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How To Install Manual - Chain Link Cantilever Gate
By Chad Hoover, CFP

[ 1 ] Overview [ 2 ] Plan [ 3 ] Layout [ 4 ] Set Posts [ 5 ] Install Fittings [ 6 ] Hang Gate [ 7 ] Install Latch [ 8 ] Install Operator

Cantilever Slide Gate Basic Sketch & Detail - Hoover Fence Co. 

Introduction to Cantilever Gates: A cantilever gate is unique in that it 'cantilevers' itself to close an opening while being supported from only one end. Cantilever gates move in a linear motion, or straight line, without requiring any lateral space as a swing gate would require. Due to its cantilevered design, these gates are typically built larger in width than the opening they are designed to close; this allows a portion of the gate to remain outside of the opening, often unobtrusively behind the adjacent fence line. This portion of the gate is called the counterbalance.
Sliding Cantilever Gate in Action - Hoover Fence Co. The gate counter balance should be 1/2 the length of the gate opening.  Minimum counter balance should be 4' long. If an automatic operator is to be installed, the counter balance may need to be longer so the operator can 'pull' the gate shut by the rear of the counter balance. Always choose the operator and gate before construction begins.

Traditionally, a cantilever gate is 'sandwiched' between two top rollers and two bottom rollers and mounted on two posts as shown above. A leading edge wheel is not required in most cases due to its cantilevered design. Another type of hardware system other than gate rollers may be employed. One such system employs a track which is mounted near the top of the gate between roller posts. The gate hangs suspended from the track with trolleys. There are guide rollers mounted to the bottom of the roller posts which prevent the bottom portion of the gate from being pulled away from the posts.

A cantilever gate should not be confused with other types of slide gates such as 'V-groove type track gates', 'overhead gates', or 'rolling gates' as they are often called. These type gates have a track in the gate opening and/or a leading edge wheel attached to the latch side of the gate which rides on the ground. A V-groove type track gate has an inverted piece of angle iron imbedded in the drive on which a specially notched wheel attached to the gate frame can ride. An overhead gate usually hangs suspended by trolleys with steel bracing, truss rods, and truss cables from an overhead I-beam which extends over the gate opening. Lastly, a rolling gate typically has a pipe track mounted to the adjacent fence on which the back portion of the gate may ride with a pipe track rear wheel. A leading edge wheel is mounted to the latch side of the gate which simply rolls on the ground.

Advantages of the Cantilever Gate System:
antilever gates have many advantages over swing gate systems:
1. Cantilever gates may use less space than a swing gate system. Single cantilever gates move in one direction, often directly parallel to an existing fence line. This efficient use of space makes a cantilever gate an ideal choice when designing a property's perimeter fence and security system.
2. Cantilever gates may be easier to safeguard than swing gates when automating. Safety devices are strongly recommended, if not required, when automating a gate. Such safety devices may include safety photobeams, safety edges, and loops and loop detectors. Safety devices are designed and installed to protect against the gate closing on a vehicle. Due to the linear movement of a sliding cantilever gate, the path of the gate is limited in comparison to a swing gate which swings in an arc approximately 90 degrees.
3. Cantilever gates may be less expensive to automate than swing gates. In some instances, when a double swing gate and a single cantilever gate is to be considered, a single cantilever gate will be less expensive to automate since it requires only one gate operator instead of two.
4. Cantilever gates may require less maintenance than swing gates. Cantilever gates may be installed with nylon cantilever rollers with sealed bearings and nylon roller covers. These rollers do not require greasing and the nylon roller itself and cover will not rust. Further, cantilever rollers will install to posts with bolts which are easy to adjust at a later date if necessary. The brackets which typically connect a gate operator to the gate also are usually installed with bolts that will be easy to adjust later. Conversely, swing gates often have hinges which require repeated greasing. These hinges will also often be welded to the gate post and gate making them difficult to adjust if necessary. Lastly, consider snow removal in northern locations. The single path a cantilever gate travels will often be easier to keep clean of obstructions compared with a swing gate and it's wide swing.
5. Cantilever gates are aesthically appealing. The smart appearance, efficient design, and craftsmanship in a cantilever gate is sure to impress owners, visitors, and customers visiting the property.

Cantilever Gate Construction:
The vertical bracing should be spaced 4 to 6' apart. If 2-1/2" sch. 40 pipe or comparable is used 5' spacing is adequate. The rollers ride on the horizontal outside frame. Support for the top and bottom of the frame is essential. Only the 'opening' portion of the gate is stretched with chain link, or need fascia applied. The counterbalance usually slides behind a fence line and is designed for structural integrity only.

Post sizes are important. In general, chain link cantilever gates require 3" O.D. (outside diameter) roller posts for widths up to 10' opening size. Use 4" O.D. posts up to 20' and 6 5/8" O.D. posts up to 32'. These specifications are for 6' high gates and shorter.  For taller gates increase post sizes at each step and use 8 5/8" O.D. posts for 32' gates.

Cantilever Slide Gate Construction Detail- Hoover Fence Co.

Concrete footers need to be significant. 18" diameter x 42" deep is recommended for 3-4" O.D. posts, 24"  diameter x 42" for 6 5/8" O.D. posts and 30" diameter x 48" for 8 5/8" O.D. posts. Increase bottom diameters 6"; creating a bell shaped hole. The up and down stress with these type gates will 'work' even the largest posts out of the ground. Poor soil conditions, such as sand, will require larger footers.

Hoover Fence Co. manual cantilever gate kits basically consist of the gate, two roller posts, a latch post, and the hardware: four cantilever rollers, safety roller covers, and a latch for gate*. An automated cantilever gate kit will also include a basic gate operator package. You will want to review other gate operator controls to suit your application such as keypads, card readers, or intercoms for entry. Consider an exit wand, pushbutton, or a loop and detector for exit. Lastly and most importantly, consider a loop and detector for safety, safety edge and wireless transmitter/ receiver kit, and/or photobeam for safety.

*Hardware supplied in Hoover Fence Co.'s kits may vary per size and style. Specifications subject to change without notice.  Continue with How-To Installation Manual for Cantilever Slide Gates - Hoover Fence Co.