A good farm gate serves the purpose for which it was designed. It provides the farmer with a balance between cost and quality. It is ideal to use a heavier, stronger farm gate in high-pressure areas or with large livestock.
You should use a more economic gate in lower pressure areas or areas with fewer cattle, as well as specifically made gates in small areas such as cattle kraals, sheep kraals, pig pens, and so on.
Different Gate Models
Van Schoor manufactures two different types of farm gates, the W type and H type. The W type is the usual strong farm gate. The H type is a more economical option.
Within the W and H gate models, there are different frame thicknesses available, ranging from 32mm to 43mm. Considering these two options, you will need to choose the best gate type for the intended use.
You will need to look at the quality and the thickness of the eyebolts that serve as the hinges of a farm gate. Van Schoor believes in using 20mm eye bolts on all farm gates longer than 2.4 meters.
Other providers may use 16mm, but we believe in stronger hinges so your farm gate and farm fencing will have a longer life.
The thickness of the frame helps to improve the strength and rigidity of the farm gate. The frame thickness should also be in proportion to the size of the gate.
There is also a minimum thickness that is used for very long gates, which you will need to take into consideration.
The steel pipe inside the gate, which is usually found in the W-shape, adds further strength to the frame. It is welded firmly within the frame and must be in proportion to the frame itself.
It is best to look for a gate that has proper frame supports to ensure it is secure and in proportion to what you need.
Farm Gate Galvanising
Most farm gates are made of pre-galvanised steel. At each welding point or joint, the gate is cold galvanised for rust protection. Some manufacturers choose to simply paint these gates, but this could mean that rust becomes a serious issue later on.
Van Schoor uses cold galvanising for the affected areas and then sprays on a thin layer of paint for a better finish. This provides the best possible rust protection for your gate.
The thickness of the frame is visible and can be easily be seen, but the thickness of the steel wall is as important and is the quality where some manufacturers may use lighter steel. Van Schoor uses 2mm thick steel for all of our farm gate frames. We also believe that the thickness of the frame support should have a thickness of 2mm, unless the gate is shorter than 2.5 meters in size.
The manufacturer does not usually know the thickness of the steel of a farm gate, however, you can easily determine the thickness by picking up the gate and feeling how heavy it is. A weaker gate made with 1.6mm or even 1.2mm steel will feel lighter.
Quality Of Wire Work
The quality of the wire work of a top-notch gate maker is what sets them apart from the rest. Wire work for a farm gate is an art form that requires about one year of practical training to perfect. Van Schoor gate wire strainers have learnt this skill over generations and seeing them in action is a something not easily forgotten.
The type of wire that used for the gate, the strain on the wire, strength of the knots, spacing of the wire, strain on the gate frame, and the stability of the final product are the qualities that sets a Van Schoor farm gate apart from any other gate in South Africa.
The use of quality welding equipment by an experienced welder makes a significant difference to the quality of a farm gate. Van Schoor makes use of the best equipment, and our staff is expertly trained, allowing us to provide strong and neat welding.
Van Schoor uses the best bending equipment for the bending of the steel pipes. This ensures a smooth bend with minimum or no distortion of the steel. Poor bending work weakens the gate’s rigidity and strength.
A durable farm gate that serves its purpose, is reliable, and long-lasting, is the goal of every farmer. There are many gate manufacturers in South Africa, but there are few who know what they are doing and even fewer who consistently pursue the highest standards .
Many distributors sell farm gates promoting only of the frame thickness, but do not consider the thickness of the steel or other quality aspects as mentioned above. Be sure to ask the right questions about the farm gate before making a decision.
The best way for a farmer to compare gates is to look at them and feel their quality for yourself. Place them down next to each other and compare them on an “apples to apples” basis. For example, you could compare a 34 mm Van Schoor farm gate to a 34 mm farm gate of another manufacturer .
We hope these practical tips can help farmers to choose the right gate that will last them for years to come! Contact us for more information.