What Is a Cantilever Gate?

What Is a Cantilever Gate?

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Around the world, there are a variety of sliding gate designs. Often, these sliding gate designs are based on local fence specifications and installation conditions.

In North America, where cold weather often prohibits drilling into gate posts and snow and ice make ground-mounted gate tracks infeasible in the winter, sliding gates are often designed to be cantilever gates. Let’s take a closer look at what cantilever gates are, why they are designed the way they are, and what kind of installation considerations you need to make when using this kind of sliding gate design.

What Does a Cantilever Gate Look Like?

A cantilever gate looks much like any other sliding gate you might find elsewhere in the world, except that these gates have a large section of gate frame panel called a cantilever trailer that extends about half as much as the opening size of the gate on the side towards which the gate slides open.

To illustrate this design a little better, look at the plan view sketch of a cantilever gate below. You can see the gate latch post on the left-hand side and two sliding posts with gate rollers that hold the gate in place at the top and bottom on the right-hand side of the sketch.

Cantilever gate plan view

Why Do Cantilever Gates Use Rollers?

The cantilever gate roller design is intended to help ensure that these gates can be used even when fairly heavy snow builds up under the gate.

Because the cantilever gate “slides” on cantilever rollers that are bolted to the sliding posts using U bolt brackets, there is no hardware and no wheels under the gate, struggling to get through snow buildup.

Cantilever gate rollers allow the gate to operate above the ground anything from about 6 inches to a foot, so even in areas that get a fair amount of snow in the wintertime, they can still open and close.

The main drawback to this space below a cantilever gate is that it can make the gate less secure, particularly when they are installed on slopes with larger spaces on one side of the gate.

What Are the Components of a Cantilever Gate System?

The components of a cantilever gate system will vary depending on the type of cantilever gate you are installing. There are cantilever gates for chain link fences, ornamental fences, and even wood fences. The hardware for all of these gates will vary slightly, but usually, you will have one latch post (two if you choose to automate and need a V catch on your cantilever gate) installed on the closing side, two roller posts that are installed on the opening side, the cantilever rollers themselves, and the gate, which usually includes a fully clad gate panel and a lighter unclad cantilever trailer section.


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Are Cantilever Gates Usually Installed Inside or Outside the Fence Line?

Because cantilever gates are usually installed on commercial or industrial sites that require more security, they are usually installed inside the fence line or next to a wall or similar. This allows the barrier of the fence or wall to protect the cantilever gate hardware from tampering and creates a more secure perimeter fence system.

Can You Install Double Cantilever Gates?

Cantilever gates can be installed in a double gate configuration, with two sliding posts on the opening side of each cantilever gate leaf and without the latch post. Instead, the two halves of the double cantilever gate will latch onto each other.

Can Cantilever Gates Be Automated?

Cantilever gates can, and often are, automated, and there are many different automation and access control systems designed for cantilever gates.

What Do You Need to Consider When Installing a Cantilever Gate?

There are a few things you need to consider when you plan to install a cantilever gate as part of your perimeter security fence.

The first thing you need to consider is whether you have the space for your cantilever gate to slide open. Remember that a cantilever gate is actually one and a half times the opening size, so you will need that much space on the opening side for the gate to operate properly.

If you don’t have enough space next to your opening on one side, consider having it slide the other way or installing a double cantilever, which will require less space on either side.

Another issue you need to consider when planning a cantilever gate installation is that they aren’t really suited to installation on sloped ground. This type of gate is best installed on a level site, and if you have slopes, alternative designs may be required.

Where Are Cantilever Gates Usually Installed?

Cantilever gates are usually installed on commercial or industrial sites where higher security perimeter fencing is required, and they are often automated for security and ease of access.

How Much Does a Cantilever Gate Cost?

Cantilever gates are usually large and heavy and require heavier-duty posts and gate hardware. You can expect to pay several thousand dollars for a cantilever gate to be manufactured and installed and considerably more if you want to add gate automation to the project.

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