Gate Maintenance

Gate and System Maintenance

These guidelines are meant to be general in nature and specific needs will vary based on your environment.

Getting Started:

  • Adjust the gate hinges to make sure the gate swings level, plumb and freely throughout the full opening and closing range of motion. Level is horizontal and plumb vertical. Plumb refers to something being straight up and down. The gate post(s) needs to be plumb and hinges need to be aligned vertically. When a gate/post is not plumb it may surge/hesitate in a particular direction of its travel and possibly not function.
  • Clean your gate with a mild cleaner, a rag, a soft brush, and a water hose to remove dirt and dust.
  • Do any rust removal and touch up painting, that you might deem necessary.

The Gate:

Keeping your gates swinging easily and freely is very important so that your gate opener system continues to work correctly. If your ball-bearing/bearing type gate hinges are binding, out of grease, or have become difficult to move, your gate opener system may treat this as an obstruction. If it seems to be associated in some way with the temperature the problem can likely be resolved by lubricating your gate hinges. If the hinges are worn or damaged replace them.

We suggest removing the pin from the front of the operator and working the grease into the gate hinges as much as possible. Use a grease suited for the temperature range in your location. Lithium-based grease tends to work well in many applications. Don’t forget to put the front clevis pin back into the front of the operator when you have finished greasing the hinges.

 

Lubricate The Operator Arm

Using a silicone spray, you can maintain/clean the silver aluminum push-pull tube (with the operator arm extended and the system turned off) , spray a clean cloth with the silicone and wipe the extended push-pull of the operator arm. Cleaning this part of the arm helps remove any dirt and debris that has accumulated over time and can help reduce premature wear and noise on the internal parts of the operator arm.

Check The System Batteries

As a battery ages its ability to work becomes reduced. A good rule of thumb would be to inspect the battery(s) each fall.

  • Clean any corrosion from the battery terminals and connectors. A wire brush the size of a toothbrush is a handy tool for this job. Brush it lightly until any corrosion is removed. Most automotive part stores also have some type of anti-corrosion product that can be added to your system for additional protection.
  • Check all battery and battery harness connections to ensure none of the connections are loose.
  • The batteries can be loaded tested as well
    • Disconnect the charging source. (solar panel or transformer connections)
    • Measure battery voltage.
      • a. If you have two batteries, check them individually.
      • b. If the voltage(s) is above 12 Vdc, proceed with the load test.
      • c. If the voltage(s) is below 12 Vdc, charge the batteries externally before proceeding. At no greater than 2 amps.
    • The load test will only be conducted on one battery at a time. Measure the voltage prior to operation. Activate the unit while continuing to monitor the voltage. The voltage should drop less than .5 volt during the cycle.
    • Repeat for 4 more half cycles (open or close) pausing for approximately 10 seconds in between activations. The voltage should drop less than .5 volt during these movements.
    • If the voltage drops are greater than .5 a volt the battery/batteries should be replaced.

Solar Installations

  • Use glass cleaner: Clean the glass on your solar panel to remove any algae, mold, mildew, or dirt that may have accumulated throughout the year. Keeping your solar panel glass clean helps to maximize the potential charging ability of the panel which is more important during the winter months as the number of hours of unobstructed sunlight hitting the panel decreases. Move/relocate panel if needed.
  • Using the screwdriver provided with your kit, tighten any of the wiring terminal connections that are loose.

Freedom Ranger

Freedom Ranger brand of broiler chicks are a great alternative to fast-growing white broiler chicks or slow growing heritage breeds. Freedom Ranger chicks grow at a moderate rate, reaching their peal weight of 5-6 lbs in 9 to 11 weeks. These active, robust chicks are suitable for free range, foraging and pasture environments and produce tender, succulent meat with more yellow omega 3 fat and less saturated fat than fast growing breeds.

Freedom Rangers feature wither red or tri-colored feathers and have yellow shanks, skin, and beaks. They are an active breed and thrive when allowed to free ranger, scratch and dust bathe in natural sunlight.

Novogen

If you’ve considered ISA Brown, but you live in a colder climate, the  Novogen Brown Chicken is exactly what you need. A cold-hardy version of the ISA Brown, the Novogen Browns are a type of Red Sex-Link chicken. Novogen Brown Layers are healthy and robust birds and do very well in free range and pastured environments. They are hybrid crosses developed from Rhode Island Reds and White Leghorns.

Production: Novogen Brown Layers are top-notch producers of large to extra-large brown eggs. They are bred to be adaptable birds, thriving in a wide variety of conditions, whether kept in housing or on range.

Novogens have excellent feed conversion and will lay strong shelled, high-quality eggs. These are fast maturing birds, already laying well at 20 weeks of age. You can expect 5 or more eggs per week per hen.

Temperament: Novogen Brown Layering Chickens are calm and easy to manage birds.

Cornish Cross

Cornish Cross is one of the most popular meat birds. At about 6 to 8 weeks, they can weigh anywhere between 4.5 to 6 lbs. Heavier weight can happen depending on the final grow out duration. It has been recorded some Cornish Cross reached 10 to 14 lbs using a well-managed care and feeding program. This breed is known for an excellent feed conversation, livability, strong legs, and a maximum white meat yield with a plump full confirmation.

Cornish Cross have a docile chicken with very little interest in anything other than water and food. They grow so quickly so their attitude and temperament is rather low compared to most other breeds.

This chicken is not one you would get if you are looking for great egg production. Cornish Cross usually have significant health issues by the time they hit 8 to 10 weeks because of their rapid growth. There have been cases people have been able to keep their hens past their slaughter date, but it not recommended for this breed.