Steel Slide Gates: Uses and Automation

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Fri, Jun 10, 2016

Steel slide gates are in use at residential, commercial, industrial and government locations.

There are several different types of steel slide gates from tracked (both overhead and in pavement), roll gates (both hard rubber and balloon tires) and cantilever slides. The type of slide gate used depends on the available space for the gate, volume of use, security requirements, type of surface at the gate opening and the project budget.

Steel slide gates provide strong, secure reliable and cost effective solutions to of a location whether in manual or automatic mode. 

Steel is more forgiving to the incidental bumps from vehicle traffic than other materials resulting in fewer and less costly gate repairs. Slide gates enable a large gate to be easily opened or closed even in the manual mode.                

Steel gates do not experience the sagging problems incurred by swing gates and do not require larger post sizes as the gate leaf increases. It is quite common to have single slide gates covering an opening of 30 feet and still use the same post size as much smaller openings. Existing manual slide gates can easily retrofitted to an automatic application at less cost than a single or double swing when a single slide gate is the object of the retrofit.

automatic steel slide gate automated access entry gate

The drawbacks to steel slide gates. The gates are heavy and weight is the enemy of rollers, tracks, wheels and operators. The higher the volume of traffic through the access road the greater the strain on the gate system. Much of this can be eliminated with proper and routine maintenance of the slide gate and rollers. Polyurethane gate rollers also save wear and tear on the gates and ease the operation of the gate considerably.

The most popular slide gate in today’s market is the cantilever slide gate. This popularity will remain the case until gates that provide the strength of steel, the lighter weight of aluminum and the resulting freedom of maintenance that it provides is available at a reasonable cost.


Topics: Military Fence, Government Fence, Commercial Fence, Steel Slide Gates

Options for Commercial Access Gates and Fence Solutions

Posted by Michelle Goodwin on Thu, Jul 03, 2014

A Professional Fence Company should have a variety options for Commercial Gate applications. The gate systems are designed to restrict unwanted entry and ensure the protection of assets and employees. Gate systems are designed to work efficiently with repeated mechanical use in any setting. Hurricane Fence Company offers the latest in Commercial Gate System trends and technology in a plethora of scales and styles. These maneuverable fence barriers can be engineered to meet the needs of everything from small Residential Secured Access to the most complex structural demands.

The following are a few examples of routinely offered Commercial Gate Systems.  

Swing Arm Gates

swing arm gate

Swing Arms are motorized barriers that raise a steel or aluminum arm from a horizontal position to a vertical position. They give you the ability to control pedestrian and/or vehicle traffic on roadways up to 38'. These gates can have an assortment of automatic controls, such as card readers, vehicle detectors/counters, reversing logic, which causes the arm to re-open should it strike an object, and anti tailgating devices, which keep multiple vehicles from pulling through on a single cycle. A switch in a security office can also be set up to control these gates.

Many Fence Contractors also offer High Speed Swing Arm Gates that will open in less than two seconds, using either 8 or 12' arms. Heavy duty gates, with arms up to 24', are also available if gate specifications require them.

Slide Gates   

sliding gate 

Sliding Gates are often the best solution for commercial premises with busy access points. You must have room set aside for the gate in the open position. Installers can customize slide gates to accommodate a wide range of commercial applications. Many different styles of slide gates are available of which the most common is a two-rail slide gate.

There are three rail slide gates that will allow the use of almost any material you wish to face the gate. For this the commonly used materials are plastic, wood, or metal. A well set up fence supplier can also custom fabricate a slide gate to match a wide range of already existing gate styles. 

Cantilever Gates

cantaliever gate cantaliever gate

Automation of a cantilever slide gate involves the addition of a slide gate operator that can be pad or post mounted. This provides a means to open or close the gate and the addition of safety devices such as safety loops, gate edges or photo eyes. Gate operators can be added to existing gates as well as new ones and integrated into any existing access control system.

The gate itself does not touch the ground and is supported by rollers, which are attached to two large side posts.

The gate will have a tail that is used to support itself when it is in the open position. One thing to keep in mind when considering the installation of a cantilever gate is that you must have adequate overhead clearance to ensure that the gate can open fully.

Cantilever Gate Systems can be constructed with nearly any fencing material, but the distance of the opening will play an important role in determining which type of materials you can use when constructing your Commercial Gate. Lighter fabrication materials should be considered when spanning wide opening, which will make the overall weight of the gate lighter.   

See Commercial Gate Fabrication in action on Hurricane Fence Company's Youtube channel.Commercial Gates, Commercial Gates Richmond, Gate Fabrication Richmond, gates richmond, gates norfolk, gates williamsburg, gates va beach, gate making richmond

Topics: Military Fence Installations, Military Fence, Government Fence, Fence Design, Perimeter Security, Gates, Specifications, High Security Fence, Ornamental Aluminum, Commercial Fence, Steel Slide Gates, Historical Fence, Fence Permit, Regulations, Maximum Security Fence, Fence Maintenance, Richmond Fence, fence regulations, Maintenance, Aluminum Fence, Comparison, codes, Military Fence Virginia

Where Is ATFP Fence Needed?

Posted by Kristen Fugere on Tue, Sep 18, 2012

Data Center Fence

AT/FP perimeter security systems are needed in any area that is in danger of attack from outside forces. Most commonly, we think of military bases, federal buildings and jails for this type of elevated security fencing. Other fence customers that are currently using this type of security are schools, banks, high tech data centers, and many other purposes. Typically any place that is housing large quantities of information, important people and money are high on the terror watch list. These fences are also commonly used by military and civilian airports and at nuclear power and industrial plants. In addition to these, federal institutions utilize this product for reserve banks, the Federal Bureau of Investigations and many other government fence needs. Very high levels of protection are essential in the mentioned target areas. ATFP fences are used for the protection of products, personnel and the general public. These types of institutions have been terrorist targets in the past, and because of this, AT-FP fence was developed.

ATFP stands for Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection, as defined by the US Army and other federal entities. The term refers to the amount of force a structure can withstand without being penetrated by an incoming vehicle. AT-FP ratings are achieved by reinforcing a fence structure with steel cables that run along the fence, into the ground, terminating into large concrete footers. Cable fence reinforcement consists of 2 cables stretching laterally at heights of both 30 and 35 inches. These specific heights are set at 30” to address cars and 35” for trucks. These cables are installed to meet Anti-Terrorism Force Protection fence standards. With these reinforcing ATFP cables and/or beams, a structure achieves certain ratings as detailed below. These ratings are typically referred to as “K” ratings, or crash ratings.  

A ‘K' rating is a Crash Test Certification issued by the Department of State (DOS) to a fence, gate, barrier or bollard indicating the perpendicular impact penetration of a vehicle of a specific weight at a specific speed. In other words, it measures the particular stopping power of a barrier in relation to the speed and weight of an incoming vehicle.  The K-rating weight of the vehicle is standard at 15,000 lbs. These DOS standard barriers allow the truck to penetrate no more than 36 inches past the bed. There are three ratings that are achievable; K4, K8, and K12.

  • A K-4 system, which is two 3/4" cabling with concrete anchoring deadman will stop a 15,000 pound vehicle traveling at 30 miles per hour.
  • A K-8 system with two 3/4" cabling and 1" cable with concrete deadman will halt a 15,000 pound vehicle at a maximum speed of 40 miles per hour.
  • A K-12 system with three 1" cables will prevent penetration of a 15,000 pound vehicle with a maximum acceleration 50 miles per hour.

K-rated crash test

These k-ratings can be achieved by any combination of natural and manmade features when natural barriers are not sufficient or present. Distance alone can be a great ATFP device when used in combination with an uneven or bumpy surface. This can also be achieved with ditches and berms, or large bolder (3ft. x 5ft.) placement and forestation. This will slow down any moving vehicle or a truck bomb that is attempting to implode a building surface. Remember that AT/FP perimeters are specifically intended to stop only vehicle traffic. This perimeter prevents a bomb threat, not theft.

These ratings are also being covered by American Society for Testing and Materials or ASTM. ASTM International is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards. Today, some 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence. ATSM fence is also available by qualified fence professionals.

Article contributed by Meagan Stone

Topics: ATFP, Military Fence, High Security Fence, Terrorism

What Type Of Fence Styles Can Be ATFP Compliant?

Posted by Kristen Fugere on Wed, Sep 05, 2012

Essentially, any type of fence can be modified to meet AT/FP requirements.

Data Center Security FenceATFP stands for Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection, as defined by the US Army and other federal entities. This term refers to the amount of force a structure can withstand without being compromised by an incoming attack.

The AT-FP ratings are achieved by reinforcing a fence structure with steel cables that run along the fence, into the ground, terminating in concrete footers. These ratings are typically referred to as crash ratings, or “K” ratings. There are three K ratings that are achievable; K4, K8, and K12. The different ratings refer to the amount of weight the structure can resist and remain intact. 

Typically, if business or government institution is going to spend this amount of money on a high tech fence, they may also want a good-looking fence. The most aesthetically pleasing type of fence that can be modified to achieve ATFP ratings is ornamental fence. Ornamental fence is often referred to as “wrought iron”, but are in fact made of aluminum or steel. Iron is an outdated material. These contemporary fence alternatives are more economical, as well as outlasting their dated counterparts. These style fences are often found around the perimeter of military institutions, data centers, federal buildings or even schools.

Alternatively, jails and other institutions that must remain secure without the superficial attributes can also apply K rated cables to chain link fences, achieving the same degree of security. These ATFP compliant chainlink fences are usually constructed of 6 gauge wire as opposed to the more commercially applied 9 gauge wire. This thicker wire, coupled with cable reinforcement and either SS 40 or SCH 40 pipe, can achieve AT/FP federal security standards.

Data Center FenceWhile ornamental styles are the most common installations of crash rated fences, even a wooden fence could be modified to reach the same standard. One way to achieve AT/FP compliance in this type of fence installation is to install a line of bollards, again reinforced with steel cables, in front of a wood fence. This would allow it to attain a K-rated fence standard. Bollards are short, vertical posts used to protect potentially vulnerable structures or objects from damage by moving vehicles. Designed for versatility, these posts range in size from 24” to 42” in height, and come in variable diameters to meet a location’s specific security requirements. Bollards can be used to maintain a more natural look, while providing crash-rated security.

As you can see, Anti-terrorism Force Protection (ATFP) standards can be met in any number of ways in the fence industry. A knowledgeable fence contractor has the capability to help customers design and build crash-rated fences out any material the customer desires. As our society continues to evolve, so do potential acts of terror, and Top Notch Fence Company’s will stay on the cutting edge of technology to continue to provide our customers with ATFP compliant crash rated fences.

Article contributed by Meagan Stone.

Topics: Bollards, ATFP, Military Fence, High Security Fence, Terrorism, Maximum Security Fence

What is ATFP? And Related K4 K8 K12 Perimeter Security?

Posted by Dawn Lowndes on Thu, Jun 07, 2012

atfp fence k rated


Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection (ATFP) is generally defined as a federal security program formed to protect personnel, information, and critical resources from outside attacks.  These attacks could be attempted by the use of Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG), truck bombs, or any means of weighted attack force. Areas of planned security could include law enforcement personnel, intelligence and training. For our purposes we will only discuss the physical security of a site.

ATFP standards set by the federal government can be used to protect areas such as military vicinity, state and local courthouses, banking centers and certain corporate areas. Corporations can deal with security sensitive matters like financial markets and Internet service providing computer farms.

ATFP secured structures can actually be made better able to prevent blasts from having a great effect. This can be done by ‘hardening’ the exterior of the structure by blast proofing the walls and glass. The can be achieved with the addition of concrete and steel wall supports. A “progressive collapse” structural design can be created to limit the likelihood of a complete building collapse in the event of an attack.

Perimeter security is typically created by the addition gates and entry areas and is most often delineated by a fence. ATFP fence is a standard fence that is upgraded or one that is originally manufactured to ATFP fence specifications. ATFP perimeter security can be of a very different nature.  

ATFP Entry Systems or Gates are created by using passive and/or non-passive barriers.  These systems are specifically designed for the level of protection that the facility mandates.

Passive Barriers allow the passage of entering vehicles at all times. This can be achieved by placing jersey wall barriers in away that creates a maze for the vehicle to maneuver.  This effectively forces the vehicle to slow down while permitting access.  This is only one example of this type of passive barrier.

Non-Passive Barriers are actually permanent entry obstacles. These are things like bollards, wedge barricades, drop arms, slide gates and newly designed net systems. These Barricades can be used in conjunction with fence gates or can actually be mounted to fence gates. They are used more often than passive barriers because they can be moved in and out of their location with ease. This allows instant entry and immediately re-barricaded areas.

ATFP passive perimeter security can be accomplished with the use of steel cables or steel guardrails. This can also be setup by any combination of natural and manmade features when natural barriers are not sufficient or present. Distance can be a great ATFP device when used in combination with an uneven or bumpy surface. This can also be achieved with ditches and berms, or large bolder (3ft. x 5ft.) placement and forestation. This will slow down any moving vehicle or a truck bomb that is attempting to implode a building surface. Remember that AT/FP perimeters are specifically intended to stop only vehicle traffic. This perimeter prevents a bomb threat, not theft.  

Bear in mind that it is much easier to implement the AT/FP standards when working on new construction rather than attempting to retrofit the system into an already existing environment.  When retrofitting, much of the plan design work will be required to be done onsite and in an emergent way. This can lead to extreme design difficulties and can turn out to be very costly. Conceiving a building or site around AT/FP barrier implements is much easier than situating the AT/FP elements around already existing structures. Imagine attempting to widen the distance between a building and the adjacent road line. It would be much easier to initially plan this rather than propose it at a later point in time.

Some additional research should be done to understand ‘K ratings’ (K4|K8|K12). These ratings are somewhat complex and are standards set by the government to quantify and ensure the inflexibility of implemented AT/FP barrier devices.  Read ‘K ratings’ (K4|K8|K12 Fence) Informational Blog


Article contributed by fence professional John Lowndes.

Topics: Bollards, Military Fence Installations, ATFP, Military Fence, Government Fence

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