By the Numbers...
So, gates are what, like 10-15% of your total revenue stream? And gate problems account for maybe 60%-70% of your call backs?
What is the number one failure in a gate system? There are a few things that can go wrong, and any one or a combination of these things can destroy the profit margin on any job. The gate sags. Is the gate itself is the problem, or is it the hinges, or even the post that is failing?
A well made gate will not sag. To make sure it doesn't sag, or to make sure it doesn't twist and flop around, you just need to remember one rule of thumb. Never lay your bracing down below 45º when measured off the bottom rail. Other articles discuss why this works and how but for our purposes here, it just does.
The best made hinge will not support a gate too heavy for its rating. You need to know how much load a gate puts on the hinge system, not just how much the gate weighs. Load takes into account the stresses caused by the ratio of the width of the panel against the distance between the hinges. A hinge properly sized for the job will support the gate for the lifetime of the fence, and will allow for adjustment to account for the natural movement of the ground.
A post must both be rigid enough to support the load of the gate, and anchored properly in the earth. As seasons pass, changing water content and potentially ice will cause the earth around a post to shift. Sometimes we see the post rise or sink due to “frost heave”. This can be mitigated with proper post setting techniques, again, a subject for another post.
An adjustable hinge will allow for “fine tuning” when the unavoidable small movements occur. A bolt-on hinge will allow for simple replacement in the field if replacement is needed, without cutting, welding, and paint issues.
Now you know more about why we do what we do at Modern Fence Technologies.