For large multi-unit projects having a construction duration of several years…when a chain-link fence is used for the jobsite enclosure with a swinging double gate for access into the project…the builder should consider something more substantial for the gate posts…in place of the standard round hollow tube poles driven into the ground.
Figure 5.1 shows a typical double gate for a chain-link fence. If hollow tube poles are used as posts…after a few weeks or months of opening and closing the clamps holding the gates to the vertical fence posts often come loose…dropping to the point where the gates drag along the ground.
The fence posts can also lean inward toward the center of the entrance…succumbing to the downward weight of the gates…resulting in the ends of the gates resting upon the ground…rather than being suspended 4 to 6 inches above ground as intended.
The jobsite superintendent each morning must then lift and drag these gates over the ground to open up the jobsite…and then do the same thing at the end of the day.
On one particular project that had a 30-foot wide entrance opening with two 15-foot wide gates…the fence posts at each gate were so flimsy that the superintendent had to actually lift each gate to them to swing open or closed.
For a project with a duration of several months or years long, the builder should plan ahead and design posts for chain-link fence gates that can survive the length of the construction. At the very least, the fence post uprights at the entrance gates should be set in concrete rather than merely driven into the ground.
On one project, we used steel I-beams set in concrete as the fence post uprights for a 30-foot wide opening…with two 15-foot chain-link gates. We had steel hooks welded to the I-beams at the correct height so the clamps on the gates rested directly below the horizontal rails of the gates. This approach prevented the clamps or the gate from slipping downward. Both gates swung freely open and closed a uniform 6 inches above the ground for the entire duration of the three-year project.