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All You Need To Know About Sliding Gates


How to choose the best Motor for your gate

To determine which electric sliding gate motor would be best for your gate you need to know the width and weight of it first!

Each motor operates within certain parameters (weight/width) so knowing these metrics are fundemental.

All sliding gate motors listed on this website clearly state the maximum width & weight the motor will operate.


Read through the sections below to gain more information on sliding gate motors and installation requirements.


Measuring the gate                                                                                                                                                      

Below is a bird’s-eye view of a typical sliding gate set-up. To determine the size of your gate you need to measure the opening and add 350 – 400mm.



Sliding Gate Birds Eye View            


Each motor will have a maximum size gate leaf it will operate. Use the width of your gate to select the right motor for your installation.

For safety reasons you should never install a gate motor which has a maximum width less than the measurement of your gate.


Sliding Gate Rack

To move the gate toothed rack integrates with a pinion. The pinion is driven by the motor to move the gate back and forth.

The length of rack you need should cover the total width of your gate.

Rack And Cog


What rack do I need and where does it attach onto the gate ?


Toothed Rack

The toothed rack can be supplied in nylon, steel or galvanised

steel. All are suitable for both wooden and metal gates.

Rack is included in all kits. The length of rack included will vary

from kit to kit. Extra rack is sold seperately if you require more.

The rack usually fastens a minimum of 80mm from the

bottom of the gate frame. You will require enough rack for the

length of the gate.


Weight of the Gate

To give you an idea of the weight of your gate take a look at our 'gate weight esimator'. This will give you a good steer. 

As with 'gate leaf width' you should not install a motor which has a maximum weight limit under the actual weight of your gate. The motor will be be under powered and likely malfunction.


Sliding gate hardware

The sliding gate hardware required to keep the gate upright and slide back and forth is shown in the diagram below.


Sliding Gate Hardware

(A) Upper Guide Bracket - This is attached to the gate post and

feeds through the gate while it’s moving. It comes in different versions and

sizes depending on the width of the top of the gate. This keeps the gate



(B) Safety Strike - Used to catch the gate in its closed position.


(C) Wheels x 2 - Attached to the bottom of the gate either inset or externally.

The weight of the gate will determine which diameter you require.

(D) Safety Stops x 2 - Floor mounted limit stops are drilled into place allowing

you to control the amount of travel on the gate leaf. Limit stops should be

installed at both ends of the sliding gate.


(E) Track - The half-round track is fixed to the ground so that the wheels

can move freely on it. The track comes in 3m lengths.


Getting the gate to slide

For your gate to slide you will need some track in place. The track is known as ‘half-round'

track which we supply in 3-meter lengths. The top section is 'half round' in shape to accommodate

the concave surface of the wheels used on sliding gates. The track can be either bolted down or set in concrete.

The total length that you will need is approximately double the length of your gate. However, you

may not need to place the track across the entire width of the gate entrance because the wheels

are usually positioned inset from the end of the gate. By keeping the track shorter than

the full width of the gate’s planned movement, in open and closed phases, it allows surface water

to escape the driveway.

Track A


Sliding Gate Closed Position


How to concrete in the floor track

Cut out and clear a shallow trench approximately 150mm wide and XXmm deep. Level the area

with gravel and thoroughly compact. Lay the track in the trench and use the joining pins to join the

lengths together. Level and true with a straight long edge and a spirit or laser level.


On a loose substrate hammer small pins to either side of the track every 450mm. Once secure

weld it to the beam and cut off the excess. Lastly using concrete, backfill the top 13 – 15mm of

the 20mm bar that’s showing.


Cement Track 1

Sink the lower part of the track into the cement

checking that it creates a solid contact throughout.

The cement needs to enter the hollow part of

the track’s profile; this will increase strength and

reduce noise production during the opening phase

of the gate.

Cement track 2

Once the track has been plunged into the

cement casting, check the horizontal level with

a spirit level in order to assure the smooth

movement of the gate.

Cement track 3

Make sure the gate was installed properly and

check that the cement forms a single body with

the track. Before installing the sliding gate make

sure that the cement has set.


Along with the track you will need wheels. The wheels are fixed onto the gate and roll across the track.

We supply them as a set of 2. We have 2 types of wheels: Standard - which can cope with a gate up to

800kg (400kg per wheel) and Heavy-Duty which will support up to 1400kg (700kg per wheel).


For gates heavier than 1400kg then its possible to add more than 2 wheels to spread the load.

Internal Guide Wheel


Positioning the wheels

To determine whereabouts to fit the wheels onto the gate, you

need to take the gate leaf width including the overhang and

divide it by four, then take off another 10-15%.


For example: 6m gate divided by 4 = 1.5m.

1.5m minus 10% = 1.35m.


The result is the distance from each end of the gate to ideally

place the centre of the wheel. This means the weight is shared

equally onto each wheel and will stop a rocking effect.


The wheels can be neatly nested within the lower part of the gate frame.        

Positioning the wheels


Wheel positioning chart Wheel position on gate

Other sliding gate hardware

Here at Gate Motors we also supply the following for alternative sliding gate set ups:


Upper guide


Nylon roller
guide set
Bracket and wheels
 Upper Guide Bracket  Nylon Roller Guide  Bracket & Wheels

A bracket attached to a pillar, a

brickwall, or even an

existing post

A bracket each side holding a roller in

each bracket

A bracket holding
2 x 40 x 60mm rollers.
The angle iron needs
to be 50 x 50mm


What if traditional track and wheels aren't suitable for my gate ?

For installations on uneven surfaces where a traditional track and wheeled system isn’t suitable, Gate Motors can supply hardware for a cantilever set up.

With a cantilever system the track is fixed to the gate, and the wheels are in fixed positions on the floor. Rather than the track being fixed to the ground

and the wheels to the gate like in a traditional system. A cantilever system can be a more expensive route so would ideally be avoided if you are able to

use traditional track and wheel system.

Cantilever Gate


 Cable for power and wiring for components

To get power to your gates you will need 3 core SWA armoured cable. For wiring the photocells or other devices such as push buttons/keypads/key switches you can use alarm/cat5e cable.

 Safety Options 



It is recommended to purchase an additional pair of safety photocells to go on the inside

of the property. Only one set comes with a kit. If using a single set, these are generally

applied on the outside of the gate. With 2 sets, you will be protected on both sides. Photocells

are usually installed  on the gate posts/pillars and are placed directly opposite each other as one is

a transmitter and the other a receiver. They produce an infrared beam, which when broken the gates

will either prevent the gate from closing or opeing depending on how they are set up. 





Extra Photocells for sliding gate




The use of resistive safety edges are advised when installing a sliding gate. A resistive saftey edge is a rubber strip which can run down the side or front edge of your gate or pillar.

When the safety edge is pressed two conductive rubber surfaces come together and create a short between them, this cuts the 8.2kΩ signal being monitored by the control board. 

Once the signal is cut the gates will stop and reverse. Safety edges are used to prevent the risk of crushing or trapping. Click here for Safety Edge listings.

Safety Edge 1 Safety Edge 2
Safety Edge 3


Back to Sliding Gate Kits


Gate Automation

Please select what type of automation you require for your gate/s. Double & Single Swing refer to motors which attach to the gate and pillar of a swing motion gate. Double & Single Underground refer to motors which lay beneath the ground which attach to the hinge end of swing motion gates. Choose Sliding if you require lateral moving gate automation and Wheeled if you require a motor which utilises a wheeled motor to drive your gate/s.

Motor Voltage

There are two types of power outputs to consider - 24v & 230v. If you need a higher number of operations (opened/closed more than 5-6 times in an hour) during peak periods such as the morning and evening, then you may wish to consider a 24v system.

24v systems are more suitable for higher operation levels as they tend to run cooler than 230v gate motors. However, they do cost more in relative terms, so if you only need to open or close the gate 1-5 times an hour then a 230v system might prove more cost-efficient.

24v motors tend to be used on commercial premises, whereas 230v tend to be used on standard domestic properties. The exception to this rule is sliding gate motors where the reverse is true - 24v sliding gate automation systems tend to be for domestic use, 230v for more intense use (commercial/communal).

24v systems can draw power from battery backup systems meaning they can still operate during any mains power cut (a 230v or 3 phase system would need to be opened with a manual release key).

24v systems can also utilise solar power units as a means of charging batteries, allowing you to site gate automation in rural and remote locations where mains power is unavailable.

Specifications can be found for each product from their datasheet. Each datasheet is downloadable from each product page on this website.

Weight of Gate

All electric gate motors operate up to a maximum weight. This is so the gate will operate in a reliable and safe manner. It is essential to know the weight of each gate leaf in order to choose the correct motor for you installation. If you do not know the weight of your gate/s, send us a photo along with the gate/s dimensions and we can advise.

Gate Width

As with weight, gate motors are designed for gates within certain dimensions. The most important dimension is the width of the gate. To ensure you select the right motor to operate your gate you must know the width of each gate that requires automation.

Opening Angle

Each motor has a maximum angle to which it can operate to. Therefore it is important to note how far the gate needs to open in order for a vehicle to enter/exit safely.

Daily Use

The amount of times your gate is used per day is a determining factor when deciding on the right motor for your usage. Motors are designed to operate within a certain capacity (operations per day) so choosing a motor compatible with your desired use is essential for its durability. Select from the options below the number of times (open & closure = 1 x operation) the gate/s will be operated on an average day.