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Discussion Starter #1
This may be kind of long but I need to explain what I want to do and why I can’t really do it in a conventional way.

I’ve wanted a driveway gate for years. It’s time to start working on it.

I don’t 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 16’ 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 36”-40” 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.

———————-

I’ve 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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I’m not sure of how to install the posts in the rock, but I’d like to make one tiny suggestion. Don’t 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 doesn’t 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 don’t see the need for you to have a fence, but just wanted to make sure you thought that through. :good2:
 

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I’m not sure of how to install the posts in the rock, but I’d like to make one tiny suggestion. Don’t 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 doesn’t 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 don’t see the need for you to have a fence, but just wanted to make sure you thought that through. :good2:

:thumbup1gif: 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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Discussion Starter #5
I’m not sure of how to install the posts in the rock, but I’d like to make one tiny suggestion. Don’t 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 doesn’t 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 don’t see the need for you to have a fence, but just wanted to make sure you thought that through. :good2:
I forgot to mention - the gate will be put where the narrow part of the driveway starts. That’s about 10’-12’ 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.

080972A9-1E27-45F2-A785-18D17517D687.jpeg

I’ll go take another pic with the sawhorse where the gate will go to show it better. And I’ll measure. I know it’s 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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Discussion Starter #7
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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 20’. The width of the driveway between the edge of the road and the gate is 23’. 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 don’t 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 don’t care if someone can’t 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 4” round steel lost sunk 36”-40” 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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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 unwanted’s 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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Discussion Starter #11
CADplans - I like your train of thought - thinking outside the box so to speak. However I need to have access for big trucks a couple times a year. I get fuel delivered once a year and occasionally a tri-axle of stone or a 25’ van from Lowe’s.

Giving this method of thinking some more thought....
 

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CADplans - I like your train of thought - thinking outside the box so to speak. However I need to have access for big trucks a couple times a year. I get fuel delivered once a year and occasionally a tri-axle of stone or a 25’ van from Lowe’s.

Giving this method of thinking some more thought....
That is why the final restriction is done with two small (Eight Foot??) gates,,
on those days, open the gates, the big trucks can go right through,,
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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 unwanted’s 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!!
I understand your thought on this but one issue comes to mind right away - winter. There are many times my driveway is hard pack snow or just plain old ice. I can’t trust myself to be able to stop on that hill.

I’ll have to learn how to measure the grade - I know it doesn’t look like much in the pics - but to me it’s pretty steep. Steep enough that I never use my brakes in the winter until I am down at the bottom.

As far as circumventing the gate - the edges of the ramp are just about vertical. At the road it’s about 10’ high and about 5’ high at the mid point. Nobody is going around anything without rolling over.
 

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I understand your thought on this but one issue comes to mind right away - winter.....,.
Yep I totally understand that winter thingy.....

The Installation suggestions I provided will apply at any location you should choose.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My sawhorse has been perfectly effective for what I need. If only there was a way to automatically move it aside....

What I’ve been doing is - sawhorse stays in the center of the driveway as shown.

When I go somewhere which is about once a week, I have to walk out to the barn to get it anyway (shown in pic). So I just walk up to the sawhorse, move it aside, then get my truck out and drive over to the house to pick up my wife.

After I get home reverse order.

I have to walk up there daily anyway to retrieve the mail and any packages in my drop box.

04C72817-A10B-41B4-8827-5238C276D937.jpeg
 

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If your going to do it yourself be sure your far enough back that your not on the right of way and check for any easements. Call 811 so you don't damage to utilities even though you may know nothing is there that piece of paper saying all is clear is cheap insurance.
As far as cheap they do make bump n drive gates. Here's an example.Drive Through Farm Gate Opener (No Electricity Required) - Bump N Drive
 

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Hanging gates

A 12' gate is no problem to hang but 14's and 16's do require additional support due to the leverage and extra weight. A 6 x 6 wood post would be minimum for a 16' gate unless you can use a structure like the H brace in another posting.

Getting a hole down in packed rock is going to be a challenge without power equipment. A couple of thoughts come to mind-
  • Can you find a young person who is willing to learn about digging holes?
  • Have you thought about a rolling gate rather than a swinging gate?
A rolling gate could be a mostly above ground structure with four uprights on a frame plus a another two for the latch side.

If you want a swinging gate and can't dig a hole, then you are looking at a structure on top to hold the gate. That's going to be more expensive than a simple hinge post but could be done.

Personally, I'd wait for cooler weather and then take the digging bar and post hole digger and go to it. If that's not possible, then I'd look for a strong back and a weak mind that wants to learn about using a digging bar and earning a few bucks.

If you use a swinging gate, try to position the hinges as far apart as possible. Sometimes we mount the top hing pointed down which prevents the gate from being lifted off the hinge by a cow or person. It's easier to get the hinges in the right spot on a square post than a round one. I use a combination of threaded hinge bolts and screw in types with the threaded on the top hinge. It's easier to adjust plus a through bolt won't pull out like a screw in can.

The rolling wheel support is a good idea. Build up the area where the gate stops both fully open and fully closed. Not only does that help keep the gate from sagging but it's a way to keep the gate from swinging in the wind.

Treefarmer
 

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If digging in the rock is the primary problem, you could build a small stone and concrete wall on either side of the drive, like an entrance structure. The wall would give you the weight to support the gate without going deep into the ground.

I've seen gates that open up on one end instead of swing out. They're very nice because snow can block a swinging gate, but not one that opens up. And when the gate opens up, you only need solid support on one side.
 

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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 20’. The width of the driveway between the edge of the road and the gate is 23’. 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 don’t 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 don’t care if someone can’t 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 4” round steel lost sunk 36”-40” 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.
I would think 36' to 40" deep concreted in would be plenty to handle the post, although as your original question stated, how to dig the hole 36" to 40" deep is the issue. I don't see how you could use a post hole digger in that rock, so the only way I can come up with is to use a backhoe, other than by hand of course. Personally, I doubt you will find any people in today's society that will want to dig that hole in rock manually. No one digs by hand anymore.

A backhoe will make quick work of digging the hole but as I said, the hole will end up being bigger than you need. This is the unfortunate part of using a back hoe to dig a small hole.

Concerning pole material. I personally would use a galvanized steel 4" fence post with a pole cap. Steel posts do not warp in the sun, wood could.

Concerning hiring a contractor, depending on your capabilities, that may be your only choice, at least to concrete the post in. Caliber Contractors (814)512-8430 is a concrete contractor in St. Marys. Not selling, just mentioning. It can't hurt to get a price from them.

These kinds of jobs, especially when you are talking digging a hole in rock by hand, is flat out WORK!! It can be done, but it won't be fun!!
 
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