Foundations™ Learning Center

Basics of Belt Conveyor Systems

Conveyor belts move bulk materials better and faster than any other method.

Belt conveyors are simple systems that contribute greatly to productivity when properly understood and maintained.


Conveyor belts are more efficient and safer than haul trucks. They are often overlooked because of their reliability compared to other equipment used in bulk materials handling. Conveyors aren’t complex but if they’re not understood, their problems can become complex. Conveyor belts are like giant rubber bands wrapped around pulleys. If one of those components in the process fails, it can lead to catastrophic consequences.


Best Practices:
  • Vulcanize the belt as opposed to mechanical splice
  • Use steel flat pulleys as opposed to winged pulleys
  • Load when the belt is fully troughed
  • Make sure the belt is tensioned properly
  • Be sure all rolling components are clean, rolling, and aligned
  • When a vulcanized splice can’t be used, skive mechanical splices
  • Belting specifications should be made according to system design and production needs
  • Components should be specified for production needs. Consider non-OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) equipment for a customized solution


Conveyor belts are a productive tool and quite simple if properly maintained.