Does Moving the Hinge Cure A Sagging Wood Farm Gate?
A 16 foot gate was in the front of our driveway and I didn’t like it. It had been run into so many times it was a mess, so we bought a new one and we hung it. With the wind whipping it back and forth and people using the gate and whatnot it started to sag. Usually people just move the hinges or the hangers up or down a little bit to get some ground clearance to allow it to swing. When you do that then you have to adjust the wire mesh at the bottom to keep little critters from going under it or through it. Chickens don’t much care, they’ll just fly over it. That worked for a little while and then it sagged again and we tried to raise the hinges a little bit more and found out that there is a limit to doing this until the gate looks tilted and you run out of room to move the hinges. Finally, it got so bad it just wouldn’t work so we needed to change the gate and/or the hinge.
Unfortunately, the gate post is kind of small for hanging this gate and this meant we had to first repair the fence and make a new hinge side gate post. We needed to redo the gate post and properly brace it. There are several ways to do this. You can go to YouTube or do a Hey Alexa, Hey Siri, or Hey Google search to get some ideas. I had some long self-tapping screws, like four inches or five inches long, and used them to fix the hinges to the post. For the time being, we got the gate working then I added a cable. If I have a tall enough post and a turnbuckle I can keep tightening up and keep the gate about four inches, maybe five inches off the ground and level and that’s a pretty quick repair and it’ll last for a little while.
There are, of course, easier ways to support the sagging end of a large gate. The best one is to use a gate caster. If you make your gate wider than 4 feet, for example 6, 8, or 10 feet, then you are going to need to pay special attention to make sure the gate post on the hinge side is built solidly. But even this will not be enough to keep the gate from sagging and dragging at the far end. The answer to this is to use a gate caster. This is a wheel that attaches to the lower end of the gate and allows it to roll along the ground and support the weight of the gate. There are several manufacturers of this type of product such as Shepherd, Norstrand, Koch, Fence Smart 4U, Nationwide, Speeco Farmex, Albion, Ranch Ex, Steelex, National but the one we like best is made by Tech Team https://www.techteamproducts.com/. Their item 716 https://www.amazon.com/TECH-TEAM-4-Inch-Capacity-Hardware/dp/B079TFW124/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1540410037&sr=8-9&keywords=gate+caster+wheel+spring+loaded spring loaded gate caster solves this problem rather neatly, and since it is spring loaded, it can follow the contours of the pavement or the ground.