Extraordinarily Large Gates Are Our Specialty

America’s Gate Company is one of the largest gate manufacturers in the Nation. We custom build decorative and chain link swing, slide, cantilever, and overhead gates. Our specialty is in the extraordinarily large gates.

Recently, America’s Gate Company built a 10’ tall double drive swing gate with a 120’ opening for Sioux City Airport Museum in Sioux City, Iowa. This was by no means an ordinary design. A gate this size requires complicated engineering that must consider not only how to support the gate as a cantilevered load, but also the impacts of wind loading, over torqueing resulting in twisting, and fabrication related issues resulting in bowing. At America’s Gate Company, we must also take into consideration of the installation. We must ensure that we have properly engineered the gate footing, foundational issues, and gate post selection. The gate must have a design so that it can be installed without considerable on-site engineering and provide for future gate adjustments.

In the attached photo, you can see the first gate leaf being tested under a considerable load in our fabrication facility. We fully assemble all of our extraordinarily large gates to shop test and adjust prior to shipping. In the first testing of this gate, it performed flawlessly as the gate hung true and level. If you look closely in the photo you will note that the gate is actually a pie shape. This is America’s Gate Company’s own unique shape design. By adding the three-dimensional quality to the gate, we are able to overcome wind loading and twisting issues under load. This unique design also allows for an additional set of diagonal support cables that support the cantilevered load of the gate.

America’s Gate Company will only use pre-engineered and tested hinges and hardware. On this gate, we used a 3000 pound rated barrel hinge. By modifying these hinges, we are better able to support the gate in the full open position by providing additional gusset supports on the sides of each barrel.

America’s Gate Company provides tested and proven gate designs in PDF and CAD, and a full set of gate specifications on our website for you to use. Using this will take the guessing out of gates. Please visit our website at www.americasgatecompany.com.

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Gate depth and footing sizes

How deep should I set my gate post into my footing? Based on my gate, how large of a footing do I need?

Gate posts should always be set deeper and with a larger footing than your typical terminal post. With the gate cantilevering off the post; the post will put a great deal of stress on the footing. The footing will  also put more load against the earth. This will require the post to be longer, and the footing will need to be larger and deeper than the average terminal post. Please use the below chart when selecting post lengths, footing diameters, and depths based on the square footage of the gate.

 

Gate Square Footage      Footing Diameter & Depth           Gate Post Depth

1-24                                    10”X36”                                            24”

24-72                                  12”X42”                                            36”

72-125                                16”X48”                                            42”

125-240                              24”X60”                                            60”

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Another move…AFC-Grand Island

 

In March of 2018, AFC-Grand Island will be moving to a new location, 1605 N Shady Bend RD Grand Island, NE 68801. This has been a long overdue move. Grand Island’s current location is on its last lap as you can see stars at night while standing in the shop. This new facility was built less than ten years ago. It is a 7500 square foot facility with 7 acres of ground included.

Chad and his team have consistently recorded one successful year in business after another. They have consistently grown the business and their sales, covering all of wester Nebraska and parts of Kansas, Colorado and even Wyoming. Chad and his sales staff have set record sales in 2017 that have resulted in adding additional staff and crews. They have earned these new digs definitely.

This completes the all of our current facilities updates. In the last four years, we have relocated five of our operations into updated facilities. We have completed or are in the process of completing major renovations in several of our operations that includes over seventy thousand square feet of new concrete. Though this is an investment into our business; it is a reflection of success and hard work of our people. We would not have been able to undertake these improvements if the operations were not successful.

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Temporary Fence Panel Systems – Storm Damage Good Advice

Every time a major storm sweeps through your community, it will leave some damaged fencing. Temporary fencing is always hit extra hard. Because of the fact that temporary fencing is just “temporary,” it is not set in concrete footings or permanently fixed. Temporary fence panel systems are commonly anchored with sand bags placed over the temporary fence stands. Typically, they are secured using two sixty pound sandbags placed every 12’. These systems rarely will be able to withstand high winds or shear force winds. How can a contractor better maintain the temporary fence system?

  1. Do not place screening or large signage on the fence if it was not originally intended to support this material. Temporary fence panel systems with sandbags will not support large signage. When you are installing signage, install fence posts into the ground or double-up on your sandbags.
  2. Ask your temporary fence contractor to maintain the system while installed. This may cost a little more on the front end but more than worth it if your system is blown down one evening after a big storm.
  3. Immediately notify the temporary fence contractor if there is any damage or down materials. The contractor may charge a slight fee for the task of simply standing the material back up. This is a less expensive option verse replacing panels and fabric that have been run-over or bent because this material was left down on the ground.
  4. Keep track of your sandbags. It is common that over time your sandbags may slide off the stands or bust open. Sandbags are not very expensive. A lot of contractors request the temporary fence contractor to leave a small supply of sandbags for quick and easy repairs that they can do themselves.
  5. Be mindful of the location of your installation. If your temporary fence system crosses an open field, between two tall buildings, or at the crest of a hill; you can almost always assume this system will receive a lot of wind. Ask your contractor to add additional sand bags or drive posts if possible.

I was driving home after a late evening storm and noticed a newly installed temporary fence panel system that had blown over into the street. I immediately had the thought, I hope this contractor choose to have the fence company maintain the panel system as it was a Mess!

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Storm Damaged Fence Good Advice

If  you have read my previous blog, I have an update on my neighbors fence. Yesterday I witnessed him  digging out his old footings as I was driving by on my six wheeler, he was wiping his brow with a rag and gave me a thumbs up. He was drenched head to toe in sweat. He could have avoided this hard labor by leaving those posts attached to the footings. As the week pasted, I received a handful of customer calls and inquiries from sales teams on how to deal with the storm related repairs. This lead me to do a follow-up on my initial storm damaged fence good advice blog.

  1. If you remember or can identify who built your vinyl or ornamental fence; first you should contact them for the repairs. Most ornamental and vinyl fences are unique in the design and the profile dimensions. Fence contractors will generally align themselves with one manufacturer. If you contact a contractor that did not originally built the fence, they may struggle to find the specific ornamental fence manufacturer or match the profile dimensions of the vinyl fence rail and pickets. This will result in higher costs plus longer lead times.
  2. Fence contractors are extremely busy and the phone continues to ring off the hook with home owners who want their fence repaired. Most home owners are relying on their fence to protect their children and pet. When they have a damaged or downed fence, the home owner cannot let their children play unattended or let their pets out in the backyard. We suggest that you set an appointment with your fence contractor and inform them that you will meet them to review the work. This will let the salesman know you are serious about getting your fence repaired. When you have this meeting, inquire about the lead time for repairs and make sure this is included with your proposal. If you can agree on the proposal, then sign it! Each day that you wait is another day that the contractors backlog grows.
  3. You can always expect the unexpected. A home owner reached out to me to air out concerns about their recently repaired fence. They also included pictures. Their main complaint was that the new fence did not match the old wood fence. Their fence was a cedar fence that showed its age and was greyed. The home owner was expecting the company to either use aged material or reclaimed wood to match. If you are repairing your old fence: you should expect a variation in color, shape, and sheen.
  4. Temporarily move or protect your valuable plantings and yard ornamentals. Your contractor will need access to your fence. The ground around your fence is going to be unearthed. There will b some wear and tear on your yard when contractors are moving back and forth during the repairs. Temporarily move or replant any plants or flowers that you don’t want disturbed during the repairs. You can also cover up any popping spring bulbs, flowers, etc. One home owner used something as simple as a laundry basket to cover her tulips.

American Fence Company has been replacing and repairing storm damaged fence for over fifty years. We continue to recognize that we are building not only fences but relationships. We strive to make this a positive experience for you.

 

 

 

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PalmSHIElD Project In Minnesota

 PalmSHIELD and American Fence Company of Minnesota teamed together to provide a new mechanical equipment enclosure for American Family Insurance’s new data center. PalmShield has a long history of providing architectural louvers for allot of data centers. You will see our PalmSHIELD louvered systems at Google, Yahoo, Travelers data centers.

PalmSHIELD is the choice for large standalone mechanical louvered screen systems.  These data centers generate allot of heat. By keeping them cool will allow the effective operations of all equipment. Most equipment must be protected or screened to maintain a very aesthetic curb appeal for these massive facilities. PalmSHIELD architectural louvers are the only completely fully framed louvered system with  tested structural profiles and post. Our louvered systems can stretch great distances while still maintaining the resilience necessary to meet national and local codes for wind loading.

 PalmSHIELD systems have been engineered to meet UBC,IBC and local codes. Our louvered panels with an 80% opening has a horizontal load of 19 psf, based on 100 mph winds. This complies with the 30 psf load requirement on solid building surfaces.

 PalmSHIELD Louvered systems are the only architectural louvers with an internal locking device. This device provides the ultimate security and is very attractive. We also offer panic door options with an external grade panic hardware.

 

 

 

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PalmSHIELD Louvered Screening

PalmSHIELD louver is 100% direct visual screening. 

PalmSHIELD louvers standard design uses a 1/2″ overlap based on direct visual screening. Direct visual screening is a standard measure for determining percentage of visibility. It is exactly as described. Looking head on at a horizontal plane to a plumb  installed louver, will you be able to see through it? Visibility at this vantage point is a percentage of visibility.

 PalmSHIELD’s design used a 1/2″ overlap of louvers. generating 100% direct visual screening. We can also modify louvers to provide less or more direct visual screening for our customers.

Our 100% direct visual screening is related to our percentage of openness. This openness is the actual space between the louvers over a specific area. Small opening between two louvers is the greatest factor impacting the percentage of openness. Louvers typically louver opening based on 100% direct visual screening is 2 1/4″ . example, 4″ tall louvers spaced 3 1/2″ on center, the smallest opening will be 2 1/4″. This translates to approximately 64% free area.

 

 

 

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Fence Damaged In The Storm

Thunderstorm season has hit the Midwest. With the recent large storm that moved through our area and left my neighbors wood fence blown down. Several of the panels and post were blown over and flattened where shear winds made their path. The rest of the fence panels were down but several post remained. My neighbor asked me several days later after cleaning up his yard and cutting the post off if we would be interested in installing a new fence.  After I looked at his yard, I realized he cut the post flush to the ground. I could not tell him that by cutting the post off flush to the ground has significantly increased the installation cost of replacing his damaged fence. This is why I decided to write the to help you out and share some storm damage fence advise.

 

  • Don’t cut off existing remaining posts.  Let  our fence professionals assess your existing posts and damage.   Pine posts that are treated are extremely resilient and often can be reused in your new fence.  The long vertical cracks in these posts are not the result of storm damage, but of the natural maturation process of the posts.  Cracks have no impact on your post  structural  performance.
  • Don’t cut off existing remaining posts regardless what you think needs done.  Even if it has been determined that the posts must be replaced do to damage, do not cut these posts off.  The post is a point to grab-on to and pull it and the footing out in one piece.  When there is no post and just the remaining footing, it is very  difficult and very time consuming to remove the remaining footing without the post.  It results in a great deal of labor by hand digging around the footing until it can be broken-up and pulled-out piece by piece.
  • Check your fence warranty, and not your neighbor’s fence.  If your recently installed fence was damaged during the storm, your fence might be covered under warranty.  Most fencing does not fall under any local or national building codes since it does not relate to a habitable structure.  However, it can be reasonable understood to withstand typical storms with much lower windspeeds.  On the other hand, shear winds and severe gust can be very misleading.  Your fence may be the only fence damaged on your block or neighborhood.  Not because it was improperly constructed when installed, but because shear winds were able to wind through your neighborhood.
  •   Please  be patient?  After damaging storms sweeps through your community or acreage, fence contractors are inundated with phone calls to repair and replace fencing. Most times, these contractors will estimate repairs with overtime wages and higher margins as they know they will have to ramp-up to meet customer demands by bringing on more staff.  If you can wait to repair or replace your fence, consider giving contractors several weeks to get caught-up.  The best time for an estimate on your fence is late fall or first thing in the spring as contractors are aggressively needing and looking for work to keep everyone working and employed.
  • Is your vinyl fence damaged?  After strong storms sweeps through your community or neighborhood, you will see an over abundance of vinyl fencing damaged versus wood or chain link.   Bottom line, even well-constructed vinyl fencing is going  to see damage in severe storms with high wind speeds like our recent storm.  It is very typical to see all the pickets and rails blown down with the posts remaining.  Don’t be misled?  Often times, these posts cannot be reused.  These posts may appear fine but look closer for small cracks or crimps at the base of each posts.  Once these posts are  slightly crimped; these posts you can be assured to fail during the next storm.
  • Coincidence or consideration?  After storms blow through a neighborhood, you will typically see a handful of fences that are blown over or damaged some way.  Rarely do you see all the neighbors’ fencing blown over.  This is usually the result of shear winds finding that path between homes and other structures.  If your fence is one of those fences that was blown over in our current storm; you should give consideration to your next type of replacement fence.  Instead of going with another privacy wood or vinyl fence, you might want to consider a more open design that allows for wind flow through the pickets.  It is no coincidence your fence was blown over last week.  High winds will once again find your fence in their line of sight, unfortunately only mother nature knows when that will be.

American Fence Company has been replacing and repairing  storm damaged fence for over fifty years.  We recognize we not only build fences but relationships.  We want to work with you to make this a positive experience for you.

 

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Construction Site Thefts Are Up

Construction site thefts over the last two years are rising. American Fence Rental has installed a large amount of construction site security fence as well over the last two years. Contractors are doing their best in providing site security. These thieves are still able to find their way into the secured site. Although providing site security, contractors can make some critical mistakes that could have made a difference between theft free or several site break-ins. American Fence Rental provides suggestions that would promote a better secured system at little to no additional investment. Based on recent reports on theft at construction sites, we are adding a How-To for site security fence installations to help prevent thefts.

  1. Your employee parking should be fenced in. This helps remove anywhere  logical for thieves to park. Make these thieves park where the street is lighted and away from the site. They will think twice before attempting a break in, and will move on to a better construction site to target.
  2. Use wind screen or shade screen  on fences where the site is highly visible. Or if you site is up against a street where everyone can see you installing items of high value to a thief. Shade screen will help block there view. Remember, out of site is out of mind.
  3. Debris and weeds need to be removed. If weeds are allowed to grow, this gives a hidden path in and out of your site. Keep your site clean.
  4. Temporary construction site fence should be kept tight to the ground. Even the smallest gap under your fence is an invitation to break in. A general contractor who was building a large box store noticed a considerable amount of construction material placed against his fence. After doing a check on the fence, he noticed the fence was installed with a large gap at the bottom of the fence. Workers were piling materials next to the fence to be stolen when the site was not occupied. Ask yourself, how much material left this site before the issue with the gap under the fence was fixed? My guess $1,000 of dollars worth of material or more.
  5. Do not allow other trades or employees remove salvaged materials from your site. Especially if it is not part of there scope of work. Once you allow someone to take salvage like old electrical fittings. Next, this leads to the copper wiring, and even new material. Don’t create a s slippery slope by giving others an excuse to remove material from your site. If you must allow salvage, place this material in the parking lot separated from everything else.

American Fence Rental is the largest provide of construction temporary fencing and barricading. As the Midwest’s largest provider of temporary fencing. We have over eight locations with thousands of temporary fence panels, wire, stands, and sandbags. Please visit one of these locations or our site for more information or a free quote.http://www.fencerentalcompany.com/

 

 

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Gate locks are your first line of defense

We all know that thieves don’t want to make a scene at your front door. Most break-ins happen in the back of your house, through your gate and into the patio door or basement. By the time these thieves reach the back door; they are committed to the break-in. At this point they know they have crossed the threshold of no return and  may not attempt to forcible enter your home.

When do think these thieves realized there was no return? It was the moment when they went from simply being nosey to actually taking actions to open your gate your back yard. Now what do you think the thieves would have thought if your gate was locked? they would have looked for an easier target. Almost all privacy fence gates are not locked, and the ones that are locked normally use a simple padlock that the thieves could cut with bolt cutters.

Most home owners have not thought about the above scenarios in their minds; thinking that I only wanted a privacy fence to keep our kids and pets in the backyard. What they might not know is there is a wide variety of options to lock and secure your gate. At American Fence Company we recommend several inexpensive options to lock your gate

  • Lokklatch offers a wide variety of two side keyed locks that can be installed by your fence professional.  These offer  great option considering access from both sides of your gate and a keyed entry.
  • Simplex offers a touchpad combination lock that is also accessible from both sides or your gate.  When you do not want one more key to carry with you; you will appreciate this series of gate locks these are amazing locks.
  • Lockey offers a very inexpensive single sided combination lock for your gate.  This is a great lock when you do not require access from both sides, these are normally put on low access gates.
  • D & D Technologies offers a magnetic pool latch that is accessible from both sides and elevates the lock latch out of the reach of small children. Another great option.

These lock manufactures offer a variety of user friendly gate locking devices for all applications. Most important is that you now know the importance of a good gate lock and latch. So before selecting a lock, think about home defense when not securing your gate but also your home. Please visit our America’s Gate company website at http://www.americasgatecompany.com.

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