Modern Fence Technologies: Taking the Guess Work Out of Choosing a Gate Hinge

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Using new calculator to determine the load a gate places on a hinge and the hinge that will support that load allows fence contractors to accurately size up the right hinge for the job.

Retrofit hinge on gate

"This gives me confidence that the gate I put up won't start sagging." --Roger Aronson

Modern Fence Technologies announced today that they are once again improving the fence industry by making it possible to select a gate hinge based on the dimensions and weight of any gate. Until now, selecting a hinge was largely based on experience. Knowing that a hinge had supported a similar gate in the past allowed a contractor to “guess” that a similar hinge would support a current gate.

Over the past year, Modern Fence Technologies has taken a scientific approach to the problem, working out the physics of hinges to determine the true load that a gate generates. They have then gone the next step and rated their entire line of hinges based on these calculations to allow fence installers and job specifiers to determine exactly which hinge will be best for their application.

“The simplest way to describe the way this works is to say that knowing the width of the opening, the weight and style of the gate, and the distance separating the two hinges, it is possible to determine how much force is exerted on the hinge. Remember, the wider the opening, or the closer together the hinges are, the more load is placed on each hinge,” said Mike Jacob, a representative of the company.

The purpose of this research was to help fence professionals save time and money by selecting the proper hinge for each particular gate. It has already been used by several Modern Fence Technologies customers to eliminate the possibility of hinge failure due to undersized hinges.

In an early application of the new calculator, Roger Aronson of Aronson Fence in Wauconda, Illinois recently called on Modern Fence Technologies looking for a hinge to hang a four hundred pound gate that is six feet tall and fourteen feet wide. Using the formula devised there, it was determined that the gate in question would generate a load of nearly 2,800 pounds on the hinge. Mr. Aronson chose a hinge from the offerings available, based on the results of the calculator, to meet his needs. "This gives me confidence that the gate I put up won't start sagging, " Mr. Aronson pointed out.

This greatly reduced the likelihood of being called back to service a gate that may otherwise have been hung on a smaller hinge, one chosen to save on initial cost. The savings realized by reducing call backs justifies using the calculator, even when the contractor ends up using a more expensive hinge than was originally planned. The calculator has also proven a valuable tool to prevent “over-hinging”, the use of heavier, more expensive hinges where a more economical hinge would suffice.

The most seen and used portion of any fence is the gate. Moving parts need to be strong enough to endure the outdoor elements and to do the job they are called on to accomplish. This new calculator tool is one more way that Modern Fence Technologies leads the industry in value engineering.

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Mike Jacob

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