How to choose a sliding gate motorization?

Motorization for sliding gate

Nowadays, many people want to motorize a sliding gate.

Whether for the practical side, for example not having to get out of the vehicle when it rains, or to make your home more secure. There are a thousand reasons to make this choice.

We will see how to choose the best sliding gate motorization., depending on its weight, its dimensions or even its structure. We will see the options available to you: rack and pinion or belt motor. Which voltage to choose: 12V, 24V or 230V.

We will also guide you in choosing your accessories. Some will seem essential to you, such as the remote control, the digital code or the photocells.

Finally, we will discuss price and installation.

Motorized sliding gate with rack motor
Motorized sliding gate

Why choose to motorize a sliding gate?

There are several reasons why you might want to motorize your gate. The first is the practical side. Don’t waste any more time getting out of your vehicle to operate your gate. The second is discretion. A sliding gate does not require arms for opening or closing but only a very discreet floor motor. On the other hand, motors for sliding gates are sustainable And robust. A automation also increases the security of your home. Finally, it is possible to motorize a sliding gate even on a slope.

Motorize your sliding gate for practicality

We are not going to hide it, the first reason why we wish motorize a sliding gate, this is obviously for the practical side. If you live next to a busy road and your gate is not recessed, the choice of adding a motorization to your gate is essential. In addition to increasing your personal safety, you will no longer need to get out of the vehicle to open your sliding gate. A few meters before your arrival, from the road, you will only have to activate the remote control to open your gate in a few seconds.

You will no longer need to cover yourself in case of rain or cold, you will not have to get out of your car. Comfort and practicality are priceless.

An electric sliding gate is discreet and does not take up space

Once you have installed a sliding gate, motorizing it will not take up any more space in your yard or driveway. Indeed, unlike the swing gates which are equipped with motorized arms or cylinders when they are motorized, the motor of a sliding gate will be placed discreetly to the left or right of your gate, depending on the opening direction.

If you have opted for a sliding gate because you lacked space when opening, its motorization will pose no problem.

Another important point, even if a vehicle is parked in front of your gate, inside or outside, you will still be able to open your gate.

Motors for sliding gates are durable and robust

The motors are much more durable on a sliding gate compared to a swing gate. In fact, a sliding gate slides along the rail, so there is no flapping and very little weight to support. The sole effort of motorization will be to turn the pinion which will drive the rack fixed on the gate. The motor will force much less than an arm or cylinder motor for example, and will generally last a few years longer.

Secure your home with your sliding gate motorization

We talk very little about this aspect, but the securing your home should be an important criterion.

Indeed, we are all confronted at some point in our lives with burglaries in our neighborhood, the fear of an intrusion or even a break-in. The fact of motorize your sliding gate often involves bringing in technology. You must take advantage of these new developments to think about securing your property. Indeed, in addition to the traffic light or the game of photocells, you will very easily be able to add a auto-sensing light in front of your gate. This strongly deters malicious people from entering your property. In addition, when installing your motorization, many home automation systems are compatible, including videophones. These options are very effective in deterring. Connected to your smartphone, you can also control your sliding gate remotely and see the activity in front of your home in real time.

Motorize a sliding gate, even on a slope

If you are at the stage of considering the installation of your gate, this point is essential. Opt for a sliding gate if your land is sloping and you want to motorize it. Indeed, the more slope there is, the more inertia there is. The swing gate motors suffer much more in these cases. On the sliding side, you will hardly have to worry about the motorization for the sole subject of the slope. They allow you to avoid stress on the hinges and control the weight. Any motorization adapted to the weight of your sliding gate should be suitable.

The different automation systems:

Floor rail or self-supporting rack

Sliding gate with floor rail

If you already have a sliding gate with a floor rail system, you can easily add a automation so you no longer have to get out of your vehicle to enter or leave your home. This system is one of the most reliable and above all does not require any special maintenance.

Unlike a self-supporting gate, a sliding gate is placed on a rail. It is this same rail that guides the gate. Depending on the installation, there may be a guide post and a receiving post. The rack motor will be placed on the ground, on the right or on the left, depending on the direction of opening. The motor will drive the pinion which itself will turn the rack. For the rotation of the electric motor, the motor rotates clockwise, or counterclockwise.

No matter what type of gate you have, it will require an electricity supply.

Rack motor with rail gate
Sliding gate with rack automation

Freestanding rack

The big advantage of freestanding gates is that they don’t have a floor rail. Thanks to this, vehicles are not likely to damage it. Only a sturdy guide post is needed.

As with gates installed on rails, it is possible to opt for a rack motorization. In this case, it is not the rail that guides the gate but the guide post. The rack motor will be placed on the ground, near the post, or in some cases, it will be directly integrated into the gate. For this last point, the choice will have to be made when choosing the portal.

Floor rail or self-supporting belt

Whether for a self-supporting or rail-mounted gate, the operation is the same.

Sliding gate with floor rail

THE belt motor no longer drives a rack but a belt which will move the gate forward. The belt will last less than a rack but will not require precise adjustment.

Self-supporting belt

The cost of a self-supporting electric gate with belt is higher than a gate on rails, but the quality is very often there. If you have a self-supporting gate, choosing a motor with belt is the ideal system. The belt coupled with the self-supporting system makes the gate very quiet.

These two motor parts, rack or belt, can be used on all wheels.

How to choose the sliding gate motorization?

The choice of your engine must be made taking into account several aspects. Indeed, many criteria will impact the selection. For example, a 5 meter wide gate will require a much larger motor than a 3 meter gate. Let’s look at the different points.

1. Depending on the portal

His weight

Weight is an essential point in the choice of motor of your sliding gate. Motors are designed to support a certain weight. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or instructions to check this point.

It is better to buy an oversized motor rather than the other way around. You risk damaging it.

Its dimensions

Once again, consult the manufacturer’s recommendations when making your purchase. If your gate measures 4 meters, opt for a suitable motor. Also check its height.

As with weight, by opting for a motor that is too light for your needs, at best you will wear it out prematurely, at worst it will be unusable because it will not be able to operate.

Openwork, semi-openwork and full portals

Aesthetically, there are 3 types of sliding gate:

  • A full leaf
  • An openwork leaf
  • A semi-openwork leaf

This will impact your choice in the same way as the weight or dimensions of your gate.

A solid swing sliding gate, as its name suggests, is full. It has no holes and is not openwork. It therefore has a strong wind resistance and is often very heavy even for aluminum gates. For these reasons, not all engines are suitable. On the other hand, being completely closed, you will have no difficulty motorizing it.

If you have a semi-openwork gate, that is to say that you can see through it in certain places, its weight should be relatively contained and its resistance to the wind is less. Unlike the solid leaf, all motors are generally suitable. Still refer to the instructions.

As to openwork doors, the question of weight and wind resistance no longer arises. In fact, they are often very light portals. One point must nevertheless be taken into consideration: the possibility of fixing the motorization. Check that your gate is equipped with an accessible reinforcement bar to which you can attach your motor.

Openwork sliding gate
Openwork sliding gate

Robustness and mechanism

When making your choice, you will need to take into account the robustness of your gate motorization as well as the mechanism. Some brands are more reliable than others and some engines stand out from others in terms of their reliability. Opt for the best brand for your gate motorization.

This criterion will be all the more important if you have a heavy, very wide gate or one with strong wind resistance. In these cases, many engines do not last over time because the effort required is too demanding.

2. Food

Obviously, if you wish to install a gate motorization, access to theelectricity is necessary. Please note that there are different solutions if you do not have electricity near your gate, we will talk about them below.


A 12V motorization allows you to add a backup battery, which will take over in the event of a power outage. This is an important point if you want to leave your home or access your home in all circumstances. If your gate is your only access, this can be reassuring.

Some engines can even receive a solar kit. Although solar energy is often less reliable, it can be a solution if you do not have an electricity supply.


As with 12V motors, it is possible to add a backup battery. Some 24V references also allow you to add a solar power kit.

Unlike 230V which we will see below, in 24V the motors heat up less. You will therefore be able to request it more frequently.

The cost is higher than 12V motorization, but also more complex to install. We will come back to this.

If you open and close your gate very frequently, this is the ideal motorization.


THE 230V motors concern more very imposing portals.

These systems do not allow the addition of a backup battery or a solar kit. Consider additional access to your home if you don’t already have one. In which case you will have to disengage manually to open the gate.

They are more affordable than 24V and are very easy to install.

In addition, 230V motors must meet obstacle detection standards. Photocells are mandatory given the power of this type of engine. We will talk about it again soon.

If you live in a very cold area, most engines will generally not be in tip-top shape. This is not the case for 230V motors which are very resistant to harsher climatic conditions.

Furthermore, as we mentioned, these engines tend to heat up. They are therefore not recommended for intensive use.

3. Gate opening direction

You will choose the motorization of your sliding gate depending on its opening direction. To find out if your gate opens to the right or to the left, stand outside your property.

Place the motor at the right post if your gate opens to the right and vice versa if it opens to the left.

Consult the manufacturer’s instructions or recommendations before purchasing. Not all gates are suitable for both opening directions.

4. Self-locking or reversible motor

There are different options including the reversible and self-locking system. The configuration of entrances to your property and your preferences will impact your choice. Let’s take a look at these two systems.

  • Reversible: the gate is not locked at the end of the maneuver. This system therefore requires the installation of a electric lock in addition to the motorization. In the event of a power outage, you will simply have to unlock the lock to open your gate manually. If you do not have any other access to your property, such as a gate, or if you are not considering adding a battery backup, we recommend opting for this option.
  • Self-locking: the gate locks at the end of the maneuver, whether when opening or closing. Most sliding gate operators are self-locking. It is also the most effective system for combating intrusion attempts.

5. Accessories available for your engine

There are many accessories to enhance the motorization of your gate. The remote control is, for example, the best-selling accessory.


In order to control your electric gate, a remote control is essential. This is what will allow you to open and close it remotely. There remote is often delivered with the installation kit for your automation. Choose the same brand of remote control as that of your engine if you wish to buy others. There are different models.

Electric sliding gate remote control
Electric sliding gate remote control

Opening box

Since gate remote controls run on batteries, you may not necessarily have one in advance if they stop working. Likewise, in the event of your absence or for people around you, you may have to lend them a remote control. Management can quickly become complicated. In these cases, the installation of a key box is the ideal solution. In fact, this system, also called key switch Or key selector, allows you to open and close a gate using a key provided for this purpose. In the event of a power outage, this will also allow you to operate your electric gate.

Digital code keyboard

A digital code is a digital keyboard that will allow you to control your gate from outside your home using one or more secret codes defined in advance. This option is essential if many trusted people will enter your property. This avoids the multiplication of remote controls or keys and the risk of loss that this creates.

Signal lamp

There signal lamp allows you to warn passers-by that a vehicle is leaving your property. As soon as you order the gate to open or close, the lamp comes on.

Photocells or photoelectric sensors

THE photocells are essential if you have children or pets. It is an essential element in the peoples’ security. In fact, while your gate is moving, the photocells ensure that your gate does not encounter any obstacles while it is closing. In the event that a person crosses the threshold, then the photocells will order the mechanism to be reversed to avoid any risk of accident.

6. Price

There are all prices for each portal. It will cost between €300 and €1000.

The price will be based on all the elements mentioned above. A 5 meter solid gate with strong wind resistance will require a very powerful motor. The price will be even more substantial. For more standard sliding gates, you will have a greater choice and therefore more varied prices.

If you do not have a portal, you will need to add the price of it.

How to install a sliding gate motorization?

Installing a gate motorization is not complicated. Anyone can carry out the installation as long as the steps are followed and the instructions are taken into account. Call a professional if you are not reassured about the idea of ​​installing it alone.

When purchasing your automation, you should have this equipment:

  • 1 motor
  • Racks
  • 1 engine mounting bracket
  • 2 metal limit switches
  • Screws
  • 1 manual unlock key
  • 1 or 2 remote controls

First of all, make sure you have turned off the electricity at the meter.

Sliding gate motor installation
Sliding gate motor installation


Choose one motorization for sliding gate is no small feat.

If you are equipped with a self-supporting gate, you will choose a belt motor for its quality and discretion. For the widest or full gates, pay attention to its weight. Not all engines are capable of handling such weight.

If you want to add a backup battery coupled with a solar panel, we advise you to turn to a 12V motor.

Finally, if you have children or animals, add photocells. This option is essential for security.

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