Gate Hook Secured

Lock for Gate Hinge

Pigs instinctually root at things and lift them. To prevent them from lifting the gates off the hinges our son Will drilled a hole for a lock ring pin securing the metal gates to the hinge pins.

The gates are metal and electrified off our fencing circuit so that pigs won’t work at them. The wooden post acts as an insulator for the reduced voltage. But sometimes the pigs lift the gate and knock it off before the next shock since voltage spikes only come once a second and are very brief, perhaps a millisecond long. By having the gate locked down on the hinge down the pig has to work at it more. By having the electric the pig will refrain from working it since it will get shocked one of those times and come to respect the gate as being a “No Touch” object. The combination works.

The voltage is low enough that I can open the gate standing in my rubber boots with my gloves on. There is also a switch that wise people use to turn off the gate power before they grab the gate and get shocked.

The advantage of the hinge pin over simply turning the upper pin upside down is it provides stronger support for long gates and is easier to remove without tools. On the other hand, for gates that thumbkin might mess with the inverted top pin is more secure since it does require tools to remove. Non-lethal electrification of the gate also helps discourage trespassers in such cases. In fact, I’ve observed that thumbkin are reluctant to even touch my gates with their little signs that say “Warning: Electrified Gate” dangling down and facing outward…

Outdoors: 69°F/32°F Sunny – Snow virtually gone!
Tiny Cottage: 67°F/63°F

Daily Spark: Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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5 Responses to Gate Hook Secured

  1. Edmund Brown says:

    This is a creative solution. I like it. I also really like tape gates. They’re a modern incarnation of the old barbed wire scissor gates. Polytape strung through fiberglass posts make for a highly visible and cheap gate. Way cheaper than new metal. But salvaged old metal gates are pretty great too.

    Is that the upper hinge? I think so, but hard to tell from the photo. I had a cow lift a gate off its hinges once. Then I realized the gates work just as well if the upper pin is turned downwards. Many gates these days have adjustable hinges that can then slide upwards and cinch onto the pin and the gate. Obviously if both the hinge points are fixed this won’t work.

    • Virtually all of our field gates are simply polywire across the lane, typically one or two wires at low and walking nose heights for pigs. In a few places we have tube gates like the one shown above. The first time I ever installed one over a decade ago a sow threw it down the mountain. It’s just their natural rooting motion, hook and lift, coupled with their great strength. If they are willing to hold onto the hot gate the big sows and boars would still be physically capable of ripping it right off the hinges, bending the tubes, etc – that is why the gates are also electrified. The once per second pulse discourages investigation. When they come up to a gate they explore it for a bit before trying to lift it.

      The locking pin is on both the top and bottom hinges. The one in the photo is the bottom hinge. These hinges are welded on. Some of our gates just have the bottom hinge welded and the top adjustable as you described. Long ago I did that upside down pin to solve the issue with the sow who threw the gate. She wasn’t really trying hard so once the upper pin was inverted and it was harder to do she left it alone.

      • Farmerbob1 says:

        This looks potentially patentable. Have you seen anything like this for sale? Using a pin and post locking mechanism isn’t new, but using it for gate hinges might be?

        Feel free to NOT clear this reply, if you want to explore the possibility of patenting a pin and post hinge lock. It really doesn’t take long to throe together a provisional patent as a micro entity inventor.

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