Gate Locks for Challenging Environments

The GL-l Electromechanical Gate Lock is designed for vehicle and pedestrian gates applications requiring a secure and weather-resistant solution rated at 2,000 lbs. holding force.

Exterior gates pose a special set of problems for the locksmith.

First of all they are typically outside and therefore subject to weather. They get baked in the summer, sit in the deep freeze in the winter, and need to survive inclement weather and wind borne debris.

Gates are frequently subjected to abuse, especially from vehicles, which contribute to their misalignment and generally poor condition. When gates are located indoors, they usually are on cages which contain inventory, vehicles or inmates.

Being situated in remote locations, such as on the perimeter of the premises, gates may also be vandalized. They also may not have a readily available power source, or means of connecting them to the infrastructure of the premises.

We’ve had the opportunity to outfit several gates with access control and operators, and each was a unique experience.

When working with gates you must become familiar with a whole category of specialized security hardware used on them, learn the problems associated with gate mounted systems and also develop solutions for applications and issues you encounter.


One of the gates I’ve been servicing is a single swinging gate. It originally had a single card reader on it for entry, but we upgraded it so it has a reader for entering and a reader for leaving. We supplied a magnetic gate position sensor for this gate so if it is propped open, or otherwise fails to re-close, the guards will get a signal.

The gate is not used by non-cardholders. There is an intercom on the gate so people can call the security desk if they need to be let in. Several cameras can be aimed at this gate.

The gate has a bolt type locking device which was welded onto the gate, and has been in service for an extended period of time, probably ten years. The gate looks like it has been hit by a few cars. It is galvanized steel with chain link, and it and the adjoining fence is about six feet high.

The pivots on this gate have loosened up quite a bit over the years, and the closer on this gate is a functional but rudimentary device which has been on the market forever and consists of two springs and a pneumatic cylinder. Unlike a typical door closer which has sweep back check and latch adjustments, this device has one valve to adjust how hard it slams, and you turn the valve until the gate gives you the amount of slam you need.

The bolt lock uses a roller switch to detect when the gate is closed and power the bolt to lock. The whole gate system is more or less an integrated system, relying on temperature, wind speed and karma in order to operate properly, and my customer wanted a better solution.

A few design objectives were directed by selection of locking device. For one thing, we didn’t want to spend a lot of money on this gate. It was in poor shape, and selecting something too exotic would increase our equity in a fence and gate which might be scheduled for replacement in the near future.

Welding onto the gate was not desirable. It would be necessary to cut the old locking device and brackets off before I could install a new lock. I can cut things off a gate, but am not equipped or inclined to do welding, and I didn’t want to have to hire a welder.

The client expressed a strong desire to be able to manually override the lock. They were unable to override the existing device that was on the gate.

With gate locks, manual override is a bit tricky because folks can reach through a gate from the outside and let themselves in. Therefore the override needs to be mechanical, but key operated.

Electromagnets work well on gates, but they do not have integral mechanical override.


The new Securitron GL-1 is designed for use on gates, is positive latching and it has integral mechanical key override.

The GL-l Electromechanical Gate Lock is designed for vehicle and pedestrian gates applications requiring a secure and weather-resistant solution rated at 2,000 lbs. holding force. (The corresponding Securitron M62FG electromagnetic lock has a 1,200 lb. holding force rating)

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