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Self-Storage Gate Maintenance: Steps to Prevent Breakdown, Damage and Headaches


By Robert Toy

When it comes to the safety and security of your self-storage facility, your gate is an extremely important component. You’re expecting it to work 24 hours, 365 days a year to let in customers and keep out criminals. If your gate is broken, security suffers. To help keep this important access-control device from causing headaches, consider these important guidelines:

  • First and most important, maintenance on gates and gate operators should only be done by trained professionals. Gate operators can cause injury or even death if you’re not careful. As such, this article is for informational purposes only.
  • Gate manufacturers will have their own suggestions for maintenance and may have a more frequent schedule than what’s below. It might include extra items. Always defer to their instructions.

Gate Types Overview

There are four main gate types in the self-storage industry: slide, barrier arm, vertical lift and swing. Your maintenance program will depend on your gate type. Below is a quick summary. The accompanying table shows a suggested maintenance schedule for each type (be sure to click through to page two of the article for more information).

  • Slide gates can be cantilever types with rollers mounted on posts and a counter-balance, or track types with rollers that run on a “V” track set into the ground. They can be driven by a chain or hydraulic rollers.
  • Barrier-arm gates are common and usually paired with a manual or motorized slide gate. They’ll include an aluminum, composite or wooden arm that rises to allow vehicle passage and automatically closes once the vehicle is through.
  • Vertical-lift gates are made of pickets connected to the gate arms through pivot points. As the arms are raised, the pickets "fold" into a smaller space.
  • Swing gates are less common. The motor is attached to a pivot arm, which is then attached to a hinged gate that swings open like a door.

Self-Storage Gate Maintenance Monthly***

Self-Storage Gate Maintenance Quarterly***

Self-Storage Gate Maintenance Biannual***

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