When planning a hockey rink, or looking to refurbish or update one, it is always advisable to do the research and carefully weigh the pros and cons before signing off on the final design. The gates are no exception when it comes to what would work best while keeping cost and safety in mind. The liftgate is a common preference, but is it the best choice? Perhaps a swing gate is the better way to go, or maybe the rink being designed will require a liftgate due to space restrictions. While it may seem a minor component for some, it is one that requires as much consideration as any other part of a rink.
Multiple designs for liftgates are also available with either counterbalance or torsion spring loaded systems, and modern designs have brought many safety devices for liftgate operations into play, such as:
Of course, as with anything, there are a few cons that come with the liftgate option:
Liftgates come with a host of safety considerations as well, because it is a large system designed to lift anywhere from 800 to 1500 pounds depending on the unit and size. In fact, Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) in Canada considers these gates to be lifting and hoisting devices that cross over into the realm of cranes. As a result, more safety measures must be in place to ensure the safe operation and maintenance of this equipment. Some requirements for the use and maintenance of liftgates include, but are not limited to, the following:
When considering the additional safety concerns, expense and maintenance required for installing and operating a liftgate, it may not always be the best choice for every rink out there; however, not all rinks are the same and some may find the liftgate the best option to go with.
Do you think the benefit is worth the cost of the liftgate, or do you think swing gates should be the standard? Tell us why you think the liftgate or swing gate is the better one.
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