What Is A Boomgate?
A boomgate system or road barrier gate is a bar or pole that spans an opening and rises when triggered to allow vehicles, pedestrians or both to pass through. A boomgate system is often used to safely manage the mix of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. A boomgate system can be installed to allow pedestrians to pass by a certain point freely whilst vehicles only upon command.
An automatic boomgate system has an electric boomgate motor and a control board to manage the opening and closing of the boom arm. As with other types of gates, these can be commended by remote control, keypads, inground vehicle loop detectors, GSM (mobile phone technology) and even license plate recognition (LPR).
Boomgate motors are available in both high voltage and low voltage formats making boom gate systems suitable for all types of situations. These include hard wired to 240 volts, low voltage cabled from nearby 240 volts and transformer or solar power operated. We have even made mobile boomgate systems driven entirely by independent battery power with the system recharged at the end of the week.
For extra wide openings, two boomgate systems can be positioned opposite one another. And in situations where height restrictions apply, an articulated boomgate arm has the ability to effectively fold the boom arm reducing the raised height of the boom whilst maintaining the full barrier width when closed.
A boomgate system, or road barrier gate is a simple gate system made up of the boom cabinet (housing the boomgate motor, control board and required hardware) and a boom or barrier poll.
When operated the boom or gate barrier rises on open and falls on close.
What Are The Benefits Of A Boomgate?
Boomgates are ideal for a number of site solutions for the following reasons:
- In mechanical terms they are a “simple” gate design.
- They take up very little space. The footprint of the boomgate cabinet can be as small as say 400mm square so compared to alternative gate options this can be a great benefit.
- They can be installed quickly (especially compared to other types of gates). As boomgates are effectively supplied as a complete kit, providing a site is suitable (that is, there is a suitable mounting point and power is available) a boomgate system can theoretically be purchased and installed in the same day.
- They are very quick. Generally a boomgate can open and close in a matter of a few seconds. Actual operating times vary dependent upon boom length and boomgate operator however, they remain much faster then swing gates or sliding gates.
- They are ideal at managing the mix of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Pedestrians can still gain access to a site when a boom gate is closed whilst vehicle access is blocked.
- Boomgates are an economical gate solution. Compared to other gate solutions boomgates are generally a more economical option both in purchase price and installation costs.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Boomgates?
Like anything, boomgates have their limitations and the following is a list of some examples”
- Low Security. Depending on site requirements boomgates offer little to no security against pedestrian access. The boom or poll barrier is also no match for a vehicle should the two collide.
- Not suitable where height restrictions are present. Although there is the option of articulating the boom arm, height can still often be a limiting factor in a boomgate’s suitability.
- Generally more suited for smaller gate openings (up to 6m). Although we do supply and install boomgates for larger openings they are not so common and also move into the specialised “heavy duty” range.
What Types Of Boomgate Setups Are Available?
Single Boomgate System
The most commonly used boom gate system or road barrier system is a single boom gate operator covering the 3 to 6 metre opening range. For openings larger then 6 metres it is most common to use a dual boom gate system using a boom gate on either side as generally this is the most cost effective solution.
However, single boom gate systems are available in a larger format by stepping up into a super powerful industrial boom gate system and single spans of up 10+ metres can be achieved if needed.
Dual Boomgate System
A dual boomgate system is simply two boom gate systems positioned opposite and facing one another to double the opening coverage.
Often used with openings exceeding 8 metres.
The dual boomgate system can be installed and programmed to operate in unison to provide full clearance or as individual boomgate system such as an entry and exit setup.
Portable Boomgate System
A portable boomgate system or mobile boomgate system is ideal for temporary pedestrian or vehicle traffic control. Being a battery powered boomgate or solar power boomgate the boomgate can be operated without the need to be connected to cabled or 240 volt mains power. The boomgate can still be operated via remote control or even linked to a bluetooth or wireless keypad or access control system.
Ideal for work sites, construction sites, for use at sporting or other events where there is a need for the temporary management of traffic and people without having to worry about 240 volt power and site restrictions.
How Much Does A Boomgate System Cost?
Good question! Boomgates can range from approximately $2,000 to in excess of $10,000 and the big things that determine final price of a suitable boomgate system is the requirements of the site. For example, a six metre boomgate system that only needs to operate say 50 times per day spread throughout the day will cost less then a 6m boomgate system that needs to operate over a thousand times a day every day of the year. This is made all the more harder when some competitors mask the “true” rating of their product by dazzling you with marketing numbers. For example, there are suppliers that advertise lower priced boom gates as having a 100% duty cycle (indicating the boomgate can operate non stop) when in fact the fine print discloses test may have been based on an operating speed of say 50% and a 10 second pause between operations.
Like anything, boomgates are designed to fulfil a specific task and the challenge is ensuring the boomgate system selected and installed is matched to the task that you and the site require. Chosen and installed correctly, boomgates are robust systems that offer flexibility and a long life with minimal ongoing maintenance. Installed and operated correctly, generally a preventative maintenance service once or twice per year (duty cycle dependent) is enough to keep the boomgate system operating as intended for many years.