Old west style ranch gates

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I hope someone reading this will be able to help, although what I'm about to describe may be hard to visualize

I'm interested in putting in some gates like those I've seen in a number of old western movies. For example, like the gate in the movie Duel In The Sun -- when the Gregory Peck character needs make a fast pass through the main ranch gate in order to chase down Pearl Chavez and her runaway horse.

Anyway, for this sort of gate the person can remain seated on his horse, buckboard, tractor, etc. and just initiate the opening of the gate by pulling what looks to be a stategically placed rope or lever. Upon passing through the gateway another rope or lever is pulled to close the gate. The gate does not swing along the ground as most modern gates do; rather, it pivots on one end and then raises up, so that when it is fully open the length of the gate is straight up in the air. I imagine a number of pulleys and balance weights are used to achieve the opening and closing. There are no batteries or electricity used.

Does anybody know about the type of gate I'm describing? Does it have a "special" name? Any idea where I might get some plans or drawings?

As I get older, I get more and more discontented about all the climbing up and down from the tractor that I have to do when going from pasture to pasture with standard gates and gaps, and it seems to me that this sort of gate could be real handy.


Sounds like an interesting gate concept, Arnold! Haven't seen that movie or one of those gates. However, I have seen in use a special gate system that has about a 1 foot high ramp on the hinge side. A vehicle drives onto that ramp which apparently pushes down a catch pin and heavy duty springs push it open. When the pressure is off of the other side of the ramp, the springs close the gate after the vehicle gets off the other side. One could probably do the same with weights and pulleys rather than springs. A more (obviously) expensive solution would be to install electronically controlled gates using a hand-held remote control unit. After a few seconds delay, the gate closes automatically. Solar powered units are available too. Suppose a final type of opener would be to have an overhead rope hanging down on both sides which would pull up a latch pin--then just bump the gate lightely with your truck or tractor to open it...duh...dumb idea.

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