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Hydraulic or Electro-mechanical?

The decision between hydraulic and electro-mechanical gate kits/motors is one which is faced by every first time purchaser of electric gate automation equipment.

Is Hydraulic Better

Although it is common knowledge that hydraulic motors are: (a) usually more powerful (b) usually longer lasting and (c) almost always more expensive than electro-mechanical motors, are they really the right option for you?

Well, in my opinion and this is from nearly 20 years in the automation business and over 30 years as an engineer… No! You see, electro-mechanical motors have progressed such a lot in the last 15-20 years, so much so that the right electro-mechanical motor will in most cases be a better, more cost effective option than a hydraulic motor.

Sometimes Hydraulic Is Needed

Don’t get me wrong… If your gates are commercial or you have the old hospital gates from the 19th century which you picked up from a salvage yard, which were forged by hand in the fires of a sweaty blacksmiths yard and weight somewhere between an elephant and a jumbo jet… then you will need to use something substantial which may well mean hydraulics, but on the normal run of the mill driveway in middle England, on a set of gates that can be pushed open by your youngest child, then many electro mechanical motors are more than adequate. 

Use Reputable and Reliable

When choosing electro-mechanical motors, or a kit, you must ensure that you get a reputable make from a reliable manufacturer, one with quality machined gears and not cheap cast gears which will shear and break apart under load. You will also have a choice with some manufacturers between oil filled and greased gear boxes, with oil filled being quieter and longer lasting than the greased option.

Service and Maintenance

One thing that must be considered with all electro-mechanical motors and hydraulics is service and maintenance. But i will leave this for another post.

Author J. Morrell.

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