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They Motorize Sliding Doors
Propel Sliding Door Automation has been opening and closing sliding shed doors for more than 10 years (Vol. 37, No. 5). The same basic system is unchanged.
The 24V DC motors open and close the doors. With power running through the rail above the header, there’s no need for wires to the motors. As with overhead garage doors, once closed, the doors are effectively locked, with no need for other locking hardware. The system shares other similarities to overhead openers, such as if doors encounter an object when closing. The motor overload signals the controller to reverse to opening mode.
What has changed is the addition of door guides and winter options. The guides that keep doors running straight are usually spaced 6 to 7 ft. apart in the concrete lip. They’re designed to be driven over with anything rubber.
“We now have the option of laying a gutter cable under the doors,” says Mark Gazda, Propel Doors. “We put a 1/4-in. saw kerf in the concrete under the door and tuck in the cable. It only costs about a dollar a foot, but it gives you a 7 to 8-in. swath of dry concrete.”
Another change is the addition of covers for the door operators. Originally, the operators that control the motors were placed inside the building. The covers allow them to be placed on the exterior.
“Exterior placement of the operators will open up new applications of the openers,” says Gazda. “We plan to add solar power options.”
Gazda notes that weight is not a challenge for his door-opening system. “Most doors are designed to be pushed open by an average human,” he says. “However, we’ve done 1-ton doors for a steel company.”
Propel Doors has a smaller system for small doors. The company has even installed drive-thru systems.
“They were all remote-controlled, so the vehicle could drive in the front and out the back,” says Gazda.
Gazda founded the company after developing an idea that came up over coffee. While he now has a partner taking over the operations, he has plans to complete before retiring.
“We’ll be introducing a lot of new products,” says Gazda. “Before I retire, we want to do gates, sliding glass doors for homes and various types of shutters, as well as storeroom gates for inside businesses.”
Pricing for Propel door systems is based on the width of the opening and one or two doors. Gazda estimates a dealer installation of openers for two 15-ft. wide doors would run about $750. “We provide everything needed to install and use,” he says.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Propel Sliding Door Automation, 19064 Thornbrook Rd., Carlinville, Ill. 62626 (ph 217-306-1756; mgazda@propeldoors.com; www.propeldoors.com).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #6