Chain Link Cantilever Gates – 2 Best Types

Chain link cantilever gates are designed to open and close parallel to a line of fence. Perfect for a large gate opening or where space in front or behind the fence line is limited.

Options include height and width sizes, as well as the materials used to build the gate frame.

A cantilever chain link gate has the ability to be both manually operated or operated by an automatic gate operator. As a result, making them popular in both residential and commercial settings.

What is a cantilever gate?

A chain link cantilever gate is a type of sliding gate designed to cover larger gate openings in a chain link fence line. However, unlike slide gates, there is no need for a support wheel at the front of the gate frame.

A counter balance is added to the tail end of a cantilever slide gate, providing the support required to hold the gate up when in closed position.

Cantilever gate hardware consists of rollers or wheels that allow cantilever sliding gates to roll freely and easily.

Gates constructed from chain link fence are the most common. However, ornamental cantilever gates constructed from aluminum are also very popular.

How long can a Chain Link Cantilever gate be?

Cantilever slide gates come in a variety of designs allowing them to accommodate many different gate openings. Gate frames come in single track, double track and box frame designs.

The gate opening width determines how big the gate is. Longer and heavier gates required more reinforcement. Below we’ll take a look at the three most popular cantilever slide gate frame designs.

Single Track Cantilever Gate

Single track chain link cantilever gates are the most common. Accommodating gate opening widths of up 30′ wide depending on the manufacturer. A wider gate opening width can be filled by installing two single cantilever gates, each opening from opposite directions. Known as bi-parting gates.

The frame of single track gates can be constructed from round steel pipe or aluminum framework. With steel cantilever gates being more affordable.

A single cantilever gate system requires two gate posts and one latch post. The type of material your cantilever gate is constructed from will determine if it has external rollers or internal trolley or truck assemblies.

Double Track Cantilever Gate

A double track cantilever gate has an enclosed track system on both sides of the gate frame. Therefore, providing extra strength and support. Also known as a dual track gate.

Commonly constructed from extruded aluminum square stock, the rigid double track design allows the cantilever gate’s opening width to accommodate wider openings than a single cantilever gate system.

A dual track cantilever gate system also performs better in windy locations. The wider top track makes the gate frame stiffer and reduces lateral side to side movement when the gate is open and closed by a gate operator. Known as fishtailing.

Double track cantilever gates require four gate support posts and one latch post. The custom extruded track design of the upper track assembly allows for internal truck or trolley style rollers.

Box Framed Cantilever Gate

A box cantilever gate system uses a truss like design to support the added gate weight of larger gates. Box cantilever gates are manufactured in widths up to 60′ wide.

The gate frame design is much wider than the other two types of cantilever slide gates. As a result, requiring special heavy duty gate hardware and gate support posts.

A box framed cantilever slide gate requires gate operators in order to open and close.

What are the Advantages of Chain Link Fence Cantilever Gates

A cantilever gate has many advantages over other types of slide gates. As mentioned earlier, there is no need for a supporting wheel at the leading edge of a cantilever gate. A counter balance is used to support both single or dual track cantilever gate designs.

This is extremely important when the ground in the gate opening is uneven. It also comes into play in Northern climates where snow or ice may interfere with the operation of typical slide gate.

Another advantage to a cantilever sliding gate is how little room is required for the gate to function. Unlike swing gates that need lots of room to swing open and closed, a cantilever gate only takes up a few inches of space.

However, because of the counter balance, one and half times the width of a cantilever gate is required in order for the gate to fully open.

A cantilever slide gate is also more reliable than swing gates when adding gate operators. Not to mention only requiring one operator compared to two for a double swing gate.

Are there disadvantages to a cantilever gate?

Cantilever slide gates do have some disadvantages over traditional rolling and slide gates. Cost being the biggest disadvantage. Costing more than a swing gate. Because of their frame design, a cantilever gate uses much stronger materials. Therefore, costing more to fabricate.

Not to mention, because of the added weight, the gate support posts have to be stronger too. Adding to the overall cost.

A wider cantilever slide gate may be difficult to manually open and close. Even aluminum cantilever gates are heavier when covering large openings.

As mentioned before, because of the counter balance, the overall length of a cantilever gate is 50% longer than a slide gates widths. As a result, requiring more room to open than slide gates.

Types of Chain Link Cantilever Gates

Cantilever gates for chain link fencing come in two primary designs. Steel cantilever gate frames are made from round pipe.

An aluminum cantilever gate frame with chain link infill is fabricated from an aluminum extrusion for the upper and lower track with vertical gate members and cross braces also constructed from square stock aluminum.

Pipe Frame Chain Link Cantilever Gates

pipe framed cantilever gate
A Pipe Framed Cantilever Gate

Pipe frame cantilever slide gates are more affordable because most fence contractors can have an in house gate fabricator build them. As a result, reducing costs. Steel cantilever pipe frame gates only come in single track options.

The cantilever rollers mount externally, sandwiching the top and bottom of the gate frame. Taller gates may require taller gate posts in order to accommodate the cantilever rollers.

Some contractor will build a pipe framed cantilever gate up tp 30′ in width. However, wider pipe frame cantilever slide gates tend to sway back and forth while opening and closing. This fishtailing effect causes problems on automated gates.

Aluminum Track Chain Link Cantilever Gates

chain link cantilever gates
aluminum framed cantilever gate

Aluminum enclosed track gates are cantilever slide gates that use an internal roller to support the gate.

Because of the square and rectangular shaped extrusions, aluminum gates are stronger than a pipe style cantilever sliding gate. Allowing them to cover wider gate openings.

Aluminum tracks gates are commonly used for decorative cantilever gates. With ornamental picket styles. However, the rigid framework combined with typical chain link infill makes for a very reliable chain link gate system.

Unlike a pipe style slide gate, both single or double track gate options are available. Allowing for even wider gate openings.

Chain Link Cantilever Gate Rollers

Each type of cantilever gate uses a different type of roller to support the gate. Most cantilever gate designs either have a pipe frame with externally mounted rollers or aluminum frames with internally mounted rollers.

Both are industry accepted standards. And in most cases, you will not benefit by having one over the other. However, in some situations the internal cantilever rollers perform better. Let’s take a look at each type.

External Cantilever Gate Rollers

cantilever gate roller
pipe style cantilever roller wheel

External cantilever rollers are only installed on a pipe style steel cantilever gate. Four large wheels sandwich the gate frame on the top and bottom.

External cantilever rollers have come a long way in design and function over the years. Older styles incorporated a simple cast metal wheel on a pin. This type of wheel created lots of friction and did not do well for heavier gates.

At some point in time, someone decided to add a grease fitting to the wheel. While this was better, the wheels still wore out and the ruff cast surface of the wheel still created drag on the gate frame.

Next came cantilever rollers with ball bearings. Better than a grease fitting, the cast wheel was unchanged and still created too much friction. Making it difficult to manually open and close a large slide gate.

Today’s cantilever rollers have polymer or nylon wheels with ball bearings. The plastic material reduces friction and glides across pipe framed slide gates. Making operation much easier than ever before.

As a safety feature, plastic guards cover the rollers preventing possible pinch points. Keeping hands and fingers safe from accidental injury.

Internal Trolley or Truck Style Cantilever Rollers

Sometimes ice can build up on the frame of a pipe gate. This causes the gate hardware to bind up, as a result making it difficult to open and close. With an aluminum track gate, the internal cantilever rollers do gate not get exposed to the elements. As a result, providing much more consistent operation throughout the seasons.

Internal rollers also support cantilever gates better. Most times, only two are required to support a slide gate. With the other two rollers only there to help guide the gate while opening and closings.

Some industrial cantilever gates have a ground mounted truck assembly. Mounted to a concrete pad, this type of slide gate does not require posts.

What’s the Difference Between a Cantilever Gate and a Slide Gate?

Cantilever gates have no ground contact unlike a traditional chain link sliding and rolling gates. Gates are equipped with a counter-balancing system. Allowing them to hang level while in the closed position.

This increases their weight and length, when compared to rolling gates and slide gates. However, because a front wheel is not required in order to support the gate, a cantilever gate is better suited for uneven ground openings, gravel or stone driveways and in Northern climates where snow and ice can effect the function of a slide gate wheel.

Other Options for Chain Link Cantilever Gates

The type of material the gate is constructed from isn’t the only option for a cantilever gate. Other options include the gate height, addition of barbed wire, and color.

Gate Heights

We know that there are multiple types of slide gate widths depending on how the gate is constructed, but heights are also an option. Whatever the height of your chain link fence, a matching cantilever gate’s height is also available.

Standard heights range for 4′ tall to 10′ tall.

Barbed Wire

Adding barbed wire to a gate is common practice for chain link security fences. Both pipe style and aluminum framed gates allow for the addition of barbed wire.

A special extension called a barb arm is either welded or bolted to the framework allowing for the strands of barbed wire to be fastened to the the top of the gate.

Gate Colors

Cantilever slide gates come in all sorts of colors. Galvanized is standard for pipe gates. Mill finish is standard for aluminum gates. However, both types are also available in other colors such as black and green. An aluminum decorative cantilever gate can even be powder coated in many other color options.


Chain link cantilever gates are great for all kinds of fencing applications. A proven design accommodating large gate openings with reliable and safe functionality.

Traditional steel pipe framed and aluminum options allow one to choose the features most important to them and the gate requirements.

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