6" wide beam. Assemble a few 20' lengths of rebar spaced a foot apart onto some 30" or so rebar uprights, place in the trench and tap the verticals in a bit to set so the bottom rebar is a few inches off the bottom. Set your posts at each end tapped into the ground enough to stay plumb. Pour cement and let cure.
 

LarryBud

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L3130
Dec 5, 2020
241
127
43
Cleveland, MO
Don't overlook the in-ground grade beam option. It doesn't need to be very wide nor does it need any form work if your soil is stable. You can cut the trench with a rental trencher and get a 6" wide beam. Assemble a few 20' lengths of rebar spaced a foot apart onto some 30" or so rebar uprights, place in the trench and tap the verticals in a bit to set so the bottom rebar is a few inches off the bottom. Set your posts at each end tapped into the ground enough to stay plumb. Pour cement and let cure.
Good Call. I'll research this process. Thank you!
 

GreensvilleJay

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try googling 'sliding steel gate', you'll get 1,000s of 'hits'.
neighbour has basic 'chain link' fencing though some are real fancy $$$$$$$$ !
 

jyoutz

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MX6000 HST open station, FEL, 6’ cutter, forks, 8’ rear blade, 7’ cultivator
Jan 14, 2019
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Edgewood, New Mexico
I have an extremely heavy 16’ steel gate swung on hinges with no wheels. It’s suspended from 5” diameter pipes in a welded H brace set in concrete 3’ deep. Been working flawlessly for 14 years with a solar battery operated gate opener (Patriot brand). My neighbor has a lighter 16’ gate like yours and he has it suspended From 2 7/8” pipes welded in an H brace set in concrete. You can do this with RR ties if you make a wide H brace tied with #9 gauge wire and set in deep. But after making several wire fences, gate braces, and retaining walls with RR ties, I will never use those heavy SOBs again. They’re hard to drill, wreck chainsaw chains, and your back if you’re not careful. Pipes in concrete with welded h braces are much easier.
 
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Tarmy

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Here is mine…880 lbs. cantilevered over 26’ clear. Those 2 steel 4x4 posts are in 6 yards of concrete 4’ deep.
IMG_3312.jpeg
 
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Russell King

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Here is a link to my gate opener installation project

There are several ways to get your existing posts plumb and the simplest is to use a wire brace with a turnbuckle from the top of the post down to a deadman in the ground. But that only works in one direction so most likely you’ll need to use two at about 60 degrees apart to get it vertical and keep it there.
 
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Russell King

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I had one other thought on the opener. Most openers attach to the pole and are linear screw type.

The rolling slide gate is a chain drive. The driver is mounted on a foundation pad

But they also make some swing gate operators that are mounted on a concrete pad and are probably more protected and rugged than other types. I would consider this type unless the cost is significantly higher or the cost to install the pad is significant enough due to the frost line depth.