What kind of conveyor belt do I need?

Fast and easy information for beginners and first-time conveyor belt buyers.

If you’ve never bought a conveyor before, you might be surprised to discover how many choices there are. But that’s a good thing – it means that there are plenty of options so you can find the exact one to suit your needs.

Q: How many options are there? I thought a conveyor belt was just a conveyor belt.

A: The type of conveyor you use depends on what you’re moving, how you’re moving it and even where you’re moving it. More specific considerations include environment (wet, dry, cold, hot), how the product will be loaded, what the product is made of and how fast you need it to travel. But the first step in choosing a conveyor is simply becoming familiar with the general categories available – the details can come later. To get started, here’s a quick introduction to seven of the most common conveyor belts.

 Gravity Conveyors:
Non-motorized, gravity conveyors use an incline or manpower to move items short distances. Used for truck off loading, package sorting and assembly, there are two basic types:

  1. Gravity Skatewheel Conveyors – Good for items with a smooth, flat bottom like boxes and crates. Items can be wider than the conveyor.


  1. Gravity Roller Conveyors – More expensive, but also more versatile, roller conveyors can handle items with uneven, rimmed or open bottoms such as wire bins, drums, cans and lumber.

 Power Roller Conveyors:
A mainstay of product flow systems. Best for solid, stable loads and well-suited for distribution, packaging, assembly lines, shipping and receiving.

 Belt Conveyors:
Think checkout stands. Belt conveyors offer a smooth, uninterrupted surface suitable for packages and raw materials. They’re also ideal for small parts or items with irregular bottoms that could fall between rollers. They’re easier on fragile items than rollers, too.

 Sanitary Conveyors:
USDA-approved for safe handling of food or pharmaceuticals, sanitary conveyors are made with easy-to-clean plastic or wire mesh or stainless steel for washdown duties.
 Flexible Conveyors:
Portable and versatile, flexible conveyors expand and contract to form a straight or curved path from Point A and Point B. Got obstacles? No problem. The flexible conveyor curves right around columns, heavy equipment and more. Both motorized and on-motorized versions are available.

 Accumulation Conveyors:
Sections of the conveyor slow down or stop so items can accumulate at a specified point, allowing them to be capped, sealed, taped or sorted before moving on to the next stage of the process.

 Chain Conveyors:
Easy to install and low-maintenance, chain conveyors move heavy unit loads like pallets and industrial containers down assembly lines or through distribution and manufacturing facilities. They also allow for easy application in the painting industry.

Need more help? No worries. Our experts are here to help you choose the best conveyor for your specific needs. Give them a call at 1-800-338-1382 today.