When I was a kid I remember Sy Syms and his daughter Marcy coming on the television in one of their possibly now, maybe not quite infamous TV spots saying things about clothing and then somewhere along the line adding their tagline “An Educated Consumer is our Best Customer.” I doubt I really understood what that meant. I think I thought it was sort of a backwards slap in the face, kind of like a taunt. Like, you weren’t an educated consumer if you didn’t shop at Syms. Maybe you were a moron.
Over the years I’ve come to realize that in our business there are a lot of products that basically do the same thing; open and close gates. There is a problem though, most people don’t realize the differences in the equipment and the differences in the installation. I don’t think it’s a problem of being educated or not educated as much as it is a problem of being informed or not informed.
On January 16 of 2016, the powers that govern the gate operator manufacturing business and gate installation put into effect the latest UL 325 2016 which adds even more things to the suggested ‘Minimum” of the standard. See below
This may seem inconsequential but it’s something that we, as a reputable installer have to take into consideration. It’s true that this adds another layer of cost to the installation. Gate operators and access control I think, can be an asset, not just an additional convenience but a real asset that adds value to a residence or business. If done correctly they can add years of worry free service but also if done correctly and professionally with an eye on detail, they can add real value.
I want to think that when Miami Gate Operator does an installation or even a repair, we take into account the things we’ve learned about the equipment and the installation of that equipment and we do the best possible job.
This is a ten year old Door King 9100 gate operator. Our customer, The Kampong in the Grove, the location of the former winter home of Dr. David Fairchild, needed an updated but budget priced gate operator. We had just the thing. This location is a great place for a former high traffic gate operator to retire. The 9100 can pull and push the heavy steel gate with no problem. We installed a new main shaft, new bearings, new belt and a surge suppressor. This operator will last a long time. One of the things we wanted to do was give it a new finish. So before overhauling we stripped it down and had it powder coated this cool red color to match the iron work at the Kampong. It’s almost iridescent.
We do work wherever it is needed. Sometimes that takes us to the west coast of Florida, a lot of times to the Keys (where we love to go) and sometimes to the islands. Island work requires very critical planning due to the availability of equipment, material and parts. The gates in this post were all prefabricated by a local artisan craftsman and the operators were preassembled by us and shipped. What is really cool about these Door Kings is that all the exposed steel hardware was replaced with stainless steel hardware. We fabricated stainless steel knuckles and stainless steel post mounting kits with stainless steel arms. We had two days to install gates, operators and telephone entry…….
Gates are built with different weights. That is, some gate fabricators build gates extremely heavy for security and durability. Some gates, due to aesthetics, budget constraints or other reasons like the fabricators suck, are built extremely light in weight. In these instances it is possible to over operate the gates with the wrong equipment. It doesn’t help that the installers do a bad job installing the equipment either.
These gates are of the light weight kind. As you can see the things are all bent out of plumb. Some semblance of thought was taken into mimicking the railings on the second story; colorwise and designwise.
This is the inside view showing the Powermaster swing gate operators.
Notice Kraken grappling with the side of the operator. These are trip hazards, gardeners nightmares etc. , not to mention just a plain mess. Limit adjustment is a pain in the neck and over traveling of the arms was a constant problem.
We decided to install light weight Liftmaster LA 400’s. These are the last of the old style LA 400’s as the new ones have an advanced circuit board and are black.
We fabricated new custom mounting hardware, powder coated to match existing gate as close as possible and redesigned the gate to accept the new hardware. We got rid of all extraneous flex conduits in order to clean up the appearance and added a reversing beam to the system. Before, even though the system is push to open push the close without auto function, there were no reversing devises other than those built into the gate operator.
We plumbed the gates and everything lined up almost perfectly.