Thursday, October 12, 2017

Gator at Double Dog Ranch

This driveway gate now enjoys the company of a Gator at Double Dog Ranch! These Gators love to open and close gates and this wrought iron is no exception. These Gators are slowly creeping across Texas where home, farm and ranch owners love'em.

The new Gator 300 offers new features to enhance the gate opening experience. They now come with a Gator Light that illuminates each time you activate it. This is great in the evening when leaving or entering your property. However, the light also serves as an early warning for low battery. The light will start flashing when activated to let you know the battery is at 80% life. The Gator will continue to operate, but it's nice to know if you need to give the gate a rest and let the solar panel catch up.

These gators really look great on your property over the single arm actuators. No boxes on the side of your gate and an arm that crosses over half your gate. We think your gonna LOVE your Gator.

Learn more on how to get yours by visiting our website. Gator Power Gates.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sneak Peek Into The Gator Shop

We like to automate Gates! We hope we can help you with automating your gate. We build a large portion of the Gator right in our own shop in Corpus Christi. Each unit is quality control tested to be sure it works as expected when you install on your farm, ranch or estate type gate.

Building a quality product is very important to us and solving your automatic gate needs to make life just a little bit easier. We've recently updated our product and added some new features like a light that illuminates while you activate the Gator and much more. 

The Gator Power Gate will install on most all type or size of gate. All you need to do is make sure your current gate level and plumb prior to installing Gator. Visit our website for more information. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Surviving Hurricane Harvey

The eye of hurricane Harvey came through just North of Corpus Christi but left us with 6-8 feet of storm surge and 140 mph winds. With our headquarters on Padre Island we evacuated out and did our best to "batten down the hatches" as they say. 
Upon our return we found the Gator Power Gate missing one wheel. Our neighbors stayed through the storm (said they'd never do that again)  and told us that the gate had come loose and was waving in the wind and slapping against the post. They discovered where the loud "bang" was coming from and re-secured the gate with a huge tree log. But not before the Gator loosing a wheel in the process of flapping in the wind. 
One of our loyal customers recommended we use airplane safety wire to hold the hub knob in place so it doesn't loosen on its own and come off. Illustrated below is the Aircraft Stainless Steel Lock Wire we used to secure knob. This is a nice solution to locking the hub knob in place and still be able to put the Gator into manual operation if needed with simple wire cutters.

This was an easy repair and put the Gator right back in service. 

We were also pleasantly surprised that the Gate itself stood up to these Harvey winds. A few blog posts illustrate how we installed these gates:

Learn more about the Gator Power Gates on our website.

Monday, September 4, 2017

What's the Importance of a Gate Hinge?

There are lots of different types of hinges available on the market to choose from. However, some hinges are definitely better than others. We're going to focus on hinges for driveway gates. The "MAIN" purpose of the gate hinges is to allow your gate to swing open and close freely without much effort. Hinges also need to be able to bare the entire weight load of the gate. Keep in mind the hinges will begin to have wear and tear and start to fail. Thus, allowing your gate to sag and be more difficult to open and close. 
The hinges shown is these pictures are the least efficient gate hinges. These hinges appear to be "Heavy Duty" but over time will allow gate to sag and ultimately be disappointed with the results. Once your gate begins to sag the hinges have failed. There is no way to resolve this without replacing the hinges and/or the post. 

We recommend installing adjustable hinges for your gate. Hinges used in these pictures are "Heavy Duty" and also allow for adjustments to the hinge to keep gate level and plumb. These hinges are best when attaching an automatic gate opener like the Gator Power Gate. Keeping a gate level and plumb is important for automatic gate openers in reducing the amount of work load of automatic gate openers.

In the below video we illustrate the importance of having a gate level and plumb. 

Dave Alexander
Gator Power Gates, Inc.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Gator Power Gate 300 Now Available

The Gator 300 is now available sporting some great new features! We also have upgrade kits available to previous gator owners and take your existing Gator 250 to a 300.  All future Gator purchases will come equipped with these amazing updates.
  1. The Gator now comes with a light that attaches to your gate and turns on every time you activate your Gator. This is great for those late night arrivals and departures. We've also programmed the light to "flash" when battery gets low and needs a charge.
  2. Limit switch replaces the magnet sensors. This makes it easier for installation and more forgiving for sagging gates. The single limit switch replaces the 2 (two) magnet sensors for greater reliability. 
  3. Larger remote control that clips to your car visor. 
  4. New circuit board to manage these new devices. Also comes with auto reset surge protection for those AC plug-in chargers. 
  5. Key-pad capabilities. Purchased separately. 
  6. Photo eyes capabilities for additional safety features. Purchased separately. 
Visit us at Gator Power Gates with any questions you may have. We hope to be your automatic gate solution.

Dave Alexander

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Gator Power Gate Founder, Inventor Passes

The founder and inventor of the Gator Power Gates passes on May 29th, 2017 at the young age of 91 years old. Pictured above is John in front of his blueberry farm where his "ah ha" moment came and the Gator Power Gate was invented. He is survived by his 2 son's and daughter several grand children and great grand children. 
John working his blueberry farm needed a device to open and close his gates automatically so he didn't have to climb off his tractor whenever he had to cross into a different section of his farm. He checked into what was available in the market to purchase and discovered that "the security gate industry has been dominated by devices that apply opening and closing forces to the hinge end of gates. This method is inefficient and has many drawbacks and failures despite the fact that it is used by virtually all manufacturers. Companies have been building gate openers the same way for years and years!"
John used his engineering training and farming experience to solve his automatic gate opening problem. He decided to build his own. He went through several prototypes to finally came up with a winner. See the Evolution of an Invention.
I have to tell ya... Those blueberries are awesome fresh of the bush. We were glad to come home with a few blueberry bushes to enjoy.
John sure enjoyed hanging out on his front porch with family making small talk and solving world problems.

We'll miss his advise and his ability to work through problem solving. Wonderful mentor as we build the Gator Power Gates brand. Till we meet again. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Gators Swim to the Shark Tank

We took an opportunity to go to a Shark Tank open casting call to try our luck with thousands of other hopefuls. So, we decided to go for it  as our customers had urged us to pursue this lofty endeavor. Very few make the "made for TV auditions" to pitch on camera to potential investors.
However, we actually made it past their first level of elimination and on to the "video round" for judging, but at the end of the day, we didn't get "the call".
Gator Power Gates shares their Shark Tank casting call audition experience in this blog post.
Gator Power Gates at Shark Tank
Yep, that's me at the Chicago Shark Tank casting call front door. 

The Gator Power Gate display isn't so easy to pack on an airplane so I decided to drive from our headquarters in Corpus Christi, TX to Chicago IL where the producers are having an open casting call. 
When you're from Texas and your road trip will take you out of state, you have to plan your last gas stop at Buc-ees. We enjoy their food, clean restrooms and gas prices. 
Crossing the Mississippi river marks my half way point of the drive. 
Got into Chicago Sunday late afternoon and things were very much alive. Downtown Chicago was intimidating with all the extra traffic and tight roads. My plan was to check into my hotel and then go check-out the studio to see how far is was to drive. But I learned quickly to just be glad I got a parking space and stay put.
I decide to look for a place to eat within walking distance and came across Shake Shack. I have to tell ya, that was a GREAT cheese burger. Probably the best I'd had in a long long time. 

Monday morning came very quickly as I planned to go get in line about 6:00 in the morning. When I arrived, there was a huge line that wrapped around the building and then down the street. This reminded me of the old days (early 80's) when waiting in line for Billy Joel concert tickets. When the studio opened up at 9:00am their staff walked around handing out numbered bracelets and in groups of 25 told to come back at a certain time. I was number 109 and asked to come back to the studio at 12:00 noon. 

I was able to pitch the Gator Power Gate in about 4 minutes and then I packed up and drove out of town towards Corpus Christi. How about that for an ROI? Four days of driving, wait in line for 3 hours for a possible appointment. All that for a 1 minute pitch that turned into 4 minutes. Priceless, LOL. I think Kevin O'leary would have told me I was killing money. I simply look at it as the of cost of doing business. 

I was told before my 1 minute pitch that if I made it to the video round I would hear from them within 14 days. Then about 10 days later I got an email and phone call with instructions on preparing our video package for Shark Tank with a time frame of don't call us, we'll call you if you make it. 

We obviously didn't meet the criteria for the show producers but learned that a lot of people are inventing cool things and still pursue the american dream.

One observation that might help future open casting call attendees is that you really don't need to camp out over night at the studio to pitch your product. I got there about 6:00am and there were several people that had camped out all night. I met a lady who was the #1 person in line and she had camped out for 2 days. Her enthusiasm was great though. Anyway, you could still get a bracelet to pitch your product at 11:00, the day of auditions.