Driveway gate help
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Driveway gate help

    This may be kind of long but I need to explain what I want to do and why I canít really do it in a conventional way.

    Iíve wanted a driveway gate for years. Itís time to start working on it.

    I donít necessarily need a strong gate to keep people out in a remote location - this is for my home and to stop people from coming down my driveway. We are home 90% of the time but can not see the end of the driveway.

    My plan so far is to use a cattle gate from Tractor Supply like this -

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    It weighs around 70# for the 16í length. My plan is to have an automatic opener like a Mule which would have wireless remote transmitters. It would have to be battery powered with a solar panel to charge the battery.

    Now my issue - the posts. This part of my driveway is compromised of a ramp built entirely out of stone/rock. Here is a pic of the ramp leading up to the road.

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    And closer pics of the stone itself.

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    And the end of the driveway where I want the gate - right where it starts to widen out at the end.

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    OK. Back 20 years ago I would have taken my digging bar, post hole digger (manual kind), pick, and shovel up there and started hacking away at it. Even so it is going to be about impossible to dig 36Ē-40Ē holes for posts in that rock. Now - there is no way I would attempt it.

    I need some ideas on how to install posts that will hold this gate.

    óóóóóóó-

    Iíve been thinking about this for a long time. Actually all I need as I said is a barrier as security is not the issue. Just a gate like you see in some parking lots would do and would not need posts sunk to work. But these things are expensive!

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    Keeper of the GTT Cookies dieselshadow's Avatar
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    Iím not sure of how to install the posts in the rock, but Iíd like to make one tiny suggestion. Donít place the gate right up against the road. Leave yourself enough room to pull up to the gate off the road in case your automatic opener doesnít work. It could create a nasty mess if you have to park in the road to open your gate.

    Most gates like that you see around here are set back a ways off the road even if a continuing fence is along the ditch and roadway. I donít see the need for you to have a fence, but just wanted to make sure you thought that through.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselshadow View Post
    Iím not sure of how to install the posts in the rock, but Iíd like to make one tiny suggestion. Donít place the gate right up against the road. Leave yourself enough room to pull up to the gate off the road in case your automatic opener doesnít work. It could create a nasty mess if you have to park in the road to open your gate.

    Most gates like that you see around here are set back a ways off the road even if a continuing fence is along the ditch and roadway. I donít see the need for you to have a fence, but just wanted to make sure you thought that through.

    And it is safer for someone who is waiting for you to open the gate for them

    Are you adding video and a door-gate bell?
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    I'd rent a gas engine powered post hole digger. Dig 2 holes, 1 for the hinges, 1 for the gate to close against. Drop poles in hole, add a bag or 2 of Sacrete, top with stone/gravel. Add a a couple of guy-wires to hinge side. I'd also add a roller on the swinging end. This won't contact the ground when you open gate, but it'll prevent possible sagging when gate is closed.

    Shouldn't be too much expense and about 3-4 weeks...considering concrete drying time...to complete. Bob
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselshadow View Post
    Iím not sure of how to install the posts in the rock, but Iíd like to make one tiny suggestion. Donít place the gate right up against the road. Leave yourself enough room to pull up to the gate off the road in case your automatic opener doesnít work. It could create a nasty mess if you have to park in the road to open your gate.

    Most gates like that you see around here are set back a ways off the road even if a continuing fence is along the ditch and roadway. I donít see the need for you to have a fence, but just wanted to make sure you thought that through.
    I forgot to mention - the gate will be put where the narrow part of the driveway starts. Thatís about 10í-12í from the road. I already have to leave space when I use the sawhorse for the UPS guy to pull off and put my packages in the drop box.

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    Iíll go take another pic with the sawhorse where the gate will go to show it better. And Iíll measure. I know itís hard to tell from this pic.
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    How wide is your driveway where the gate will be installed?

    You mentioned the gate is 16' wide. Will the 16' put you on the side slope of the driveway, at the edge of the driveway or 3' - 4' in from the edge of the driveway?

    i have never installed a gate like this, but just general knowledge, it will take a pretty good sized footer to hold the post in position. The footer hole should be deep enough and large enough to enable pouring a footer that is heavy enough to support the leverage of the gate, drainage stone below the footer and around the footer will be key to alleviate heaving.

    According to the TSC website, the gate weighs 60 lb. so the leverage will be fairly high.

    Using my flagpole as an example, I dug the footer hole with my 1025R backhoe, formed the top of the footer with lumber, then poured the hole full of concrete, about 1 1/4 yard (one yard of concrete weighs 4000 lb.).

    That said, if the post will be 3' - 4' in from the edge, to dig the hole in your material, I would just dig to depth and sufficient size with a backhoe. Yes the hole will end up bring larger than needed but, then form the footer using sono-tube or lumber to the size you need. After pouring the footer, then back fill and compact with drainage stone, number 2B stone would work.

    Generally, post length for a gate is 1/3 of the length out of the ground needs to be below grade.
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    The red line depicts the edge of the road - you can barely see the white line there. There is no shoulder whatsoever on this road. The paved part beyond the red line is my driveway apron which my buddies at PennDOT installed when they had too much hot mix when then installed the cross drain.

    From the edge of the road to the sawhorse (proposed gate site) is 20í. The width of the driveway between the edge of the road and the gate is 23í. Our UPS driver with the standard size truck with duals has no problem pulling all the way off the road parallel to the road.

    I donít really want enough room between the edge of the road and the gate so someone can pull straight toward it off the road. What always happens is - even without a gate - people from not in the area will pull in with a pickup, then try to back up to turn around. There is more of a grade than the pics show. Then I have ruts to fix from the pickups in rear wheel drive spinning when they back up.

    As I said there is plenty of room to pull off parallel to the road if coming from the right. I donít care if someone canít pull in from the left.....

    Ray - no backhoe. This is a low budget operation without power equipment. I know it will take a considerable post to hang a 60#-70# gate but thought a 6x6 wood or 4Ē round steel lost sunk 36Ē-40Ē and set in concrete would be enough. If need be I can attach a stabilizing guy wire or two that would reach down to the bottom of the ramp. I could sink a couple pieces of rebar at the bottom in the rock as stakes.
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Going over your post again Ray it sounds like I might be better off hiring a contractor to do this. That is if I can find one around here.....and can afford it....
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    I also would suggest settings the gate back closer to the residence. If you or someone is pulling a trailer, it would best to drive off the main roadway.

    From your last photo look at the first break of sunlight from the shadow.

    In this location you appear to have ample roadway to accommodate a truck and trailer and there is a natural pinch point of trees to stop anyone who may want to drive around your gate.

    Although this may not be a concern to you, it gives the unwantedís no choice of circumventing your gate.

    When installing the gate you will need to dig holes for a latch post, hinge post and a support post. These post should be no less than 6-8 inches in width in order to support your gate.

    You may also want to consider using a support cable from the latch end of the gate to the top of the hinge post. This will prevent any sagging and will greatly aide in opening the gate.

    The hinge post and support post should be around four feet or so apart, then attach a brace pole between the top third of the hinge and support posts. This will look like an H.

    Then you would use a heavy bracing wire in an X patten between the top and hinge post to the bottom of the opposing side on the support post and once again from the top support post to the bottom of the opposing hinge post.

    Make sure the top of the wire is looped above the brace on either side to keep tension on the brace. Use a tensioning ratchet that is used on electric fence to keep the wire taught.

    There are a gazillion videos on YouTube to help you with the project. Please post updates on your progress!!
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    Rather than a gate that swings, why not first "neck" down the opening to only 8 feet wide with two fences, and a sign.

    A restricted width will deter people from entering almost as much as a closed gate,, especially if the right sign is added,,

    First a friendly reminder,,

    "Residents, and guests ONLY"

    Then, down the drive a ways, a little more stern !


    "Nothing Beyond This Point Is Worth Your LIFE!!"

    Position the entrance so that it is slightly difficult to align your vehicle with the opening,, on both sides,,
    kind of a chicane,,,



    People do not want to enter a trap any more than a mouse,,,
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