7 Tips for Maintaining Automatic Gates (Pre-Winter)

With winter just around the corner it is important to make sure that your automatic gates work consistently, smoothly, and reliably. The best time to do this is at least one month before those first frosts kick in (often May in Hamilton).

Periodic maintenance cycle for automatic gates

1. Schedule Maintenance Intervals

How frequently you service your automatic gates will depend on how much work it gets. The more often the gate is opened the more frequently it will need to be maintained.

Determine automatic gate maintenance intervals

Heavy duty automatic gates with high traffic volumes at industrial sites will benefit from monthly inspections and maintenance. On the other hand, lower traffic gates that have 20-50 opening per day will only need to be inspected and maintained twice per year, usually in time of the major seasonal and weather changes.

2. Create a Checklist

Rather than relying on memory or caffeine to help complete a thorough inspection, create a checklist. This will also make it more likely that the inspection is carried out consistently regardless of who is doing it.

There are many things to be included on your checklist, including:

  1. Electrical connections
  2. Manual release is operating correctly
  3. State of wear of the mechanical parts
  4. Obstacle detection and auto reverse
  5. Control and safety functions
  6. Manual override
  7. Backup power

Bonus tip include frontline staff

3. Remove Autumn Leaves

Even with the significant number of evergreen trees in New Zealand, there will still be a large amount of leaves on the ground following Autumn. This debris can clog sliding automatic gate tracks and cause reliability issues. Further, as the leaves break down and the winds come up, leaf matter can get into rollers, hinges, and control boxes.

4. Clean it like a Mercedes

You never notice dents or scratches on your car until you clean it! It’s the same with your automatic gate. Cleaning it on a regular basis is the best way to discover what needs attention.

As the materials and finishes used on automatic gates have improved in recent years, water (possibly with mild detergent) is often all that is required to keep your gate clean. You will be surprised how much dust and grime settles on your gate, especially if it is near a busy road or industrial sites.

5. Service Photocells and Casing

It is obvious that the photocells need cleaning on the outside. What might not be so obvious is that they attract slugs and snails. Also, the casings make good homes for insects like ants, spiders, or wasps.

Preventative maintenance prior to winter will ensure that these do not compromise electrical connections and circuit boards.

Keep an eye on any seals and ensure that they are in good condition.


6. Lubricate

Your automatic gate should move smoothly, freely and without friction. Your technical manual will indicate how, where, when and what you should lubricate your automatic gates with. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions in case you need their assistance with a warranty or fault.

Automatic gate lubrication checklist

Avoid the use of petroleum-based lubricants as they will attract dust.

7. Professional Service

Finally, this is a great time to get your gate professionally serviced on-site. While there is a lot of maintenance that you can do on your automatic gates, there are also mounting, alignment and mechanical issues that should be maintained by a trained service team.


Automatic gates add so much value and protection to your property. Preventative maintenance will go a long way to ensuring that your investment returns value over a long period of time.

These tips have been summarised from an article by ARC Automation, automatic gate experts in Hamilton, NZ

Read the full article here.




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