Article from Centurion Systems (Pty) Ltd.*
If you’ve ever dealt with a toddler – and I speak from experience, having a two-and-a-half year old nephew – you’ll attest to their inherently inquisitive nature. In a matter of mere minutes, they can make the word “why” take on more or less the same quality as long fingernails being dragged across a blackboard. “Why is the sky blue?” “Why do dogs go ‘woof’?” “Why are you pulling out tufts of hair and banging your head against the wall?”. That sort of thing.
But, as it turns out, they might just be onto something. I mean, how often have we not uttered the lamentation: “If only I knew then what I know now…”? And yet, we are so often afraid to ask, mainly because we don’t know which questions to ask. We simply don’t feel empowered enough.
One would think that the logical first question to ask when having a new gate motor installed is: “What will it cost?” but, in the words of that Greek sage Plato: “A good decision is based on knowledge, and not on numbers”.
Here are the six things you really should be asking your installer:
Does he offer after-sales support?
In other words, if things do go pear-shaped with regards to the installation, can you depend on him to come and sort it out? A good installer will offer a warranty on his workmanship, and not just on the product.
Are there products that could complement your installation?
Of course, there are times when a standalone gate motor will do just fine but, in the world of access control, a full bouquet of products will offer you enhanced security, convenience and functionality.
Think of your gate motor as a juicy piece of lazy-aged steak; it’s delicious on its own, but add a nice claret and the experience overall just feels richer. Be sure to ask your installer about ancillary products like keypads, tag readers, GSM devices and intercom systems.
How can he make your installation safer?
If you were buying a new car, chances are you’d ask the salesman whether it comes with airbags, ABS, that sort of thing. While most modern gate motors come with features like built-in anti-crushing protection, it’s always a good idea to ask your installer to fit additional safety devices such as infrared gate safety beams.
Does the operator require routine maintenance?
The reality is, any mechanical system accumulates a certain amount of wear and tear over time; it’s an inevitable side effect of moving parts working against each other and the various forces of nature.
Your maintenance schedule will generally be directly proportional to how frequently you use your gate motor, but a routine service every two years or so is recommended, just to ensure that everything keeps running smoothly under the hood.
Is he able to provide you with a users’ guide?
While the installer might not necessarily want to leave you with the complete installation manual – this is, after all, his domain – you should at the very least insist that he give you the users’ guide. As the name suggests, this document contains all information relevant to the end-user, such as the setting up of various features and the coding of remote controls, and even some basic diagnostics.
Does he have references?
Remember, you’re essentially putting your home and family’s security in the hands of this person, so it’s important to be sure that he’ll do a proper job, and that there are past clients that can vouch for his work. Ask for a list of references before giving the go-ahead.
*Established in 1986, Centurion Systems (Pty) Ltd has become the leading South African manufacturer of gate motors and access automation equipment.