Gravity Conveyor guide

Gravity conveyors generally come in two variations, roller conveyors and skatewheel conveyors. Which conveyor you require will depend on the type of product you need it for. Both have their pro’s and cons in regards to load carrying, price and flexibility.

What is a skate wheel conveyor

A skate wheel conveyor uses similar frames to a gravity conveyor but instead of roller conveyors, uses axles with small individual “skate wheels” on them with spacers between to stop the wheels moving across. The wheels spin freely on the axles and allow products to move freely if the conveyor is declining or pushed by hand. They are one of the most economical solutions for conveying products over short distances within shipping/receiving areas and if mounted on supports can be wheeled in and used for loading/unloading trucks

Skate Wheel Conveyor

What products are suitable for skatewheel conveyors

Given the nature of the design, skatewheel conveyors make an ideal economical light weight solution for moving primarily boxes and cartons. Products can be bigger than the width of the conveyor providing they are centered.

Products with smooth/flat bottoms are much more preferred for skatewheeel conveyors, such as:

  • Boxes/crates
  • Cartons/totes
  • Sheets (such as wooden panels)

Skate Wheel Conveyor Sheets

How do I know what size gravity roller conveyor I need?

There are a few determining factors in working out what sort of gravity conveyor is suitable.

The main things to take into account are the weight and size of the product to be conveyed. At any given time 3 rollers need to be under the product to ensure safe transportation and to stop products falling between. This can be achieved by using smaller (or larger) diameter rollers and by adjusting the pitch (gap between the rollers)

Skate wheel conveyor incorrect

Incorrect Pitch

Heres a bad example of a skatewheel conveyor, the product being conveyed will only ever be on 2 axles at once due to the distance between them which will cause the product to fall between.

Skatewheel Conveyor

Correct Pitch

This example uses the same size products but now the axles are closer together which makes for much smoother product processing. The product will always been on at least 3 axles with 7/10 wheels underneath so it can’t fall off in any direction and remains flat and sturdy while in transportation.

If you have decided your product is more suited for skatewheel conveyors head over to the skatewheel page for a video and additional information

What is a gravity roller conveyor

A gravity roller conveyor is essentially a row of individual rollers fastened to a frame. The rollers are free spinning and allows products to be either pushed down the conveyor by hand or the frame itself can be angled at a slight decline to allow products to move freely on their own. They are better suited for heavier loads than skatewheel conveyors as can be manufactured using heavy duty rollers/frames for even heavier load capacity.

Gravity Roller Conveyor

What products are suitable for gravity roller conveyors

Given the nature of the design roller conveyors are ideal for a range of different products providing they are smaller than the length of the roller. They are suitable for products with uneven bottoms such as protruding edges/rims or uneven surfaces.

Example of items could include:

small gravity roller conveyor
  • Wooden boxes
  • Large Cans (such as paint)
  • Drums/Barrels
  • Lumber

They can of course also convey standard boxes and crates.

How do I know what size gravity roller conveyor I need?

There are a few determining factors in working out what sort of gravity conveyor is suitable.

The main things to take into account are the weight and size of the product to be conveyed. At any given time 3 rollers need to be under the product to ensure safe transportation and to stop products falling between. This can be achieved by using smaller (or larger) diameter rollers and by adjusting the pitch (gap between the rollers)

Incorrect Roller Pitch

Incorrect Pitch

Heres a bad example of a gravity conveyor, either the product is too small for the rollers or the pitch of the rollers is too large, as you can see the product will only ever be on 2 rollers at any given time which will cause the product to tip between the gaps instead of smooth transportation.

Correct Roller Pitch

Correct Pitch

This diagram shows the same product but now the pitch is 52mm instead of 104mm, now the product is always on 3 or 4 rollers at any time and is unable to fall between the conveyor. This scenario would also work on a 78mm pitch or on smaller rollers.

We can manufacture gravity roller tracks using the following diameter and pitch rollers.

Roller DiameterRoller Pitch
20mm 22mm
30mm32mm
50mm52mm, 78mm, 104mm, 130mm, 156mm
63mm78mm, 104mm, 130mm, 156mm
76mm78mm, 104mm, 130mm, 156mm
89mm104mm, 130mm, 156mm
102mm104mm, 130mm, 156mm

If your product suits a gravity roller conveyor, you can check one of the diameter pages down the side for max loading and roller widths, you can also visit the shop to purchase our most popular conveyors.