Choosing the Perfect Commercial Garage Door Operators for Your Business

If you own a commercial property and are looking to increase your property’s value as well as enhance the functionality of your space, then adding garage doors could be an excellent option for you.

The addition of garage doors can allow you to move vehicles and other large items into the property with ease and can help enhance your building’s curb appeal. Whether you’re simply looking to freshen up your exterior, or just want to expand your building’s storage capabilities, garage doors are an excellent choice.

In this post, our goal is to help you find the perfect garage door operating system for your business. We will outline the most important factors that need to be considered when choosing commercial door systems. By doing this we hope you can make an informed decision about which operator is best for you.

LiftMaster MT garage door opener

This Trolley Garage Door Operator is the LiftMaster MT model.

What’s the Difference Between a Commercial and Residential Garage Door?

Residential garage doors serve a different function compared to commercial garage doors Aside from their function, residential garage doors come in different materials and designs to make your house exterior aesthetically pleasing. Commercial garage doors, on the contrary, have a much more practical function and are made for scale and utility.

Size and Weight

Commercial garage doors are typically much larger in size and are heavier than their residential counterparts. They are used to load and unload and store supplies regularly. Because of their function, they require a more powerful door operator system that can withstand the door’s weight during everyday use.

The Operation Cycle

Aside from the size difference, the operation cycle per day for a commercial garage door is much more frequent than residential garage doors. Residential garage doors are typically opened and closed twice per day. This comes out to 10,000 cycles over 13 years. Commercial doors in comparison operate regularly throughout the day which leads to a much higher operating cycle volume.

Commercial buildings with distribution centers have much heavier traffic than your typical residential property. Commercial garage doors can open and close 25 to 50 times per day, which can add up to 100,000 cycles over 25 years. With that in mind, power and energy efficiency are incredibly important factors when determining the right commercial door operator for your building.

Horsepower Considerations

The amount of horsepower necessary for a door operator will depend on the size of the garage door and what it’s being used for. Because these commercial garage door operators are made to open larger and heavier doors multiple times on any given day, they are designed to be powerful enough to perform that task.

Here are some loading dock doors. These garage doors are the G-1000, 8' x 8', Heron Blue by Garaga.

Here are some loading dock doors. These garage doors are the G-1000, 8’ x 8’, Heron Blue by Garaga.

Types of Commercial Garage Door Systems

The two main types of electric garage door systems are trolley and jackshaft operators. Which operator you choose will depend on the exact spot where your operator needs to be positioned. Typically, operators are placed on either the ceiling or the wall.


Trolleys are electric garage operators which are suspended from the ceiling. They are typically placed at the center of the door and are situated at the furthest end of the rail. The opener rail is equipped with a trolley that connects to the garage door and rides along with it to lift the garage door.


Jackshafts are also known as wall-mounted operators. These commercial systems are installed next to the door. They operate through rotational force which rotates a torsion bar to make the door move. Unlike a trolley, it can be used with all types of door movements.

Here is the LiftMaster GH garage door opener and the LiftMaster LJ8900W (jackshaft) garage door opener

This is the LiftMaster GH (on the left) and the jackshaft LiftMaster LJ8900W garage door model (on the right).

Having gone over the different types of garage door operators and how they function, we recommend taking a look at the many different models of garage door operators from LiftMaster. These high-quality operators are a great system for any commercial garage door.

Your Business’Needs

When choosing the right garage door operator for your commercial building, it is important to ask what the door will be used for. Some important questions to ask include: Which materials should you use? What is your budget? How many doors will you need? The answers to these questions will be crucial in determining the type of operator that will best suit your needs.

Apartment Building or Condominium

If you own an apartment building or condo complex, you will need to consider how many units your building has. One door for 100 occupants will typically see 200 cycles per day. One cycle for when occupants leave in the morning for work, and another for when they return. This doesn’t account for residents that come and go more frequently.

In addition to these considerations, you will also need a time-to-close feature and a pneumatic reversing sensing edge. A Pneumatic reversing sensing edge is the bottom weatherstrip of the door. It allows the sensor system to force the door upward if it comes in contact with an object.

Commercial Garages and Car Dealers

Those who own a car dealership or commercial garage will benefit from jackshaft operators because they allow your building to have an unobstructed ceiling, allowing for increased storage space.

For these applications, two accessories are recommended in addition to the operator:

● A loop detector. This device is used to detect passing vehicles approaching the door allowing the door to open automatically.

● A mid-stop. This allows your garage door to not open fully if not necessary. This is an excellent way to maximize the heat or ventilation inside your building.

Car Washes

A car wash uses commercial doors for cars to get in and out as well as for insulation and security purposes. While each car wash is different and will need the best door operator for its individual needs, one thing all car washes will need is a water-resistant system to be able to withstand moisture and humidity.

Overall, the operator necessary for car washes will depend on the building’s floorplan. But most car wash owners will want powerful operators to reduce noise or control traffic flow at your car wash.

Take the time to assess your building materials and environment to determine your needs. By doing so, you will be able to find a suitable operator and accessories to complement your company’s property!

Fire stations

Most fire stations have doors glass doors. This is mainly to help firefighters have better a better view when leaving the station at a moment’s notice.

This full view garage door is a G-4400, 14' x 16', Anodized extrusion.

This full view garage door is a G-4400, 14’ x 16’, Anodized extrusion.

If you’re interested in finding the best garage door operator for your fire station, check out this blog from FireRescue1. This blog explains why LiftMaster’s smart garage door operators are optimal for fire stations.

Fire crews can also quicken their response times by installing a control panel. A control panel can allow all garage doors to open simultaneously saving the crew a lot of time when needing to leave in a hurry.

Warehouses and Other Commercial Buildings

If you own a warehouse or other type of commercial building, you will have to assess the needs of your particular site when purchasing a garage door operator. The operator that is best for you will largely depend on the size of the load you will be storing, as well as the number of goods you plan to store in your warehouse.

Want to Learn More?

With so many different things to learn, the processes of finding the right garage door operator can be confusing and challenging. This is why you need a garage door specialist you can trust who can help point you in the right direction.

If you need to upgrade your current operator or are looking to build a new garage door system, our experts are more than happy to help. With a variety of commercial doors for all different industries, you can rest assured that we have the right door system for your business.

If you’re interested in seeing some of our past projects, you can browse our image gallery to give you a better sense of what you can expect for your commercial door. If you need more guidance, feel free to ask for one of our specialists’assistance. They will be sure to guide you through the process step-by-step.

Contact us today at 403-347-8670 and one of our team members will assist you in finding a solution that works for your business. Once we’ve determined different options that are suitable for your business you can expect a free quote by email!

Here is the garage door opener LiftMaster GT model

This is the LiftMaster GT, a heavy industrial-duty garage trolley door operator.

What about the Garage Door Operator’s Installation?

If you already have a good idea of what electric garage door operators you will need, you’re probably ready for installation. Hiring a garage door professional with the proper equipment and experience to get the job done will ensure that your garage door and operator system are installed correctly saving you time and money down the road.

Your safety is our number one priority which is why the experts at Doormasters do everything they can to guarantee a perfect installation!

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