From day one, we realized that hinges are the most important factor for a gate, regardless of the sophistication or simplicity of design. When we started out, we utilized an industry standard gate hinge, but soon became dissatisfied. We researched what else was available, but found nothing that was suitable. We decided on creating our own, triple ball-bearing hinge with an extra heavy yoke, which provided onsite adjustment.
We used these for years, with great success, but some industry experts were saying that we should switch to an advanced polymer bearing hinge. We decided to learn what really works before switching. We designed a hinge testing device using air cylinders to cycle 3 test gates, each one exerting the stress of 1,000 lb gates with a 10ft swing upon the hinges. We tested the industry standard, our own Centennial hinge, and the advanced polymer hinge. They cycled continuously, day and night right outside our shop exhaust fan, which subjected them to the dust, dirt and sand. Temperatures were logged up to 133º. The advanced polymer went to 128,006 cycles, the industry standard to 150,316cycles, while our centennial hinge cycled 454,923 time
s. During this test, we gained some insights into hinge design. We incorporated an innovative feature to prolong hinge life, based on what caused the other hinges to fail.
Another industry expert recommended oil impregnated bronze. So we restarted testing, with an oil impregnated bronze bearing and our 2nd generation hinge. The oil-impregnated bronze bearing failed at 106,904.
Our own redesigned hinge is now at over 500,000 cycles, our goal is for a million cycles with zero maintenance. This will allow us to provide our clients the best value, so that they will have the best shot at less maintenance, less automatic operator downtime and less hassle. Stay tuned for an update when we reach the million cycle mark!