Everything You Need to Know About Different Crash Gate Systems

Security gate entrance

The world is becoming an increasingly volatile place with acts of terrorism and civil unrest. Recent acts of violence have caused destruction to property and have ended in harm to civilians and government personnel alike. In recent years, bad actors have used vehicles to breach physical barriers and cause mass damage. 

Thankfully, crash gate systems act as both a deterrent and first line of defense for property and life. Crash gate systems prevent vehicles from breaching into critical infrastructure or vulnerable areas by providing a robust barrier that can withstand the heaviest impacts. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about crash gates so you can choose the right protective measures

Related: Why Invest In Vehicle Barriers?

Understanding Crash Gate Ratings

Crash gate systems are rated differently depending on the intended use and the organization that will be using them. The United States has some common standards for crash gates outlined in the definition of standards.

Definition of Standards 

The ASTM F2656 is the current US standard for crash rating requirements.  Often, the  Department of Defense, Department of State, Interagency Security Committee, and the US General Administration have additional requirements for verifying the performance of a security barrier.  Organizations in the UK and other areas of the world have different standards.

Third party testing agencies are used to analyze barriers’ performance to see how they will withstand a vehicle impact that includes different vehicle weights, sizes, velocities, and angles of approach. 

Previously, both the DOD and DOS used a “K” designation that describes the vehicle impact speed that the gate is successfully rated for. The K-ratings used were K rating (K4 = 15,000 lbs at 30 mph; K8 = 15,000 lbs at 40 mph; and K12 = 15,000 lbs at 50 mph).  Whereas the “L” rating designates how far the vehicle’s cargo will penetrate beyond the barrier. The ASTM F2656 changed the “K” designation to an M-rating, M30 (K4), M40 (K8) and M50 (K12).

These penetration ratings are designed to create a standardized system that allows users to know precisely what their physical security measures can withstand. When purchasing a crash gate system for your organization, know exactly what these specifications and ratings are by requesting a copy of the test certification letter from the manufacturer directly. 

B&B Roadway Security has been a quality provider of roadway and security solutions since 1925. Take a look at our crash gate options here.

Applications & Uses of Crash Barriers

The application of crash barriers can vary as many places need physical security measures to prevent and protect against breaches. The examples of properties below need to direct and control traffic while bolstering security. 

Public Utilities – Crash gate systems are essential for public utilities.  Water and power plants can benefit from these physical barriers because they contain vulnerable assets that could become a target.

Military & Police Installations – Bases, police headquarters, and other installations for military and police need the highest security measures as they have higher levels of threat from terrorism and warfare. 

Borders – Borders need to direct the flow of traffic while preventing any attackers from breaching country lines. 

Airports – Barriers can offer increased protection levels in these vulnerable areas that need the highest levels of security, such as hangers, terminals, and runways.

Sliding security gate

Related: Difference Between Passive & Active Barriers

Types of Crash Barriers

Not all crash barriers are created equally. Crash barriers have different ratings as outlined below that can cater to other uses and levels of danger. 

Crash gates and beams 


These barriers have been designed by engineers to meet certain performance characteristics or industry specifications.  With the aid of computerized programs, engineers can calculate how their design will withstand impacts. 

Crash Tested 

These crash gate systems have been impact-tested and rated by a certifying 3rd party then are approved by the Department of Defense, State Department, or other agency. The testing agency tests to the desired crash rating of the manufacturer. 


A reinforced crash gate will include extra security features that extend beyond the gate, such as cables, bollards, and other measures designed to stop vehicle ramming. 

Crash Gate Systems

Below are some various gate types available in a crash gate system that offer different opening mechanisms and security features.

Vertical Lift Gate 

Vertical lift gates will open and close vertically. These options are common in constricted spaces that do not allow for sliding gates. These crash gates are most often automated or controlled by an attendant. 

Cantilever Slide Gate 

This gate type will slide open horizontally to allow traffic through and provides a sturdy barrier when closed. They do not require any tracks or supports besides two posts on either side of the entryway. These gates are commonly seen as the entrance to compounds, embassies, and other secure areas.

Overhead Slide Gate 

These gates have an overhead track but slide to the side of the opening. This type of gate allows very tall vehicles to enter and exit, so it is commonly seen in border crossings. 

Swing Gate 

As their name suggests, these hinged gates swing open from a side of the entrance. Crash rated swing gates only open towards vehicles to provide a security stop against ramming. This will work well as long as there is ample room for vehicles in the driveway. 

Searching for the best protection for your facility? B&B Roadway Security Solutions has crash-tested gates that will improve the safety of your perimeter. 

Security gate with barbed wire

B&B Roadway Security Solutions has an unsurpassed dedication to providing barrier and gate solutions that keep people safe. We provide the formidable crash-tested gates that keep danger at bay while delivering peace of mind to those in military or government service, employees, and civilians alike. Since 1925, we have produced physical protection for vulnerable areas with anti-terror and traffic control needs.

B&B Roadway Security Solutions designs the highest quality gates, bollards, and barriers with the intention of providing an impenetrable perimeter for installations that serve the public. We have the unparalleled expertise to consult on the best solutions for your organization. Contact us today to learn more about our products. 

Related: Vehicle Gates Used in Managed Lane Applications

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