Known as the Door Operator Guru, Roy Bardowell is one of the most respected and knowledgeable men in the garage door and operator industry. His special passion for residential garage door, commercial door and gate operators leaves an impression on everyone he meets. Roy's training sessions at IDA Expos are always the one of the most widely attended sessions. He has been recognized by IDEA with the "Commitment to Excellence Award" and is an IDEA Certified Door Dealer Consultant. Roy is a member of the tech service team at Micanan Systems. He was Operations Manager at Guardian until 2012. We hope that you find Roy's articles informative and entertaining. Feel free to leave your comments for Roy.
by Roy Bardowell, CDDC
The term, ”GDO” is the common industry acronym for a garage door opener.
Regardless of popular belief, the GDO manufacturers are the real experts on door automation. This is their expertise, and in my opinion, most do produce a reliable product line, so whoever you choose, I say you will be in good hands.
Since all residential door operators must pass the tests of the Underwriters Laboratories 325 safety standard, it is assumed that any door operator that carries the UL marking is essentially safe and employs all the latest safety requirements. However, there are noticeable differences when it comes to customer care. Customer care can go from stellar service to non-existent.
When you consider design, engineering, marketing, the production crew, creation of sales literature, website construction and training of the tech support staff; you can see it is not an easy mission to gather a team of competent people to form a successful residential door operator company. If you can pull it off, it’s a small miracle and this is probably why there are only 15 producers of GDO’s in North America.
Whatever company you choose to purchase from it is a good idea to know who the technical support people are and keep their phone numbers handy at all times. These people will be your best friends once you learn who they are they will help you out most of the time. Technical support staff are trained to help you with most field issues and will teach you as you encounter field issues.
The manufacturers that strive to provide Stellar tech support have fared well and will continue to do so. Many door installers think they know best and choose to go it alone. If you consult with the technical support and tap into the experts, you will have a huge advantage over your local competition who may not turn to the tech support experts when they have a problem.
Other than calling on customer care the operator instruction booklet and simple common sense are your other two best friends. Read all instruction booklets as a team project and strive to understand every word and instructions. The instruction booklet has passed the tests found in the UL 325 safety standard and must be followed exactly as written. Plain & Simple: The instruction booklet is the recipe book for a safe installation.
Personally, I always prefer to go direct to the manufacturer for tech support on a GDO, because they are the experts on door automation and will provide you with the best advice.
Having spent 40+ years in technical support my experience has been that most field problems are with improper installation or something was mis-wired. This is NOT the time to go it alone and you should definitely call tech support. The easier the door can be opened and closed manually; the easier it will be on the operator and the door hardware. Hence, the system will go longer between service calls. This is your primary goal and job 1!
Roy Bardowell, CDDC, is a member of the tech support team at Micanan Systems. He served as Operations Manager at Guardian Access & Door Hardware until 2012. He has been in the door and operator industry since 1973 and is known as one of the industry’s most experienced operator technicians and trainers. Roy received the IDEA Commitment to Excellence award in 2008 and IDA’s Jerry R. Reynolds Volunteer Service Award in 2017. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org