Industrial Slide Gates and Automated Systems in Winter

Blizzards and everything associated with them—lashing winds, freezing temperatures, accumulating snow—tend to be disruptive to commercial enterprises, namely those with gated security and periods of intense traffic. Most factories, industrial complexes, etc. feature fenced-in perimeters—with narrow spots serving as entry/exit points for employees and delivery trucks. These areas can become congested with vehicles, especially in the early morning and late afternoon when staff is either showing up or departing for the day. Now: imagine the complications when the area’s being pounded with snow! The overflow of traffic, the confusion, the constant delays. All this leads to is headaches and reduced productivity. And some of this can be done away with via the proper gate type.

Although swing gates are common in commercial and industrial settings, truthfully they are not the ideal security metric for these venues—in any conditions, and especially not in winter! For this reason, PalmSHIELD—the nation’s leading contractor for architectural screening and custom-made gates—recommends industrial slide gates. In this article, we’ll discuss how these sturdy, dependable gates triumph as the superior barrier option for commercial venues in winter.

Why are swing gates not ideal for industrial security?

Before we discuss selling points for industrial slide gates, let’s discuss swing gates and why you should reconsider installing one at a commercial facility. Swing gates are not ideal for factories, power plants, etc., because they require an exceptional amount of space. The gates, as their name states, swing open and close and thus require space; cars must therefore maintain distance to avoid collisions. This backs up traffic and slows down the entering/exiting process each morning. Now, imagine how much more complicated that all becomes in the winter:

  • Hidden safety markers. When snow accumulates on the ground, markers on the pavement that delineate the safe distance from the gate will become obscured. Now the car at the front of the line will encounter difficulties: struggling to figure out how close to get for the gate to open safely. If it snows all day, you’ll have to dispatch staff to clear the path several times. This is time out of their work day, as well.
  • Snowbanks impede gate travel. Again, swing gates require zero obstructions in their path of travel. Blizzards result in massive snowbanks that pile up wherever the wind and weather bring them. Heavy snow accumulation can prevent a swing gate from fully opening or closing. This, again, requires your staff to interrupt their workflow and clear pathways. And processing of traffic continues slowing down. Don’t forget what also happens when a driver realizes he’s gotten too close to the gate. Now they must back up their car; and how well is that going to happen when there’s a long line of bumper-to-bumper traffic behind them?

How industrial slide gates prevail in winter and blizzard conditions

Now that we’ve established the weaknesses of swing gates in winter, let’s discuss the industrial slide gates from PalmSHIELD and why they make for a superior option.

  • Lack of safety markers. Industrial slide gates operate via a horizontal path of travel. As such, vehicles can get much closer to the barrier and not worry about the gate crashing into their fender. So even if snow covers the road, drivers know they can get close to the gate without risking damage. This also prevents the “backing up” incident we mentioned before, where drivers realize too late they’re too close but cannot reverse because there’s a line of cars behind them waiting to enter the facility.
  • Snowbanks don’t impede gate travel. The horizontal path that industrial slide gates travel upon allows them to move without hindrance even in the presence of snowbanks. Swing gates must move outward and will be obstructed by any objects in their path. Slide gates are not at the mercy of this limitation.

Industrial slide gates and automatic gate systems

PalmSHIELD custom-manufactures all our industrial slide gates, as clients need and expect a gate that fits the exact parameters of their facility entries and exits. The customer sends us measurements and we produce drawings—and later, after receiving the green light on the drawings, a gate—based on said measurements. We also make things easier for customers with options on automatic gate systems.

Automation also makes things easier in winter. You don’t need a staff member standing in the blizzard to manually operate the gate. Our system options include sensors and keypads. Employees can punch in a code or simply drive within range of underground sensors to gain entry.