Gate Guarding and More . . .

I’ve had some more inquiries about gate guarding and how to get started, so here’s a repost of the info.

When we started last year, we just showed up at the Gate Guard Services yard in Whitsett, TX and told them we wanted to gate guard. We did not call ahead.

We had heard to do it that way because they get so many calls and requests for info that they really don’t pay any attention until you get there in person.

We got there on Thursday, April 5th about 5:30, but every one had already gone home at the office. But the guy working the shop showed us where to park. They have 5 FHU sites and a number of places with power and water. There is no charge for parking there while you’re waiting for a gate or coming off a gate.

The next morning. I went to the office and got our info packets and fingerprint cards. We then drove over to Floresville about 20 miles away and got our fingerprints done at the Sheriff’s Office.

Then we had to drive down to Corpus Christi on Tuesday, April 10th to process our applications and take our security guard tests. We had to wait until Tuesday because they only process apps on Tuesday and Thursday.

Five days later, on Sunday, April 15th, we were on our first gate.

Doing it this way will work in the Spring and Summer, but probably not as well in the Fall and Winter when the all the snowbirds are down in south Texas wanting to gate guard for the winter.

Gate Guarding pays $125 a day or more depending on how busy your gate is. And just to be clear, the $125 is per couple, not per person. The company furnishes you a 11KW diesel generator, diesel to run it, a 500 gallon water tank that they keep filled, and a portable septic system. So even though you are usually out in the middle of nowhere, you have full hookups.

The one real downside to gate guarding is that most gates are 24/7. So one of you has to be on the gate at all times. Some couples do 12 hour shifts, but Jan and I prefer to split it up. She works the gate from 7am to 2pm, I work from 2pm to 6pm, she works from 6pm to 11pm, and then I work from 11pm to 7am. This seems to work for us. Your mileage may differ.

But one thing to keep in mind is that although you’re working 12 hour shifts, you don’t actually WORK that much. Last year we averaged about 80 vehicles a day, and never had more than 130. Based on about 30 seconds per vehicle, you only actually work about 30-45 minutes a day. The rest of the time you’re sitting in the shade reading or playing on the computer. Jan read 84 books in 4 months last year.

For more information you can go back on our blog starting April 5th, 2012 and read about our gate guarding adventures last year. Or just leave me a comment.

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Here’s a list of Gate Guard Companies. The first 4 are the main ones, with GGS the biggest.

Gate Guard Services, L.P.- 361-949-6992

LOMA Rentals, LLC – 817-964-1828

Time Keepers – 830-816-5059 Toll Free – 877-851-7676

Site Watch Gate Guards – 800-561-7202

KC Services – 956-236-5255

Pro Gate Security – 830-776-8666

Oil Field Support Services – 361-815-7050

Trinity – 956-241-1675

Primo Gate Guards – 361-563-9272

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Later in the afternoon it was time for another maintenance chore. Although I clean and wash the AC foam filters every month, it’s been awhile since I cleaned the coils.

Despite the filter, some dust and dirt always gets through and lodges on the fins of the evaporator coil and blocks the air flow, thus reducing the cooling. And with another month of 95+ temps on the gate, we need all the cooling we can get.

AC Coil Cleaning 1

Removing the plastic grille shows the air intake over the coil. The screen wire is my addition. I found that because of the wide-open holes, the filter material would get sucked into the holes and deform, letting air leak by. So a couple of years ago I got some coarse screen wire and just taped it over the vent holes to provide some support for the foam filter.

AC Coil Cleaning 2

AC Coil Cleaning 3

Pulling the screen off, I used the brush adapter for the vacuum to clean all the dirt off the coil.

AC Coil Cleaning 4

Then it was just a matter of putting it all back together and then doing the second one.

Still no new news on our gate. Tentatively we’re supposed to move tomorrow about 2pm, but we’ll see.

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Thought for the Day:

“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” – H.L. Mencken

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5 Responses

  1. Hi Greg and Jan,
    Love following your escapades. Been “lurking” for awhile now and look forward to your blog every day. My wife and I full-time in our class c but are tied to my parent’s house to take care of them right now. Keeps the peace by having our own place to retreat to nightly. They’re in their late 70’s.

    Anyway, with some other family member’s help we hope to spend 2014 on the road and are interested in gate guarding. What I can’t seem to figure out is what’s involved in the security test?

    Looking forward to your gate guarding adventures coming up.

    Blessings,
    David and Trish

  2. The hardware cloth screen is a smart idea.You must have stolen it from Nick Russell!

  3. David,

    The Security Guard test is for Texas’ Level III Unarmed Security Guard Certification. It’s about like a Drivers License test.

    You take the test at the gate guard office. They give you a booklet to read over and then you take the test. It’s pretty simple, and they’ll give you hints if you need help.

  4. George,

    Yeah, let’s go with that.

  5. Thanks a lot Greg. We look forward to getting out there.

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