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Carpark boom gates – what makes a good vehicle access system?

How to give your carpark the security and safety it needs

A vehicle access system physically controls and restricts vehicle access to a particular carpark or facility. For carparks dealing with normal traffic, that usually means boom gates. In high security situations, “hostile vehicle mitigation” barriers can literally stop a truck travelling at 80 kilometres per hour

Carpark boom gates, chain barriers, parking barriers, retractable bollards, and vertical gates are all examples of vehicle access systems. So which one is exactly right for your facility? Here are Parcsafe’s top tips for what makes a good vehicle access system.

The essential elements of a good vehicle access system

When choosing a vehicle access system for your site, bear in mind these key qualities:

Ease of use

Chose a system that’s right for your carpark. For example, there’s no point investing in an RFID system for a school; but this might be absolutely essential for a mine site to ensure haul trucks need not stop rolling to exit.

Ensure the system’s intercom is good quality, as all communication will need to be clear for both parties using the system.

Make sure that the management portal is easy to use and intuitive. That way, you can easily add in licence plate details when a new employee starts with you.

Quality and reliability

You can’t afford to have consistent failures with your vehicle access system at your carpark. A carpark boom gate or other system that won’t work will hold up vehicles and trucks from entering and exiting your facility – or worse, prevent emergency vehicles from attending your site when needed.

With this in mind, take care to select equipment that has an appropriate duty cycle for your carpark’s expected vehicle flow through, with a long mean cycle to failure.

A good control system

Choose a system with simple controls such as PIN pads, remote controls, or apps. Make sure it’s a reliable, well-engineered system that can operate in all weather when installed outdoors.

Your vehicle access system should be easy for regular drivers to use, and able to be integrated with swipe cards for access control. The card reader should be easy to maintain and integrate with the boom gates. Finally, ensure it features good management of tags and cards for logging and tracking who has access to your carpark.

High quality materials and construction

In Australia’s harsh conditions, it’s wise to look for a system that uses stainless steel rather than plastic, which will quickly deteriorate outdoors. Similarly, a steel housing will provide greater protection against accidental collisions, and an aluminium arm is preferable to a plastic or fibreglass version which may shatter on impact. The system’s gears and other components need to be robust and designed for a long service life.

Licence Plate Recognition technology is becoming increasingly common. Look for purpose-built LPR with at least 98.5% accuracy, not just a system that uses an adapted CCTV camera.


When choosing a vehicle access system, look for a warranty of at least 24 months. After all, the system will be involved with vehicles (and potential collisions) on a daily basis – and has many moving parts to deal with.

Parts availability

A boom gate is one of those things that you don’t notice until it doesn’t work! That means it’s important to check the support availability and parts stock for a system before you buy.

Research whether your boom gate supplier offers the responsiveness you’ll need to get a faulty boom gate back up and running quickly.

Opening speed of carpark boom gates

Ensure your vehicle access system has an appropriate opening speed for the peaks in traffic flow at your facility. For example, a sliding gate will likely be too slow for a school or shopping centre


The security needs of a school (where parents and teachers come and go) will be different from a mine site where access is restricted. Also consider whether night-time visibility is an issue.

Simple to configure

Look for a vehicle access system that can easily be customised to your needs, to change things such as the boom speed, configuration of safety lights, the sensitivity of the loop detector, and close delay times.

Get more information about vehicle access systems

If you’d like to know more about the right carpark boom gates or other systems, call the team today on 1300 987 645 or contact us online.