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Elms gate assist problem?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mikeklein, Jul 8, 2002.

  1. mikeklein

    mikeklein LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    I found elms lawn site the other day and decided to make his gate assist for my trailer,well the thing turned out great,except when the gate is laying on the ground,the side of the gate with the assist mounted stays about 7-8" off the ground.I tried moving the support arm closer to the main arm,but it does the same thing.I tried moving the spring mount both ways with same results.The only other thing I could think it could be is the 150lb. spring I am using.I figured the more capacity the better.I dont know if a lighter spring would do the trick or not?Any help would be appreciated.
  2. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,491

    You need to take a bathroom scale out to your trailer and set it underneath the end of your gate and see how much it weighs (with the gate assist disconected of course). Now go to a shop that specializes in garage doors and get a spring that equals that weight. Problem solved!
  3. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    maybe you're supposed to have springs on both sides of the trailer, but lighter ones? That would give even support of the gate.
  4. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    Without pics I am advising in the dark, but here goes. Where ever the cable attaches to the gate, move that point closer to the hinge. This will lessen the mechanical advantage the spring has on the gate. It also sounds like your gate could use some stiffening. One on each side would also work nice. Stay with the 150 Lbs springs and just adjust the distance from the hinge. I clamped my eye bolt to the gate and tried many positions before finding the right one. (clamp twice drill once) I have split gates and they are at a bit of an angle in the down pos , not a problem. Mine are set so I can flip them up with my foot. No bending. Oh yea!

  5. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    Mark, hope you never wack your jaw doing that! How much do the 150lb springs cost each? I might try a gate lift.
  6. Likestomow

    Likestomow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 997

    I made my gate assist using Eric’s idea as a pattern. Instead of using cables, I attached the spring(s) directly to the arm. Here’s how I did mine:

    First I marked the spot the arm would be welded to on the tailgate. I marked it about ¾” above the side rail that the spring would be laying on. Next I laid the gate down and measured how high I needed to make the arm, by measuring from the mark on the tailgate vertically to about 3 inches above the side rail.

    After cutting the arm (2” thick-wall square tubing), I simply welded it directly to the tailgate at a 90 degree angle. I didn’t use any gusset because of the strength of the tubing on both the arm and the tailgate. So when the gate is up, the arm lies parallel to the side rail, with about ¾” clearance.

    Next I connected two garage door springs to the arm with some light chain on one end, and an eye bolt to the other end. Then I stretched them toward the front using nylon tie-down straps. I pulled the tension until the gate would go up with very little effort, and marked the spot for the hole for the eye bolt. Over time I have had to adjust the tension by shortening the chain. By the way, I enclosed the two springs in PVC tubing for better looks. The next time I have it apart I’m going to add a length of cable between the chain and eye bolt as a safety measure.
  7. 2 Black Thumbs

    2 Black Thumbs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    Sounds very insightful, feel free to post pictures of your project, guys.
  8. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    $20-$30 each.
  9. mikeklein

    mikeklein LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    I think I just need to stiffen the gate.Since I do not have a cable,I cannot move the mounting location of it.I really cannot move the main arm any lower or the spring would be knocking against the top of the side rail.for now I am using a piece of 2X4 as a brace to hold it all the way down until I can get around to welding in some support pieces for the gate.
  10. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    I use that setup and have no real problems with it but my gate is real heavy. A lower weight spring would help. I have used the setup for about 3 years now with no problems.

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